Michael Wermuth, Jr. - We all know the current, big-time Muppet fan sites out there: The Muppet Mindset, Muppet Wiki, Muppet Central, and ToughPigs. But there are also a lot of great Muppet fan sites of the past that have long-since been deleted. Sure, many of the older sites may not be as good as the four mentioned above, but at the time they were online they were among the greatest. Many of them discontinued before the greater sites of today, which have become an improvement. And today I’d like to pay tribute to these Muppet fan sites of the past.
First I'll talk about the very first Muppet fan site I ever saw: "Muppets and Stuff" by Jon Cooke. I had just heard about the internet in fall 1996 and somebody printed out some pages from the site for me to enjoy. Muppets and Stuff included a video guide listing almost every video release at the time, a Muppets Tonight section featuring an F.A.Q. for the show and song lyrics, an episode guide for the first 96 episodes of Muppet Babies, and a guide to Muppet fast food premiums. While primarily a Muppet website, this site also had pages on a number of other things, like Looney Tunes and Tiny Toon Adventures. This was not just the first Muppet website I saw, but unfortunately also one of the first to be deleted. Within a few months, Jon Cooke decided to delete all the Muppet content and change the site's title to "Cartoons and Stuff." Jon Cooke now runs the great "Golden Age Cartoons" website.
Now I’ll talk about a site I'm sure every Muppet fan who was online in the 1990s remembers: "Muppets Home Page" by Bill Sherman. Although updates to this site seemed to be few and far between from 1997 and 2001, this was perhaps the best site at the time for Muppet information. It had the Muppology, which listed many different Muppet things (movies, specials, episodes of TV shows, books, and more), there was an album guide and a "Muppet wish list," there were episode guides for The Muppet Show, Muppets Tonight, Fraggle Rock, Dinosaurs, Sesame Street, and The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss.
"Chris's Fraggle Rock Page" by Chris Vaugh was incredibly comprehensive. It included a detailed episode guide listing the main plots, "Doc and Sprocket" subplots, advice from the Trash Heap, postcard messages from Traveling Matt, and lists of songs and characters who make special appearances. The site also had a video guide and a listing of every character from the show, including a list of all episode appearances for pretty much every character who wasn't a main character. From what I understand, this was all thanks to Jerry Juhl giving the webmaster a copy of "The Encyclopedia Fragglia," a special guide made by Karen Prell during production of the show, in which she noted all things that appear in each episode and gave copies of to the cast and crew.
The Kermitage website by Michael Dixon was the first and only Muppet website approved of by The Jim Henson Company. This was intended to primarily be a guide to Muppet collectibles, in addition to having various episode guides and such. Unfortunately, the site didn't go too far, but what ended up on the site was great. The first thing to come to the site was a Muppet Show episode guide, listing plots, sketch rundowns, and notes. A Muppet Show character guide came later and helped me learn the names of quite a few characters and also to learn about quite a few characters I didn't know about at all. An incomplete version of the collectibles guide finally came out in 2005, and was the last of the site's updates.
I miss those sites.
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org