1 The Muppet Mindset: March 2012

Mar 31, 2012

The 2012 Muppet Madness Tournament - FINAL ROUND

CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND
March 30 - April 2
Vote EVERY HOUR

This. Is. MADNESS. Yes, we've officially reached the point where The Muppet Madness Tournament lives up to its name. Round 5, the final round, the Championship. After this, a winner will be declared. This matchup has been predicted by experts from the very beginning, but it's still pretty incredible to me that we're already here. Yes, it's finally time to decide... WALTER vs. KERMIT THE FROG:
Art by the awesome James V. Carroll
I really, really don't know who to pick. This round is virtually anyone's game. Currently, after a day of voting, Walter has a very slight lead over Kermit, but the match is still anyone's to win. When I last checked they were dead even, each with 50% of the vote between them. This is the most exciting Muppet Madness Championship I can remember, and it's such a thrill to watch them go head to head. One can only imagine how many times Walter has passed out since finding out he's not only in the finals, but going up against Kermit... poor kid.

As for my prediction on the winner... I have no idea. The leaders have gone back and forth. Since people are allowed to vote every hour in this round, rampant fans of both Kermit and Walter have been supporting their man/Muppet/frog consistently, giving them alternating leads. Who will remain supreme come the end of voting on April 2nd? My guess... is Walter. It's the risky choice, I know, but I'm confident. Walter has consistently racked up the most votes in every round, while Kermit nearly fell to Rowlf last round. I just don't know that Kermit can sustain a steady lead over Walter to bring him a win.

Yes, I may be a little biased in my support of Walter because I've met him, interviewed him, and basically am him, but what Muppet fan isn't Walter? I mean... yes, Kermit is Kermit and he's the best and he can never be one-upped... but Walter proved himself as an amazing, hilarious, endearing character in The Muppets and will probably continue to do so beyond that. Walter is my pick. But... I can never, ever condemn anyone for voting Kermit. Who could?

Anyway, in semi-self-promotion news, The Muppet Madness Tournament is in the final round of The Atlantic Wire's Battle of the Brackets up against "Go Fug Yourself's Fug Madness." We are currently getting our butt kicked, losing by 85%... but if enough Muppet fans rally, we could pull out the win! How cool would it be for Muppets to win a major bracket contest? (Super cool, that's how cool.) So please, please help us out with a vote! We need it!!

But the most important thing is to vote in The Muppet Madness Tournament!! Vote EVERY HOUR in the Championship and help bring Walter or Kermit to victory!





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

Mar 30, 2012

BEING ELMO: A PUPPETEER'S JOURNEY DVD Review


BEING ELMO: A PUPPETEER'S JOURNEY
DVD Review
Available on April 3rd

Ryan Dosier - Every once in awhile a film comes along that is equal parts inspiring, heart-warming, tear-jerking, funny, fun, and beautiful. One of the few films I've come across recently that has all of these characteristics and so many more is Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey. This near-perfect piece of filmmaking is the work of dedicated and talented folks like director Constance Marks, producer Corinne LaPook, and a whole host of others who did all they could to bring the incredible story of Kevin Clash to the public. As you all (should) know, Being Elmo is currently available on Netflix Instant as well as on iTunes digital download, but on April 3rd (this Tuesday) you'll be able to watch Kevin's amazing life-journey any time you want when the film comes to DVD!

I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey on DVD from the filmmakers, whom I can't thank enough for their continued generosity. I don't know that I, personally, have ever expressed my thoughts on the film itself. There's not enough time for a full, detailed review here (which this film absolutely deserves), but I think I can get my point across by saying that Being Elmo is the greatest documentary I have ever seen--not just Muppet/Sesame Street related. The film has inspired me in more ways than I can express. Following the magical journey of Kevin Clash from child to puppeteer to TV actor to Muppeteer to major Muppeteer to Elmo to producer to director to mentor is truly, truly incredible. No matter your own feelings on Elmo, Kevin Clash is a man to adore and aspire to be. In fact, by the end of the film when Kevin is mentoring young puppeteer Tau Bennett, it is nearly impossible to not be inspired by Kevin and not fall in love with him.

As for the DVD itself, it contains an amazing collection of behind the scenes footage from the film, further interviews, appearances, and more. Of course, it will just leave you wanting more (because as insatiable fans, it's our job to want more, more, more), but what is here is absolutely amazing. I'll break down the collection of features below...
 Some Thoughts from the Filmmakers

This is the longest special feature at 15 minutes, but it is absolutely incredible. There are interviews with the men and women who made this film possible as they talk about (and show off) footage that didn't make it into the film. There are some truly tear-jerking moments here, such as Kevin meeting a fan whose life he influenced greatly, some amazing moments, such as Kevin's mother talking about mowing the lawn (trust me on this), and some laugh out loud, hysterical, perfect moments, such as Bill Barretta stopping his interview to call Kevin and berate him about crab cakes. Yes. Crab cakes. You have to see it to believe it. It's awesome.
Sundance Premiere Q&A with Kevin and the Filmmakers

This is another really cool feature, and one that I think appeared on YouTube back when the Sundance Film Festival was happening. It features some truly moving moments from Kevin as he talks to the audience who saw one of the first screenings of the film. He brings out Elmo for some fun with Tau and his puppet and it includes the moment where Elmo makes a pregnant woman's day. Another wonderful inclusion on this DVD!
Tau Performs in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

This is the most magical of the features on the disc. At only four minutes long, it is still just completely moving and perfect. It features young Tau Bennett as we get to watch him live his dream of performing with the Muppeteers on the Sesame Street float in the Macy's parade--just as Kevin did when he was younger. The feature gives us moments with Matt Vogel, Tyler Bunch, Fran Brill, Carmen Oshbar, Loretta Long, Roscoe Orman, and so many others. But the true magic comes from Kevin and Marty Robinson. Kevin, who greets Tau excitedly and helps him get situated on the float, and Marty, who performs Telly while Tau performs Baby Bear. Marty is hysterical as Telly and Tau has a ton of fun right next to him. It is truly amazing.
Interview with John Tartaglia

When I first saw that this feature would be included on the DVD, I was confused and wondered how it would fit... but it fits so, so beautifully. John Tartaglia, Tony Award-nominated puppeteer explains how he was inspired by Jim Henson and then in turn by Kevin Clash. Kevin went on to mentor John, giving John unprecedented insight. This interview is both insightful and entertaining. John is a Muppet fan who made it big and it's a true treat to hear his stories.

The bonus features for Being Elmo on DVD, and the content int he film itself, almost make up for the lack of Muppeteer presence in The Muppets bonus features. Being able to see these artists at work is just incredible. The candid, one-on-one interviews with folks like Fran Brill, Bill Barretta, Marty Robinson, Caroll Spinney, and even Frank Oz are just pure magic in the film. I could sit for hours and just listen to them talk.

But the true joy of this DVD is Being Elmo itself. It is a work of true artists bringing the story of another true artist to the public. Kevin Clash's story may be old news to some of us Muppet fans, but even so, you are guaranteed to learn something while watching this. Likewise, you are guaranteed to tear up, laugh out loud, get shivers, and be inspired by Kevin's incredible life story and all the good he has done for the world. 

In the film, Kevin says that his goal was to make Elmo about love. He obviously succeeded, but so have the makers of Being Elmo. They have shown the world that not only is Elmo about love, but so is Kevin. His love for Elmo, his love for Sesame Street, his love for Jim Henson, his love for his fans, his love for his family, his love for his co-workers, his love for puppetry, his love for people all shine through like glorious stars as you watch the film. Moments where Kevin sees a sick child or talks about Jim or shows other puppeteers the ropes are the reason this DVD is a must-own for every Muppet fan.

If you haven't already, I highly suggest pre-ordering Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey on DVD from Amazon or just saving up $20 to buy it on April 3rd. You will never regret it and you are sure to treasure this work of art in your collection.






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

Mar 29, 2012

News Update: March 29, 2012

NEWS UPDATE: March 29, 2012

We're thrilled to inform you that friends of the blog, Copper Pot Productions, are producing a hugely exciting new documentary bout Caroll Spinney, the man who is Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch. The documentary is called I Am Big Bird and it won't be out for quite awhile, but Copper Pot has released an incredible trailer for the documentary on their Vimeo site. Watch it below and try to contain your tears and excitement!


I AM BIG BIRD Trailer from Copper Pot Pictures on Vimeo.

Speaking of the wonderful Caroll Spinney, the fine folks at Rock Cellar Magazine have an incredible interview with Mr. Spinney. There are some amazing insights here, such as why he never made any money off of Sesame Street albums, which celebrities he became friends with, and much, much more. It's a truly wonderful, fantastic interview that you simply have to read. Don't miss out on this one!

A few weeks ago we reported about upcoming Muppet vinyl figures from Funko POP! Well, the people at Muppet Wiki have finalized production images for the figures and they look fantastic. The first series includes Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Animal, Dr. Teeth, Mahna Mahna, and Snowth. The Mahna Mahna and Snowth figures look especially awesome, but all of these figures are bound to be must-owns when they hit store shelves in April!

Speaking of April, on April 14th at Carnegie Hall in New York City, they will be hosting an incredible musical performance called "Jim Henson's Musical World." Hosted by the amazing John Tartaglia, the performance will feature an incredible array of special guests are slated to appear and perform. They include Muppet/Sesame Street performers Dave Goelz, Kevin Clash, Eric Jacobson, David Rudman, Matt Vogel, Leslie Carrara-Rudolph, Karen Prell, Pam Arciero, Stephanie D'Abruzzo, Rollie Krewson, Lara MacLean, Sesame Street humans Alison Bartlet (Gina), Sonia Manzano (Maria), Loretta Long (Susan), Roscoe Orman (Gordon), Bob McGrath (Bob), Alan Muraoka (Alan), and Nitya Vidyasagar (Leela). And it that's not enough to either get you to buy a ticket or make you seethe with jealousy, then wait till I tell you that Paul Williams will also be there. (So will SNL alumnus Rachel Dratch, but no one seems to know why.) If you're in New York City, or if you have the money to travel there on April 14th, you should absolutely buy your ticket to see this performance!!

A while back we reported that the new Disney Cruise Line vessel, The Disney Fantasy, would feature a brand new interactive mystery game on board starring the Muppets. Well, this game is The Muppets Midship Detective Agency, and with the inaugural launch of the Disney Fantasy came the inaugural launch of the game. The awesome people who run Inside the Magic have posted a video on YouTube with full gameplay footage of the game on board. It's a lot of fun. Bobo, Beauregard, Lew Zealand, Rizzo, and lots of Pepe... it's fantastic! You'll note that there are instances where Steve Whitmire is NOT doing Kermit's voice, but since it's still in the early stages of the game, that's sure to be corrected down the line.








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

Mar 28, 2012

Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Mokey Fraggle

MOKEY FRAGGLE

Performed by...
Kathryn Mullen

First appearance...
Fraggle Rock Episode 101: "Beginnings" (1983)

Most recent appearance...
The Muppet Celebrate Jim Henson (1990)

Best known role...
Sweet, poetic, artistic, caring, daring member of the Fraggle Five; Red Fraggle's roommate; Lanford's caretaker

WHO IS MOKEY FRAGGLE?
Mokey Fraggle is artistic, caring, and calm (almost to a fault). She enjoys painting, singing, creating, writing, reading, and loving her friends and her fellow living things. She has shown compassion for Doozers, Gorgs, piles of trash, vicious plants, and many other things. Mokey cares for everyone and everything, yet she is not without her faults. She has stopped war, started revolutions, ended revolutions, faked her own funeral, and attempted to join the Minstrels. Through it all, however, Mokey remains loyal and dedicated to her friends.

Mokey's relationship with Gobo Fraggle is interesting. At times she can act like his older sister, other times his babysitter, other times romantic sparks ignite between them. One thing is certain however, and that is that Mokey and Gobo share a passion for discovery. Mokey enjoys discovering new life and things to admire, while Gobo enjoys discovering new caves and paths. Their most prominent moments together occur in episodes such as "New Trash Heap in Town," where Gobo must bring Mokey back down to earth after becoming the new trash heap goes to her head. Mokey may not be the most prominent of Gobo's friends, but she is certainly one of the most valuable.

With Boober, Mokey shares a similar relationship like her relationship with Gobo. At times she appears to chide Boober forcefully, at other times she chides him lovingly, playfully even. An older sister role seems to be what Mokey shares with most of the Fraggles, but with Boober it seems to be a little more important. For instance, in the episode "Marooned," Mokey is completely mortified and worried for Red and Boober's safety when they are trapped under a rock. She is almost unable to function with her worry. Boober even travels back in time with Mokey in the episode "Mokey, Then and Now."

Wembley and Mokey have not really had many important story moments together. The most prominent was in "Mokey, Then and Now," when Wembley joined Boober and Mokey as they traveled back in time and visited the Fraggles of the past. Despite their small number of stories together, Mokey and Wembley appear together quite often, almost any time the other Fraggles are shown as a group. Even though they don't have many interactions, they are still very good friends.

Through it all, Mokey's best friend in Fraggle Rock is Red Fraggle. Not only are Red and Mokey roommates, but they share more important moments together than almost any other pair on the show. Their relationship first started to become interesting in the episode "I Want to Be You," where Red attempted to change her self to be like Mokey. This started their best friend relationship, which would last throughout the show. In "Fraggle Wars," Red attempted to save Mokey from the Fraggles in Fraggle Cave. In "A Cave of One's Own," Red and Mokey decide to move in together, finding it much more difficult to live together with their differences than they thought. Red often feuds with Mokey's pet plant Lanford, whom Mokey adores and Red despises. Despite all of their differences, they remain best friends, and make a great duo.

MOKEY FRAGGLE SONGS
Mokey has performed numerous songs throughout the course of Fraggle Rock. These are just some of her most popular and famous songs...
  • "Lose Your Heart and It's Found" with The Minstrels
  • "Blanket of Snow, Blanket of Woe" with Philo and Gunge
  • "A Cave Our Own" with Red Fraggle
  • "Thimble Beetle Song" with Red and Gobo
  • "I'd Give My Soul"
  • "Sunlight and Shadow"
  • "Perfect Harmony" with Marjory the Trash Heap, Junior Gorg, and a Doozer
  • "Sail Away" with the Fraggle Five
  • "Ragtime Queen"
  • "Helping Hand" with Gobo Fraggle
  • "Time to Live as One" with the Fraggles
  • "Why?"
MOKEY FRAGGLE EPISODES
  • Episode 106: "The Preachification of Convincing John"
  • Episode 119: "The Great Radish Famine"
  • Episode 122: "Mokey's Funeral"
  • Episode 124: "New Trash Heap in Town"
  • Episode 207: "Mokey and the Minstrels"
  • Episode 217: "Fraggle Wars"
  • Episode 220: "A Cave of One's Own"
  • Episode 305: "Blanket of Snow, Blanket of Woe"
  • Episode 310: "The Secret Society of Poobahs"
  • Episode 320: "The Incredible Shrinking Mokey"
  • Episode 408: "A Brush with Jealousy"
  • Episode 508: "Mokey, Then and Now"
WHY DOES FRAGGLE ROCK NEED MOKEY FRAGGLE? 
Mokey is a perfect member of the Fraggle Five. She acts as the oldest of the group, taking care of the others and just about everyone else--including Marjory the Trash Heap. Her friendship with all of the other Fraggles and her dedication to doing what's right, even when it isn't what's popular, are what make Mokey so essential. She paints, she writes, she sings, and she helps make Fraggle Rock a great place to live for every creature that lives there.












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

Mar 27, 2012

The Muppet Madness Tournament 2012 - ROUND 4

ROUND 4
March 27 - March 29
Vote EVERY 3 HOURS

Wow. It's already the second-to-last round of The 2012 Muppet Madness Tournament. There are only four contestants left, which is absolutely crazy to me! My how the time flies... Anyway. With only four contestants left, we only have two matchups to predict this week (thank goodness). And so here come our predictions!

WALTER vs. NEIL PATRICK HARRIS - After an insanely close matchup between Neil Patrick Harris and Jim Parsons in Round 3, it looks like Walter will walk away with yet another blow-out victory here. It's amazing how well Walter has done in this tournament. Every one of his matches have been won by a landslide, and I won't be surprised if the only one that doesn't end in a landslide is the championship round. Poor NPH, though. He narrowly, but deservedly, pulled it out over Jim Parsons. Oh well.

KERMIT THE FROG vs. ROWLF THE DOG - Wow. Awesome. This might be my favorite matchup so far. Two of Jim Henson's most beloved, and most self-reflexive, characters going head to head. I think it's obvious to everyone that Kermit will be winning this round... but I'd love to see Rowlf lick the competition, however unlikely that may be. Either way, we're in for a very exciting championship. The thought of Walter vs. Kermit makes me giddy with excitement. I have NO idea who will pull that one out for a win.

So that's Round 4! Two predictable Final Four matches but a whole lot of fun. Go vote!! This round you get to vote every three hours, so vote often! 

And now it's time for my favorite part of this tournament: the artwork. Our good friend James Carroll has completed an amazing piece for the Final Four which I can't talk highly enough about... so just check it out below and LOVE IT!





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

Mar 26, 2012

Muppetology 101 - Muppets: The New, The Old, and The Rejects, Pt. 1

Greetings, students! Did you have a nice spring break? Good... because that's what I called these past few weeks where I forgot I had this class to teach. In the continuing of my laziness, today in Muppetology 101 we have a guest professor, Nicholas Napoli, here to teach you today. Nicholas has a pair of lectures here that discuss new Muppets and how they are integrated in with the older characters. Enjoy it!

Nicholas Napoli - The Muppets have returned to the world of cinema after twelve long years of TV specials, online videos, and a boring Oz remake but now they're back on the big screen along with new Muppet faces in the group; new Muppets to hunt down for our collections. New Muppets are odd beasts. There are some hits, some misses, and one that is just as big a Muppet fan as we all are!

After sixteen years of Muppet History it is finally safe to say that Pepe the King Prawn, Clifford, Bobo Bear, Johnny Fiama, Sal Minella, Dr. Phil Van Neuter as well as a few others are no longer considered the "new Muppets," no longer the new kids in school, no longer have to prove themselves to be as good as The Muppet Show core group of characters; they are now and forever part of Muppet History whether we like it or not. Luckily we really shouldn't mind because honestly we got some amazing characters along the way. Some might have been a little unbelievable, some were full of bubbles, some were annoying, but a handful of those characters actually worked.

Kermit may have been properly introduced to us on Sesame Street but it wasn't until he began hosting The Muppet Show in 1976 that we as a fan base were finally introduced to The Muppets. So from that year onward, those were the Muppets which included Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Scooter, Sam Eagle, Dr. Bunsen and Beaker, Rowlf the Dog, The Swedish Chef, Dr Teeth and The Electric Mayhem, plus over one-hundred more!

Only one Muppet could ever be added to the group so easily and be loved by fans instantly... and that Muppet would have been Skeeter, not animated cartoon Baby Skeeter, but actual Muppet Skeeter. Alas, The Jim Henson Company decided never to go there and instead were daring enough to introduce a group of new Muppets. What made them even more fearless was the fact that they introduced most of them all on one show!

After The Muppet Show ended our first real new Muppets were introduced in The Muppets Take Manhattan with Jill, Bill, and Gill Frog, all three of whom I think worked really well but I'm glad that they were left behind in Manhattan. Beth Bear was also introduced in Manhattan and although she would have made a great partner for Fozzie pairing up the main three Kermit and Miss Piggy, Gonzo and Camilla, and Fozzie with Beth Bear, I'm still glad she decided to leave the Muppet cast. This was also the first time Yolanda Rat, Masterson Rat, Chester Rat, and Tattooey Rat were actually introduced as characters as opposed to just being rats. In my opinion they all worked really well. Yolanda and the other rats should also have received much more screen time during their years with the Muppets.

One thing all of the above characters have in common is that they were all developed under the supervision of the great Jim Henson. Even Waldo C. Graphic was the creation of Jim Henson. Waldo was and is a great character that should have been used more alongside the Muppets in projects, before all of these other computer animated characters took over. In fact, I truly believe Waldo as a character would still fit in perfectly today alongside the Muppets, perhaps as one of Dr Bunsen Honeydew's latest mishaps?

Not counting the other characters from The Jim Henson Hour (Digit, Leon, Vicki, etc.), the rest of the new character we have been introduced to since then are considered post-Jim Henson characters; characters to join the Muppet family without Jim Henson's say so. The Muppet Christmas Carol introduced us to Betina Crachit, Belinda Crachit, and Peter Crachit, all great characters, used appropriately for the movie and then never again which I actually prefer. But if I'm honest I would have voted to keep Betina and Belinda over Andy and Randy from Muppets Tonight.

We were also introduced to three new Muppets in the form of Ghosts. The Ghost of Christmas Present, although a great character, would have been so much better if Sweetums had played that role, and the Ghost of Christmas Future would have been ideal for Uncle Deadly or any other familiar faced Muppet Monster to have shown off their talent. And although Bean Bunny was introduced in The Tale of The Bunny Picnic and used in The Jim Henson Hour, was great! I’m so glad he stuck around and as a child I remember how excited I was that he sounded just like Wembley Fraggle.

Nearing the end of our Muppet Movie list we come to Muppet Treasure Island. I love this movie because two of my all-time favourite Muppet characters were introduced in this movie. They were introduced in this movie but continued on as a duo later on Muppets Tonight, and sadly have never been used since. I'm taking about no other than Polly Lobster and Clueless Morgan (and sometimes Mad Monty). They would have made a great addition to the evil/good side of the Muppet family. Polly Lobster and Clueless Morgan could have easily taken on all the roles Bobo Bear has been forced to play up to this day. Even with Mad Monty still in the mix, these three could still work today and I really wish they would be brought back. A whole slew of new Muppet Pirates were actually introduced in this movie too, many who later re-appeared in The Muppets` Wizard of Oz.

Then came Muppets Tonight where we met Clifford, Pepe the King Prawn, Seymour, Bobo the Bear, Johnny Fiama, Sal Minella, Big Mean Carl, Mr Poodlepants, Dr Phil Van Neuter, Mulch, Bill the Bubble-Guy, Mama Fiama, Snookie Blyer, Zippity Zap, Droop... I mean Nigel, Carter, Howard Tubman, David Hoggselhoff, Spamela Hamderson, Andy Pig, Randy Pig, Captain Pighead... want to introduce anymore lame new Pigs? Oh, and let's not forget the memorable Three Elvises. Not one, not two but three!

I don't know about you guys but that took a lot out of me, give me about a week to recover and I'll be back.














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

Mar 25, 2012

Coverage of THE MUPPETS Walk of Fame Ceremony

Gina Selim - On March 20th 2012, The Muppets finally received their long-overdue star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. By 10:30am a huge group had gathered, consisting of Muppet fans, photographers, and tourists visiting the El Capitan Theater trying to see what was going on. Bill Barretta and Steve Whitmire had passed by once or twice to sign autographs for the fans who had been out early in the morning, but it was a waiting game until 10 minutes before the ceremony for any excitement to really kick up.

The family and friends of the Muppeteers started to fill the VIP seats, then Brian Henson, Lisa Henson, and Rich Ross came out, James Bobin peeked out from another viewing area... and suddenly it was time to begin. The host, whose name I can't recall, but who was rocking a sweet Kermit necktie, started off the event praising the history of the Muppets and calling out the names of many Muppets to the cheers of fans. He noted that the use of celebrity cameos and signature soundtracks are a hallmark of all seven Muppet films. He also touched on the staying power of the characters even after The Muppet Show ended. You can watch all of his speech on YouTube.

He soon introduced Rich Ross, Chairman of the Disney Studios. Rich acknowledged how fitting it was for the star to be in front of the El Capitan which, as we all know, played the part of The Muppet Theater in The Muppets. As well as being across the street from the Kodak Theater where the Muppets garnered their first Academy Award. He goes on to recognize the great work of the Muppeteers who you "never get to see, but you get to see those incredible characters." He then graciously took the moment to lead into Lisa Henson's speech by noting that her and Brian Henson were in attendance as well.

The host guy came back up to introduce Lisa as the CEO of The Jim Henson Company and to praise her for the success of Dinosaur Train, Sid the Science Kid, and the upcoming Pajanimals. Lisa stepped up and told the crowd that the Walk of Fame on this Street of Dreams was fitting for the Muppets as well as Jim Henson's legacy. She credited the crew Jim surrounded himself with for helping him achieve his dreams, including Frank Oz, Jerry Juhl, Don Sahlin, Jane Henson, and others. For all the efforts of Jim and his team, the world fell in love with the Muppets. She then thanked the Walt Disney Company for the recent success of the Muppets and noted that Jim had always wanted it to be the home for the Muppets. She was thrilled by the location of the star, so close to her father's star and Kermit's star. Finally she sang a line, "Look at us, here we are, right where we belong... and yes they do belong, Thanks to you, the fans" as she pointed out to the crowd. You can watch Lisa's speech on YouTube as well.

Finally it was the moment everyone was looking forward to. The Muppets were going to "magically" appear and we could see them do what they do. Animal, Pepe, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Kermit, and Walter all popped out! Kermit spoke on behalf of the group. They took turns noting other stars on the walk of fame that seemed fitting to be notable to each one; Fozzie mentioned Milton Berle, Walter mentions Don Knotts, Gonzo: Edgar Bergen, Pepe hilariously calls out Judge Judy, and then Miss Piggy mentions Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, and Norma Desmond, to which Kermit replies, "Actually Piggy, Norma Desmond is a fictional star." and Piggy says "Aren't they all?" (wocka wocka!!). Miss Piggy changes the subject and asks when she can perform her big musical number, then Pepe asks when they will be presented with the Big Check. The star plaque, which is generally given to the one person getting the star, is then fought over, mostly by Pepe and Gonzo. The host guy then officially declares it "Muppet Day" in Hollywood. Watch the hilarious video on YouTube and see for yourself.

Sweetums is then called out to help unveil the star, and as soon as the cover is lifted, confetti canons are fired shooting multi-colored confetti, feathers, and puffballs all over the place. Then Sweetums came out with autographed Muppet Blu-rays and started to throw them into the crowd! When the proverbial confetti smoke cleared, The Muppets posed for photos with Rich, Brian, and Lisa, and eventually all the big wigs got their photo taken with the Muppets. Afterwards, the Muppeteers emerged from behind their box and all posed for photos together in front of the star. Dave Goelz, Eric Jacobson, Bill Barretta, Peter Linz, Matt Vogel, and David Rudman all eventually made their way to the crowd of fans and autograph-hounds and spent close to an hour signing autographs and taking photos. It was a great experience as a Muppet fan, to see the Muppets and the puppeteers get acknowledged for what they do. But even better, that after being crammed in a box and performing, that these puppeteers were kind enough to come by and spend so much time meeting fans when they don't have to. It was really cool of them. So... Thanks guys, for signing my CD!!

This was a once in a lifetime event, a great moment in Muppet history. And I'm completely lucky to have been there. A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Congratulations Muppets, you deserve it!
Pictures come courtesy of Gina Selim and Disney D23. Huge special thanks to Gina for her coverage of the event and quite a few other awesome things!






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