Answers from Ceris Thomas
1. Who are your three favorite characters from The Muppet Show, Muppets Tonight, The Jim Henson Hour, the Muppet movies, etc. and why?
Kermit the Frog has always been my absolute favorite. I know there is nothing unusual about choosing Kermit, but as much as I love all the Muppets, I keep returning to the crazy one at the centre of all the crazies! The fact that he brought all of these nuts together and somehow manages to keep somewhat sane is something I identify with in a big way.
Pepe the King Prawn makes me laugh--a lot. He's one of the best characters who keeps the anarchy going within the troupe and his dedication to self is something to which I aspire. I'm generally much more selfless--but there are times when you really should put yourself first.
Miss Piggy is the greatest icon, the greatest role model and the greatest female image of the last 30+ years. Every woman who has a sense of self and power and style owes a little bit to her. Her determination and singlemindedness is inspirational!
*The Penguins--cause I love penguins in general and I love when they get flung around in behind the scenes!
2. Who are your three favorite characters from Sesame Street and why?
Ernie & Bert - I know that's two, but as wonderful as they are apart, there's nothing quite like the magic of the two of them together. The way they laugh, the way they make each other laugh, the way they push each other's buttons... it's all gold. I used to practice laughing like them. Still do from time to time.
Grover - he's just perfect. He's always so positive and funny without knowing he's funny. I love the way he keeps trying and interjecting commentary whenever he's working with someone, or ruining their meal or whatever. Plus, he's cute too!
Don Music - because I was learning to play the piano and I often felt that I would "never get it! Never! NEVER!" But each week, he'd be back there, trying again and even though he thought he couldn't get it, he always managed some great songs. He's the epitome of the self-doubting artist and I saw myself there, even when I was little.
3. Who are your three favorite characters from Fraggle Rock and why?
Wembley - he's nuts. And funny. I love the way he dances and is so positive and silly. Plus, that hair!
Cantus - like, really - you have to ask? He was just SO cool, man.
4. What is your favorite television program starring any of Jim Henson's creations (e.g. The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, Dinosaurs, etc.) and why?
Hands down: The Muppet Show. It's the beginning, it's the genesis, it should still be on the air and I'd still be watching it. As a matter of fact, it's still running inside my imagination and I need to go watch another episode. (If only...)
5. What is your favorite Muppet movie and why?
I love them all, for different reasons, but I have to pick The Muppet Movie as it is just sheer perfection. It has enough songs (some later films don't have "enough") and each character gets a good feature moment. The story is simple, clean and leaves room for the comedy and antics. A close second could be Muppet Christmas Carol because of the amount of music and that it has the built in excuse of being able to watch it every year. But then of course there's.... (I better stop now)
6. What is your favorite Muppet/Sesame/Fraggle song and why?
Next you'll want me to choose a favorite child... Depending upon which song I'm listening to, or the mood I might be in, the answer to this can change. But I can always listen to "Rainbow Connection" (pretty much any version), and "I'm Going to Go Back There Some Day." Perfection. But then there's "Life's a Happy Song" and "Sing" and "Can You Picture That?" and... I'll stop now.
7. If you could have dinner with any living Muppet performer who would you choose and why?
Dave Goelz and Steve Whitmire. As a team. One on one side and one on the other. I'd love for them to banter back and forth and for me to get dizzy from the laughter of that tennis match. I'm sure they'd have great stories and they'd keep the conversation going, so I could just listen and hopefully not make a fool of myself during the dinner.
8. If you could tell Jim Henson one thing, what would it be?
"Come back, please."
9. If the President called you and asked to discuss Muppet projects, what would you tell him was the "Greatest Muppet Moment of All Time"?
This is too tough... so I'm going to agree with James Lloyd who said the moment at the end of A Muppet Family Christmas when Jim is washing dishes with Sprocket.
10. What's the name of that song?
When you find out, will you tell me? Cause I'm still singing the La-di-da-di-dum lyrics.
11. If a judge ruled that Grover had to be your personal assistant for a month, what jobs would you have him do?
Make me laugh and be certain to stay cute.
12. In your opinion, what is the worst Muppet production ever made?
Oz. Can't. Even. Ugh. The Muppets themselves were great, but...
13. Who is one celebrity you would love to see cameo in the the next Muppet movie?
Can I be considered a celebrity? No? Hmmmm..... then maybe Daniel Radcliffe or Rowan Atkinson.
14. If you could take a picture with any Muppet, who would you choose and how would you pose?
Well, we'd take our pictures during our dinner outing, so Gonzo and probably Rizzo. I'd like to be dressed in Dickensian garb and for them to have all the costume changes they had in the film, so I'd have a series of photos with those guys. Food would be involved in each photo - just to keep Rizzo happy.
15. What is your favorite piece of Muppet merchandise that you own? (Feel free to include a picture!)
I love all the stories and the behind the scenes info, so I think I'll choose my book collection--which I always want to add to and reread from time to time. I also enjoy my lunch box and a Kermit book bag I acquired at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta.
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, email@example.com