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Your Thoughts: Lady Gaga and The Muppets Holiday Spectacular on ABC

Discussion in 'Muppet Appearances' started by Phillip, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

    I pointed out that your post minimized his contributions and appearances when the truth is that Bobo has been around quite a lot since 1996. In fact, the character turns 18 next March. While hasn't achieved the stature of Kermit or Fozzie, I'd say he is right underneath them these days. At least with those who have been following the Muppets over the past two decades. Personally, I'm familiar with all the characters. I was raised on the Muppet Show and the first film I saw in the theaters was 1979's Muppet Movie. :)
    LaniArianna and muppetlover123 like this.
  2. ryhoyarbie

    ryhoyarbie Well-Known Member

    I figured something out. If this special was made back in 2000, either Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, or Destiny's Child would have been featured as the main star/stars.

    You wouldn't have had Scooter or Rowlf (perhaps in the background but not saying anything), and have the Electric Mayhem regulated as the background band without saying anything sans Animal. Rizzo, Pepe. Bobo, Johnny, Sal, and Clifford would have been inserted in the special.

    The Muppet franchise has certainly come a long way in 13 years.
    LouisTheOtter likes this.
  3. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

    Cool. Without commercials the entire special would be approximately 70 monutes. If the Muppets were in approximately 40 minutes, that works out to be nearly 60% of the entire special.
  4. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    On Hulu, unless something was cut out, the whole special comes out to be just shy of an hour.
  5. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

    Hmmm, really? I guess you're right. Did they cut something out? The initial special was 90 minutes on ABC. The average 30 minute television program has about 7 minutes, 30 seconds of commercials. Multiply that times three and subtract that from 90 minutes and it comes out to 67 minutes and 30 seconds. Dealing in estimated round numbers, i rounded up to 70 rather than down to 60. My math is likely correct unless there were a lot more commercials than usual. But if it is a shorter special, then the Muppets appeared in a higher percentage of it.

    Edit: Yup. It had lots of commercials. The aired version came down to a total running length of 60 minutes and 20 seconds. This included the Muppets Most Wanted presentation and the bumpers in between the ads. Shave off the bumpers and that would probably bring it down to the Hulu running length of 59 minutes. Wow, that was a lot of ads! 29 minutes and 40 seconds of them.

    As for the ratings. The special brought in 3.6 million viewers and a 0.9 rating among the 18-49 adult demographic. I'm not sure if this includes DVR, OnDemand and Hulu data or if it is a good or poor rating. Her last Thanksgiving special brought in an average of 5.5685 million viewers and a 1.7/5 rating in the 18–49 demographic. Not sure what that means either. It doesn't appear to have done poorly. I'm just not sure how well it did. Reportedly the Muppets Letters to Santa did special was considered to have done well when it averaged a 2.4 rating in adults 18-49, but that was before so many people started relying on other devices than simple home viewership. I guess we'll have to wait a while and see.
  6. JJandJanice

    JJandJanice Well-Known Member

    I enjoyed this special. Truth be told, I have a sort of strange crush on Lady Gaga myself.

    As people pointed out, it was more about Lady Gaga than it was about the Muppets, which I think is how it was suppose to be, much like how for some reason, when the Muppets appeared on WWE, people didn't like that there wasn't as much Muppets. Well of course, since it's still WWE's show.
    Beauregard likes this.
  7. JonnyBMuppetMan

    JonnyBMuppetMan Well-Known Member

    Probably a little too late for me to review this, and in spite of having yet to see the special in full, I still feel like I can unashamedly give my upfront opinion on it ...in short, I didn't really like it. In long, there's sadly worse I can say about this than there is good. I watched most of this on Thanksgiving with my dad (who likes Gaga) and he became less enthused about this than I was. Perhaps that awkward viewing experience is a factor to my cynicism, but I digress.

    Overall, this special felt lazy and rushed in more ways than one, right from it's opening number. I know some have complained about Gaga's skimpy outfit here, and I do agree in principle with arguments to that: the Muppets not being strictly kiddie kitsch, performing similar acts on the Muppet Show with Raquel Welch, and so forth. But, I would argue that there's a distinct difference between that episode's well-choreographed sequence with a Muppet spider, and this special's equivalent: just Muppet characters swaying and dancing around Gaga like a tribe while she stands and sings... whoopee!

    The Muppet scenes were also pretty weak. While it was a nice surprise to see Carl (the Big Mean) again, that whole audition scene just looked like the puppeteers ad-libbed a buncha stuff and later they framed the subplot with Kermit and Scooter around it. They had the feel of the DXD bits, except less funny. For the most part, the characters were unusually slow and stale in terms of performance, to the point that some of the jokes, even ones that were meant to be bad, flopped; especially Ram-a-lot (UGH!). Having read some of the Jim Henson biography during the holiday week, it took a quote of Henson's for me to notice what exactly was wrong: "These puppets are not just characters up there telling jokes. If you just stand there and tell jokes, the whole thing will die." That's really all it was to me, just the Muppets telling jokes and letting them die. Not much in the way of actual character. I don't know if this was a weakness in Jim Lewis's writing or if it was lost in execution, but it just didn't work for me.

    I could honestly prattle on about other gripes I had with this special (Gaga's "acting", lack of Muppet/guest-star interactions, and that tasteless comatose line from Gonzo), but I'm assuming that's already been talked about. I really don't want to continue being a whiny "things-were-better-back-in-my-day" type of fan, but I'll conclude by saying the Muppets have done better holiday specials (as referenced in the opening montage), and in the end, I was more thankful that I watched all of the Muppets Take Manhattan on TCM and I witnessed less of this. Simply put, this was not the best the Muppets have to offer, even by Disney's standards.
    CensoredAlso likes this.
  8. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

  9. Frogpuppeteer

    Frogpuppeteer Well-Known Member

    little late to the review game but here are my 2 cents..ive said it on facebook

    but really the special was Meh...dont get my wrong the Muppet segments where fantastic. the chemistry between all the Muppeteers is really growing and you can tell by how they are intereacting with each other

    it is so nice to have scooter, rowlf and the entire mayhem band back with all the muppets

    now my big question is how was this a "Holiday" special aside from 2 mentions and one song this really had nothing to do with christmas or the holidays..its felt more like a gaga needs to sell her album special, and that is fine i have nothing against her

    it really felt pasted together, and while some are saying its just studio DC all over again i have to disagree...this had more of a muppet show feel to it than those just executed wrong. where its just a random stage they could have used the muppet theater and so on so fourth
  10. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

    I think this was shot only a month ahead of time. This seemed very much like a last minute sort of negotiation.
  11. antsamthompson9

    antsamthompson9 Well-Known Member

    Nice job with the editing, but I think you should remake it with all the lead-ins to the commercials, because there were some Muppet parts in those that weren't in the special. Also the whole intro should be there cause, there's a part where Joe says "Hey Mom, I'm with Kermit!" Also, JonnyB, Gonzo didn't say comatose, that was Kristen Bell. I don't think Jim Lewis would allow a Muppet to say comatose.
  12. MrBloogarFoobly

    MrBloogarFoobly Well-Known Member

    It's Thanksgiving, and Lady Gaga brought the turkey.:o
    Muppet fan 123 and matleo like this.
  13. Daffyfan4ever

    Daffyfan4ever Well-Known Member

    Yeah. I kind of agree. Kermit was getting a little too intimate with Gaga for being in a relationship with :mad: and she did question what was going on before she karate chopped him. We all know that she was out of line on "Good Luck, Charlie" and I think maybe we're thinking that after that they might continue to use that 'flanderized' version of her and blow her character out of proportion, but in this special she wasn't nearly as bad. Just kind of jealous. I look forward to seeing how she'll be portrayed in the movie.

    That's a good point. But then maybe they should have called it something else rather than "Lady Gaga and the Muppets." Maybe the title was too misleading there.

    Yeah. That's exactly what I mean. I think the way she acted on GLC, sort of got us all a little too shook up. Hopefully that won't happen again.
    Duke Remington likes this.
  14. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Well, The Electric Mayhem was the background band for the opening song. And actually, if this was done in 2000, I think the Electric Mayhem scenes would have been done. It probably wouldn't have had Lips, and most of the dialogue would have been given to Floyd and Animal, though I could still see Zoot getting his lines. And considering by 2000 Dr. Teeth had a brief line in Muppets from Space and Dr. Teeth and Janice had dialogue in Muppet RaceMania, I think they would have gotten some brief dialogue in those scenes (even if just mumbling).

    It's reported that this special came about because Lady Gaga's special from last year was a success. I wonder why they didn't just reair her special from last year.
    LaniArianna likes this.
  15. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

  16. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    Did Pepe call Scooter Scooper?
    WalterLinz likes this.
  17. Daffyfan4ever

    Daffyfan4ever Well-Known Member

    Well, he's done that before. Also, he calls Kermit Kermin and Fozzie, Fotzie, etc.
    WalterLinz likes this.
  18. matleo

    matleo Well-Known Member

    The old special wouldn't have promoted her new album.
  19. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    Yes. In fact, the first time Pepe called him "Scooper" was in one if the bonus features on the MWoO DVD.
    dwayne1115 likes this.
  20. LouisTheOtter

    LouisTheOtter Well-Known Member

    I, too, am late to the reviewing game (busy working weekend) but I figure I might as well offer my two cents on the whole Gagapalooza thing.

    This was SO CLOSE to being a decent production. Just a little bit more effort would have taken a jumbled assortment of Gaga concert clips, somewhat-awkward celeb-Muppet mixes and decent Muppet-only material and made it a smoother, more enjoyable special. As it was, Mrs. Otter and I spent the bulk of the 90-minute running time shooting confused looks at each other. (She nearly bailed on it at the half-hour mark.)

    Count me in on the camp that felt this was rushed together to promote Gaga's new album (and, to a lesser extent, to promote MMW). I'm also among those that felt Kristen Bell's segments served no real practical purpose (the first bit where she used Piggy as furniture while getting Gaga's autograph was kind of funny but every subsequent appearance got progressively odder).

    Oddly, I thought a lot of it worked or was at least close to working. The dressing room scene and the audition reel felt like classic TMS fun, and it was great to see the Electric Mayhem in the "interview" bumpers, as well as the Gonzo-Rizzo pairing and the Chef-Beaker-Animal trio. And I like the over-the-top twist on Piggy's "Santa Baby," which took it a step beyond her previous renditions of the song.

    I didn't always enjoy Gaga's concert footage but I actually found her charming in the scenes with Kermit. The "mutual admiration" clip had a classic-TMS feel to it (I'd love to know exactly what was inside Gaga's head when she stared off into space and murmured, "I need a swamp") and while the intro to "Gypsy" could have been a bit tighter and less ad-libby, as a musical number it actually seemed to work. (Steve Whitmire really nailed his duet vocals IMHO.)

    Great blooper reel too. Statler and Waldorf looked and sounded like their classic '70s/'80s selves. And what can I tell you, there's just something fun about seeing our pals The Muppets singing and dancing to a pop number, even if it's something like "Venus" or "Applause."

    No, it won't go down in history as a holiday classic but it did what it was supposed to - set things up for the new movie and prove that The Muppets belong in the modern media world.

    (1) Lady Gaga actually WANTED them involved (I was actually touched by her very sincere-sounding intro to the whole special) - and;
    (2) We've been grousing a bit about the ratings for this special but it actually tied Glee (which, bizarrely, ALSO had a puppet theme) and that's no small potatoes, gang.

    And, all things being equal, it's just nice to see Jim Lewis' name among the closing credits for a Muppet special after all the work he's done with them over the years. (If he did nothing else besides ghost-write Kermit's Before You Leap book I would still be grateful for his efforts.)

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