1 The Muppet Mindset: Joey Mazzarino
Showing posts with label Joey Mazzarino. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Joey Mazzarino. Show all posts

Jul 28, 2014

Comic Con Street

San Diego Comic Con was held over the weekend, and as we noted in our News Updates, Sesame Street and The Jim Henson Company both held panels at the world's biggest fan convention. Updates on the Henson panel are still coming in, but the Sesame Street panels were a major success.

Our friends at Nerdist.com have a great recap of the main Sesame Street panel, which featured Eric Jacobson and Grover, Joey Mazzarino and Murray, David Rudman and Cookie Monster, and Carol-Lynn Parente (and hosted by Nerdist's own Chris Hardwick).

The first panel held for Sesame Street was a conversation with the Muppet performers and Muppets, hosted by the amazing Zachary Levi. Lucky for us non-Comic Con attendees, NerdHQ filmed the entire panel for us. It's half an hour long, and 100% delightful. I highly, highly recommend watching it. Joey Mazzarino and Murray steals the show.

Earlier that day, Sesame Street took to Vine to show off Bert's new cosplay costume. Is he Bertman? Batbert? The world may never know.

Then, Murray presented a special edition of "Word on the Street."

And finally, Cookie Monster found his favorite Comic Con costume.

Sesame Street also shared a lot on Instragram from the photo shoot available with Grover, Murray, and Cookie Monster later in the day. Check out some of the great photos below!

Chris Hardwick with his furry friends.

The Nerdist panel.

Zachary Levi with the gang.

Bertman scales the building.

Chris Hardwick with Grover.

Our friend Gina Selim with Bert!

We'll be back with more Comic Con coverage as it comes down the pipeline!

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

Jun 13, 2014

News Update: June 13, 2014

JUNE 13, 2014

Netflix is the new streaming home for both The Muppet Movie and The Great Muppet Caper. Both films are now available to watch on Netflix Instant service. So if you don't have both films on DVD, Blu-ray, VHS, or laser disc, there's finally a way for you to watch these Henson/Muppet classics! If you don't have access to any of these means... I'm so sorry. With these additions, this leaves only The Muppet Christmas Carol, Muppet Treasure Island, The Muppets, and Muppets Most Wanted as the only Muppet feature films not on Netflix. Hopefully these will be added soon as well.

As we reported in our last News Update, Archaia is publishing a new graphic novel based off an unproduced 1968 screenplay from Jim Henson and Jerry Juhl called The Musical Monsters of Turkey Hollow. The graphic novel will feature art from the extremely talented Roger Langridge (of The Muppet Show Comic Book fame). USA Today officially announced the project a few days ago, and our friends over at ToughPigs.com have done a bang-up job of collecting all of the info in one convenient place. Check it out! The graphic novel will release in stores this October!

The folks over at The 13th Dimension website recently posted a fantastic tribute to the late John Henson. The tribute goes in depth with John's career as both a puppeteer and an artist. The author, Aimee LoSecco, notes how John's work was always larger than life, yet completely relatable, which is one of the finest descriptions of the man I've heard. The whole tribute is very beautiful and I suggest giving it a read, plus you get to see some of John's rarely-seen Kermit golfing illustrations (see right).

A few weeks ago, Disney announced the release of Disney Infinity 2.0, a sequel to their ultra-popular Disney Infinity video game/toy system. With this announcement, it was revealed that Marvel characters would be playable in the game and a whole slew of new Power Discs (in-game items) were revealed as well. One of these Power Discs is Miss Piggy's U.S.S. Swinetrek (see right), which allows players to bring the Swinetrek into the game and ride it. Always great to see the Muppets getting more representation in the Disney family!

This week, Variety published an article interviewing the writers of Sesame Street, Joey Mazzarino and Belinda Ward, about the upcoming, groundbreaking 45th season of the show. The article is really interesting, discussing everything from their spot-on "Homelamb" parody to the challenges of writing for both kids and adults. It's incredibly interesting.

Last but not least, last week Ricky Gervais tweeted the picture below, revealing that he had filmed a guest spot on Sesame Street, presumably for the upcoming season. I'm so glad to see Ricky is still working with the Muppets and coming back to Sesame Street!

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

May 2, 2014

Sesame Street's Daytime Emmy Nominations - 2014

Every year I'm always eager to see how many Daytime Emmy nominations Sesame Street garners--and every year it's in the double digits, which blows me away. This year is no different, as Sesame Street has received 15 nominations for Season 44. Below is the list of all 15 nominations for Sesame Street:
  • Outstanding Pre-School Children’s Series
    • Sesame Street
  • Outstanding New Approaches – Enhancement to a Daytime Program or Series
    • Sesame Street
    • Sesame Street: Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration
  • Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Series
    • Leslie Carrara-Rudolph (as Sigrid, Carrie, Flantine, Velvet and Old Lady)
    • David Rudman (as Baby Bear and Cookie Monster)
    • Joey Mazzarino (as Stinky, Murray, and Davy Jones)
  • Outstanding Writing in a Children’s Series
    • Sesame Street (Head Writer: Joey Mazzarino; Writers: Molly Boylan, Annie Evans, Christine Ferraro, Emily Kingsley, Luis Santeiro, Ed Valentine, Belinda Ward, John Weidman)
  • Outstanding Directing in a Children’s Series
    • Sesame Street (Kevin Clash, Ken Diego, Joseph Mazzarino, Scott Preston, Lisa Simon, Matt Vogel, Nadine Zylstra)
  • Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Direction
    • Sesame Street (Dan Kelley, Lighting Designer)
  • Outstanding Achievement in Multiple Camera Editing
    • Sesame Street (Tom James, Supervising Editor; Jesse Averna and John Tierney, Editors)
  • Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing – Live Action
    • Sesame Street (Chris Prinzivalli, Sound Mixer; Michael Barrett and Michael Croiter, Re-Recording Mixers; Dick Maitland, SFX Mixer)
  • Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Live Action
    • Sesame Street (Michael Barrett and Chris Prinzivalli, Supervising Sound Editors; Michael Croiter, Supervising Music Editor; Jorge Muelle, Music Editor; Chris Sassano, Sound Editor; Dick Maitland, Sound Effects Editor)
  • Outstanding Original Song
    • "ABCs of Moving" (Chris Jackson, Composer; Joey Mazzarino, Lyrics)
    • "Rhymes with Mando" (Lin-Manuel Maranda, Composer; Luis Santeiro, Lyrics)
  • Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design/Styling
    • Sesame Street (Costume Designers/Muppets: Erin Slattery Black, Elizabeth Hara, Michelle Hickey, John Douglas James, Rollie Krewson, Lara Mclean, Colette Nickola, Anny Ozar, Connie Peterson, Jane Pien, Sierra Schoening, Polly Smith, Jason Weber; Costume Designers: Brian Hemesath, Jared Leese)
As you'll no doubt note, Leslie Carrara-Rudolph is not nominated for Abby Cadabby. The Emmy nominations are chosen based on episode submitted, and apparently Abby was not in the episode that Leslie is nominated for. How amazing is it that she is still nominated without even needing Abby?

We at The Muppet Mindset would like to offer our huge, heartfelt congratulations to everyone nominated for Sesame Street. Special congratulations go out to our friends Leslie Carrara-Rudolph, David Rudman, Joey Mazzarino, and Matt Vogel on their extremely well-deserved nominations.

The 41st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards winners will be announced on June 22nd.

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

Jan 22, 2014

Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Bug

Written by Michael Wermuth.


Performed by...
Joey Mazzarino

Most notable appearance...
The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland (1999)

Best known role...
Huxley's right-hand man--err... bug.

Bug is one of the most prominent characters in The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland. He works (somewhat reluctantly) for the villainous Huxley. Bug is Huxley's most prominent minion in Grouchland. His duties include flying Huxley's helicopter, playing games with Huxley by himself (and Huxley still wins, despite not playing), making Huxley's breakfast, telling Huxley what the newspaper says about him (since Huxley can't read), and assisting with Huxley's musical number (and marveling at his singing voice). Though often mistreated by his boss, Bug often talks in a rather pleasant tone.

At first, Bug has no problem assisting Huxley with stealing items from the residents of Grouchland. But then when Elmo goes in search of his blanket, Bug and the Pesties are sent to pose as construction workers so they can lead Elmo into a different direction. Bug tells Elmo the alternate route, but then after Elmo thanks Bug and gives him a hug, Bug starts to have a change in heart. When Elmo finally arrives at Huxley's castle and Huxley decides to destroy the blanket, it gets sucked into a vacuum and into the hands of Bug, who then decides to give the blanket back to Elmo. Huxley pleads to Bug, promising to give back everything he had stolen, but Bug just remarks "less talking, more giving!", and then Huxley starts berating Bug, telling him that he's fired (not that Bug cares now).


The bad guy always needs a sidekick, especially a comical sidekick. And besides, if it weren't for Bug, Elmo wouldn't have gotten his blanket back (which we haven't seen since the movie). Bug is one of the bright spots and a great character in an otherwise lackluster movie.

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

Nov 2, 2013

News Update: November 2, 2013

NEWS UPDATE: November 2, 2013

The writers of Sesame Street, including Joey Mazzarino, John Weidman, Christine Ferraro, Belinda Ward, and Molly Boylan sat down with our friends at The Nerdist for an installment of their great series Nerdist Writers Panel. The interview with the writers is insightful, hilarious, and really fun. Give it a listen!

Sesame Street has proven its dominance of social media with their official accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and other outlets, but recently they've been proving how great they are at the latest social media trend: Vine. For those who don't know, Vine allows users to create six second videos on loop, usually for comedic purposes. Well, Sesame Street has leapt at this chance and has created some awesome videos featuring Bert, Telly, the Count, and many other favorites. Check out their recent Vine tribute to Jerry Nelson and keep an eye out for all of their videos!

This week our owner/operator Ryan Dosier (hey, that's me!) contributed an article to new up-and-coming Muppet blog It Starts When We're Kids. In the article, Ryan attempts to answer to the impossible question "What Do the Muppets Mean to Me?" Check out the article to read his attempts and follow this great new Muppet blog!

Count von Count (performed brilliantly by our friend Matt Vogel) appeared on ABC's Katie hosted by Katie Couric on Thursday. The appearance was brief, and the Count was a bit overwhelmed by some precocious kids, but it's still pretty adorable and worth a watch.

Sesame Street also revealed its latest fantastic spoof sketch this week: "Homelamb" a parody of the Showtime drama Homeland is a hysterical and educational send-up. Granted, it's much funnier if you've actually seen Homeland, but it's still wonderful either way. Watch the video below!
But the most important news this week (also from Sesame Street) was the brand new episode of Sesame Street that aired on Thursday. The street story from this episode, aptly titled "Count Tribute" was a tribute to late Muppet performer Jerry Nelson. If you missed the episode on Thursday, you can watch it right now on SesameStreet.org--and you really, really should. It's a touching, funny, and wonderful tribute to a great man.

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

May 23, 2012

Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Stinky the Stinkweed

Today's article was written by our frequent contributor Maxwell Jessop. To submit your own Weekly Muppet Wednesday article, email Ryan at muppetmindset@gmail.com!


Performed by...
Joey Mazzarino

First appearance...
Sesame Street Episode 3133 (1993)

Most recent appearance...
Sesame Street Episode 4229 (2010)

Best known role...
Sesame Street's stinky, self-conscious plant resident

Stinky is the living, talking stinkweed resident of Sesame Street, owned by Gordon. Though he has an obvious smelly odor, Stinky is a friend to all on the street. Stinky can become quite self-conscious at times over his awful smell, making him a truly flawed character. He is also quite shy, but is not hesitant to ask for a favor, "If it's not too much of a bother."

Like real stinkweeds, Stinky has occasionally been known to bloom flowers out of his head. Flower colors often vary, with blooms of of blue, pink, yellow, and just plain green sprouting from Stinky's head on various occasions.

Stinky was first featured in a story on Sesame Street in “The Stinkweed and the Sun” when Lillian read to the grouch Blecka. In the story, Stinky lived in the desert with a malicious sun that kept shining down on him. The Sun then left temporarily, only to be replaced by a storm cloud that rains on him. By the time the Sun returns, Stinky has grown a few buds and decides that he doesn't mind when the Sun leaves from now on.

Following this episode he became a minor recurring character, appearing every few seasons; mostly in Elmo's World segments. His biggest role came, however, in Season 40 (2009) when he starred in Episode 4194. The episode shows Stinky growing his annual birthday flower and receiving useless gifts from Elmo and friends once they figure out that it is his birthday.

In addition to his Season 40 starring role, Stinky has had many fun times on Sesame Street. One of his finest works came with his role in the "Desperate Houseplants" sketch parodying the ABC drama Desperate Housewives. The sketch stars a whining female garden plant craving water, while Stinky craved sunlight, but Stinky did not want to be a bother by complaining. In the end, they both got what they wanted. This sketch is pretty funny and is a favorite Stinky moments.

Another great Stinky moment occurred when he invented "Bubble Blecch," a bubble bath for grouches made from his stinky flowers' stench and gave a bottle to Oscar and his niece Irvine. Another Stinky moment worth mentioning would be in Episode 3971 where Stinky, tired of being used as "little" when people demonstrate big and little, decides he wants to be bigger. This wish is granted by the Fairy Godplant (as played by the talented Ruth Buzzi). Stinky soon regrets his wish upon learning he'll no longer be able to live on Gordon's windowsill. The Fairy Godplant then shrinks him back to his normal stinkweed size.

Sesame Street needs Stinky because not only is he a funny character, he kind of adds that diversity to the cast of characters. Y'know, because he's a plant! You really have to hand it to Joey Mazzarino for creating this character who is a really great addition to the Sesame gang!

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

Nov 2, 2011

Weekly Muppeteer Wednesdays: Joey Mazzarino

Today's post was written by Tom Stroud.


Notable Muppets...
Murray Monster, Stinky the Stinkweed, Horatio the Elephant, Papa Bear, Blögg, Two Headed Monster (2003-), Bug, Goggles, Colambo

Joey Mazzarino set out to be a performer. When he was in college, Camille Bonora, a Sesame Street puppeteer, came into his class to teach improv. Joey, who was working at a preschool, recognized one of her characters, Meryl Sheep, and was impressed by her skills and job. She was impressed by his knowledge of the show, and said he could visit the set and meet Jim Henson. A year and a half later, Camille made good on that promise. Joey went down to the Sesame set, where he met Jim Henson, Richard Hunt, and the other puppeteers. Joey picked up a puppet, tried it out, and fell in love right on the spot. When he went home, he borrowed felt from the costume shop and made his first puppet. He practiced nonstop, and soon sent an audition tape to Sesame Street. Joey was soon invited to a workshop, which led to his job as a puppeteer on the show.

A few years after he joined the show, Joey came up with an idea for a sketch starring a black lamb puppet, "Colambo." The lamb was the star and title character of the sketch, and this sketch led to a writing job on the show. Joey has become a major part of the show in recent years, performing the hilarious characters  Horatio the Elephant, Papa Bear, Stinky the Stinkweed, and his most major character, Murray Monster. Joey is now the head writer for Sesame Street, writing for the show and for specials such as Elmo's Christmas Countdown and Elmopalooza.

Joey's work is not limited to Sesame Street, however. He has also written for Bear in the Big Blue House and the original script for Muppets From Space, quitting after director Tim Hill made huge changes to the script, changing the ending drastically. Joey's most famous role with the Muppets was as young Kermit's friend Goggles in the direct-to-video movie Kermit's Swamp Years.

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, ryguy102390@gmail.com

Oct 26, 2011

Weekly Muppet Monster Wednesdays: Murray Monster


Performed by...
Joey Mazarrino

First appearance...
Sesame Street Season 36 (2005)

Most recent appearance...
Sesame Street Season 42 (2011)

Best known role...
"Word on the Street" presenter, haver of little lamb Ovejita, show host 

Well-known quote...
"Hi! I'm Murray! And I wanna know... What's the word on the Street?"

Murray is a large, fuzzy, red, excitable young monster who has risen to fame on Sesame Street in recent years. While his description may sound eerily similar to Elmo's, he's really quite different. Murray's main gig on the show recently has been going out into "the real world" and finding people who can tell him what the Word on the Street (aka, the Word of the Day) means.

Murray's first appearance was in Season 36, where he began appearing, with little fanfare, asking kids questions. Usually, since the curriculum called for it, Murray would spend these talk-spots asking kids about exercise or other healthy life habits. It's not widely known that during this time, Murray was just another unnamed monster performed by Joey Mazarrino. In fact, around the set they referred to him as "FilFil" because Murray's design was so similar to a character with the name FilFil on the Egyptian co-production Alam Simsim.

It only took two more years for Murray to gain his name and gain a specific role on the show in Season 38, when he began introducing every episode with his "What's the Word on the Street?" segment. With Season 39, Murray acquired his own segment within the show with "Murray Has a Little Lamb" where he and his pet lamb, Ovejita, visit different types of schools and learn something new every day.

Murray has not, and does not, appear in many Street Stories in the show. One of the few and most prominent examples of Murray's involvement in a Street Story was in Season 39's "The Golden Triangle of Destiny" episode. In the story, Murray assists Texas Telly in his quest to find said Triangle of Destiny. He spends his time in the laundromat with Leela as Telly takes on his journey.

Murray's star rose to astronomical heights in Season 40 when he became the sort of host of the new block format of the show, introducing segments throughout the show and the Letter and Number of the Day. In these brief segments, Murray exists in the real world interacting with children and adults alike to understand letters and numbers, learn new things, and introduce segments such as Super Grover 2.0, Bert and Ernie's Great Adventures, Abby's Flying Fairy School, and Elmo's World. Murray even announces the letter and number sponsors at the end of each episode, making him the first and last Muppet to be seen on the show every day.

Currently, Murray is hosting another new segment that takes place throughout the show called "Murray's Science Experiments," where he and Ovejita travel around New York City to conduct experiments with various children and teachers to explore ideas in the S.T.E.M. curriculum. This again gives Murray a starring role on the show, appearing almost as much as Elmo throughout every episode.

Murray is veteran Muppeteer Joey Mazarrino's first main character on Sesame Street. Joey and Murray make appearances together often and Murray really gets to show off his funny side in unscripted appearances. Joey has also stated that he likes to keep Murray off the Street and Street Stories, much like Fraggle Rock's Uncle Traveling Matt was rarely seen in the main setting.

Murray is one of the newest characters on Sesame Street, and as such he has an incredibly hard time of endearing himself to fans of the show who love such characters as Grover, Bert, Ernie, and Oscar. However, I firmly believe that Murray's fun-loving attitude and interactions with Ovejita are enough to establish him as a great character. He is able to teach while having fun himself, and helping the kids to have fun as well. And really, isn't that what Sesame Street is all about? Murray's sense of educational value while not sacrificing entertainment value is what makes him a fun character to watch and one who is certainly earning his place amongst Sesame Street's finest.

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, ryguy102390@gmail.com

Jun 29, 2010

Sesame Street Brings Home Shiny Statues!

Ah, it seems like only a year ago that we were celebrating Sesame Street and their huge impact at the Daytime Emmy Awards. Well... that was only a year ago, so that means that it's time once again for the Daytime Emmy Awards! Sesame Street was nominated for 14 Daytime Emmys. Interested to see what they won? Meet me at the bullet points and find out...
  • Outstanding Achievement in Multiple Camera Editing
  • Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design/Styling
  • Oustanding Individual Achievement in Animation: Abby's Flying Fairy School, Peter de Sève (Character Designer)
  • Outstanding Writing in a Children's Series
  • Outstanding Pre-School Children's Series 
  • Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series: Kevin Clash
  • Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series: Joey Mazzarino
That's right, Kevin Clash and Joey Mazzarino shared the award for Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series. If that doesn't scream Sesame Street, I don't know what does! Congratulations to everyone at Sesame Street and Sesame Workshop for these incredible, well-deserved wins. This makes a total of 128 Daytime Emmy Awards and one Lifetime Achievement Award for Sesame Street. Here's to 128 more!

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

May 20, 2010

People Muppet Fans Need to Know

Ryan Dosier - Recently, it has come to my attention that there are a lot of important Muppet people working right now that a lot of casual Muppet fans have never heard of. I was very bothered by this, since all of these people are doing such awesome things with the Muppets right now, it's a shame that they're not more well known among the fan-base. I thought I would solve that little problem by compiling a list of some People Muppet Fans Need to Know.

The Muppets

  • Lylle Breier - General Manager of The Muppets Studio and all-around awesome lady. A lot of this recent push of the Muppets back into the limelight was thanks to her.
  • Jim Lewis - Muppet Consultant and writer. He's responsible for making the Muppets just that: Muppets. He makes sure Piggy says Piggy things and Kermit says Kermit things and so on. He can probably be attributed to why the Muppets have been so good recently.
  • Jason Segel - Writer and human star of the upcoming The Greatest Muppet Movie of All Time. Segel's pitch for a new Muppet movie is what ignited this whole Muppet Renaissance. Also, self-proclaimed Muppet fanatic. Starred in the Muppet-referencing Forgetting Sarah Marshall and in the TV show How I Met Your Mother.
  • Nicholas Stoller - Writer of the upcoming The Greatest Muppet Movie of All Time. Has been promoting the heck out of The Greatest Muppet Movie of All Time. 
  • James Bobin - Director of the upcoming The Greatest Muppet Movie of All Time. Has been noted as a sort of Muppet freak. Also directed Flight of the Conchords.
  • Matt Vogel - Muppet performer. Performs Floyd Pepper, Robin the Frog, Lew Zealand, Crazy Harry, and others. Also writer and director for Sesame Street.
Fraggle Rock
  • Cory Edwards - Writer/director of the upcoming Fraggle Rock feature film. Huge Muppet fan who knows exactly what he's doing.
Sesame Street
  • Carol-Lynne Parente - Executive producer of Sesame Street since season 37. Accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Daytime Emmys.
  • David Rudman - Daytime Emmy-nominated Muppet performer. Performs Baby Bear and Cookie Monster for Sesame Street. Performs Scooter and Janice for The Muppets.
  • Joey Mazzarino - Daytime Emmy-nominated Muppet performer. Performs Murray Monster and various other characters on Sesame Street. Also writer and director for the show.
  • Louis Henry Mitchell - Associate Design Director of Special Projects for Sesame Street. Ace photographer, and one of the nicest guys around.
  • Neil Patrick Harris - Self-proclaimed Henson fanatic. Most well known roles include Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother, Doogie Howser in Doogie Howser, M.D., and Dr. Horrible in Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. No really important reason to know him... but he's at the top of my list for cameos in the next Muppet movie.

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier