1 The Muppet Mindset: Jarrod Fairclough in America

Dec 20, 2010

Jarrod Fairclough in America


Hello my Muppety Mindsetty friends, and happy holidays!

As some of you may be aware, I was going on a trip to America from my lovely little home in Australia.  Well, that’s over. Been there done that. And I had a blast. But alas, I will not bore you with stories of The Statue of Liberty or tales of the Hollywood sign. Instead, I’ll give you the details on what really matters in life.  Muppets.

Yes, my holiday was filled with wholesome Muppet goodness! ...Kind of. I’ll just go through what I did, and you can decide for yourself.

So I was in New York for Thanksgiving, and we decided to go to the huge Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I’d seen it on TV and photos on the internet, but, as people who have been there will agree, nothing can prepare you for just how awesome it is. The balloons are huge. Mammoth. As the parade began, suddenly my eyes were filled with green. There was Kermit the Frog, in his huge plastic balloon glory, floating down 7th Avenue.

I was over the moon. Absolutely thrilled to see it. And I thought I couldn’t be happier than that. Until... Well, until I saw this:

REAL LIVE SESAME STREET MUPPETS! Look! There’s Baby Bear, Big Bird, Zoe, Bob, Gordon, Susan! And of course my old friend Bert (who, coincidently enough, I met exactly two years ago today at time of writing). But I can’t tell you how excited I got when I saw Ernie.

That orange dude is the pinnacle of my childhood. And to see him only a few meters away from me took me right back to being a small kid giggling at him yelling “Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere FISHY FISHY FISHY!” and playing the rhyming game. Don’t get me wrong, I was thrilled to see Big Bird, Bert, and The Count too, but I met them when I visited the set. Just seeing Ernie truly fulfilled a lifelong dream. The rest of the parade was cool. I saw Jimmy Fallon (who, might I add, has gotten way better as a host), Kanye West, Jessica Simpson, Joan Rivers, and Miranda Cosgrove, who, when my mate and I saw her, were like “IT’S iCarly!” We’re children.

A few days later we decided to head to the Paley Center for the Arts, which was, for the first few moments, a bit of a disappointment. But we did get in for free. That’s what an Aussie accent gets you  But when we sat down on the computers to go through the archives, we all had a blast. My mates ended up watching Seinfeld clips, but I was able to watch some old school Sesame Street and Muppet things I’d never seen before.  Things like Christmas Eve on Sesame Street, of which I’d only seen clips. Of Muppets and Men was there, and I watched a part of that. There was a panel discussion with the Henson family and Jerry Nelson, filmed a couple of years back, and I watched a small clip of that. I was trying to take in as much as I could, with only 90 minutes to do so, and I had to watch some Conan O’Brien stuff! I mean, who doesn’t have to? I could have spent days there.

We have American Apparel shops in Australia, but they are few and far between. And I knew they sold awesome Sesame t-shirts. So I bought some. An Ernie and Bert one, which I’m currently wearing as I write this. A Sherlock Hemlock one (how awesome is it that you can get a Sherlock Hemlock t-shirt after all these years?) and the photo cast t-shirt.

I spent a few days in L.A too, and I spent a day of that at Disneyland, which really is, by far, the happiest place on Earth! I realized while in Toon Town, that’s exactly how I see the world! Couple of things before I talk about Muppet*Vision 3D. I high-fived Pluto and fist-bumped Sulley from Monsters Inc. And I shook Mickey’s hand.

But guess what! My mates went on the Tower of Terror (the only ride I blatantly refused to go on!) and I decided that’d be a good time to message my Mum while I waited. So I’m sending her a message, and I look up and realize people are giggling at me. So I ignored them, and continued on. And they all kept giggling. I turned around, and there’s Mr. Incredible, with his big plastic head, mimicking me on my phone and being over the top. He then saluted me, shook my hand and walked off.  Big Pixar bully!

So I went to Muppet*Vision, and it is AWESOME!

The show is one of the best things I’ve ever seen The Muppets do, and the animatronics parts cracked me up. I was amazed at just how well it was all done. I looked over at animatronic Statler and Waldorf at one point, and even though they weren’t the focus of the segment, they were still reacting and acting to whatever was going on onscreen. Bravo, Henson people.

Plus, the Swinetrek was there. It was awesome. Afterward, I got myself some Muppet Vinylmation, a Fozzie and Rowlf. They too, are awesome.

I went to Universal Studios. It was good. The Jurassic Park ride is crazy at the end. But the only Muppety thing on that day was going past the studio that is about to be done up for The Muppets movie, and seeing a guy in a car that was going to pick up someone related to the film.

And then I went for a little walk along Hollywood Blvd, checking out the Stars on the Walk of Fame. Again, I won’t bore you with whose stars I saw, because you only care about a few. Like Big Bird:

Or Bernie Brillstein (my mates couldn’t figure out why I even knew who this guy was):

I didn’t see Kermit’s, I don’t think I walked down far enough. But then on the way back, my friend Josh asked “Does Jim Henson have one?", and I couldn’t remember. I had been walking with my head down looking at them all, and literally as I said “I think so” I stepped on it.

Well, that was my holiday Muppet wise. I had a ball, and a lot of you are very lucky to live in such an awesome country. I will be back there, my friends, don’t you worry about that. As for now, it’s my sister's birthday, and more importantly, the two-year anniversary of when I went to Sesame Street.

So I have some stuff to do.  But I will see you all real soon for my next ‘?’ article, and an update on the whole Pepe “okay” question, straight from the prawns mouth himself!  Or the puppeteers mouth, actually.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS my friends, and I’ll see you soon.


The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

No comments:

Post a Comment