May 21, 2014
Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Singing Food
The Muppet Show Episode 208: Steve Martin (1977)
Most recent appearance...
My Muppets Show mobile app game (2013)
Best known role...
Anthropomorphic Muppet fruits, vegetables, bread, cake, etc. that sing or talk
WHO ARE THE SINGING FOOD?
The Singing Food is a collection of anthropomorphic fruits and vegetables and other foods that have appeared in many Muppet productions over the years. They made their debut in an episode of The Muppet Show guest starring Steve Martin, as a collection consisting of a tomato, potatoes, a cabbage, a cauliflower, an asparagus, a cantaloupe, a few bunches of grapes, and a pack of beans, and served as a chorus under the direction of Marvin Suggs. He and the singing vegetables, known as the All-Food Glee Club auditioned with the song "Yes, We Have No Bananas." The singing vegetables also sang the short version of the song in another Muppet Show episode guest starring Jean-Pierre Rampal.
Among the many credits of the Singing Food are appearances in The Great Muppet Caper, The Muppets Take Manhattan, The Muppet Christmas Carol, Muppet Treasure Island, Muppets From Space, The Muppets, The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years, and Muppets Tonight. In almost all of these appearances, the food sings, usually as part of a chorus or back-up to the main singer.
Other known food types include the many Sesame Street fruits and vegetables, which have appeared throughout the show for many years. In contrast to the Singing Food in the Muppet Show universe, most of Sesame Street's Singing Food have black pupils on white eyes. Singing food on Sesame Street appeared in the song "Healthy Food" and the "Healthy Habits for Life" segment that introduced every episode of Season 36.
Over the years, there were many different individual food characters that took supporting roles in various productions. On The Muppet Show we saw an Avocado critic, a singing Cheesecake, and a Japanese cake made by the Swedish Chef. On Muppets Tonight, the Longhorn Cheddar Cheeses were booked to sing with Garth Brooks. In The Muppets Take Manhattan a chorus of singing cakes assisted in "Somebody's Getting Married," in The Muppets a group of Singing Food sang back-up in "Me Party," and in Muppets From Space a Talking Sandwich communicated with Gonzo. We've also seen countless bananas, pies, carrots, eggs, loaves of bread, a jar of orange marmalade, baby asparagus, and plenty of other friendly foods.
WHY DO THE MUPPETS AND SESAME STREET NEED THE SINGING FOOD?
The Singing Food contribute greatly to one of the core ideas of the Muppets: everything and anything can be alive and sing. The Singing Food is part of Jim Henson's grand tradition of anthropomorphizing anything and everything to make for a funny moment. The idea of an eggplant or an avocado singing surely tickled Jim, and they continue to tickle audiences to this day. What's funnier than a scallion with a beautiful voice? And without the Singing Food we never would've gotten this wonderful piece of advice from Rizzo the Rat: "Mother always taught me, never eat singing food."
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org