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Your Thoughts: When Everyone is Gone

Discussion in 'Henson People' started by Cantus Rock, Mar 9, 2005.

  1. Cantus Rock New Member

    Well, with Jerry stepping down, we're left with an extremely small number of original performers (Dave...and thats about it).

    What do you think its going to be like when there is an entirely new set of performers? When there are no original Muppeteers left?

    I think its going to be pretty bad, unfortunately. Personally I've seen a degradation of quality with every lost performer. When everyone is gone, things well never be the same, and that is a terrible thing.

    What do you think?
  2. christyb New Member

    True. Time goes on and things change. This is inevitably happening with the Muppets. I don't think it's such a bad thing. (Plus we still have two orginal performers left. In other words, I consider Steve Whitmire one of the orginal). I like what I see so far. Sure some things are off but that just takes some getting used to. So let's try and look on the bright side!
  3. Vic Romano Active Member

    It's not so much the puppeteers (although there are some performances I don't care for) who worry me, but the writers and directors. Making Muppet magic relys heavily on them.
  4. Infinity Sirius New Member

    There will always be something special about the original Muppet group that will probably never be seen again, because the original group started with Jim and in effects when they retire or die the original magic will die with them. But I believe the magic will live on in some way or another, because there are people who have the same spark within them that Jim and the others posess. What I think needs to be done is to let these people somehow who can keep the the magic alive should be hired and not just cough things up to try and make money. If the magic or whatever it is can be preserved for other generations and have the same effect, then money will be made. It's all a matter of taking a risk and not afraid of losing, I think.
  5. WOCKA2416 New Member

    The Muppets still attract extremely talented people to work for them, so we'll always have quality performances. People like Bill Barretta will carry on the Muppet tradition. :rolleyes:
  6. Beauregard Well-Known Member

    The Magic may be dying...

    Jim Henson is gone. Richard Hunt is gone. Frank Oz has retired. Jerry Nelson has retired. Dave Goelz is all that is left from the first generation.

    Steve Whitmere, Kevin Clash, and Bill Baretta are here from the second generation.

    Eric Jacobson has become the start of the third generation, the replacement generation.

    ...Magic cannot be replaced...

    When Jim and Richard were gone, their ghosts, like those of their characters Marley and Maley, stayed on. They lived through their friends and colleuges who knew them best. Muppet Christmas Carol, Muppet Treasure Island floated through that period like gems on the water, or the last exquisete fireworks before the party is over.

    With Muppets From Space came the start of the second generation. Steve Whitmere and Bil Baretta became the two new staring cast members, and Pepe stole the lime-light. Was the Magic gone? I ddn't see it, but every now and then a trace of magic sparkled through the false front. A fakeness seemed to cover everything in that movie. It seemed to call out saying that this was not the real thing. This was not the Muppets we know and love. Could that be because Frank, Jim, Richard were not there? (Frank, remeber, did only the voices in that film.)

    Something endering about the Muppets was missing, and each scene jarred. The love and care of the Muppeteers. They say that your Puppet is your own, and cannot be replaced by someone else because only you truly understand the motivations and truth of that character.

    Kermit's Swamp Years brought new characters, new voices, (enter Joey Mazzarino as Goggles), new era.

    Very Merry Muppet Christmas marks the begining on the Third Generation, whilc KSY forms the transition from old to new.



    ...where did the Magic go?



    What changed completly from Muppet Treasure Island, to KSY, to VMC? In each there was still Dave Goelz or Steve Whitmere, certainly second generation Muppeteers if not first...what was the biggest change?

    Who else was missing? Not just a muppeteer, after all, a film is not made by its performers, but rather from a strong group of people, starting back at the begining with a writer and a script. Jerry Juhl was gone.

    Jim Lewis, and Joey Mazzarino are the Next generation of Muppet Writers. And, ladies and gentlemen, I put to you that is where our problem lies. Jerry Juhl was with them practically from the begining. No one can have known the Muppets like he did. And now he's gone. And so has the Magic.

    Now the questian is...

    ...can the Magic return...
  7. christyb New Member

    So much for looking at the bright side of things :rolleyes:.
  8. Cantus Rock New Member

    Beau yet again hits it on the head.

    I've always been amazed at some of the blinded optimism around here.

    I am perfectly happy watching TMM and MTM, old TMS and FR, and rekindling the magic that once was through them. I see the Muppets, with this new crop of performers (not that they are at all bad performers, because they certainly aren't...its all about the roles and the characters..) as being like 1950's hack actors; the mighty have fallen. When once we had tactful, charmingly hilarious and wonderfully zany characters, we now have tacky reproductions struggling to stay in the public eye through pizza commercials and make-over shows. This bothers me; it degrades the esteemed image of genius that Jim Henson embodied. However it seems to be encouraged by modern fans. :rolleyes:

    There is an obvious shift in quality with ever performer who leaves camp. The characters are like amazing athletes; perfect when they were at their peak, but now in need of a slow-down. I'm not saying that the Muppets should not be in the public eye totally; I just think there should be less of this clinginess to it (ie. that which is being portrayed in these current ads/guest spots).

    I think the fact that the last 3 Muppet feature-length presentations have all been made-for-television speaks volumes (KSY, IVMMCM, and now this Wizard of Oz remake). I see the Muppets turning as chinsey as their parodies, and that saddens me.

    Have at it, I know you've got something to say. :smirk:
  9. MelissaY1 Well-Known Member

    I agree, the problem lies not so much in the performing, but the writing. For me, one thing I've noticed is that the Muppet comedy style has changed so much over the years. They're trying too hard to be "hip" and "trendy" and for me the magic of the Muppets was the fact that years ago it was like watching the old Hollywood films where even the lesser known character actors were still a big contribution. I mean, look how many fans we have here of Crazy Harry, Sam the Eagle, etc. who are just as popular Kermit and Piggy.
    Also, I think the comedy is not as spontaneous as it was. I mean, sure we knew what the punchlines were going to be on the Muppet Show but the way they DID it was what made us laugh. Nowadays it seems like there's no spontaneity. I also feel the characters have not stayed true to what they once were and that's where the problem with the writing comes in. Why do all like Eric Jacobsen so much? Not only because he's a fine performer and does the voices pretty darn good, but because he's stayed true to what makes Grover Grover, and Miss Piggy Miss Piggy.
    Gonzo isn't as wacky as he once was, Kermit isn't has mature and leaderlike as he was and I don't blame the performers. They do their best with the material they're given to work with. We need some creative people to come in who will write up amazing things for our favorite characters to do.
    Melissa
  10. Vic Romano Active Member

    I agree so much. I think the way the Muppets handle themselves can be downright disgraceful (IAVMMC in particular). I live my fandom through nostalgia. It's not that I don't aknowledge them now, but it was when Jim was alive, Frank was involved and Jerry was writing that embodies what the Muppets are to me.

    I'd be interested in some kind of pole if people are happy with what the Muppets have become, not Disney owning them, but what they're like now vs. what they were like way back when.
  11. MelissaY1 Well-Known Member

    Vic,
    I'm very much like you. I really haven't cared for the most recent Muppet projects and I thought IAVMMC was awful. But you know, I go into all the new stuff trying to give it a chance too. I haven't collected any of the new DVDs, etc. but I give them a shot on T.V. But I'd much rather sit down and watch an episode of the Muppet Show I've seen 1000 times and was pleased as punch to see stuff like that Follow That Bird come to DVD. Maybe I'm stuck in a Muppet Time Warp, but I'm sorta happy that way :)
  12. christyb New Member

    Ok, so ya'll got me on one point. IAVMMC wasn't the greatest in the world. But c'mon. Ya'll haven't even given the Muppet Holding Co. and their team a chance. Wait and make your minds up after Oz. This may turn out to be as wonderful as you hoped it would be.
  13. Cantus Rock New Member

    Kermit's Swamp Years nailed those hopes for yours truly. I mean I wasn't a huge MFS fan, but I liked it when I was younger. MCC is one of my all-time favs. Thus, you can see it; one by one the crew disappears, step by step the quality errodes.
  14. Infinity Sirius New Member

    I think the IVMMCM actually did very well to live up to the magic that Jim made. Sure, in some areas it wasn't that great, but overall it reflected something that I thought had long been missing. In KSY, it was a good story, but I think they were trying too hard to make the magic reappear.

    I think the writers are trying too hard, and perhaps they just need to let things flow and let the Muppets be the Muppets.
  15. Cantus Rock New Member

    I agree with you on the IVMMCM point Infinity. But it does tie in with the lack of original performers.

    Think of a cover of a Beatles song. Now, that could be an AMAZING cover. Seriously brilliant. But can it compare to the Beatles? No. Why? Because The Beatles were just that good. Same with the Muppets; all the current performers are masters, no doubt in my mind. But will they ever be the original troupe? No. Because Jim and Co. were just that good, and it can never be matched.

    Thus, having the Muppets just flow won't be the same either. If you've ever seen an inpromptu Jim-as-Kermit, you'll know what I mean. It wasn't Jim performing a character, it was just Jim being Jim with a puppet. That, paired with the same flawless abilities of Frank, Jerry, Richard and Dave can never be recreated, no matter how good the writing is.

    I'm not trying to be argumentative mind you, I just don't see any logical progression for the better here. And that is definitely upsetting. :(
  16. christyb New Member

    Thank you. I completely agree with that. My only problem with VMMCM was the whole Club Dot scene but that's just personal preference. However, I don't think you can point at the new performers and blame that "Things aren't the same" on them. (or anyone else in that matter) Things changed drastically when Jerry Juhl left. He knew the Muppets like no one else could. The stories, jokes, and whatnot haven't been the same since. But like I've said before. Give things a chance before you make any rash judgements.
  17. Beauregard Well-Known Member

    Absolutly. I don't see any place in VMC where it was the Muppet performers who caused the lowering of the Muppet-tone. This goes far beyond them. Fozzie acting stupidy outofcharacter at times? Was that Eric's fault? Not in the least.

    Kermit throwing a strop and saying he wishes he was never born. Steve's fault? Hardly.
  18. christyb New Member

    Aye, they are just reading the scripts doing their job. My opinion is that (If I could) make the new writers sit down for a nice Muppet Marathon. I mean make them watch everything. Maybe then they can bring back some of what used to be. Ok I'm done ranting. I just get ticked when people blame the new performers who are trying their hardest. (And to you writers. Don't worry you'll learn. I'll defend you to the death too!) If we stick by the Muppets through better and worse things will turn out. Ok I'm seriously done preaching now.
  19. Cantus Rock New Member

    I don't blame anyone in peticular for the quality degradation of the characters. Like I said, these are the best puppeteers on earth. But no matter how good a performer one is, he's never going to be as good as the original when were talking about the Muppets. The only thing I blame them for is continuing this peddling of these half-whole pseudo-quality attractions involving the Muppets.

    I don't even blame the writers, because I feel that Jim could take any script and turn it gold. Its no one's fault the "magic" is gone; its only their fault that they continue to stretch something that just isn't there anymore.
  20. christyb New Member

    Blame wasn't the exact word I was looking for. But that's what came out. I don't know actually how to describe what I was trying to say by that.

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