Jul 31, 2010

Top 5 Sesame Street Inserts You've Probably Never Heard Of



The Top Five Sesame Street Inserts I Knew Nothing About Before sesamestreet.org

Michael Wermuth, Jr. - Today I want to talk about one of the greatest websites ever, sesamestreet.org. This website has hundreds of clips from Sesame Street available for viewing for free. When online video sites like YouTube started becoming popular, it became common for fans to upload their copies of clips from the show. Then Sesame Workshop started its own video website, sesamestreet.org, and Sesame Workshop has the advantage over the fans because Sesame Workshop is almost guaranteed to upload high-quality copies of sketches, and while the selection of episodes recorded by fans is limited, Sesame Workshop likely has copies of every broadcast episode, having access to just about everything from the show. So in addition to uploading many of the clips we’ve seen hundreds of times, the website has uploaded a number of former rarities.

Sesame Workshop has also added many clips so rare that I hadn’t even been aware of them. Maybe I’m not the most knowledgeable Sesame Street fan, but I regularly look at Muppet Wiki pages on Sesame Street episodes and sketch guides for characters and recurring sketches. I frequently read the Muppet Central and ToughPigs message boards, reading about sketches people have or remember (or are trying to remember). So I’d like to present a list of my top five favorite Sesame Street inserts I knew nothing about before sesamestreet.org.


For this list, I am listing the clips by the titles listed on the website. Although Sesame Workshop has it listed as “Q: Quiet” this segment has nothing to do with the letter Q, the word “quiet,” or the concept of quiet. Instead, Grover teaches the word “walk” with some help by Little Jerry and the Monotones (none of whom are performed by the performers most associated with them in this sketch; Even Little Jerry is performed by Fran Brill instead of Jerry Nelson). There is also a segment called “Walk On Grover” which appears to be a follow-up sketch, but part one is definitely better.


This is probably the first sketch with the Two-Headed Monster, as the performers seem to be reversed.  The plot involves Olivia reading a story to The Count, and that story is simply titled “The Two-Headed Monster,” telling the story of the title monster, whose heads can never agree on what to do, until it decides to cooperate with itself and take turns doing things. In this sketch it’s said that the Two-Headed Monster’s names are Horns and Hardart.


Forgetful Jones is at the train station trying to remember why he’s at the train station. Meanwhile, Clementine and Buster are on the train, just moments before it’s supposed to take off, and they keep trying to tell Forgetful to get on the train, but Forgetful doesn’t want help; he wants to remember on his own why he is there.


In the late 1970s, full-body versions of the Sesame Street Muppets appeared in the Ice Skate Follies, and material from these shows were also shot for the show. This one is probably my favorite of these. Oscar comes on-stage and blows a whistle, and one by one each character runs on-stage to find out where the whistling is coming from.


In this sketch, Prairie Dawn sees Grover and wants to invite him to dinner, but Grover doesn’t go anywhere without Herry, who has to be invited. But then Herry says he doesn’t go anywhere without Cookie Monster, who comes along, and as each character gets invited Prairie Dawn adds them to see how many are coming to dinner. Ever since I’ve seen this I’ve often included this sketch in my own Sesame Street DVD wish lists. It may not be a very notable sketch, but it is one of my favorites.

Well, that’s it. If you haven’t seen any of those sketches I recommend checking them out. Hopefully sesamestreet.org will be around for years to come, bringing us more sketches that we don’t know about. Of course it’s hard to request what I have no knowledge of, so we can only hope to be surprised.










The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

Jul 30, 2010

The Epic CD-ROM Family Adventure: Part 5

Lisa Alexander - Hello again, Adventure Readers! When we left off, we had just found a key and a creepy message-in-a-bottle from Captain Flint outside of the Benbow Inn. The chest in Billy Bones’ room is still locked, so we should probably head there.

Another good reason to head there is that there really isn’t anything else we can possibly do. I mean, we can keep clicking around outside, but nothing there is changing. So we go inside to the first floor of the Benbow Inn, where we can still click around, but nothing has changed since the last time we were here. We go upstairs to the hallway, where nothing has changed. And we go back into Billy’s room, where—surprise!—nothing has changed. And then we re-approach the chest.

“Hey, Hawkins! Try this,” Stevenson says (before actually appearing on screen), and the key we just found slides to a stop on the floor by the chest. (Had we found the key before we approached the chest the first time, this would have happened immediately after Rizzo and Gonzo decided to look for a key and a sledgehammer.)

We can click on the lock, which does the same odd gapey thing I tried to describe before. Or we can click on Stevenson, who says, “Key in the lock! Key in the lock!” before he makes his parroty noise and whistles on his way out. Clicking on him a second time results in yet another encore of, “Boy, it’s really messy in here! And I’m allergic to dah—da-HA—daCHOO!” and him wiping his beak on his wing and saying, “Let—Let’s get out of here. But first, we really need to find the map.”
 
Or, we can click on the key. Now, if you just click on the key, you will pick it up and immediately drop it again. What we really need to do is click and hold, so we can drag the key to the lock. We pick it up sideways, but don’t worry—it automatically turns to go into the lock. Release it when it’s turned for the lock, and the key not only goes into the lock, but turns, complete with sound effect and pixie dust, before the chest opens and Stevenson makes what I can only assume is a celebratory parrot noise.

Gonzo and Rizzo once again lean into the frame to examine the now-open chest. “Ah, the smell of adventure!” Gonzo says.

“Rotting wood, mold, mildew—yup, that’s adventure alright!” Rizzo says, and they make some agreeable grunts that sound a little like “Uh-huh” when you put them together before they leave the screen and Stevenson perches on the open lid.

Click on Stevenson, and he—still very congested—sniffs and says, “Now. Dig around in there until you find the map. And while you’re at it… I’m gonna go get a tissue.” He dramatically sneezes his way off the screen and returns to his perch, so I guess he wasn’t terribly interested in the tissue, after all.

There are several items in Billy’s chest, all stacked on top of each other. For years, I thought you had to click and drag each one out of the chest, much like we did with the key, but guess what? You can just click on each of them, and they jump right out of the chest for you!

I have to hand it to the makers of this game—most of the items in this chest are fantastic. First we have a broken oar, which I suppose isn’t terribly funny unless you take the time to wonder why on earth Billy saved it. The second thing is definitely the best, though. Did you know Billy Bones had a teddy bear? And did you know that said teddy bear bore a striking resemblance to Fozzie Bear, particularly in his Pook-a-Looz form?

Once the Fozzie Teddy is out of the way, we see what looks like an odd pile of fabric. Click on it, and it turns into what I think is supposed to be long underwear. I’m hesitant to call it that for multiple reasons, one of which being that Billy’s long underwear appears to be the exact same size as his teddy bear.

Next we have a standard-issue mysterious bottle of poison, followed immediately by a familiar pair of funny glasses. Allow me to be a complete Muppet nerd and point out that these Groucho glasses bear more resemblance to the ones many a Muppet donned in The Great Muppet Caper than they do to the ones Rizzo found in Billy’s chest in Muppet Treasure Island, because the ones Rizzo found had completely filled-in eyes, and these do not. That bit of nerdiness aside, I love the fact that the game included the glasses.

Next is the second reason I’m hesitant to call that early item “long underwear”: a lovely pair of cannon-print boxers. Really? Double-underwear? So if anyone else knows what that other thing is, please let me know. Next we have a pair of old socks that have been mended multiple times, and then we have a pack of dynamite. And that’s where we get into trouble.

Unlike the other items, the dynamite actually makes noise as it drops onto the floor. Stevenson zooms off his perch and is apparently behind us with the dynamite. “YIKES! Dynamite!” he says. “Looks like Billy’s sea chest is BOOBY-trapped! We must be getting warmer.”

“Yeah!” Rizzo’s voice nervously agrees, and then we hear the fuse light and start to burn. “Now it’s lit!” Rizzo panics.

Which of our genius sidekicks had the brilliant idea to light the dynamite? I don’t know. Hawkins is apparently too fascinated staring at the map in the bottom of the chest to turn around and say, “No don’t LIGHT that!” But if I were to make an educated guess, I’d say it was Gonzo who lit the dynamite. That, or it mysteriously lit itself… At any rate, we can still hear the fuse burning. At this point, we have two choices: we can click on Stevenson, who still wants us to dig around in the chest until we find the map, or we can click absolutely anywhere else on the screen to pick up and open the map.

There’s a change of music as the map is suddenly open across the screen, and we watch as a dashed line appears, crossing the island until it stops at a red X, which briefly glows. I have no idea how to describe the music, but we don’t pay much attention to it for long as we suddenly hear Flint’s voice again. First there’s some piratey, kind of disgusting-sounding laughter I can’t begin to transcribe, and then he talks.

“Hawkins… This be the ghost of Cap’n Flint speakin’! If ye want to find me buried treasure, you’ll need more than a map, to Treasure Island!”

(At this point, we hear some fanfare for “Treasure Island” before he continues.)

“You’ll need to find the four diamond-shaped rocks, I left behind. Now THESE four rocks, could be the KEY to the treasure—or, your GRAVE! HAHAHAHARGH HaHARGH haHARGH.”

Well, now we finally know what that “E” rock we kept finding was. The music keeps playing, but no matter where we move our cursor, it remains a “back up” arrow. Before we put the map away, there’s one thing I want to comment on. The date in the bottom-right corner says the map was made August 1, 1750. That’s consistent with the book, but if the Benbow Inn was established in 1875, as the signs downstairs read, and Billy Bones is in both places, he must be over 125 years old—especially since he was Flint’s first mate on the voyage when the map was made. Slight oversight there.

Anyway, click anywhere, and the map vanishes. “Open up!” we hear Blind Pew say, and there are three loud knocks on the door behind us. “We know you’re in zere…” And once again, we can hear the fuse burning on the dynamite, but we’re still staring into the now-empty sea chest.

Stevenson resumes his perch on the open lid of the sea chest. Clicking on him reveals his panic. “Hawkins I checked—and the pirates aren’t gettin' any friendlier!”

On the second click, he seems less panicked but no more patient. “Ya know, just between you and me? The fuse isn’t getting' any longer!” And he makes a parrot noise before he goes. (Not all of his parrot noises sound the same. In fact, he has quite the wide array of parrot noises… but how else am I supposed to describe them?) Stevenson has nothing else to say, and the only other thing we can do is back away from the chest—leaving the key there, since we don’t need it and Stevenson’s already got a rock to carry in his wing.

Looking at Billy’s room, we once again hear Blind Pew telling us to open up, and this time we can see the door bulging in every time he knocks. The window is open, and we can see a vegetable cart, complete with horse and driver, below. Gonzo and Rizzo pop up behind the bed.

“Looks like we’ve got two choices,” Gonzo says. “A, we jump two stories into the vegetable cart below, or B, we stay here and face the deadly, angry, and very well armed pirates!”

“And C?” Rizzo demands.

“There isn’t a C!” Gonzo says.

Rizzo is outraged. “There’s always a C! What kind of a game is this without a C?” (Since we can also see the ocean through the window, I’ve always thought it was a lovely pun about the sea.) Gonzo laughs, and they duck back down behind the bed, leaving us with the same music we’ve had at the sea chest and the sound of the burning fuse (which we can now see, by the way). Every ten seconds or so, either Blind Pew knocks again, “Open up!” knock knock knock, “We know you’re in zere!” or Gonzo and Rizzo pop up behind the bed and Rizzo says, “Come on, Hawkins!” before they duck back down.

Suspenseful enough for you? Make sure to tune in for the next article. I guarantee it will be dynamite.



























The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

Jul 29, 2010

News Update: July 29, 2010

NEWS UPDATE: July 29, 2010

Yesterday it was confirmed that Miss Piggy and Pepe will be appearing on the Desperate Housewives: The Complete Sixth Season - The All-Mighty Edition (that's really the name) DVD set, available September 21. Surely we'll see Miss Piggy reeking havoc on Wisteria Lane and Pepe ogling quite a bit (and with housewives that desperate, maybe he won't get shut down), unfortunately we'll have to buy the DVD set to see this. Oh, well, new Muppet stuff is good stuff. Now where's The Muppet Show Season 4 on DVD?

Just a reminder that this Tuesday, August 3rd, Lionsgate will be releasing Henson's Place, the 1984 Jim Henson documentary on DVD. Be sure to pick up your copy of this sure-to-be fantastic DVD of an incredibly rare television special!

This past weekend, ComicCon was held in San Diego, California and the Muppets were represented quite well throughout the Con. Check out some of the highlights below...












The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

Jul 28, 2010

Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Zoot

Written by Ryan Dosier.

ZOOT

Performed by...
Dave Goelz

First appearance...
The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence pilot (1975)

Most recent appearance...
Muppets Most Wanted (2014)

Best known role...

Saxophone player in the Electric Mayhem band; "The Muppet Show Theme Song" final note player; sleepy, burnt-out hipster.

Well known quote...

"Wha?"

WHO IS ZOOT?
Zoot is the one and only saxophone player used by Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem, and one of the core five members. Described by Floyd Pepper as, "Zoot, sax is [his] axe," in The Muppet Movie, Zoot and his saxophone are nearly inseparable. He is also often seen sleeping on the job and is suddenly awoken in time to perform. Sometimes he's asleep with his eyes open, hence why he "skipped a groove again" in The Muppet Movie.

The thing Zoot is most well known for is playing the final, bellowing saxophone note to the closing theme of The Muppet Show. In almost every episode of the show, Zoot is seen in the orchestra pit blowing the final note and often being shocked by the sound it makes. This role put Zoot in every episode of The Muppet Show, one of very few characters with that distinction.

In The Muppet Show, Zoot was a major player in season 1, appearing with guest stars such as Juliet Prowse and Phyllis Diller. He was also more outspoken in season 1 than in later seasons. This made him Dave Goelz's main character throughout season 1, before Gonzo really came into his character and became a big part of the show. In later seasons Zoot was rarely seen outside of gigs with the band.

Zoot has also appeared in every major Muppet movie (excluding Kermit's Swamp Years--but... major? Meh). In The Muppet Movie he was seen playing in a church with the rest of the Electric Mayhem, in The Great Muppet Caper, he famously had no other pants, man; in The Muppets Take Manhattan he was quite excited about aliens landing, only to find that nobody had; in The Muppet Christmas Carol he played Fozziwig's Party, in Muppet Treasure Island he questioned the politics of piracy, in Muppets From Space he played a bar mitzvah with the rest of the Electric Mayhem, and in The Muppets' Wizard of Oz he arrived late.

Recently, Zoot has been making a resurgence along with the rest of the Electric Mayhem. He has been seen in Give a Day. Get a Disney Day. promotions, Christmas at Rockefeller Center (2009), Studio DC: Almost Live!, Letters to Santa, and "Bohemian Rhapsody." Zoot continued to appear alongside the band in The Muppets and will be seen in Muppet Most Wanted this year.

ZOOT PERFORMANCES
Some noteworthy Zoot performances...
  • The Muppet Show closing theme
  • "Love Ya to Death" (Sex and Violence)
  • "Tenderly" (Episode 116)
  • "Sax and Violence" (Episode 102)
  • "I Heard it Through the Grape Vine" (Episode 516)
  • "Barnyard Boogie" (Episode 504)
  • "Rockin' Robin" (Episode 510)
  • "Can You Picture That" (The Muppet Movie)
  • "You Can't Take No For an Answer" (The Muppets Take Manhattan)
  • "Gone Fishin'" (Rocky Mountain Holiday)
  • "The Man With the Bag" (A Red and Green Christmas)
WHY DO THE MUPPETS NEED ZOOT?
I wouldn't say that the Muppets need Zoot, particularly, but they do need The Electric Mayhem, and they most definitely need Zoot. Zoot provides the burnt-out, hippy musician vibe for the band that perfectly balances the exact opposite that is Animal. Without Zoot, the band is also missing the sax, which is a crucial part to most of their songs.

Zoot also acts as a close friend to both Floyd and Dr. Teeth, he used to have something of a relationship with Janice (when he was more outspoken), and is the one to remind Animal to take his tablets so each member of the band benefits from him equally and need him as well. Zoot is a crucial part of the Muppet formula, and it's incredible and wonderful that he has stayed around for 35 years.













The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

Jul 27, 2010

Upcoming and Now-Available Muppet Merchandise

Today on The Muppet Mindset, we take a look at some of the Muppet merchandise that has been recently released by The Muppets Studio and some great items coming in the very near future.

We begin our tour at Wal-Mart, where there is a brand new t-shirt featuring Kermit wearing brightly colored headphones. Retail cost is just $7.50 and t-shirt quality is fantastic...
Next up, Target! Where they have a fantastic men's t-shirt featuring, once again, Kermit. The shirt has an "Awesome Meter" that ranks the wearer as "Awesome" no matter who it is (which is definitely not true... but we have yet to invent a working Awesome Meter t-shirt).
Coming up after that, we head to Kohl's department store where they have Animal lounge pants (aka pants you lounge around in) (I didn't know people wore pants whilst lounging). Currently on sale for $12.00 in-store and online!
While we're at Kohl's, take a look at their great Animal face t-shirt as well, which is on sale for $10.80 in-store and online...
Coming this fall for the PS3 video game system is Little Big Planet 2, the sequel to the extremely popular Little Big Planet game. Earlier this week it was announced that there would be a retail-exclusive Gonzo costume for the main character, Sackboy. According to some articles, even more Muppet costumes will be available to download after the game is released. Here's the first look at the Gonzo costume...
Silly Bandz are an extremely popular series of shaped plastic wristbands that kids can wrap around their wrists without losing the distinctive shape after they take them off. There are numerous Disney-themed Silly Bandz series, such as Cars, Toy Story, and Disney Princesses. The latest addition is The Muppets! Starting with Series 1, which consists of Fozzie Bear, Pepe, Animal, Statler, and Waldorf, Series 2, including Gonzo, Miss Piggy, Rizzo, Swedish Chef, and Rowlf, and Series 3, including Kermit, Bunsen, Beaker, Sam Eagle, and Sweetums, all of which are set to be released in August...


DisneyStore.com is selling some Disney Parks exclusive Muppet products including the first series of Muppet-themed Kooky Pens, extremely popular collectible writing pens sold at the Disney Parks. The first series includes Kermit, Miss Piggy, and Beaker and retail for $21.95 online...
Hallmark stores are exclusively selling a talking Animal Christmas ornament for the 2010 holiday season, available now (they put these things out so soon these days). The ornament features Animal playing his drum set and, when the button is pressed, plays about a minute worth of Animal grunting and wailing on the drums (click here to hear the sound). Retail cost is $18.99 available only at Hallmark.
Keep your eyes peeled for even more Muppet stuff trickling into stores from The Muppets Studio! If you find any new Muppet merchandise in stores, be sure to let us know!












The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

Jul 26, 2010

Muppet Comic Mondays: Muppet Snow White #3


Muppet Snow White #3 
Comic Book Review


James Gannon - After reading Muppt Snow White #3, it has come to my attention that Disney really SHOULD have let writer Jesse Blaze Snider give this series its original title of “Snow White and the Electric Mayhem.” The band's combined role as the 7 dwarves (or dwarfs, which is oddly acceptable) has totally taken over the show. Of course, all the characters equally try to steal the spotlight from each other. That’s the Muppets all over! It can also be argued in the Disney version that the Dwarfs (Dwarves) were the best part--especially Grumpy and Dopey. But let’s not get into that.

Pepe’s management of the Seven Dwarfs (or Dwarves) led them into a very explosive gig in a nightclub. And since Crazy Harry--a spy for Queen Piggy--is the pyrotechnics guy, that’s quite literal. The second failure in trying to kill Snow White to become the fairest of them all. The original Snow White story did feature the queen trying to kill Snow White three times. Fairy Tales ALWAYS have to have the three. That is to say, the comic got the deadly ribbon/lace part right. This version swaps out the sale of a poison comb to said explosion. Good call. Of course, Piggy knows her fairy tales. She still has to come a third time and sell her the poison apple. There’s a twist, though… Snow White ALSO knows the story, and wants to eat it all the more, causing Piggy to fight over it. And we all know how the story goes (though not all that well, as Gonzo later points out). She eats it, Prince Kermit has to save her. But as we all know the Muppets, all Hades breaks loose, and the only thing you can count on is mayhem (and I’m not referring to the band).

Again, this issue manages to get Gonzo’s struggle to tell the story the classical way, while Rizzo tells it the more famous Disney way. And, as before, Disney references are a-plenty. The Mayhem even manage to spin their own versions of songs from that movie. There is such an amazing amount of coloring effects in this issue, from the club concert at the beginning to a scene with Beaker repeatedly getting electrocuted (I hope that sounds as ambiguous as it can… of course, 90% of the time you know he’s gonna get zapped). And there’s some nice references to 1960’s and 70’s music posters in the opening splash page, featuring characters who will appear in the issue. One of them though, is Lew Zealand (accidentally misspelled as Lew Zeland by the artist) and he doesn’t actually appear in the issue. Of course I figure… E-gad, do I have to say it? Ugh… of course, that could always be a Red Herring. But you’ll see a LOT of cameos in this one, as always.  One of those characters even mentions this was the only way she could get into the comic.

As I said, this issue ends in such an unexpected (but almost predictable in the character’s personality) way that we can only imagine what happens in issue 4. I’m sitting on the edge of my seat right now!

We apologize for the lack of pictures in the article this week. Due to ComicCon this weekend, BOOM! Studios was unable to send preview pages to our good friends ToughPigs, where we get the pictures for our articles. We hope to be able to update the article with pictures soon! Thank you for your understanding.









The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier 

Jul 24, 2010

Reminder: Muppet Meet-Up in NYC 7/25


Just a reminder that the ToughPigs and MuppetCast hosted Muppet Vault fan-meet-up event in Brooklyn, New York is tomorrow, July 25th, at 2:00pm at The Knitting Factory. Tickets cost just $5.00 and you'll be able to see some great, hard to find Muppet material and meet up with some of the most entertaining people in the Muppet fan world. And besides, I can't go, so one of my readers needs to to represent The Muppet Mindset!

Once again...
What: ToughPigs and The MuppetCast present The Muppet Vault, a Muppet fan meet-up event with games, prizes, videos, music, and more!
When: July 25 (tomorrow) at 2:00pm
Where: The Knitting Factory, 361 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn, NY
How much: $5.00
Why: Why not?










The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

Jul 23, 2010

A Muppet Mindset Movie Outline: A Muppet Western

Justin H. Piatt - Do you remember long ago when it was first announced that Jason Segel would be writing the new Muppet movie? Remember his frustration over such Muppet productions as Muppets Underwater and The Muppet Western? Do you remember not remembering those movies? Well, we at the Muppet Mindset recently uncovered an unused outline for one of those films!*

*Note: Actual movie outlines posted on the Muppet Mindset may not be actual movie outlines.

Here it is, for the first time anywhere…

-A Muppet Western: The Frog, the Bear, and the Ugly-

It was New York City in 1875. Scooter narrates the tale of Kermit the Frog, Fozzie Bear, and Gonzo, three sail boat builders who decide to take their talent West. (Song: “Sailing West”) Gonzo tries to charter a ship to go West, but they decide that a train is far more traditional. (KERMIT: “Here we are in the old West!” FOZZIE: “Yay verily!” KERMIT: “Uh, a little too old, Fozzie.”)

Our next scene finds Miss Piggy performing a nightly show in a little bar out West. (Song: “Bad Little Piggy”) We soon learn that she is actually a gun slinger and stagecoach/train robber… in addition to occasional modeling gigs with Tumbleweed Photography. No one knows the true identity of Bad Little Piggy as the criminal is always masked. No one even recognizes her as a woman, despite her frequent corrections.

Kermit, Fozzie and Gonzo’s train goes right past Slipper Hill, a graveyard atop a hill. (Song: “Slipper Hill”) The song has nothing to do with the movie, but it seemed rather Westerny. Their train is soon held up by Bad Little Piggy and her cohort, Annie Sue. This is where Kermit first lays eyes on Miss Piggy. Though he has no idea who she is, he feels strangely drawn to her. The train continues on to Deadhead, the trios destination (they wanted to go to Deepinaharta, Texas, but Deadhead’s all they could afford).There they try to sell their sail boats, but to no avail. They are complete failures.

After the local sheriff has a nervous breakdown, Kermit is forced into the job. Fozzie becomes his deputy and Gonzo becomes an outlaw (there were no other positions available at the jail).

The newly appointed sheriff and his team head down to the local saloon. The place is run by Pops with Rowlf at the piano. They order a sarsaparilla and learn that Big Bad Fiama is coming to town. (Song: “The Ballad of Big Bad Fiama”) Big Bad Fiama’s looking to see a show, and he intends to “bump people off” until he does. Kermit just so happens to find a poster for Miss Piggy’s show and goes to see her in her dressing room to request her help.

In her dressing room, Kermit has the feeling he’s met Miss Piggy before. She immediately recognizes him from the robbery, but denies their ever meeting. (Song: “Did we…? Are you..?”) Kermit asks her to be in the show that they must put together, and she gladly accepts.

Kermit and the Muppets are busy putting the show together when Big Bad Fiama and his “Chinese” assistant, Sal, arrive at the saloon. Fiama acts tough, but Kermit warns him about pushing the people of Deadhead around. Fiama tries to get tough with Kermit, but Piggy defends her frog. Furious, Fiama has Sal find out all that he can about the Muppets, especially Miss Piggy.

Later that night, Annie Sue learns that Big Bad Fiama is, in fact, loaded (rich, not drunk). Excited, she tells Piggy about her plans to steal Fiama’s fortune. Miss Piggy has a moral dilemma, but ultimately decides to go through with the plan.

Sal returns to Johnny Fiama without any information about the Muppets. This is only a moment before Fiama’s other minions arrive with the captured Annie Sue and Miss Piggy. Fiama now knows the true identity of Bad Little Piggy

Kermit and the gang are rehearsing their show when Johnny returns to the saloon, gloating. He releases Piggy into the room and reveals her identity. (Song: “The Ballad of Big Bag Fiama Reprise”) Piggy tries to explain, but runs away in embarrassment.

Against the Muppets wishes, Kermit, Fozzie and Gonzo are thrown out of town by the townspeople, being blamed for bringing criminals like Piggy and Johnny to the neighborhood. They head out on the open road.

It’s late at night. Kermit, Fozzie and Gonzo are gathered around a campfire in the middle of the dessert. (Song: “Campfire Song”) Miss Piggy, who has been chasing them for quite some time, finally catches up to them. She explains everything to Kermit, telling him how she wants to change her ways. They are soon joined by the rest of the Muppets who have come to tell Kermit that Big Bad Fiama has taken over. Though Kermit is reluctant to return, Fozzie convinces him to go. The Muppets need his help. Kermit and the gang work out an elaborate plan, but end up winning Johnny over with a song and dance number. (Song: “Git Along”) They even manage to sell Johnny a sail boat.


And now you know why you never saw The Muppet Western.













The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

Jul 22, 2010

Disney Puts Muppet Script Through Pixar

Our good friends at ToughPigs have delivered some promising news from the front of the new Muppet movie: The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Disney requested and received a table read of the script for The Greatest Muppet Movie Ever Made with director James Bobin, actor/writer Jason Segel, and producers with the "Brain Trust" from uber-successful filmmakers and storytellers, Pixar.

The article reports that the players for both sides were excited at the opportunity to work together. "There are a lot of Muppet fans up there at Pixar. Both sides were excited and curious," one Disney insider said. "I wouldn't read too much into it. Pixar is acting more as a friend of the court." This is immensely exciting considering Pixar's 11-0 track record of great films. Certainly having their touch on the new Muppet movie will only help the project and most likely make it more of a character-driven piece.

Batting for the Muppets side in the table read, according to the article, were director James Bobin, writer and star Jason Segel, and producers David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman. For Pixar, huge names like John Lasseter (Toy Story, Cars), Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatoullie), Andrew Stanton (Wall-E), Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3), Bob Peterson (Finding Nemo, Up), and president Ed Catmull were at the table read to provide insight and feedback and perhaps add in a few of their magic touches as well.

While it's still unclear how much input the Pixarians had in the script, it's extremely likely that they've helped it become more of a character-driven, heart-warming script just like their films. After seeing Toy Story 3, I spoke to a Muppet person who was very hopeful that Disney would indeed put the script through Pixar, an idea which I hoped for as well, and it looks like the Mouse House headed the call.

This is a perfect sign that Disney is heading in the right direction with this film and I for one cannot wait to see this film finally start shooting and become more than just a table read!













The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

Jul 21, 2010

Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Baby Sinclair


Michael Wermuth, Jr. returns with a different kind of Weekly Muppet spotlight... This week, we focus on Baby Sinclair from the acclaimed Henson/Disney puppet sitcom, Dinosaurs. This is the first time we've featured a Dinosaurs character on The Muppet Mindset!

BABY SINCLAIR

Performed by...

Kevin Clash (body and voice) 

First appearance...
Dinosaurs Episode 101 "The Mighty Megalosaurus" (1991)

Most recent appearance...
Dinosaurs Episode 407 "Changing Nature" (1994)

Memorable quotes...
“Not the mama!”

“Again!”

“I’m the baby, gotta love me!”

“I’m gonna bite you now!”

“This pan is pretty good!”

Memorable songs...
“I’m the Baby”
“I Can Do Whatever I Want!”

Memorable moments...
His birth sequence in the first episode, “The Mighty Megalosauras,”  is quite memorable. He hatches out of his egg and then falls onto the floor, before meeting his family and being introduced to Earl (and no, his first meeting with Earl wasn’t destructive).

In “I Never Ate for My Father,” he mistakes his tail for something to eat, and screams after biting it and stabbing it with a fork.

In “Getting to Know You,” Baby has an argument with the Sinclair’s foreign exchange guest, telling the guest that he has a present for him (in his diaper) and then eating him.

In “Baby Talk,” Baby constantly repeats a dirty word ("smoo") that he hears on TV. In an attempt to clean his mouth of the word, Fran washes his mouth out with soap. Then Baby hiccups bubbles out of his mouth, and when the bubbles pop the popping sound sounds like somebody saying “smoo!”

WHO IS BABY SINCLAIR?
Baby Sinclair is the baby in the Sinclair household on the Henson/Disney TV series Dinosaurs. He can talk and likes to hit his father, Earl, on the head with a frying pan. Unlike the rest of his family, who are green, Baby is pink. Over the course of the series, the Baby has grown a golden horn which made him king of the dinosaurs (until it broke off), had his own war against a “cookie creature,” had to deal with potty training (though he stayed in diapers up until the last episode), and lived to be three years old (though technically two… the family tricked him out of his “terrible twos” by celebrating his birthday early).

At first he didn’t have a name. Then, in “And the Winner Is…" Earl and Fran went to the Chief Elder to give him a name. The chief elder died right when he was about to name the baby (causing dinosaurs to think he intended on naming him “Ugh Ugh I’m Dying You Idiot"), but at the end of the episode they took the baby to the new Chief Elder, who chose to name him “Baby”.

The Baby’s favorite TV shows include “Ask Mister Lizard” and “Captain Action Figure”.

WHY DID DINOSAURS NEED BABY?
The Baby is to Dinosaurs what Bart Simpson is to The Simpsons: Good for marketing! Though not many episodes starred him, Baby is perhaps the show’s signature character (though Earl is really the star). Baby was on most of the home video covers, and was in the majority of Dinosaurs merchandise. He also had many memorable quotes (most of the quotes I listed are his catch phrases, though some were limited to only one episode). He spoke so many quotable lines... it’s a wonder that there aren’t any t-shirts with these phrases. And I suppose his popularity during the show’s run helped prepare performer Kevin Clash for when Elmo became super popular!








The Muppet Mindset b Ryan Dosier