1 The Muppet Mindset: June 2011

Jun 30, 2011

Your Most Prized Muppet Possession

Ryan Dosier - Greetings Muppet fans! Today we have a mission for you. Our friend Ivan Guerrero submitted a great idea for an article to me: Your Most Prized Muppet Possession. He described it to me as sort of a condensed version of our popular Muppet Fan's Muppet Collection Chronicle series. What is the article, you ask? Well, it's simple. It's a spotlight of numerous Muppet fans with pictures and descriptions of their very favorite piece of Muppety memorabilia. This doesn't have to be an item that is ridiculously expensive, it just has to be something meaningful and special to you. Here, let me give you an example from my collection:

Palisades Toys Series 5 Gonzo the Great Action Figure
This figure is nothing extraordinary in the sense of rarity or spectacularity (peculiarly not a word) or anything like that... but it is ridiculously special to me. This action figure of Gonzo in his classic purple tuxedo, with Camilla included, holds the biggest place in my heart for being the very first piece of Muppet merchandise I purchased with my own money when I was 14. It was also what kicked off my Muppet fandom oh those many years ago. I can tell you exactly where I bought Gonzo, and exactly how it was the turning point that changed my life into the Muppety wonderment it has become. I take Gonzo with me whenever I travel alone as my personal good luck charm and to remind me of my humble beginnings, no matter where I find myself.

See? Wasn't that simple and a nice read? That's seriously all you have to do. Type up a paragraph about Your Most Prized Muppet Possession and take a picture of it, send it to us via email to ryguy102390@gmail.com and then we'll collect them all and post them into one big article of prized Muppet awesome!

So email your stuff and we hope to feature you and your prized Muppet possessions on The Muppet Mindset very soon!





The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, ryguy102390@gmail.com

Jun 29, 2011

Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Pepe the King Prawn

Written by Ryan Dosier.

PEPE THE KING PRAWN

Performed by...
Bill Barretta

First appearance...
Muppets Tonight Episode 102: Garth Brooks (1996)

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

Best known role(s)...
Spicy, Spanish king prawn with a penchant for women (of the hot and sexy variety), tutus, popsicle stick puppets, and money. Previously seen as an elevator operator, chef, one-time partner of Seymour, spokesprawn for Long John Silvers, Toto, assistant to Rachel Bitterman, and non-believer of Santa Claus.

Full name...
Pepino Rodrigo Serrano Gonzalez

Well known quotes...
"I am not a shrimp--I am a king prawn, okay!"
"You tell him... and I will smack you. I will smack you like a bad, bad donkey, okay!"

"I like my coffee like I like my womens--a latte."

"Si, and I'm so gosh darn sexy, it hurts."

WHO IS PEPE THE KING PRAWN?
Pepe the King Prawn is not a shrimp--and don't ever try to tell him otherwise, okay? He is the only one of the new Muppet characters introduced in the short-lived television series Muppets Tonight to break the mold and become a part of the main cast of Muppets alongside the likes of Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy.

Pepe was not always a star, however. When he first arrived on the scene in 1996, Pepe was no more than a background, one-note character. In his first appearance in the second episode of Muppets Tonight, Pepe merely hung around in the background. It wasn't until Episode 107: Sandra Bullock where he was fully introduced as one half of a singing/dancing/comedy act with Seymour the Elephant. After Pepe's infamous "El-if-ino" joke bombed with the studio audience, he and Seymour were yanked off stage by a cane and a star was born.

Pepe would appear alongside Seymour throughout the run of Muppets Tonight where they would work as the KMUP Studio cooks, host their own cooking show, "Hey, What Smells (So Good? It's Time to Cook With Seymour and Pepe)," and act as Jason Alexander's dual-conscience.

It wasn't until Muppets From Space (1999) that Pepe first started appearing as a solo. In the film, he lives in the Muppet Boarding House with the rest of the Muppets, but Seymour is nowhere to be seen. Instead, Pepe developed a cheeky friendship with Rizzo the Rat, scamming Gonzo into building a jacuzzi (so they will come, okay?) and joining Kermit, Fozzie, Miss Piggy, and Animal in rescuing Gonzo and Rizzo from C.O.V.N.E.T.

Muppets From Space was a huge turning point for Pepe's career. From then out, he was no longer a cheap act with an elephant; he was now an ad-libbing, extremely funny, somewhat racy, almost anti-Muppet who could hold his own alongside established characters like Gonzo and Kermit. In the early 2000's, Pepe would become one of the main Muppet characters. In fact, from about 2000 to 2002, Pepe appeared more often than Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, and other popular characters. He became so well-loved that in 2002 Pepe became the official spokes-prawn for Long John Silver's restaurants, appearing in national commercials and on their website.

In It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (2002), Pepe was a featured player once again, becoming seduced by the villain, Rachel Bitterman (Joan Cusack), into working for her as an assistant. It was Pepe who saved the Muppet Theater at the end of the telefilm, securing the paperwork to make it an historical landmark. This was Pepe's largest role at that point, practically solidifying himself as one of the main six Muppet characters: Kermit, Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Animal, and Pepe. On the DVD for the TV special, Pepe hosted all of the bonus features with a new segment titled "Inside Pepe's Studio."

The Muppets' Wizard of Oz (2005) saw Pepe's return to stardom and his acting abilities tested as he played Toto, usually a non-speaking part, which he fully made his own, stealing every scene he was in and, according to most fans, becoming the best part of the television movie. To promote the film, Pepe appeared on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson where he got to be racy and raunchy, talking about various women, engagements, and more. Pepe would once again appear on the show in 2008.

In the 2005 Disney DVD re-releases of The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, The Muppet Christmas Carol, and Muppet Treasure Island, Pepe hosted a new special feature segment called "Pepe Profiles" where, on the respective DVDs, he interviewed and profiled the four main Muppets: Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Gonzo the Great, and Fozzie Bear.

When Disney launched its new Muppets.com in 2008, Pepe was one of the six Muppet characters given his own "room" on the site, where new videos of Pepe were showcased. In the videos, Pepe was seen pogo-sticking with Rizzo, riding in the elevator, going to a drive-thru, interviewing celebrities at the Grammys, teaching Tae Prawn Do, developing a new, ultra-popular act: Topo Sticky, and hosting Elevator Bingo, the biggest game show craze since nothing.

2008 was a banner year for Pepe, as he wrote his first book, It's Hard Out Here for a Shrimp: Life, Love, and Living Large offering his special take on women, money, friends, family, and numerous other subjects delivered in humorous quips as dictated to Jim Lewis.

Studio DC: Almost Live! (2008) also featured Pepe fairly prominently, where we saw he and Rizzo acting as managers to Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem, conning Miley Cyrus into performing with them. Normally one to scrap at any form of cash, Pepe and Rizzo stated that they could be paid in "Cash." "All credit cards accepted." "Personal check." "Belgian waffles..." In the second installment of Studio DC, Pepe and Rizzo attempted to sell their new act: "Polka Rap" which combines the two musical styles for an... interesting outcome.

Pepe closed out the year with a major role in A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa (2008) where he traveled alongside Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo, and Rizzo to reach the North Pole and find Santa Claus--even though he spent most of the special arguing the existence of the jolly fat man. In the special he fell for Joy the Flight Attendant (Uma Thurman) and Claire's Mom (Jane Krakowski), tried to get a favor from the mafia, and wound up becoming a fabulous opera singer thanks to a little Christmas magic.

Since then, Pepe has appeared in the Muppet group whenever a large group was shown, including the "Bohemian Rhapsody" viral video (2009), singing "Jingle Bells" with Andrea Bocelli (2009), crooning about the nine ladies dancing in "The 12 Days of Christmas" on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (2009), offering "mini-apple-juice" and "mini-soda" on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (2010), freaking out about a prawn being eaten on America's Funniest Home Videos, and volunteering in most of the promotion for Disney's "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" campaign (2009/2010).

Pepe's most recent role was alongside Cat Cora and Angelo in The Muppets Kitchen with Cat Cora (2010). At the end of every installment, Pepe reminded the viewers where they could find the recipes and more Muppety fun. He also acted as a co-host in the short-form series "Hasty Tasty Cooking Tips."

Pepe appeared for a cameo in one scene of The Muppets in 2011. Pepe was brought on as Miss Piggy's new dance partner after Kermit slighted her. Pepe was crushed by Miss Piggy's talent (and other things) during their rehearsal for a Dirty Dancing-inspired number. Pepe will also appear in Muppets Most Wanted in 2014 in a much more substantial role.

PEPE THE KING PRAWN AND BILL BARRETTA
Bill Barretta has been the sole performer of Pepe since his very first appearance fifteen years ago. Barretta was instrumental in developing not only Pepe's personality, but his mannerisms as well. Pepe's trademark "okay" which comes at the end of many of his sentences comes from Barretta's wife's aunt, who would always tack "okay" on to her sentences even when it wasn't needed. When asked why he thought Pepe rose to the popularity that he has, Barretta answered, "I don’t know exactly. Maybe timing? Or maybe he’s just a little bit more naughty than most of the Muppets and people like naughty puppets?"

So yes, even Pepe's performer can't figure out why he became a star... but I'm sure Pepe could answer that if asked.

WHY DO THE MUPPETS NEED PEPE THE KING PRAWN?
I'll be the first to admit that I'm a little biased when it comes to Pepe--I've had the huge honor of meeting Bill Barretta--but even years before that Pepe was one of my very favorite characters. I just find his mannerisms and ad-libs and interactions so ridiculously funny. He's clueless, but he's conniving. He's menacing, but he has a heart of gold. He's raunchy, but he's naive. He's not your typical Muppet, but he totally is. Where else but a Muppet can you find the same mixture of humor, heart, and cheekiness? Pepe can be placed anywhere--Oz, a bank, a drive-thru, a campfire--and make the situation funny just with a look or a sentence.

I think what I love most about Pepe is that he is so unscripted and wacky all the time. He doesn't stop firing off jokes, or quips, or comments. Pepe really is the uninhibited (okay, not completely uninhibited) showcase of Bill Barretta's comedic and performing talents--talents that I think rival that of any and all Muppeteers. Bill and Pepe's way of delivering a line or interacting with Rizzo, or Kermit, or Seymour, or Gonzo is always hilarious, and all of these things combine to make Pepe one of the great Muppet characters. I dare you to watch the Elevator Bingo sketch on Muppets.com and not agree with me.

Over the past decade or longer, the Muppets haven't exactly been in their prime, and no one would dispute that. But with the inclusion of Pepe, they found a new voice for a new age. It really is a wonder to see how far Pepe has come--and to think that he has been around for 15 years and can still be considered a new character. Hopefully Pepe will steal a few scenes in The Muppets this fall and cement himself as a favorite Muppet character with any and all fans--where he absolutely deserves to be.







The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

Jun 28, 2011

Muppet Maestros - Carmen



Muppet Maestros Part IV: Carmen

As heard on...
Sesame Street ("Operatic Orange," "Toreador Lullaby," various Placido Flamingo moments)
The Muppet Show featuring Beverly Sills
"Habanera" Muppet Viral Video

Hilarie Mukavitz - How many of you out there hear "The William Tell Overture" and think of the Lone Ranger? Anybody here the overture from "The Barber of Seville" and instantly picture Bugs Bunny? When you hear parts of Wagner's Ring Cycle, do you have the overwhelming urge to sing "Kill the wabbit?"  Cartoons and children's programs have introduced many of us to the classics.

For this reason, some day I will go to the opera to see "Carmen." When "La Habanera" comes will I be thinking "Wow that's a great soprano"? No... I'll be picturing an animated orange from Sesame Street

"La Habanera" has been a popular song in the Muppet universe over the years.  The animated orange version was first aired on Sesame Street in 1971. In 2004, opera singer Denyce Graves sang a version of it to Elmo as a lullaby. Miss Piggy sang it in the "Pigoletto" part of the Beverly Sills episode of The Muppet Show in Season 4. Then of course there was the marvelous viral video of "La Habanera" featuring Beaker, Animal, and the Swedish Chef.

"The Toreador Song" from "Carmen" has made a few appearances in Muppetland as well. It was another song in "Pigoletto," Fozzie sang it in the Christopher Reeve episode in the 4th season, and finally Placido Flamingo sang it with a chorus of honkers plus Olivia on Sesame Street.

Now if you'll excuse me... I feel an overwhelming urge to watch "What's Opera Doc?", some "Habanera," and maybe listen to the Weird Al version of "Peter and the Wolf."

Watch all of the sketches and songs mentioned in today's article on Hilarie's custom Muppet-Carmen YouTube playlist!







The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, ryguy102390@gmail.com

Jun 27, 2011

Archaia to Republish Classic Fraggle Rock Comics

James Gannon - Word broke out last week that Archaia Comics, the studio behind various adaptions of Jim Henson properties, is going to reprint the old 1980’s Marvel comics Fraggle Rock series into graphic novels.

Among the stories being reprinted are “The Magic Time Machine,” “The Trouble With Being #1,” “The Monster That Could Be Anything” and “The Doozer Who Wanted to Be a Fraggle.” All those and more will be bound in a softcover book retailing for $9.95. Fraggle Rock Classics vol. 1 will be available on August 31, 2011. (via ToughPigs)
 
While I admit the 80’s Marvel Fraggle comics weren’t the greatest thing, I still find this a great boon to fankind! Here’s why:

1)      These have been long out of print, and finding them at comic stores is a roll of the dice. I was lucky enough to find one issue (reprint of #5, "The Mean Genie" episode adaptation) for a buck a few years back, but it’s safe to assume you’re probably NOT going to walk into your local comic shop and find them. And if you do, they’re probably not going to be in good condition or have the complete collection. 

2)      Speaking of bad condition, these comics will be digitally remastered, recolored, and nice and polished.  Anyone who has early 80’s comics can vouch for me, they tend to deteriorate. They had to use newsprint stock paper and very greasy ink that would bleed through the paper and make the artwork look muddy and murky. And that’s even before the paper yellowed and the ink rubbed off onto other pages. Marie Severin’s Fraggle Rock comic art is spectacular, and needs to shine. The cleanup will do it worlds of good. Face it, the digitally printed, glossy stock of today’s comics spoiled us. And for good reason.

3)      Above all, HEY! It’s Fraggle Rock! What Muppet collector wouldn’t want more Fraggle stuff to collect? And at a reasonable 10 bucks too!

This is what I’ve been calling for since the Great Muppet Comic explosion. Graphic novel reprints of long lost, hard to find material, all remastered to look all sparkling clean and beautiful. I wish that Marvel/Disney takes the hint and clean up and rerelease the Muppet Babies comics in due time. If nothing else, I could see Archaia reprinting the Dark Crystal and Labyrinth comic adaptions published by Marvel as well. I also hope this means that the Fraggles will be a staple of the Jim Henson Company/Archaia Publishing license that they’ll revisit in time with new stories and issues. Having the old comics is great, but having new comics is even better.







The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, ryguy102390@gmail.com

Jun 26, 2011

(Kind of) Weekly Muppet Quotes - Week 8


Casey Daron - The Muppets, from my perspective, looks very similar in tone to The Muppet Show. This week, I really think we should embrace the origin of the Muppets: The Muppet Show. I don’t know about you, but I am extremely excited for the new movie. I mean, Wayne, Wanda, Link, and Beautiful Day Monster... I even spotted the Mutations! This is just amazing. I really think that Jason Segel has captured the true Muppet spirit. Hey, enough of my ranting! I think I should start the quotes!

"Payday? Again?! It was payday last year! Seems to be a habit around here!"
~ Kermit the Frog, The Muppet Show

QUESTION: ARE YOU DATING
"No, we are not dating."
"She says you’re married..."
"Yes I know, Fozzie..."
"She says she loves you."
"I know! I know!"
~ Kermit the Frog and Fozzie Bear, The Muppets on The Muppets

"What is love?"
"Don’t ask me, I never touch the stuff... and it never touches me."
"Well you’re no help!"
"I’m no help!"
~ Wally and Droop, The Muppets Valentine Show

"My problem was my need to tell jokes."
"Yeah... that was our problem too!"
~ Fozzie Bear and Floyd Pepper, The Muppet Show

"Great... just what the world needs, humorous hip-persons!"
~ Gonzo the Great, The Muppet Show

"They aren’t half bad!"
"Nope they’re ALL bad!"
"Do ho ho ho!"
~ Waldorf and Statler, "Keep Fishin’" Music Video






The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, ryguy102390@gmail.com

Jun 25, 2011

The Muppets: The Green Album

Since 2009's D23 Expo, we've had word of a brand new album of Muppet songs covered by famous artists and bands coming our way. And now, nearly two years later, we finally have some actual information on this exciting piece of merchandise! Formerly titled Muppets: Revisited, The Muppets: The Green Album is set for release on August 23rd of this year. Calendar savvy Muppet fans will note that this is exactly three months before the release of The Muppets in theaters, so it's nice to see that Disney's marketing plan will still be going strong come August. But anyway... thanks to folks at ToughPigs, Pitchfork, and the Starbucks Blog (because there is such a thing?), we now have the full track listing and cover art for the album. Check it out below!


THE MUPPETS: THE GREEN ALBUM
  1. "The Muppet Show Theme", OK Go
  2. "Rainbow Connection", Weezer featuring Hayley Williams of Paramore
  3. "Mahna Mahna", The Fray
  4. "Moving Right Along", Alkaline Trio
  5. "Our World", My Morning Jacket
  6. "Halfway Down the Stairs", Amy Lee
  7. "Mr. Bassman", Sondre Lerche
  8. "Wishing Song", The Airborne Toxic Event
  9. "Night Life", Brandon Saller of Atreyu and Billy Martin of Good Charlotte
  10. "Bein' Green", Andrew Bird
  11. "I Hope That Something Better Comes Along", Matt Nathansan
  12. "I'm Going to Go Back There Someday", Rachael Yamagata
So... yeah! This is super exciting and way awesome. I've heard of most of these people covering the songs, and the song choice is inspired. I'm a little confused as to why "Our World" from Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas is included (since the special is owned by The Jim Henson Company), but it's a nice song so I won't complain. I think I'm most excited to hear The Fray's cover of "Mahna Mahna," as they're one of my favorite bands. So... hurry up and get here August! Also, while you're hurrying, bring November along with you.





The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, ryguy102390@gmail.com

Jun 24, 2011

"Being Elmo" Sweeps Baltimore with Kevin Clash

Kevin Clash and Elmo Return Home for “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey”
 

Heather Nadolny - On June 21, a packed house waited in anticipation for a SILVERDOCS premiere, and to see its subjects in person: Elmo, and his creator and longtime puppeteer, Kevin Clash.

In a full evening of events, Clash participated in a discussion at the Silver Spring Civic Center, followed by a red carpet premiere of Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey, produced and directed by Constance Marks, at the AFI Film Institute.

During all of it, the Baltimore native was surrounded by his family, or as he called them "his personal hecklers."

"You can tell who the family is. Before the story gets out, they’re laughing already," he joked, glaring at the front row.

Clash recounted the kind of home he grew up in, where everyone loved to laugh and pick on one another. He shared stories of a ripped up trench coat, performing under a clothesline in the backyard, and throwing his sister’s cosmetics out into the snow.

"I’m glad my mom and dad kept me," he quipped.

Clash also discussed the development of his puppeteering skills, which eventually brought him to Sesame Street.

"I had a lot of great mentors that really supported me."

Those mentors initially included TV personalities Stu Kerr and Bob Keeshan, better known as Captain Kangaroo. Clash became the regular puppeteer on Keeshan’s show, furthering his career in both television and making puppets.

His break came when he saw Kermit Love, who built Big Bird and Snufleupagus, on a TV special. Clash met Love during a school trip, and eventually started performing with the Muppets during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

After Captain Kangaroo was cancelled, Clash joined Jim Henson on the set of Labyrinth, and eventually, joined a new group of puppeteers on the set he’d been dreaming about: Sesame Street.

“Sesame Street has this life that is wonderful,” said Clash. “We call it a street within a street. It’s the people that make the place, and it’s a wonderful place to work.”

It was also, as the film tells, the birthplace of Elmo.

That famous name rippled through the crowds when Clash first brought the little monster out.

"Whenever I hear a child singing, I have to bring out Elmo," Clash joked. "He rests very comfortably, in a nice Coach bag--nothing but the best."

Elmo was initially a failure. Legendary puppeteer Richard Hunt had had enough of trying to create the young character, and literally threw him over to Clash. Clash based the little monster on the children in his mother’s daycare, and it stuck.

"Every character we perform is a part of us," said Clash. "I call it 'Peter Pan Syndrome.' We have so much fun doing what we’re doing. We’re all performers."

Before he knew it, Elmo had taken off, and was requested by children and families alike, all over the world. The film shows Clash on cruises, in Europe, in Japan, as well as doing numerous television appearances.

Even President Obama is Elmo’s friend. During Sesame Street’s recent White House visit, Clash took a picture with the President, and made Elmo eat his face.

"I was up all night thinking the Secret Service would whisk me away the next morning," Clash recounted. "As a puppeteer you know, if you didn’t have the puppet on hand, you’d be arrested."

In addition to the frenzy and famous friends, the film demonstrated Clash’s connection with children through Elmo. There were tearful scenes with Make-A-Wish recipients, as well as schoolchildren who were overjoyed to meet their beloved friend. After the film, he made sure every child present got to hug Elmo.

That, as Clash discussed, is why puppeteering stands apart. "You can’t have a CGI character come up and hug that child."

One particular scene that stood out to the audience, as reflected in the post-screening Q&A, featured 11 year-old Tau, a young puppeteer. The film shows Tau’s visit to Muppet Studios, where he was able to identify every single puppeteer in pictures, and he impressed Kevin Clash with his craft.

Tau was present at the premiere, and never took his puppet, Gregory, off his arm. According to Clash, one of the many joys of his job is seeing new puppeteers emerge.

"That’s how Jim [Henson] wanted it," he said. "He wanted it to be a rainbow of Muppets, a rainbow of monsters."

At the end of the film, Clash brought Elmo out, and danced across the bottom of the rolling credits.  As tears filled his eyes, he looked out across the crowd, and his family, as his and his film’s journey continued in his home state.

"It really is the best playdate in the world."







The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, ryguy102390@gmail.com

Jun 23, 2011

The Best of... Ernie, According to Jarrod Fairclough


Jarrod Fairclough - See?  Didn’t I tell you I’d be back?

Hello sports fans, and welcome to my new series, entitled ‘THE BEST OF:  ACCORDING TO JARROD FAIRCLOUGH.” In each article, I will be showcasing what I personally perceive (oh, that’s alliteration) to be the best of an individual character, based on a viewing session on SesameStreet.org. I’ll be bypassing the famous sketches, such as "Banana in the Ear," "Rubber Duckie," etc., and do some different, possibly more obscure sketches. I’ll be diving straight in, no hoo-ha, no waffling, no going on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on... and on. We begin today with Ernie, and some of my favourite sketches of his.

BANANA TALK

In this sketch, Ernie is speaking to Gladys the Elephant on a banana. Well, he’s pretending to, anyway. And throughout the sketch, he coaxes Bert in to joining in the fun. And while I think this scene is really stolen by Bert, and believe me, it will make an appearance in The Best of Bert, Ernie just plays off him perfectly, showcasing some great chemistry between Steve Whitmire and Frank Oz, who I’m 99% sure is performing Bert here. 

FAVOURITE LINE:  "You know, Gladys, from the circus? You know? Elephant? Big Ears? Trunk?"

BERT AND ERNIE READ TOGETHER

This sketch is Ernie doing what he does best to his old buddy Bert: just ticking him off. Bert goes to read a book about pigeons, and Ernie discusses with him that it’s always good to read when it’s quiet. He then demonstrates some noises that make it hard to read, such as a dog barking (Steve’s had practice – Ernie’s bark sounded just like Sprocket!), and a car honking. He then starts beat-boxing and scatting away to the radio!

FAVOURITE ERNIE LINE: "Or a fire engine, it goes WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO---"

BERT’S HAT

I think I love this sketch. It is just genius, the way that Ernie just doesn’t care that he ruins Bert’s hats, so he doesn’t have to make a decision which one to wear. Sure, the sketch is meant to be about same and different, but I can’t help but think they just made this sketch for the fun of it.

FAVOURITE ERNIE LINE: I don’t really have one for this sketch, because otherwise I’d be typing out the entire thing. Just watch it, and you’ll see what I mean.

BLACKOUT ON SESAME STREET

There’s been a blackout on Sesame Street in the middle of the night! And Ernie can’t decide if he wants to watch television, or listen to the radio, both of which he can’t do because the powers out. Ernie decides to ring someone on Sesame Street to let them know the powers out, but he chooses Oscar, who gets mighty angry! The sketch is brilliantly written, with Ernie’s naivety coming in to play well.  And the ending is just brilliant!

FAVOURITE ERNIE LINE: After being berated by Oscar for ringing in the middle of the night, and with Oscar demanding to know who called him, Ernie coyly and hesitantly replies... "Um... It’s Bert."

DON’T EAT MY PORRIDGE

Now here is a pairing I don’t think we’ve seen enough of... Baby Bear and Ernie! These two play off each other brilliantly! In this sketch, Baby Bear and Ernie discuss the importance of porridge, of which Baby Bear is excited to eat! Ernie informs him that he had porridge that morning, so he isn’t hungry... But someone who is hungry is Goldi-Duckie! Of course, this is just rubber duckie in a wig, but Ernie can’t hold her back, and suddenly Baby Bears porridge has been contaminated by Ernie’s playtime. And make sure you stick around for the end, for Goldi-duckie’s return to Baby Bear’s porridge!

FAVOURITE ERNIE LINE: "What’s that, Goldi-Duckie? You wanna take a nap in Baby Bear’s wee-little bed? It’s just right?"

DRAWING WITH BABY BEAR

Again, another Baby Bear and Ernie sketch, where Ernie again ruins Baby Bear’s fun. This is possibly my favourite Ernie sketch, just because of his playful nature towards Baby Bear’s show. It’s almost as if he knows that he’s ruining it for Baby Bear, but he realizes it’s just so gosh-darn funny! It’s got the same vibe as the Bert’s Hat sketch from before, and you can tell just how much fun Steve was having during this. In the sketch, Baby Bear is doing his own show, and Ernie intervenes and wants to draw along, then deciding to change it up a bit.

FAVOURITE ERNIE LINE: "Maybe I could add a tail! Oh, and some flowers!"

That’s 6 of my favourite Ernie sketches, and believe me, I could find dozens more! But in order to keep this thing short, I’ve decided to stop it there. Now, I realize most of these are Steve Whitmire’s Ernie, but let me assure you that was accidental. It was just that all the Jim Henson sketches were pretty well known, and I wanted more obsure ones.

Honourable mentions to these sketches:

ERNIE PLANS

ERNIE’S PRETEND TEA PARTY

WHAT’S THE NAME OF THAT SONG – My personal favourite rendition of the classic!

Cheers kids, I’ll see you soon...
Jarrod







The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, ryguy102390@gmail.com