1 The Muppet Mindset: The Great Muppet Survey Answers: Part 1

Sep 25, 2009

The Great Muppet Survey Answers: Part 1


Do you like the Muppets? Do you like Steve Whitmire? Then let him know! Friend of the blog, D.W. McKim, has started a massive postcard writing campaign to let Steve know how much we love and appreciate him. How does one go about doing this, you ask? Simple, just follow the link to the thread on Muppet Central Forum, read the instructions/suggestions, buy a postcard, write on it, and send it away! It's easy as 1, 2, 3 (ah, ah, ah!).

Come on, Muppet fans! Doesn't Steve deserve a little love after 19 years of performing Kermit and keeping Jim Henson's legacy and magic alive? This project will cost you about $1.00 and take you about an hour (at the absolute most). Isn't that more than enough to repay Steve for all the years of love and laughter he's given us?

This is a call to ALL Muppet fans ALL over the world! Let's show the Mouse House and Steve how much we love and care about Steve Whitmire! Send postcards to...

Steve Whitmire
The Muppets Studio
500 S. Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521-9722

Today on The Muppet Mindset, we finally reveal the great answers to our Great Muppet Survey! Isn't this exciting? What I've done is compiled the greatest answers to each question and credited the fans who e-mailed their answers. I've made sure to use everyone who sent in answers at least once in this post, and will use them all once again in part 2. Some posts have been slightly edited to make more sense in context. I apologize to anyone who may be offended by my slight revisions! Also, friend of the site and British Correspondent, Beauregard, helped me to organize all of this, so I've allowed him to post his answers to whatever questions he wanted.

So, without further ado, here are what Muppet fans have to say! Be sure to check back tomorrow for part 2!

1.)     If you could sit down to a meal with any Muppet, who would it be? Why would you choose said Muppet? What would you serve? Could they keep their elbows on the table?
  • I would choose Pepe (the King Prawn), because I’d enjoy the witty (or maybe not so witty...) banter we would have. I would serve shrimp just to see his reaction. Of course he could keep his elbows on the table. He’s a King Prawn, okay? He has too many elbows not to. ~ Anonymous
  • I would choose Ernie, because he’s been my favorite Muppet since I can remember.  I would ask him to get me a glass of soda water, knowing that I would end up with an ice cream soda.  Ernie’s elbows may have to be on the table, so that his strange little growths coming off his arms at the elbow don’t hit the floor. ~ Jarrod Fairclough
  • Kermit, because he would be well-mannered, funny and a good conversationalist. Plus he’d be the only one I could trust not to blow something up in my soup. We would NOT have frog’s legs. Perhaps I would have the Filet Mignon while he would have the Filet Du Fly. For dessert, a grasshopper ripple for him and a cheesecake for me. And of course there would be Sparkling Muscatel, one of the finest wines of Idaho (with straws). ~ Sarah Labadini
  •  I would invite Rizzo because he wouldn't leave any leftovers.  By which I mean, no food would be left in the entire house... or possibly any of the neighbor's houses.  I would invite him during spring cleaning so I wouldn't have to clean the fridge or pantry myself.  Any canned goods that Rizzo couldn't pry open with his teeth and devour would be donated to charity.

    Now, some people might be wary of inviting a rat over for dinner, what with the risk of disease and all.  But I figure, hey, Gonzo hangs out with him all the time, and he seems okay, right? Right? ~ Sarah Bastin
  • Hopefully someone who doesn’t eat me or everything else in sight! ~ Oscarfan 
  • George the Janitor. And I’ll tell you for why, but first of all why I didn’t invite certain others:"The main characters," Kermit, Fozzie, Rizzo, Miss Piggy, even Sweetums or Robin – Could I really hold a conversation with them? I don’t think I could. I would spend the entire evening in a state of utter panic (rather than in a New York State of Mind, or on a picnic) and I’d be so afraid of saying the wrong thing or looking like an idiot in front of someone I have loved and idolized for so many years, that I’d probably end up saying nothing, asking nothing, feeling uncomfortable and choking on my own caviar. George is not someone I idolize; he is someone who irritates me. So instead of feeling awed (and awkward) in his presence, I will feel as if I am doing him a giant favour by inviting him and I’ll feel that in exchange, he owes me some good, juicy gossip from the boarding house. He can tell me whether he still stays in touch with Hilda by postcard, and give me the skinny on Mildred Huxtetter (namely: Is she still skinny?). Who blocks the toilet? What does Floyd keep in his drawers (aside from Foofoo)? Have Gonzo and Camilla really broken up, or does he still find feathers on Gonzo’s room? ~ Beauregard
2.)      If you could only watch one Muppet production for the rest of your life, what would it be? Why?
  • What?!?! Now you’re making me choose only ONE Muppet production? This is IMPOSSIBLE! Uh……uuhhhh……..ummm…….hmmm…….uh…..probably…..The Muppet Movie. No wait! Actually, yeah. I’m keeping it. The Muppet Movie is probably my favorite Muppet production. It’s one of those movies you can watch a million times, and never get sick of. Even though most Muppet productions are like that, but The Muppet Movie stood out to me the most. ~ Nick Tredo
  • That is easy, The Muppet Christmas Carol.  I have such fond memories of watching that movie every x-mas, which my family still does, passing it on to the next generation.  The music is wonderful and the cast was perfect.  There is nothing about that movie I want to fast forward through, and it is something I can watch over and over again without ever getting sick of it. ~ Noelle H.
  • The Muppet Movie.  It's probably the most "pure" Muppet form that ever made it to the screen, apart from the Muppet Show, and since I could only choose one episode of that, 90 minutes beats out 20. ~ Steve Swanson
  •  This question is too hard! ~ Steve Wolterstorff
  • Aah, what a torturous question! What is the point of this survey? ;) Probably muppet treasure island because it's nostalgic, has some of the best songs imho, and it's visually very gorgeous, I love just looking at it (as opposed to some of the older ones, which look dated and much less fantastical). Either that, or The Muppets Take Manhattan cause the camp factor is off the charts, and Kermie and Piggy get hitched! :D ~ MrsPepper on Muppet Central Forum
  • It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas. My reason as for why is thus: it brought me hope when I had none – both in the Muppet World, and in real life. Before the movie was released, I felt that the Muppets were done with, finished, and empty. I felt that any dream I might have had of working with them was as dead as Dead Tom. Furthermore, this movie has layer upon layer of information to tell us about the Muppets. Who they are, what they do, where they come from, and what their lives could have been like. Everytime I watch this movie, I realise that I can have a hope of changing the lives of those around me – even a small change, such as Kermit handing Chocolates to Miss Piggy, can change their dark world into a light one. ~ Beauregard
3.)     If President Obama called you and asked you to meet him at the White House to discuss Muppet projects and he asked you to bring the "greatest" Muppet moment, what would you bring? Would you wear an American flag lapel pin?
  • I would bring Beaker’s webby win. I would not wear an American flag lapel pin. President Obama should know I’m patriotic due to the fact I’m going to the White House to meet him in the first place and, because I’m a Muppet fan. ~ Anonymous
  • The greatest Muppet moment.  Boy.  There are SO many good choices here.  I’m going to go with “Just One Person” at the end of the Jim Henson tribute.  Merely because, it was proof that the Muppets could go on without Jim, it was a fitting tribute to him and it gave us hope for the future.  I think Obama could be on board with that!  And sure, I’d wear a pin because I’m sure Sam the Eagle would threaten me if I didn’t. ~ Beth Kondrick
  • Kermit and Piggy arguing over going to back to swamp versus back to the sty in the John Denver Episode of The Muppet Show! No I wouldn't wear a American flag pin, but maybe a Muppet pin! ~ Chris O'Connor
  • I would bring every single Muppet that ever existed to the White House and have Kermit lead everyone in a singing of "The Rainbow Connection". Of course, everyone would be wearing said lapel pins, including me. (I wonder how that would work out, since some Muppets have mixed backgrounds...) ~ Caitlyn
  • Harry Belafonte's "Turn the World Around" number on The Muppet Show because it shows international cooperation and how there is value in story and song. No pin. Maybe a Sam the Eagle pin instead. ~ Heather Powers
  • May I present the Toe Ticklers, Mr President. ~ Beauregard

    4.)     You find yourself in a college-level English class with the assignment of writing an essay on your favorite performance from your favorite Muppeteer (while applying Shakespearean rhetoric, of course). Which Muppeteer and production would you choose?
  • I would choose John Tartaglia’s performance in “Pre-School Musical” – that said, I’m biased because I’m friends with him. ~ Jarrod Fairclough
  • Dave Goelz performing Gonzo.  Not sure what I'd say, but there's plenty to pick from in there. ~ Steve Swanson
  • Methinks I should choose Jim Henson and Kerm,
    Although ‘t dost not behoove me to do so.
    The Muppet Movie ere now I’ve just talked,
    Thou must thinks’t no other film do I know.
    Thought I, “Wherefore must I limit myself
    To one performance and one Muppeteer?
    Woulds’t this teacher of mine reject greatly
    If from his or her directions I veer?”
    And so, put I forth this new direction,
    To focus mine pape on one certain scene
    Betwixt that good frog and hardworking pig
    And whence they break from the script that had been
    Set in place by The Great Muppet Caper
    And fight alongside the banks of the Thames.
    Piggy cries over what has transpired
    And the frog, thus, her performance condemns.
    It is a master delivery by
    Henson and Oz, Muppet humor at best.
    And now that so many lines have I writ,
    I think t’would behoove me to give it rest.  ~ Sarah Labadini (Bonus points for ACTUALLY applying Shakespearean rhetoric! I was just kidding!)
  • Are you trying to get essay ideas? Just kidding. I'd pick something by Gonzo, since it's abstract enough that I could B.S. my way through a few pages of an essay no problem! ~ MrsPepper on Muppet Central Forum
  • I have found myself in a college-level English class just about every day for the past three years, but I have never had such an awesome assignment given to me. Le sigh. I would choose Jim Henson, and "Bein' Green" ~ Prairie Chica
  •  I would write an essay about Richard Hunt performing Beaker, providing something from within that character which no one else can quite grasp – in fact, all of his characters have something beyond appearances which make them connect on a level above certain characters which were perhaps originally designed to have more of an impact (Quite literally in some cases.) For example, Sweetums – generic monster, originally quite scary with glowing eyes, became the single-representation left of the original Muppet Monsters. Clearly something within that character struck a chord deeper than Thog, Thig, or Big Mamma. Similarly, Scooter hit a chord with the public which was not captured by Hilda, Wayne, or many other of the new Muppets created for Season 1 of The Muppet Show. I’d try and find the words to describe how Richard Hunt managed to find a magic spark within the center of each of his characters, and how he kept that spark alive. ~ Beauregard
 5.)     On a high school debate team, you find yourself posed the question, "What have the Muppets been missing in recent productions?" How do you answer? Do you state your answer in the form of a question? Can I have "Foreign Cheeses" for $200, Alex?
  • I answer by stating that the Muppets have been lacking a sense of direction, originality, and Muppet zany craziness. ~ Anonymous
  • I think that the Muppets have been missing a lot of their old magic in recent productions. Why? I still can’t put my finger on it. I miss Janice and Scooter, and wish that they could be assigned permanent performers, so they can return to the more recent productions. I think a lot of things from The Muppet Show have been lost. Like Kermit “scrunchie” face and Miss Piggy’s karate chops. ~ Nick Tredo
  • The Muppets have been missing the zaniness.  They’ve become TOO focused on the story, and not the little things going on around the story that made the Muppets what they are.  They need to bring back the crazy antics like eating tires to bring back the Muppets to all their glory.  Plus, Disney needs to realize they can’t be so child friendly all the time. ~ Jarrod Fairclough
  • “Kermit” is missing from the Muppets.  Oh, sure, he’s been there.  But what Kermit represents, Jim’s creative umbrella, was definitely pronounced DOA and there’s been only rough attempts at CPR until recently.  Kermit is the frustrated manager who tries to get everyone to get along to maximize the happiness of others.  I think Jim Henson was rather good at that, especially during the classic era of the Muppets.  What they need is someone who has a creative long-term vision and a love for the characters that should only exist for real entities.  You can have the best writers and performers money can buy all day long, but without a leader, even a frustrated one, you won’t maximize the potential. ~ RedPiggy
  • The main thing they've been missing is just the imagination of Jim Henson, and that genie's never going back in the bottle.  Everybody on the Muppet team still gives it their all, but Jim not being there to steer the ship means they'll never truly return to the magic they once had.  Pushing the characters into somewhat stuffy and uncharacteristic roles never helps either.  I'm looking at you, Studio DC. ~ Steve Swanson
  • Don't many agree that they have been missing the humour? I would count myself as one of those persons. I do state my answer in the form of a question. I would do better with “literary characters” than “foreign cheeses.” ~ Prairie Chica
  • Ignoring the last parts of that question, I don’t think they’re missing anything. I’d say Jim Henson, but that’s a given. ~ Oscarfan
  • “What is heart, adult humor and (aside from Letters To Santa) decent songs?” ~ Sarah Labadini
  •  I don't know that the question is still valid. In the wilderness period after the Loss of Jim, the Muppets did seem to stray from the balance of exploding items, sad mushy moments, and bad puns. There was also no feeling that the people in charge had a clue how to keep the Muppets relevant without altering the Muppets into something that they are not. Post Muppet Wizard of Oz, this seems to be correcting itself. This is why I'm a bit less concerned about the 'health' of the Muppets in general. ~ Steve Wolterstorff
  • Jim Henson's spirit! Originally the Muppets were created for adults but accessible for children. Lately they seem created for children and accessible by adults. This bothers me. ~ Heather Powers
  • What is Love? They don't love each other enough anymore. It's all about being hip or cute or funny or whatever. But whoever has come up with these failing ideas doesn't realise that these things happen organically with love. And by that I mean the creators must show love to their characters, and the characters must show love to one another. ~ MrsPepper on Muppet Central Forum
  • I would say, the Muppets are missing some of the original Muppets from the original show. ~ David

    Who is your ideal Muppet date? Gentlemen, this question is definitely meant to only have one possible, porcine answer.
  • Bunsen Honeydew. S&M plus brains. NICE! ~ Heather Powers
  • No porcine for me thanks. I’ll go out with Hilda if you please. ~ David
  • Kermit, because he’s the man. Or… frog… Whatever. Fozzie would be wayyy to codependent, Gonzo would never stop hitting on other chicks, Crazy Harry would blow the table to bits at some point during the meal (“Wow the flavor on this steak is just explosi--!!!”) and let’s not even suggest what a date with Marvin Suggs would entail… ~ Sarah Labadini
  • Well, my vote is either Gonzo or Wembley Fraggle.  I know what normal life is like.  I want someone to take me somewhere (in reality or in my head) I’ve never been before.  Both are pretty much open for anything and are really creative.  I’d be willing to go along with any of their suggestions for a date. ~ Kelly Masters
  • This question is creepy.  Next. ~ Steve Swanson
  • One possible... porcine... Spamella? ~ Beauregard
7.)      Where do you see the Muppets in five years?
  • Once the20buzz dies down from Disney’s Muppet plans, I think we’ll be underway with another theatrical Muppet movie (second one after the Segal movie) and hopefully a new TV series. ~ John Papovitch
  •  I never rully thought about that. I HOPE that they will be almost as successful they were in the 70s and 80s. I know the same magic will never come back, but I hope they can amount to something big. I hope that they will succeed. ~ Nick Tredo
  • This is an interesting question.  If you had asked me this question about five years ago, I would’ve had a much more negative response.  Right now, I can say that based on the info that has come out of D23 just this past weekend, I’m optimistic.  It sounds like Disney is finally committed to getting the Muppets back into the spotlight again.  If they come through on their promises I’d say in five years the Muppets will be a household name again, with more movies and maybe a show on the air again.  The next six months to a year will be very telling I think. ~ Beth Kondrick
  • Hopefully on the big and small screens as part of a new Muppet Renaissance, like the Disney Renaissance of the early 90s. ~ Sarah Bastin
  • Dangling from a ledge. Oh, sorry, that's just Gonzo. I think we're seeing the beginning of a revival. I don't think they'll become huge again because of this but I think they'll become more familiar to people who didn't grow up with the Muppet Show on every week. I think they'll be a solid chunk of pop culture again. ~ Steve Wolterstorff
  • I’ll probably see them on a DVD playing in my flying car as my robotic driver takes me to my house buried in the center of the earth following the nuclear fallout. – Wait, was that the question? ~ Beauregard

    8.)     What's the name of that song?
  • What song? ~ Nick Tredo
  • White Christmas!  No...  Uh.... ~ Jarrod Fairclough
  • The name of that song is "[404 ERROR: XML-MALFORMED-ATTRIBUTE 0x000A342DF698 ~ Steve Swanson
  • Something something nice? ~ Prairie Chica
  • Well let’s see here, there are so many song choices.  I’d say my favorite is and always will be The Rainbow Connection.  It’s beautiful, has a lovely message and when I hear it, I always think of Jim somewhere smiling. ~ Beth Kondrick
  • “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?” ~ Oscarfan
  • That’s like asking how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. The world may never know… ~ Sarah Labadini
  • Sing? ~ Steve Wolterstorff
  • “Never Gonna Give You Up” – Rick Astley ~ John Papovitch
  •  No Idea, I need to find Cantus to help me hear it! ~ Chris O'Connor
  •  La dee da dee da, La dee da dee da, What's the name of that song? ~ Caitlyn
  •  Songs don't always have to have a name you know. ~ Heather Powers
  • It goes la la la, la la, something something... ah, I've lost it! ~ MrsPepper
  •  La dee da dee da, la dee da dee da What’s the name of that song. ~ David
  •  It’s Being Green as you Move Right Along Back there Some Day towards This Frog’s Rainbow Connection and although we’ve Never Before been Saying Goodbye we’re Together Again with One More Sleep Till Christmas as we’re Stepping Out With a Star and fighting off Cabin Fever until Me Lost Cookie at the Disco but luckily Lose Your Heart and it’s Found – Does this also apply to Cookies? ~ Beauregard


  1. Fun! Thanks for putting this together Ryan, I'm enjoying seeing people's responses!

  2. Yeah, that was hilarious ....