Sesame Street - The always consistently awesome Sesame Street continued that in their 44th season. The new segment "Cookie's Crumby Pictures" really showcased the full ferocity of Sesame's parody abilities in fantastic ways. "The Hungry Games: Catching Fur" parody will surely go down as a Sesame classic. I also loved the special street story honoring Jerry Nelson, some new "Elmo: The Musical" segments, two new Guy Smiley sketches, and plenty of other things. Plus, a major, major shoutout to the amazing Ryan Dillon, who has saved Elmo and made the transition to a new performer not only easy, but simply amazing. And kudos to our spectacular friend Matt Vogel who has done the same with Count von Count.
The Muppet Performers - There aren't enough words for these outstanding people who perform our favorite characters. This year I got to visit them in their element--on the set of Muppets Most Wanted. I'm thankful for Peter Linz, my indescribably amazing friend who has truly made my year in many ways, but the biggest of all was inviting me onto the set. I'm thankful for Bill Barretta and his family who have shown me nothing but pure friendship and kindness for three years straight. I'm thankful for Matt Vogel who is hilarious, generous, and brilliant--I've listened to the latest album from his band The Mighty Weaklings more times than I can count. I'm thankful for Dave Goelz for doing an interview with me this year that is truly one of the things I'm proudest of. I'm thankful for David Rudman for not congratulating me on graduating (long story) and for eating a cookie. I'm thankful for Eric Jacobson inviting me to lunch (long story) and for calling me a stalker. I'm thankful for Steve Whitmire being a joy and a friend every time I see him... and for helping Kermit the Frog say my name.
Whoopi Goldberg and Ricky Gervais - Both of these huge names interacted with me on Twitter this year, and I think that's just amazing.
Jim Henson: The Biography - This new book covering every inch of Jim Henson's life was a true Muppet miracle. What Brian Jay Jones brought to the Muppet fandom with this book can never be adequately expressed. He explored and explained and expressed Jim's life so purely and so simply (and yet so not simply at all) in 500 pages of wonderful, wonderful storytelling. The biography is never boring, always informative, and always interesting. I'm so thankful that this book exists. If you haven't read it, you're severely missing out.
Muppet fans - Every year I'm more and more thankful for this wonderfully weird group of people who support the Muppets and support our efforts here at The Muppet Mindset. It's a joy interacting with people who are so knowledgable, passionate, and fun. Specifically I have to thank Mitchell Stein, Jamie Carroll, Chris Stulz, Ryan Roe, Dave Hulteen, Arianne Gallagher, Kyle Mahoney, Joel Swanson, Julia Gaskill, Michael Wermuth, all of my Muppet friends on Tumblr, Abigail Maughan, Michael Baldasare, and Shane Keating. Plus, The British Correspondent. Oh, and Joe Hennes, I guess. And the great, glorious, grandiose Jarrod Fairclough.
Everybody Else - I'm thankful for John Tartaglia, who is one of the most purely talented people I know, and because he did an awesome interview with us. I'm thankful my friend Joe Bailey, who has given me so many tips I'll always treasure. I'm also beyond thankful for some folks at Disney who include Debbie McClellan, Raymond Persi, Kevin Frawley, Darrell Borquez, John Bernstein, Jessica Bardwil, and Tracy Gilbert. Plus Brian Jay Jones, Cristina Barretta, Gene Barretta, Nathan Danforth, Bonnie Erickson, David Rosenberg, Dave LaMattina, Matt Wilkie, and Rachel Herrick, for reasons they're well aware of. Also everyone at The Jim Henson Company, who keep Jim Henson's legacy alive and well.
Well now this is starting to sound like a "The Author Wishes to Thank..." sections of an autobiography, so I should probably wrap it up. So last but not least, I'm thankful for all of you. Anyone who reads this site, anyone who contributes, anyone who likes our stuff on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram... wherever you are, however you've found us, I'm thankful for you.
Wishing everyone a very, very happy Thanksgiving with your family, friends, strangers at Wal-Mart, or wherever you may be!
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org