1 The Muppet Mindset: November 2009

Nov 30, 2009

Muppet Comic Mondays: The Treasure of Peg Leg Wilson #4


The Muppet Show Comic Book
The Treasure of Peg Leg Wilson #4
Comic Book Review

It's Muppet Comic Mondays again! For the first Monday, we welcome a guest reviewer, James Gannon (Drtooth at Muppet Central Forum) who brings us his review of The Treasure of Peg Leg Wilson #4



Issue #4, "Be it Ever So Humble..." was released in November 2009.

James Gannon (Drtooth at Muppet Central Forum) - As soon as we open up “The Treasure of Peg Leg Wilson” issue 4 see the damage the events of the last 3 issues have done. The theater has been torn asunder by the greed of Rizzo, his rat brethren, a shifty Kermit the Frog impersonator named Kismet the Toad, and an odd bunch of fairy tale folk that grew in numbers since the last couple of issues. However, the show must go on. Our plot is interspersed with the on stage escapades, as it has been the past 7 issues.

The show opens with little Robin, calmly speaking his quiet, dignified hobby: Stamp Collecting. While telling the story of the rare Splotvian Blue (featuring the hideous King Humphrey), Sweetums stumbles into the scene in a daze. He then precedes to eat Robins book of stamps, the sheet of stamps he was just talking about, and anything else that isn’t nailed down. Not only does Langridge include the famous recurring Muppet sketches, but he also adds in sketches that could have been.  If I didn’t know that I was reading a comic book, I could swear I’m watching an old episode of the Muppet Show right now. As there is so much going on backstage, we see shorter skits (and less of them) than previous issues. But there’s just enough time for Muppet Labs and Vet’s Hospital.

In the previous three issues, I’ve seen the Electric Mayhem painfully watch on as Animal got meeker and meeker. Who wouldn’t? The drummer was the soul of the band, and with his feral, uncivilized tendencies suppressed by experimental medication, so too is his talent.  Here, the Mayhem seems to have come to terms with his new life choice, replacing Animal with a very obscure character that appeared in only one issue. I will not reveal it, but I’ll give you a hint. It was an accessory in the Palisades line, and it was a source of pain for the Mayhem Band (all the more reason why this was a painful choice by the members involved). This leads to a very powerful scene, with an ambient rainstorm, where Animal finally chooses the life he really wants. Meanwhile, Piggy confronts Kismet, Kermit tries to appeal to Rizzo’s soul over Rizzo’s avarice, and the theater’s property value rapidly deteriorates, along with its structure. Even Gonzo gets in on the act, pounding the rubble to the tune of the 1812 Overture. And Statler and Waldorf… FALL ALSEEP!

Everything gets revealed with the treasure, and we get a nice little moral (a bit corny and a little predictable, but fitting and satisfying nonetheless)… all before our heroes drive off for their next epic.  The action on stage even ends with a closing number.  After all, this is a dead on adaption of the Muppet Show, and you can’t have the Muppet Show without their wild musical numbers.  A lesser adaption would cringe at the very idea of music in a medium that doesn’t quite support it, but Roger takes on this challenge with a smile.  Most importantly, he makes it work.

I have to admit, my comic book collection is mostly comprised of adaptations of various cartoons and TV shows, and I’ve seen them range from spot on to generic storylines with interchangeable dialogue.  Not only does Langridge get it dead on, he makes the chaos his own.  This saga doesn’t just feel like the Muppet  Show, it has the depth of a Muppet Movie.  As for the artwork, I have always been a fan of his stylization of characters, but he found the perfect balance of self style and character likeness, making them his own.  My only little gripe with the ending of this epic is that I was hoping to see Ninja Rogers and Creepy McBoo have something to do with the plot.  But there is just so much else going on, there wouldn’t be enough room.  And I would have preferred it if they kept printing these comics in all glossy pages.


BOOM! Studios has awoken the comic book fan in me with their line of Muppet comics (even Robin Hood), effectively pulling me away from the Franco-Belgium Cowboys and Japanese wrestlers I’ve been reading as of late.  And I give The Treasure of Peg Leg Wilson 5 Wows! WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW!

Special thanks to James Gannon for the review! Pick up your copy of The Treasure of Peg Leg Wilson #4 today!











 The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier.

Nov 29, 2009

Top Ten Sesame Street Inserts Not Released on Video or DVD

Top Ten Sesame Street Inserts Not Released on Video or DVD

Michael Wermuth, Jr. - Since 1986, there have been many Sesame Street videos, and since around 2001, many Sesame Street DVD releases. Many inserts from the shows 40 year history have been released on one of these two video formats, and quite a few have been released on multiple video and DVD releases. But there are also a lot of great inserts that have never had any commercial releases, and it's not just the really obscure or random ones, but some that I feel are truly classic, or at least have cult appeal. The following is a top ten list of Sesame Street inserts that are not on video or DVD, and should be. This list only pertains to full English-language releases in North America (so I'm not counting Sesame English or Shalom Sesame releases, for example). I've tried not to pick personal favorites that I don't see as classic or historically important, though most of my picks truly are personal favorites.

10. Ernie Catches Fish
In this sketch, Ernie and Bert go fishing, but Ernie keeps catching fish, while Bert doesn't. Ernie keeps coming up with solutions to help Bert catch fish, such as switching spots and fishing without bait, but Ernie still keeps catching fish. When Ernie decides to just stop fishing, Bert makes a catch... But it's only a note: "What happened to your friend?" This sketch is historically important as it's Steve Whitmire's first performance as Ernie.
Videos/ DVDs that should have included this: Sesame Street: 40 Years of Sunny Days.

9. Outrageous Makeover: Home Addition
In this sketch, a parody of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Grover is a reality show host, and comes to Mr. Johnson's apartment to give his home an outrageous makeover, which mainly consists of adding doors to the apartment. Eventually, Grover agrees to have the doors taken away, but then he ends up taking away all the doors, and has to spend the night in Mr. Johnson's apartment.
DVDs that should have included this: Count on Sports, Sesame Street: 40 Years of Sunny Days.

8. The Count and Cookie Monster Cooperate
The Count and Cookie Monster find a plate of cookies, and argue over whether they are for eating or counting, until they come up with a solution: The Count will count them, and Cookie Monster will eat them. This sketch begins with a very-odd-but-very-cool opening sequence where The Count and Cookie Monster introduce themselves (it's a bit hard to describe the odd-but-cool thing about it... a circle moves around until each character appears separately).
Videos/ DVDs that should have included this: Learning About Letters, Old School Vol. 1.

7. Sesame Street News: Pinocchio
In this sketch, Kermit interviews Pinocchio, whose nose grows longer whenever he tells a lie, and becomes shorter when he tells the truth. So Pinocchio tells several very silly lies, getting his nose caught in Kermit's trenchcoat and pushing Kermit back through the wall and outside the workshop in the process. Eventually, Pinocchio tells a little bit of truth so his nose can be uncaught in the trenchcoat, and as he signs off Kermit falls into something. A short clip appears in The Best of Kermit on Sesame Street, but otherwise the sketch hasn't had any home release. Other News segments that should have been released on DVD: The Count interrupting Kermit's interview with the Three Little Pigs, Kermit interviewing Cinderella at the ball, Kermit asking people  what makes them angry, Elmo's game idea, and Don Music writing "How to Get to Yellowstone Park".
Videos/ DVDs that should have included this: Telling the Truth.

6. Mystery Guest
A sketch that I'm sure "old school" Sesame fans like myself are very fond of, as it features Guy Smiley, Don Music, and Sherlock Hemlock. In this sketch, Guy Smiley is the host of Mystery Guest, and the contestants are Cookie Monster, Don Music, and Sherlock Hemlock. They are blindfolded, and the mystery guest is the letter X. They are told that the guest is a letter of the alphabet, and each guesses a wrong letter (with the possible exception of Sherlock Hemlock, the guesses all have something to do with the contestants making the guess).
Videos/ DVDs that should have included this: Learning About Letters, The Alphabet Game, Sesame Street: 40 Years of Sunny Days.

5. Five People in My Family
A first season song that has appeared on a number of Sesame Street albums, and the broadcast version sounds more like a commercial jingle than the album version does. It's sung by an Anything Muppet father (performed by Jim Henson), who sings about his family, which also includes a mother, a daughter, and two sons.
Videos/ DVDs that should have included this: Learning About Numbers, A New Baby in My House, Old School Vol. 1.

4. The American Revolution: National Bird
Part of "The American Revolution" series of sketches, this one features an ensemble cast of main Muppet characters - Herry, Ernie, Bert, Oscar, Telly, and Elmo - as the founding fathers, who decide to nominate and vote on a bird that will represent America. Herry is the leader of this group, and all but Elmo make a nomination (Bert nominates the pigeon, of course). After the nominations, voting begins, but of course each one votes for the bird they nominated, and Elmo is the only one who didn't nominate any birds, so it's really his vote that matters, and he votes for Ernie's nomination, the bald eagle. And there's a funny ending with a cameo by Big Bird.
Videos/ DVDs that should have included this: Sesame Street: 40 Years of Sunny Days.

3. Things That I Remember
Ernie and Bert sing a song about the things they remember, as clip montages of past Ernie and Bert skethces are shown. A very good selection of clips were chosen, with some that I considered putting on this list (such as Ernie substituting Bert's cowboy hat with a pan, and their trip to the jungle). And I'm a big fan of clip shows and montages.
Videos/ DVDs that should have included this: What's the Name of That Song?, Sesame Street: 40 Years of Sunny Days.

2. The Earmuff Salesman
One of the best Kermit and Grover pairings was the time when Grover came to Kermit's apartment in hopes of selling Kermit a pair of earmuffs. However, Kermit does not want the earmuffs, but Grover keeps trying, until he gets Kermit to admit why: Because he doesn't have any ears. So Grover pushes Kermit down and puts ears on, becoming a running gag in future sketches where Grover attempted to sell Kermit something obsolete to frogs (like nose warmers and tooth brushes).
Videos/ DVDs that should have include this: I'm Glad I'm Me, Old School Vol. 2.

1. Monsterpiece Theater: Chariots of Fur
This is my favorite Monsterpiece Theater sketch. As a kid, it felt like a treat whenever it was shown. In this sketch, Herry convinces Grover that they should race to the other side of the beach, informing Grover that they'll get something wonderful when they get to the other side. As they race, we occassionally see close-up shots of their feet (it was very rare for Herry's feet to be seen on the show).  Heck, to me it seems like almost every Monsterpiece Theater is a classic, and yet only three Monsterpiece Theater sketches have been released on video and DVD. Other great Monsterpiece Theater sketches that should have been released include Upstairs, Downstairs; The Sound of Music, Gone with the Wind, Guys and Dolls, The Taming of the Shoe, Twin Beaks, and ABCD Blue.
Videos/ DVDs that should have included this: Elmocise, Happy Healthy Monsters.

Top 5 Runners-Up: Here are five that I really considered putting on this list.
4. "Do Ya Know Where I Wanna B?" with Harvey Kneeslapper

Hopefully, there will be more opportunities for these sketches to be released on DVD in the near future. Many of them can be viewed at sesamestreet.org, but I'd very much like to have these on a physical commercially-released DVD. In recent years the majority of Sesame Street DVDs have mainly featured material from the last 20 years, though a handful have included material from the 1970s and 1980s, mainly the Old School and 40th anniversary releases, plus a few others. The recent Play with Me Sesame DVDs have had plenty of 1980s material, but only a handful of  1970s content. Hopefully the switch of DVD distribution from Genius to Warner Bros. will turn out to be a good thing for us longtime fans.











The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier.

Nov 28, 2009

Sesame Street Saturdays - Season 40: Week 3



Please welcome back our good friend Shane Keating (Oscarfan) for his next installment of reviews from Sesame Street's landmark 40th Season!

Alighty! Another week of Sesame Street shows down, although only two shows aired this week. Episode 4195 from last week is included in this review, if you read my last article you’ll know why. So, let’s begin!

EPISODE 4195 – ELMO FINDS A BABY BIRD

STREET SCENE
As Rosita and Elmo think of rhymes, they hear peeping from a baby bird. With Chris’ help, they leave the bird by his nest, thinking that’s what it wants, but it returns to them like a lost puppy. Big Bird arrives with birdseed and communicates with the bird, discovering he’s hungry. Big Bird gives him some birdseed, but the bird ends up devouring his whole bag. He then runs off, eating Leela’s sandwich, a girl’s apple and Cookie Monster’s granola cookie. After eating, the bird now wants to fly, but can’t. Abby appears, who has wings like the bird, so sings a song to help teach the baby. The mama bird arrives, think Chris is her baby, until the baby bird flies to her and they head off. Elmo concludes he loves nature.

Hidden Gem: Leela is seen reading a book about Placido Flamingo, with Richard Hunt’s name on the book.

HIGHLIGHTS

·    Paul Rudd and Grover explain the word “brilliant”.
·    An animation about W words in the woods.
·    Abby’s Flying Fairy School: Blogg’s Stolen Wand (repeat from the season premiere)
·    A Chris Bermen Muppet interviews Telly, Zoe, Elmo and Baby Bear about the “Cashing the Cheese” event.
·    Bert and Ernie’s Great Adventures: Secret Agents 00-Bert and 00-Ernie attempt to stop the evil Dr. Bird Whistle from capturing birds.
·    Sesame Street’s Theater in the Park presents Telly, starring in “Romeo and Alphabet”

CONCLUSION
There wasn’t much I cared for in the street scene today. Though, Cookie Monster’s cameo was funny as usual. Grover and Paul Rudd were great and Telly’s sketch was great to see again (especially with the Abbot and Costello reference thrown in).

EPISODE 4196 – GROUCH MESSING MACHINE

STREET SCENE
As Leela shows Elmo a recycled bottle-pig, Oscar arrives to pick up his weekly lint ball. One of her washing machines then beings to make noise and throw clothes out. She intends on throwing it out, until Elmo mentions Luis can fix it. They call him and he tries various methods to fix it (such as fixing a bolt on the back and cleaning out the interior) as Oscar watches in delight as each attempt fails. When all hope seems lost for the machine, Elmo gets an idea to reuse it as a Grouch messing machine. All the grouches rush to the Laundromat and watch as their clothes are dirtied and flung from the machine.

Hidden Gem: Luis finds various things inside the broken washing machine, including the Teeny Little Super Guy (complete a with a music cue from the segment’s theme song).

HIGHLIGHTS

·    Greg Kinnear and a robot explain what a “machine” is, using examples like a clock and an electric nose-hair trimmer.
·    A cartoon featuring army ants looking for foods that start with C at a picnic.
·    Worms in Space form the letter C.
·    Ernie sings “Somebody Come and Play”.

CONCLUSION
Today’s street scene was nice. Elmo was more downplayed than usual. And it’s nice to see Luis and Maria are still in the fixing game since it’s no longer visible on the set. The explanation of “machine” was great, especially the ending (You will laugh yourself silly when you see it!). The rest of the segments were average, but it was nice to see Worms in Space again.

EPISODE 4197 – THE COOKIE TREE

STREET SCENE
Elmo, Luis and Maria are picking apples from a tree. Cookie Monster hears their crunching sounds and thinks they are eating cookies. He rushes to the garden to find them eating apples. Maria and Luis explain they grew the apple tree shortly after they were married. Cookie Monster learns that food grows on trees and thinks he can grow a Cookie Tree. He and Elmo plant a chocolate chip in a flowerpot, give it sun and water, but get no results.  Luis explains that cookies don’t grow on trees. Cookie wishes he had a cookie tree. Abby overhears and grants the wish, making cookie trees appear all over the street. As Elmo and Cookie cooperate to reach one, Alan convinces Abby to make them disappear, since they’re blocking the entrance to Hooper’s. Cookie sulks that the trees are gone, until Maria and Luis bring him some homemade, apple cookies they made from the apples they picked.

Hidden Gem: Forgetful Jones makes a silent cameo during Maria and Luis’ flashback.

HIGHLIGHTS

·    Adam Sandler and Cookie explain the word “crunchy”.
·    Another Sesame Street English cartoon about the letter A, with Cookie Monster.
·    Abby’s Flying Fairy School: Blogg accidentally releases Fairy Dust Bunnies from under the carpet, which causes Mrs. Sparklenose to get an allergic reaction. And her magic sneezes cause trouble for the students.
·    Bert and Ernie’s Great Adventures: Ernie, Bert and Rubber Duckie enter a treacherous cave to find the Wise Old Duck and ask him a question. (Lots of Indiana Jones references)
·    Professor Grover and Cameron Diaz explain the importance of trees.

CONCLUSION
Man, Cookie was all over this episode! It’s nice to get a street story starring Cookie Monster. Forgetful’s cameo was so unexpected and I loved seeing him! I was hoping the song, “We’ll Do It Together” was going to show up, since it’s about Cookie Monster finding a cookie tree in the park. It was also nice to see a new Flying Fairy School segment, since we got repeats of the same 5 so far. The Professor Grover segment was hilarious too!











The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier.

Nov 27, 2009

Bohemian Rhapsody - The Response

As you all know by now, The Muppets have celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday with a brand new, epically awesome YouTube video covering Queen's hit song "Bohemian Rhapsody." According to some sources, over 75 Muppet characters appear in the video. Oh, why am I telling you? Just watch it again!



As you can tell, the video is most awesome. It has garnered tons of attention from blogs and was even featured on G4 TV's Attack of the Show television show. Currently, the video has 4,719,037 views, 27,809 ratings, and 8,106 comments on YouTube. Naturally, some of these comments are just awesome, so I thought it would be fun to feature a few of the comments on the blog. Keep in mind... most of these are NOT obsessed Muppet fans like you and I. Enjoy!

"4:37 Kermit uses windows 7 and OS X!" - zincrox

"MOMMMMMA!....dadda? I freakin' love the muppets" - gonnalaughatyou

"This video is full of win." - alitaki

"Sweet Bejeesus! Where have they been all this time? SO HAPPY to see those faces again." - mirroe

"You know, rather than repeating all the praise that's already been heaped, I'll just say that holy hell has America needed something to cheer itself up, and thank God we still have the Muppets." - WCityMike

"This is fan-freaking-tastic. Super funny, not painful to the ears, and actually smart! I love the whole "Mama" part (Dada?). Had me in stitches the whole time. :-)" - BunnyRabbitD

"Officially, the best thing posted on the internet since 1997." - grgee

"Officially, this might be the best thing posted on the internet EVER." - macknitter

"This is a most truly a Merry Muppet Mirth day. Marvelous!" - jamersplace

"The "Mehnamenah" guy is in this (2:22)... LOVE him!!" - Smather72

"So glorious... this just made my day, my week, and my month in one shot." - poiuppx

"I think the 'killed a man' part wasn't suitable for the Muppets, - mctrlsys

"Which is why he just kept saying 'Mamma?'" - JediGuy1490

"I think the way they dealt with it was rather clever :)" - themediashow

"I've considered it carefully, and have come to my conclusion: Yes, this was in fact the Best Thing Ever." - Trystera

"This is proof that the Muppets could make a comeback on tv today and still be as culturally relevant and respected as they were with The Muppet Show in the 70's." - toupbeat

"please tell me this will be released on itunes for purchase." - jstjohn83

"What an awesome way to mark today. Rather than sitting and listening with a sad smile on my face, I can watch this and feel glad about all Freddie did for music. Thank you" - simisola

"Rofl that was epically awesome! Everything I could of wished for!!!!" – doctorwhoobawooba

“Our language does not adequately convey the sheer awesome of that clip, nor does it allow me to properly express my gratitude at seeing it. I simply say "BLAHSHBSHAWESUM!" and tip my hat to you.” – mgfarrelly

“Right now my coworkers are staring at me and moving in the general direction of away. They tend to do that when I giggle uncontrollably. I shall carry this awesomeness with me all the rest of this dreary day. (Mama.... Mama! Mamamamamamama! Mama... Dada?)” – Ignatz

“Fish to eye = hilarious.” – SuperflyBrownEye

"muppets is a champions" - PEDROMERCURY87

"how did this happen? cgi magic? who what when where how why????" - ramonarickettez

"This was fantastic! Don't ever forget--Muppets Still Matter! :)" - OddByDefault

"This is the most incredible thing civilization will ever create. I'm still shocked with it's epicness"- iceberg210

"I want to point out that Fozzie is wearing a Hitler mustache" - overlookers

"AWESOME!
Oh muppets, we STILL love you." - glovestrong48

"this is the most crazy random stuff ever.....IT ROCKS!!!!!!  GO MUPPETS DONT STOP NOW!!!!!!" - faceurhell

"Well, if this isn't the Greatest Thing Ever, I don't know what is. More creativity and inspiration in 5 minutes than any number of 'artists' couldn't even get close to in a lifetime. Muppets rule." - chaffonline

"Me thinks the Muppets have been underdemesiated lately! Bring em back!" - MattandMatt

"This ain't epic dude... it's LEGENDARY!!! I love this so much." - fluffyninja6

"That was epic! I love the Muppets so much.
This has exceeded the Danny Boy sketch by far :)
A great big well done" - divvycaz123

"I had no idea Animal had such deep-seated maternal abandonment issues." - ButterflyHyJynx

"the cockroach muppet thing always scared me" - thefatwalrus1

"I'm pretty positive that this phenomenal video has greatly improved my quality of life." - puckfaery32115

"the best muppets ive seen since they went to space" - tropicalhobo

"This is the single greatest thing in the entire history of ever." - raineesue

And with that, Muppet fans, I leave you to go enjoy the video again. But before I do, I just need to say one thing... I believe we're witnessing the true comeback of the Muppets as a pop culture phenomenon (doo do doo do doo). All I can say is... well, it's about time. Welcome home, Kermit! We've got a fly-shoe pie waiting for you in the oven.













The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier.

Nov 26, 2009

What I'm Thankful For




What I’m Thankful For


Every Thanksgiving my family sits around the massive dining room table and stuffs ourselves full of turkey, macaroni and cheese, green beans, and my famous homemade mashed potatoes (only famous around said dining room table). After the meal, when we’re all almost too full to speak, we go around the table and discuss what we’re each thankful for. Every year I say the same thing, “Family, friends, and laughter.”

Every year I always want to say something a little bit different: “Family, friends, laughter, The Muppets, and Sesame Street.” I don’t say this to avoid strange looks from my grandmother who doesn’t know the difference between Gonzo and Grover and to avoid pestering from my cousins after the feast.

This year I’m also thankful for The Muppet Mindset. Now I can say that I’m thankful for these things without the awkward glances. Well… without most of the awkward glances.

I’m thankful for The Muppets…
I’m thankful for The Muppets’ new Bohemian Rhapsody video on YouTube (over 3,000,000 views—and rising!) has truly given me and all Muppet fans something to be thankful for. We can be thankful that we all witnessed what I believe will be the first real sign of the Muppets’ return to popularity. The video has already become a viral sensation and appeals to people of all walks. If this video is any sign of what the Muppets will be doing from now on… we’re in for a revolution.

I’m thankful for Kermit the Real. Earlier this year, Kermit the Frog was being performed by someone other than Steve Whitmire and the performance and the character really suffered. (Dating Lady Gaga? My goodness, how the frog had fallen!) Thankfully, Steve and Kermit both returned at the end of September and have stuck around ever since. Don’t leave us again, okay Steve?

I’m thankful for Disney Park’s “Give a Day. Get a Disney Day.” promotion for 2010. The Muppets have headlined all of the promotions from commercials to talk-show appearances to websites to magazine ads—and I couldn’t be happier. I feel that this really shows that Disney has welcomed The Muppets into the family and sees them vitally important characters. If they can entrust them with all of the promotional material for their Parks (their biggest money maker), methinks they can entrust them with anything.

I’m thankful for Sesame Street…

I’m thankful for 40 Years of making the world sunnier. Sesame Street’s 40th Anniversary festivities have been some of the greatest moments of 2009 for me, and they continue to delight. From the “40 Years of Sunny Days” DVD to the “Sesame Street: A Celebration – 40 Years of Life on the Street” book, Sesame Street puts a smile on my face daily as of late. I couldn’t be more thankful.

I’m thankful for SesameStreet.org. It has provided us laughter, songs, and sketches for free online for all to access. Hours and hours of content (most never before released on video or DVD) is available to everyone. Also, they’ve given fans the opportunity to vote for The Greatest Sesame Street Clip of All-Time (which ended up being “I Love Trash”). What more could you need to be thankful for?

I’m thankful for my good friend Louis Henry Mitchell. Louis has been an amazing friend to me since our first interview and continues to be a great person who has done so much for me already. I’m thankful to have a friend in Louis and I’m also thankful that he loves Sesame Street so much and knows it so well. He is responsible for the amazing Google logos, the stunning 40th Anniversary cast photo, the cover of the November 9-15 issue of TV Guide, and so much more. Thank you, Louis!

I’m thankful for Muppet fans…
Without all of you, I wouldn’t be writing this right now. Without all of you I would have no reason for The Muppet Mindset. If it weren’t for my desire to bring a daily dose of Muppets to the Muppet fans of the world, there would be no Muppet Mindset. This blog has opened up so many opportunities for me—things I never thought would happen to me. I’ve interviewed and communicated frequently with Muppet writer Jim Lewis (whom I’m also extremely thankful for), interviewed Muppet comic book writers and artists, communicated with Muppeteers and Muppet higher-ups… it’s a dream come true and I can only think to thank all of you for it. So I’m thankful for you, Muppet fans, for helping my dream become a reality.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! And, if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, happy first-annual International Day of Muppet Things I’m Thankful For. Watch “Bohemian Rhapsody” in celebration!

P.S. I'm thankful for friends and family too...












The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier.

Nov 25, 2009

News Update: November 25

NEWS UPDATE: November 25, 2009
Today's News Update is all about The Muppets (go figure). In case you were somehow indisposed yesterday and unable to get to a computer and missed the undeniable return of the Muppets to the spotlight, be sure to watch The Muppets: Bohemian Rhapsody in glorious HD on YouTube now! You too can be one of the nearly 1,000,000 viewers of the incredible video.

Did you enjoy the songs from A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa? Do you wish you could be Santa Claus just like Gonzo and Fozzie? Well then Amazon.com and iTunes are where you need to frolic! Both are offering the soundtrack for Letters to Santa at the incredibly low prices of $2.71 and $2.99 respectively. The audio tracks are all clear and wonderful, so I highly recommend checking this out!

Do you have a Twitter? Do you like The Muppets? Then you had better be following MuppetsStudio official page on Twitter! (Hey, they're following me, I had to plug it!) Be sure to check out their official YouTube channel to see all of the Muppet viral videos in HD!

Be sure to remember to check out the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade tomorrow (Thursday, November 26) on NBC. There are tons of Muppet sightings to watch out for. Sesame Street will be there in full force with the 123 Sesame Street float and the Sesame Street gang performing a medley of "What Makes Music" and "Sing," along with an Abby Cadabby balloon.

Also at the parade, Kermit will be singing his hit from last year's parade, "I Believe," with Disney Channel "star" Tiffany Thornton. After the parade, Disney Channel will debut a music video of the duet (Dec. 4th) and release the single on iTunes for purchasing (Dec. 8th). The Muppet Newsflash has all the info (and pictures)!

Remember the unruly rant Sesame Street took against FOX News? Well, then you surely remember all of the unnecessary media backlash (covered brilliantly by ToughPigs), right? Well, lucky for us, Sesame Street finally stood up for themselves on FOX News' "The O'Reilly Factor" with Bill O'Reilly. Sherrie Westin, who does something at Sesame Street, appeared on the show with a new Grouch anchor, Spill O'Reilly, to debunk the rumors and the backlash. I'm proud of Sesame Street for standing up for their parodies the only way they know how--with more parodies!












The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier.

Nov 24, 2009

Muppet Rhapsody

Today, Muppet Studios launched their YouTube Channel with a brand new Muppet video. The Muppets parody Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" and subsequently take the internet by storm. Twitter has been abuzz about the news for hours and "Bohemian Rhapsody" was a trending topic.

The video is amazingly awesome... so I'll stop typing so you can just watch and love.















The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier.

Sesame Street Season 40 Overview - Week 2

NEWS UPDATE - November 24, 2009
The Muppets (it is unknown which ones) are set to appear on tonight's finale episode of Dancing With the Stars on ABC. Be sure to check it out at 9:00pm/8:00pm central time!

Today on The Muppet Mindset we welcome our good friend Shane Keating (Oscarfan on Muppet Central Forum) who gives us his overview of this week's past Sesame Street Season 40 episodes.


Reviewer’s Note:
For future reference to readers, the only station I am able to record on plays the new episode from the day before, so any show shown on a Friday will be covered in the following week’s review. So, episode #4195 will not be covered his week.



EPISODE 4187 – ABBY MAKES THE SEASONS CHANGE


STREET SCENE

Elmo finds a sled in his closet, but learns from Chris that he cannot use it until Winter (and it’s currently Spring). Elmo wishes it was Winter now and Abby appears, having heard his plea. He tries a weather spell, but makes it Summer and Fall instead. This causes problems for the other people on the street, including Telly and Baby Bear (who begin a game of checkers when it gets too hot for tag, then having their checkers board be blown away in the fall wind) and Mr. Johnson (whose meals get ruined by the weather from outside Hooper’s). Abby and Elmo realize that the seasons must come in their own time and change the weather back. Chris adjusts Elmo’s sled so that it now has wheels and can be pulled by Chris.

Hidden Gem: As some of you may know, a “hidden gem” is said to be placed in each episode this season as a throwback to the classic days.  In this episode, an image from the classic “Ladybugs’ Picnic” cartoon is seen attached to Mr. Johnson’s menu.

HIGHLIGHTS
 
  • Adrian Grenier, Elmo and the Season-Bot 3000 explain the word “season”  
  • An animated insert taken from Sesame Street English with Cookie Monster singing about the letter U sound in “umbrella”. 
  • Abby’s Flying Fairy School: The Cinderella Challenge (those of you who own the 40 years DVD will have probably already seen this one) 
  • Leslie Feist’s “1234” parody from last season. 
  • Murray Has a Little Lamb: Ice Skating School, edited to remove the guessing game portion and putting a new, short intro that leads Murray and Ovejita straight to the school. 
  • Murray plays “Sounds of the Street” with the viewer, hearing a bird, a car and a tap-dancing octopus.
  •  Abby, Zoe and Rosita’s song, “Guess the Season”.

    CONCLUDING THOUGHTS
    The episode plot today was great. It was a nice treat seeing Mr. Johnson in the street scene for a change. And Chris’ reactions to the various season changes were perfect. I enjoyed the Flying Fairy School segment and seeing Fiest’s song again. My favorite part from the show was the “Guess the Season” song. If you have the 40 years DVD, I suggest you play this song; it’s very catchy (although the small Zoe puppet in it is so horrid looking).

    EPISODE 4192 – Y, A QUEST? Y NOT


    STREET SCENE

    Telly shows Abby and Elmo a book called “How to Be a Knight for a Day” (Get it?). They all dress up in armor, sing a knight song (that will be sung every three minutes, Your browser may not support display of this image. mind you) and decide to go on a quest. They find a sobbing letter Y, who feels he’s unimportant. They realize their quest is to find things that start with Y to help him. At Gina’s waiting room, they look for animals who’s names start with “Y” but find a chicken, a penguin and what they call a “hairy cow” (which is actually a yak). After having no luck at the Laundromat and at Hooper’s, the yak comes to Alan for his lunch and they learn his actual animal name. The Y rejoices and so do the knights.

    Hidden Gem: A newspaper article with Jim Henson’s picture can be seen in the Laundromat window.

    HIGHLIGHTS


    • Tiki Barber’s quest for a definition of the word “quest”, asking Oscar, Grover (who mistakes it for the West) and Cookie Monster. 
    • Norah Jones’ “Don’t Know Y” song. 
    • Abby’s Flying Fairy School: The Pinocchio Process (a repeat from #4188)  
    • Ernie’s song about his toes from season 36.  
    • A song by a group of Hispanic people about counting 20 drying clothes.  
    • Murray Has a Little Lamb – Gardening School  
    • A new Marshal Grover sketch about front and back featuring Frank Oz as Grover!

      CONCLUSION
      Today’s street scene was nice. I loved them calling the yak a “hairy cow”, seeing Gina as a veterinarian again and the reference to Jim. This is just my opinion, but I really hated seeing the “Don’t Know Y” song again. I mean, it’s not a bad song, but it was shown more often than it should.

      EPISODE 4193 – BEARS TRY TO HIBERNATE


      STREET SCENE

      Your browser may not support display of this image.It’s winter and there’s a porridge shortage on Sesame Street! This means that the Bear family (who thrives on porridge) must hibernate until Spring, when porridge will be abundant. Telly will have to wait for Baby Bear to wake up in five months before they can play again. However, the Four Bears are unable to get to sleep. They call the “Bears Helping Bears” program and Max Bear, hibernation-expert, is sent over. He becomes their hibernation consultant and convinces them to head outside to sleep, as their home is too warm and cozy to hibernate in. They try finding a hallow tree or cave, but find neither on the street. Max then has them get in touch wit their “inner bear”, which tells them to dig a den in the ground. Chris and Telly find them and Chris gives them a last meal of cereal before they sleep. They like the cereal and decide to live on that until the porridge is back and give their den to Max who has forgotten about hibernation preparations for himself).

      Hidden Gem: Chris’ newspaper headline reads “Clash Unabashed By Red Smash”, referring to Kevin Clash and the popularity of Elmo.

      Your browser may not support display of this image.HIGHLIGHTS

      • A commercial starring the Anything Muppets for “Super K Cereal”
      • Abby’s Flying Fairy School: Gene the Genie (repeat)
      • Bert and Ernie’s Great Adventures – Ernie looses his Rubber Duckie down a gopher hole and brings Bert along to get him back.
      • A doo-wop song from a season 31 street story about napping by Lulu, Telly and other monsters. (An odd choice for an insert if you ask me, since it’s actually an edited street scene)
      CONCLUSION
      This street story was great. Baby Bear/Telly stories are always nice to see. I especially liked the Bear’s digital clock alarm being set for “April”. Max Bear was an odd character (he kind of reminded me of Howard from It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie.) When I first heard about this episode at the 40th anniversary event in New Jersey in January, I couldn’t wait for it, and I wasn’t disappointed. The napping song seemed like an odd choice for a segment, since it wasn’t really made to be one.

      EPISODE 4194 – STINKY’S BIRTHDAY FLOWER


      STREET SCENE

      Zoe and Elmo hear Stinky moaning and groaning, until he sprouts his annual birthday flower. They decide to bring him a present on his birthday. Elmo gets him a drum, which he can’t use the drumsticks for. Zoe gets him a tutu, which he can’t dance to use. Cookie Monster brings him a plate of cookies, which aren’t plant food and Rosita brings him a guitar, which he can’t play either. Big Bird gets him some balloons, but when he ties them to his pot, he begins flying away. Chris saves him and explains to them that Stinky would rather have something he likes, not what they like. They all get together and bring him what plants need, water, sun and love.

      Hidden Gem: Caroll Spinney makes a brief cameo inside Hooper’s Store.

      HIGHLIGHTSYour browser may not support display of this image.

      • Maggie Gyllenhaal demonstrates the word “surprise”
      • Another Sesame Street English cartoon, this one with Elmo about the letter B.
      • “Pre-School Musical” parody from last season
      • Murray Has a Little Lamb: Music School
      • Bert’s version of “In My Book”
      CONCLUSION
      What a nice treat to see Stinky return. This was a great street story. While Zoe looked a little better in this story than her earlier appearance this week, the small puppet still looks really bad. Plus, it’s always nice to Cookie Monster in a street story.

      So, all in all, this week (or 4/5 of it) was great. If the rest of the season is this good, I can’t wait for it. I’m not that keen on the “block” format by Murray, but I said the same thing about season 38’s format (which I now love and wish they would still use), so I’m sure I’ll get used to it. Here’s hoping the rest of the season’s this great and I’ll see you next week!












      The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

      Nov 23, 2009

      Muppet Comic Mondays: The Treasure of Peg Leg Wilson #3



      The Muppet Show Comic Book

      The Treasure of Peg Leg Wilson #3
      Comic Book Review




      Ryan Dosier
      – Welcome back, Muppet fans! Here to find out what happens in the next installment of the Peg Leg Wilson saga? Well, you’ve certainly come to the right place!

      The Treasure of Peg Leg Wilson # 3 – “Follow The Money” was released in September 2009.



      PLOT
      This issue pulls no punches. It immediately thrusts us right back into the action of the ongoing story with only a three frame summary from Statler and Waldorf to suffice as back-story.

      The issue opens with Animal, still dressed in his suit, running through the alleys and banging on garbage cans with drumsticks. This is odd for the rampant drummer, considering he has appeared refined and well-mannered in the previous two issues. Very mysterious, indeed!

      Next, we find Kermit telling Gonzo that the closing number will be a pirate theme to go along with all of the treasure hunting mayhem that is gripping the theater. Kermit introduces Gonzo to an impersonator of Peg Leg Wilson from Kismet’s lookalike agency. Floyd comes in and asks the frog if he’s seen Animal, explaining to Kermit how the drummer has been “acting screwy lately.”

      We soon catch up with Gonzo at the library. He finds a book about Peg Leg Wilson and discovers the story of the vaudeville daredevil who also engaged in a “picaresque” life. When he died, he took the secret location of his huge treasure with him to the sod.

      We soon catch up with Kismet and Rizzo, who have formed an unlikely alliance in attempt to find the treasure. Kismet reveals to the rat that he’s planning to heist all of Miss Piggy’s jewels while Rizzo and the rats search for the Wilson’s treasure.

      The Electric Mayhem is still having trouble getting Animal to play the drums like he used to. They even try to make him hit some trained fleas they place on his drums. But, of course, Animal is Buddhist now so he refuses to harm another living thing.

      Miss Piggy comes out of her dressing room wearing every piece of jewelry she owns (which is a lot), and is immediately bombarded by the treasure-hungry dwarfs in the theater. Soon, Topaz the Dwarf reveals that Piggy’s jewels are all fakes and she karate chops the dwarfs away. Unfortunately for her, she’s immobilized by the weight of her jewels and stuck behind a wall where no one can find her.

      As Kermit prepares the cast for the closing number, the fact that Miss Piggy is lost leads to Kermit being forced to use a robot Piggy previously used in Pigs in Space for the closing number. Fozzie mentions to Gonzo that the set they’re using is way out of their budget and on loan from a movie production. As you can probably guess, the set does not get returned in one piece.

      The issue ends with Bunsen watering his man-eating petunias, Animal sighing at his predicament, Kismet admiring some stolen jewels, Scooter adding up the damages, Rizzo and the rats calling it a day, Link flirting with the robot Piggy, and the real Miss Piggy angry under the weight of her jewels.

      Sketches in this issue include: “Animalopoly,” The Perils of Piggy, Pigs in Space, and “H.M.S. Pinafore.”

      TONE

      I don’t know why I keep discussing the tone in these comics. With Roger Langridge, it’s always spot-on perfect.

      WRITING
      The writing is also just awesome here. I really enjoy Kismet and how Langridge writes him. Rizzo is really the only one who I don’t really think Langridge can “voice.” This is probably because Langridge’s sensibilities have always come from the classic Muppet Show days and Rizzo didn’t really rise to prominence until later. Even though Rizzo doesn’t sound perfect, he’s still good.

      ART
      The art is so much fun here. Langridge really lets himself have a good time in this issue—especially in his “Animalopoly” page. The art is also very, very cool when Gonzo is reading through The Legend of Peg Leg Wilson. And when I laugh hysterically just seeing the angry lump of jewelry that is Miss Piggy, you know Langridge has done his drawing well.

      CONCLUSION
      The third issue is my favorite so far. Nothing significant or important happens, but at the same time it seems like tons of stuff did. I think this is the funniest issue of the three and I’m extremely excited to see how it all ends in issue #4.

      CAST
      Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo the Great, Animal, Dr. Teeth, Floyd Pepper, Zoot, Janice, Statler, Waldorf, Rizzo the Rat, Scooter, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Beaker, Link Hogthrob, Dr. Julius Strangepork, Sweetums, Kismet the Toad Uncle Deadly, Wayne, Mildred Huxtetter, Julius Prune’s Amazing Flea Circus, The Seven Dwarfs, Aladdin, Indiana Jones, Rats, pirates, and other various Muppets.














      The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

      Nov 22, 2009

      Muppet Magazine Advertisements Mega Awesomeness

      Remember a few months ago when the Muppets headlined Disney Park's "Give a Day. Get a Disney Day." promotions with commercials and things? Well, there's more!

      In the December 2009 issues of both O Magazine and Real Simple magazine, there are brand new, gorgeous spreads of the Muppets volunteering and subsequently celebrating at Walt Disney World. Don't feel like going out and paying $5 a piece for two magazines you'll rip three pages out of and never look at again? Well, aren't you lucky you have The Muppet Mindset?













      Photos courtesy of Lisa Alexander and Scarecroe from Muppet Wiki.











      The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier.