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  2. Sesame Street Season 48
    Sesame Street's 48th season officially began Monday August 6 on PBS. After you see the new episodes, post here and let us know your thoughts.

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What Muppet Fans Are Thinking About

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by Muppet Master, May 20, 2014.

  1. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I've been puzzled over an internet meme inspired by the Lipton ads. It's a photo of Kermit drinking tea, with a caption which starts begins pointing out something fairly negative about something and then ends with "but that's none of my business".

    It goes well with the still image, but Kermit never says anything like that in the ad, nor does it sound like something Kermit would say. I wonder who started this meme.
  2. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I think it'd be funny if Oscar changed a line from "I just can't wipe this smile off my face" to "I just can't wipe this frown off my face".
    Dominicboo1 and Janice+Floyd<3 like this.
  3. Rugratskid

    Rugratskid Well-Known Member

    Will we ever get new Fraggle appearances? :coy: (I'd die to see some news Wembley or Boober appearances, or all of the Fraggles, on TV or internet)
    vettech28 likes this.
  4. vettech28

    vettech28 Well-Known Member

    That or "Will you please stop singing? I really hate that song!"
    Dominicboo1 and Janice+Floyd<3 like this.
  5. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I'm now thinking about how, since this thread was started, I have not started a new thread in the Classic Muppets folder (in fact I think it's been awhile since I last started any thread, but especially not Classic Muppets). If there's something I want to talk about that doesn't have its own thread (or at least it's own thread within the first few pages of the folder) I just talk about it in this thread.
  6. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Lately, I've realized that the two Sesame Street albums The Sesame Street Book and Record and Sesame Street 2 are the only ones to not be tied to a theme, I guess because they are two of the earliest Sesame Street albums (though there were a few in-between them).

    Most albums were themed around an educational subject or other gimmick, or had some kind of on-going story between the songs, or spotlighted a character, and a few focused on people behind the scenes (Joe Raposo, Jim Henson), or celebrated an anniversary, but those two seem like the only ones that were truly just a random selection of the shows music.

    At first, Jim Henson didn't want to license the Sesame Street Muppets. Would an album release of the shows music count, or would he have allowed an album release regardless? In fact, I wonder if the Sesame Street Learning Kit merchandise (five books, the first album, sticker set, and I think a poster) came out without his approval, or were those released after he had changed his mind about licensing?

    And I've been wondering, in the pre-video recording era, which was the better way to experience the show: By listening to the albums or reading the books?
  7. Janice+Floyd<3

    Janice+Floyd<3 Well-Known Member

    There are quite a few things that have crossed my mind being a muppet fan.
    1. Are Janice and Floyd dating or married? Its obvious that it is a romantic relationship but it never is confirmed by Jim Henson. All we do know for sure is that they are romantic partners.
    2. How did the electric mayhem band meet?
    3.How did Janice and Floyd start dating/meet?
    4.Where and how did floyd find animal? Or who did and where did he come from?
    5.If Gonzo was originally from outer space how did he end up on earth and get started in the plumbing business and meet Camilla?
    6. Where and what happened to Robins parents?
    7.Rowlfs full backstory
    8.How did Janice and Zoot get romantically involved and break up?
    9.What happened to Fozzies dad?
    10.How did Beaker and Bunsen meet?
    11.What happened to Clifford? That dude was just awesome and what was his story and how he meet the muppets?
    12.Any other muppet character backstories and how they met/joined the muppets?

    Never found any answers yet for these.
  8. C to the J

    C to the J Well-Known Member

    I've always wondered why Pepe doesn't wear the green shirt and blue jacket anymore. I mean, with a black sweater and necklace, he seems a bit... less colorful.

    Also, I saw an article on Muppet Wiki about a TV special about The Musical Monsters of Turkey Hollow. If that ever comes out, I'd be more than happy to watch it. The mind of Jim Henson was always whimsical and full of ideas worth sharing with everyone regardless of age!
  9. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I've been thinking about something Craig Shemin said when he was interviewed for The Muppet Mindset. He said that in the ten years after Jim Henson had died, the company had produced a lot more hours of television than Jim had in his lifetime.

    It is an accomplishment, but I do wonder about this. Could it be that other people from The Jim Henson Company were better at making deals with networks? Could the networks have been more interested in broadcasting shows from the company out of respect for Jim Henson? Or could it be that more people were pitching ideas?

    And on that note, did Jim Henson come up with all of his ideas for television shows? I know he thought up the majority of shows in his lifetime, but did he come up with the concepts for Little Muppet Monsters, Jim Henson presents (probably), The Ghost of Faffner Hall, and Mother Goose Stories, or did somebody else at the company come up with them? Those are shows from the company that we don't really hear much about, especially not when it comes to how the ideas came to be. Ditto with shows that didn't make it past the pilot stage (Star Boppers, Puppetman, Island of the Little Mermaid... Though now I remember that Lighthouse Island, which was intended to be a series, was Jerry Juhl's idea). I know that Lisa suggested the concept of The StoryTeller to Jim, but would that make her the creator of that series?

    And thinking about the various Henson Company shows from the 1990s, it seems most of them lasted a few years and were fairly successful, yet they also don't seem to be as well-remembered as The Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock, and Muppet Babies. The biggest Henson Company shows from that period (in terms of success) are Bear in the Big Blue House and Farscape (and to a certain extent Dinosaurs). The others don't seem to be rebroadcast often or referenced in pop culture. While The Jim Henson Company has gotten more of its retained productions released on video or online than Disney has with its acquired Muppet productions, the majority of shows don't seem like the kind of shows that I'd expect to see get the "complete season/complete series" box set treatment anytime soon.
  10. Muppet Master

    Muppet Master Well-Known Member

    A lot of those shows were very short lived, so it really is not much of an achievement for that era to have more hours of television. Jim Henson made SS, TMS, and FR which are all widely acclaimed and the first two shows have been put on the top 100 television shows of all time compared to the Animal Show, the Dr. Seuss show, and MT. I love MT and Seuss, never seen Animal Show, but those shows lasted at most 65 episodes and are not even at all to the general public. Obviously it does not matter how many more hours were made, TMS and SS have been much more successful than Farscape or Animal Show will ever be, which shows Jim's staying power.
  11. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I am a bit mixed on this. On one hand, most of these shows are not as well-remembered to the general public, don't seem to have cult fanbases, and probably won't be released in complete series/season sets anytime soon, but on the other hand, it was steady work for the company.

    Today I've been thinking about how it seems unlikely that The Jim Henson Company will ever cast Steve Whitmire, Dave Goelz, Bill Baretta, Kevin Clash, Frank Oz, Eric Jacobson, Matt Vogel or David Rudman again (maybe Whitmire and Goelz if that Fraggle Rock movie ever gets made). Most of them are with Disney now, Frank Oz hasn't performed for Henson in years (and hasn't performed his Muppet characters since Disney got them), and I'm not sure whether Kevin Clash will ever perform again. Then again, back when Disney got the characters, I didn't think any performers who were heavily involved with Sesame Street but not anything else from Henson would ever be involved with the Muppets again, and therefore I was a bit surprised when Matt Vogel and David Rudman were officially cast as Jerry Nelson and Richard Hunt's respective characters.
  12. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    And now I'm wondering if Monster Maker and Living with Dinosaurs would have made great feature films (as opposed to being hour-long specials as part of The Jim Henson Hour). They'd likely be cheaper to make than The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. Then again, it's hard for me to pay attention to those two specials, so maybe they wouldn't have been so good as movies.

    And I was thinking about how The Jim Henson Hour didn't really have any creature shop specials that took place in special fantasy worlds like TDC and Labyrinth (well, The StoryTeller episodes kind of did, though in the past). Pretty much every special was more-or-less set in the real world. Though it probably would have been really expensive to do a one-shot anthology show installment featuring lots of animatronics and impressive sets.

    I can't remember if I've brought it up in this thread or not (I know I have in another thread), but I've seen a number of things that mention that people thought The Muppet Movie would fail because that kind of movie hadn't been done before, only to succeed. Many studios tend to "follow the leader" in terms of success, but even with the success of The Muppet Movie, there haven't really been many puppet movies outside of The Jim Henson Company. There's been a lot of movies involving realistic puppets, animatronics, and costume characters, but not really any non-Muppet movies starring puppets who look like puppets. The success of 2011's The Muppets didn't even lead to many puppet movies (it didn't even lead to the Fraggle Rock movie and Dark Crystal prequel finally being made... though I assume that played a part in 20th Century Fox announcing that Sesame Street film that'll likely never happen).
  13. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Back when Juliana Donald (Jenny from The Muppets Take Manhattan) was interviewed for The Muppet Mindset, she said that since Jim Henson was so busy with projects at the time that Frank Oz did his best to make sure he only had to be on the set/filming locations when he was needed (and Jim Henson: The Biography has a quote from Oz saying that he felt bad about making Jim be there when he really didn't need to, due to his constant need for retakes). One thing about that that I've always wondered is, when making a movie, how can one really be able to be sure to arrange for somebody to only be there when required, when a scene could take hours to do (with or without needing constant retakes)? But also, it seems like there's hardly a scene in MTM that doesn't include any of Jim's characters (there's the scene with Fozzie hibernating, and Gonzo's act, and Miss Piggy with Joan Rivers, and a few others).

    I also wonder how likely it is that there would have been scenes where Jim only provided the voices of his characters without being there at all. I'd like to assume that even though there had been times when somebody else physically performed Kermit while Jim performed a different character, it'd be taboo for anyone else to have their hand in Kermit without Jim being there. I could be wrong though.

    And another thing I recently noticed about MTM is that, unlike the first two movies, there aren't really any human-only scenes. Every scene has a Muppet in them.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2014
  14. Eyeball

    Eyeball Well-Known Member

    Will we ever get a decent plushie of a character that isn't Kermit? (OK granted the rowlf one was quite good but the question still stands!)
  15. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    From time to time, I wonder if Kevin Clash will ever do an interview again, whether for something professional or for a fan site or podcast. I'm pretty sure most fans (or at least the people at The Muppet Mindset and Tough Pigs) have the common sense not to discuss the circumstances that led to his resignation from Sesame Street. I would like to also expect the same regarding an interview by Sesame Workshop, The Jim Henson Company, or Disney if any of them desire an interview for a nonfiction book or documentary about something he was involved with. But you never know.

    I also wonder if he has found work since 2013 (I think we would have heard if he's done any puppetry work since then, but he could have taken a normal "day job"), or if he's been primarily living off residuals from his work.

    And I wonder if Frank Oz will ever perform on Sesame Street again. He hasn't performed on the show since Jerry Nelson died, and many of his recent performances were as Grover with a Jerry Nelson character (though Nelson didn't voice any characters in the many parody segments Oz performed in). He's not in the credits this season (was he credited the previous year?). I'm not sure whether that's what's kept him from the show in two years or not. Of course it also seems like he hasn't directed anything in a long time. You could say that he's been busy working on movies that have been in development heck (I don't think he's directed a film since I joined the forums back in 2005), but I have seen an interview quite a few years back where he said that he didn't need the money bad enough to just pick a bad script to direct if he couldn't find anything good enough.
  16. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Thinking about how for most of Sesame Street Caroll Spinney has only performed Big Bird and Oscar. In Jim Henson: The Biography, Jerry Nelson is simply quoted as saying that he stopped performing Anything Muppets because he didn't really like it, and I read in the Tough Pigs review of I Am Big Bird that he was nervous performing with Jim Henson and Frank Oz, but since he was so good at Big Bird and Oscar, Jim decided to just let him stick with those characters. Since the other Muppet performers had limited screen time in the early seasons, it was an easy way to keep him from performing with them, but even after season two there have been plenty of times when Big Bird and Oscar appeared with a character performed by Jim or Frank. And even though he was nervous about it early on, couldn't they have maybe tried again to give him occasional Anything Muppet roles after he had plenty of experience on the show?

    And if he did continue to perform other characters, or even if he had understood Jim's offer to "talk about the Muppets" the first time, I wonder how active he would have been in productions outside of Sesame Street. He probably wouldn't have been a regular on The Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock, or other shows shot outside of New York, but would he have been as involved with the Muppets outside of Sesame Street as, say, Brian Meehl was, or more like Fran Brill was?

    I've also been trying to determine how much rare material appears in the anniversary specials. I know that the broadcast ones show some clips that I don't think fans have access to otherwise (I think the rarest clip in A Walking Tour of Sesame Street is the one where Big Bird tries to get the adults to meet Snuffy at the fountain). It seems like for the most part, clips from inserts were generally stuff that were still being shown, or if they hadn't been seen in years, it's probably more likely a case of them just happening to not show it for so long (since there are so many segments to repeat, even with 130 hour-long shows a year). It seems like most of the clips that deliberately hadn't been seen in years are from street scenes. I feel like most of the rare clips in Stars and Street Forever are from season 25, or perhaps a few years earlier (of course Muppet Wiki doesn't have guides for all of the season 25 episodes that aired on Noggin, so maybe they were on the channel and the Wiki is just missing the guides). I would assume that all of the full clips in A Musical Celebration were still being shown at the time, or around the time.

    Of course I'm not counting the 40th anniversary DVD, which definately has a lot of rare clips that haven't been seen in years. Or the two 35th anniversary specials. At the time classic clips were being phased out (especially ones from the first ten years), and I think all of the clips in What's the Name of That Song? would have still been shown on the show if not for the newer format, but The Street We Live On does have some rare clips. Aside from the ones in the montages, there's some clips that definitely wouldn't have been shown otherwise in 2004, like Baker #10 and maybe the Typewriter: C-Cat segments.
  17. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I've been playing Muppet Race Mania quite a bit lately... One thing I've noticed is that in battle and stunt stages, you still get energy when you collect stars, except you can't do special moves (which is useless in stunt stages because there's no other characters) or get a speed boost (which would be unneccessary in battle stages). When it's full enough, pushing the button that activiates it only drains a slight bit of energy, being full again the next time you get a vegetable. So you're stuck with full (or full-ish) energy that you can't use.

    And man, those stunt stages are hard. I've never been able to complete them, and I rarely play them as a result. In the last few days I've been playing one of the stunt modes, and it is frustrating. There's a few big obstacles where you have to jump from, only they raise up and down, and it's hard to just stop still when you land (and if you do, you slide a little if you're not pressing controls), making it easy to fall off and have to go back.
  18. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    In the booklet for the CD release of A Christmas Together, it's said that the Muppets were the inspiration for the track Alfie the Christmas Tree. And yet I don't feel that track is particularly Muppety.

    The story of Alfie the Christmas Tree would make for a good Christmas special (or maybe even a movie), and I could see Jim Henson making a special like that, but at the same time, it's a bit too serious. No humor, no explosions or eating, no known characters... I know the Muppets have a lot of good serious moments and are as much heart as they are humor, but if I heard that track without knowing it was in a Muppet production, I wouldn't think of associating it with the Muppets. Sounds more like a story I'd expect to hear in school or church.
  19. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    If The Jim Henson Company still owned the Muppets, I wonder what Muppet clips would have been uploaded to the company's YouTube channel. I wonder if many music numbers (ones that weren't written for the Muppets) or celebrity spots would be uploaded.

    For Jim Henson's 75th birthday, Disney apparently did give Henson permission to include a few Muppet clips (The Rainbow Connection, Mahna Mahna, and Just One Person from The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson), though those uploads have since been taken down. I guess that's a sample of what we could have gotten. Not very much of what the company still owns features songs owned by other companies, so the lack of that on the YouTube channel isn't exactly noticeable. And yet the company has also uploaded a couple of clips from The Secrets of the Muppets, which is owned by Disney (for years it had been believed that the rights were split between Disney and Henson, but the 2004 legal guide regarding the sale only lists Disney as owner of that special, with no note of disribution rights being split, but even then, the two clips that Henson has uploaded are ones that I would expect Disney to own regardless, as one features Waldo and the other features Rowlf).
  20. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Last night I watched the entire Muppet Show Live on YouTube for the first time (I had previously only watched bits and pieces, and then it was taken offline for awhile), and it sure was great. I'd read about Mahna Mahna having an eye problem there, all this time I thought something inside had broke causing him to only be able to close one eye, but after watching, I see it's really his eye just flapping up and down while the other isn't (I guess they didn't glue/sew/attach it properly enough).

    And the big "There's No Business Like Show Business" montage... I didn't realize it included a big montage of every Muppet Show guest star. It would have been great if they could have also included every guest from The Jim Henson Hour and Muppets Tonight (and maybe guest stars from the specials). I kept rewatching to see if every guest was included (and I'm still not entirely sure). But it seems weird that they started with part of Ethel Merman's rendition of the song from the Muppet Show, and also how that version seems to have ended randomly before going to the montage and the new Muppet lyrics. *

    I had thought that the copy of The Muppet Show Live that made its way on YouTube was from a fan who recorded it, but it appears to be the footage that appeared on the live monitors (we only hear the Muppets sing during the "No Business Like Show Business" montage). I wonder if that copy was obtained from Henson or the venue where it was shot or what.

    *Additionally, the opening montage in the 30th anniversary special has audio of Ethel Merman singing "There's No Business Like Show Business" from The Muppet Show. I assume it's taken from her appearance... For the most part it sounds like it, but at one point she was joined by other singers, but in that montage that part just has her singing (and a chorus can be heard at other parts where others joined in). Could that be an alternate version? I thought maybe she sang the song live while the music and Muppet vocals were pre-recorded, but then wouldn't the backing track be stuck in that recording? Could she have pre-recorded it separately from the Muppets and Music, and they randomly took out one back-up chorus part?

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