1 The Muppet Mindset: April 2011

Apr 29, 2011

Somebody's Getting (Got) Married

The British Correspondent emailed me early this morning (supposedly not as early wherever he's holed up at) and informed me that there was a wedding going on somewhere across the pond. Turns out that Prince William (do you think he has Prince Albert in a can?) and Kate Middleton (daughter of Wilbur Upperton and Francis Lowerton) tied the knot this morning over in merry old England in front of millions of people. So, that makes her a princess now, right? Well, bully for them! Me? I'll always be partial to another interspecies wedding, myself (interspecies in the sense of Willy and Kate meaning royal/not so much)...

Yes... that is what today's post consists of. C'mon, it's Friday... gimme a break, will ya? How about we all agree to just blame The British Correspondent, deal? Sweet. See you tomorrow, Muppet fans!

 The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

Apr 28, 2011

Muppet Fan's Muppet Collection Chronicle: Dave Hulteen

Muppet Fan's Muppet Collection Chronicle: DAVE HULTEEN

Greetings, Muppet fans! I am so, so excited for today's post--it's an incredible treat for you. Our friend Dave Hulteen (of crazy awesome Muppet fan-art fame) (and of http://davehulteendesign.com) has produced, exclusively for The Muppet Mindset, an amazing video of his wonderful Muppet collection! The video features appearances by Dave's family and a special appearance by yours truly (no, I never got paid for this) as we marvel at Dave's Muppet fandom. I can't describe enough how much I love this video... and you should absolutely unequivocally check it out--conveniently located right here and now!

HUGE special thanks to our good friend and my pal Dave Hulteen for this terrifically awesome video! Dave really is the best and his talents never cease to amaze me!

If you would like to submit an article (or a video, if you're feeling ambitious) of your Muppet collection email Ryan Dosier at ryguy102390@gmail.com and we will be thrilled to showcase it here on The Muppet Mindset!

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

Apr 27, 2011

Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Marvin Suggs

Written by Ryan Dosier.


Performed by...
Frank Oz 

First appearance...
The Muppet Show Episode 105: Rita Moreno (1976) 

Most recent appearance...
The Muppets (2011)

Best known role...
Muppaphone player, manager, operator, slave-driver; PETA's Most Wanted

Marvin Suggs and his Muppaphone were one of the first recurring acts on The Muppet Show. Marvin is the world's only known player of the famed Muppaphone instrument, which consists of a group of furry pink and orange creatures who make the most beautiful yelping sound when struck just the right way with a mallet. Marvin is well-known for his performances on the Muppaphone of such timeless classics including "Lady of Spain" and "Witch Doctor."

Although most often seen with the Muppaphone, Marvin Suggs is a multi-talented individual as can be seen in the Steve Martin episode of The Muppet Show when he performed "Yes, We Have No Bananas" with his All-Food Glee Club. However, Marvin's true passion seems to rest with his beloved Muppaphone, considering his leafy-green show choir never appeared again. (Or perhaps they broke up when Marvin threatened to turn them into a salad... the world may never know.)

Oddly unseen since the days of The Muppet Show, Marvin's most recent appearance was a very brief cameo in Muppets From Space. He is presumably on tour (or off the grid) with his Muppaphone, entertaining the masses with his inhumane exploits.

Although Marvin has been largely absent, an action figure was made of Marvin in 2004 as part of Series 8 of Palisades Toys line of action figures. Marvin came packaged with two mallets, a musical wall, and six Muppaphones. Series 8 also included a variant figure of Marvin, dressed in black and silver attire.

Although Marvin Suggs is a very obscure character, Frank Oz still talked about and developed a backstory for Marvin, which was expanded upon in the liner notes for the 2002 CD "Muppets: Music, Mayhem and More." When asked about Marvin, Frank said,

"I don't recall where Marvin Suggs came from... probably from one of the writer's meetings. But the accent came from my French friend Phillippe Gentry -- I just exaggerated it and made it really annoying. I've always felt Marvin lived in a scuzzy trailer park with his put-upon wife, and he kept the Muppaphones in a cage and would beat them regularly."

Quite frankly, they might not need him, really. After all, the Muppets already have multiple counts of animal abuse (read: karate chopping pigs, sexually harassing king prawns, bears with tomatoes hurled at them), so tossing Marvin Suggs back in the mix will surely do nothing to get PETA off of their furry backs.

However, Marvin was always very funny and his over-exaggerated performance by Frank Oz was a hoot. That voice is still something I try to imitate (it ain't easy) and I find myself quoting Mr. Suggs often, saying, "I am not a CRUEL man!" So... the Muppets might not need Marvin, but wouldn't it be fun to see him smacking those whiny balls of fur again?

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

Apr 26, 2011

Got a Question? Ask Cookie Monster!

The world we live in is full of questions... Where will we go when we die? Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Who do we ask these questions? Well, hopefully, you won't want to ask Cookie Monster said questions. (Because, let's face it, he probably doesn't know either.) But, you might want to ask him some other sort of question! If that is the case (how could it not be?) then you should be very interested in Huffington Post's Social Interviews series because they will be interviewing our friend Cookie Monster very soon!

How does one go about asking the great Cookie Monster a question? Well, it's simple really... as Huffington Post explains:
Do you have a question? If so, please leave your name, city and question in the comments below; tweet your question to @huffingtonpost with hashtag #socialinterviews; or email one to submissions@huffingtonpost.com with the subject line "Social Interviews."

So, what are you waiting for?! I know you have a question for Cookie Monster... and now's your chance to ask! Oh, me so excited...

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

Apr 25, 2011

How Soap Opera Cancellations May Affect The Muppets

In The Muppet Mindset's effort to provide daily content we have agreed to showcase a somewhat-different article from D.W. McKim today about soap operas and what could become a ripple effect to the Muppets. D.W.'s comments do not necessarily represent the opinions of The Muppet Mindset as a whole, nor are the ideas of how it might effect the Muppets founded in anything other than speculation--but it is good speculation to perhaps consider.

D.W. McKim - Today's article is a bit different since it concerns a subject one wouldn't normally expect to see on The Muppet Mindset. However, as a devoted fan of both Muppets and One Life to Live, I have a unique perspective on how the two franchise's fates intertwine and why Muppet fans should be concerned with recent developments surrounding the other.

When Disney acquired the Muppets in 2004, it took them down a long road to win over the acceptance, confidence, trust, and even love of Muppet fans. Though it's been a slow process, the general feeling among the fan community is that the sale may very well have been the best thing that ever happened to the Muppets, especially with Disney's full support and marketing muscle with the upcoming The Muppets movie. Lots of ill will, skepticism, and fears have been pacified.

However when the Muppets were acquired by Disney, they became part of a vast corporate "ecosystem".  And like all ecosystems in nature, when one part is endangered, it eventually affects everything else. I'm talking about ABC's recent cancellation announcement of not one, but TWO of its iconic daytime dramas, All My Children and One Life to Live. On the surface, this would seem to be something that has nothing to do with the Muppets, but there are many reasons why Muppet fans should keep an eye on this situation.

Now of course, everyone reading this wants to know about the Muppets. As I've been gathering and disseminating info from and to several places, it's been a very sobering reminder of how many divisions of and executives within Disney are not as competent, understanding, or responsive to their fan-base as The Muppets Studio branch has been.

Since I had been spending a good month or so answering the exact same questions and typing up the same advice in different places, once the news came, I immediately set up a Save One Life to Live website so all the various forums and fan groups could get essential info in one place and be on the same page. My site of course was just one of several resources that quickly sprung up.

This has put me in a very odd and unique position as of late. Most everyone in the Muppet fandom community knows that I am a Muppet Freak of the highest order. But one of my major non-Henson fandoms has been One Life to Live. I started watching in 1992 to see the homophobia story they were doing and without expecting it, quickly became hooked for life. For the last several years, I found it amusing how two of my biggest loves were Disney properties.

This is a large movement that is determined to make a difference and not accept the destruction of these American Institutions. Much has already happened in under two weeks and things are only going to grow exponentially until something positive occurs. Unfortunately, several very reliable insiders soon reported that while ABC is feeling lots of heat, Disney has been largely unmoved and fans need to strike more at the heart to have any effect.

My own personal loyalty lies with the Muppets, as I've been a devoted fan practically since birth long before they became a Disney property. But it is still difficult when two fandoms collide like this.

I'd like to invite all Muppet fans to support these programs and the movement to rescue them. A good way to start would be to tune in to watch One Life to Live on Wednesday April 27 as they air a special episode paying tribute to six-time Emmy winner Erika Slezak's 40th anniversary in the role of Victoria Lord Banks. But I caution you, watch at your own risk--you may end up getting captivated enough to become as addicted as I did back in 1992!

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

Apr 24, 2011

(Kind of) Weekly Muppet Quotes - Easter Edition

Casey Daron - Hello everyone! It's Casey on this wonderful Easter Sunday! This week I have compiled some memorable quotes from The Tale of a Bunny Picnic, in celebration of Easter! Bean Bunny is so cute, don't you think? Anyways, here are the quotes!

“I’m not Bean, I’m a nasty old owl who’s going to get you!” -Bean Bunny, A Tale of the Bunny Picnic
“I’m not really Bean, I’m not really Bean, I’m not really Bean! I’m a giant tree and that dog can’t get me!” –Bean Bunny, A Tale of the Bunny Picnic

 “Hello sunshine! Hello birds on the wing! Hello springtime, we’ve been living for spring!” –Bunnies, A Tale of the Bunny Picnic

“He says he’s a fire breathing dragon, and you ask me if he’s telling the truth!?” –Lugsy Bunny, A Tale of the Bunny Picnic

Thanks everybody, and Happy Easter!!!!

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

Apr 23, 2011

The Muppets Head to Scotland

Coverage of Muppets, Music & Magic in Edinburgh, Scotland

Martin Harvey - It’s only retrospectively that I realize that Edinburgh is the backdrop to some of my greatest Muppet memories. It was where I excitedly bought a copy of The Muppets Take Manhattan and took it with me to Malta where I spent two weeks reading the back of the box and looking forward to getting home to watch it. Then, at the Edinburgh Fringe I was lucky enough to attend a performance of Puppet Up! and even luckier to get to meet Brian Henson afterward, shake his hand, and collect his autograph.

So, for me at least, it’s appropriate that Muppets, Music & Magic: Jim Henson’s Legacy should come to Edinburgh and it was certainly worth the train journey from my home on the West Coast of Scotland to spend the day there. I’m a big enough kid to want to see Muppet movies in a cinema but sadly a bit too much of a grown-up with work commitments to have made it over the weekend of 23-24 April where Martin Baker will introduce some real archive gems in Muppet History 101 and Muppet History 201: More Rarities from the Henson Vault so this is a report on what might be considered an “average day” within the season.

The interior of Screen 1 of the Filmhouse, with its red seats and curtains, is oddly reminiscent of the Muppet Theatre. Sadly there are no boxes nor were there two curmudgeonly old men heckling from the audience, but then you can’t have everything. Muppet music was playing as the audience made their way into the auditorium and waited for the film to start.

The first feature, The Art of Puppetry and Storytelling, was attended by about 20 people. I don’t know whether that is good or bad for this sort of event but it was early afternoon on a weekday and the numbers did increase over the course of the day (although I didn’t notice anyone else attending all three screenings.)

The Art of Puppetry and Storytelling began with the Harry Belafonte episode of The Muppet Show, the episode with perhaps the strongest story telling theme and a great example of how Jim Henson was able to combine both the important and the downright silly. In this episode, Fozzie acts as the script writer for the show (“Curtains open; Lew Zealand and Rowlf do something funny; curtains close”) and tries to improve Belafonte’s rendition of "The Banana Boat Song" with a choir of pigs and actual bananas, although Beauregard has difficulty in remembering which particular fruit or vegetable they happen to be. The show of course ends with Belafonte’s "Turn the World Around"--inspired by a meeting with a storyteller in Guinea.

There followed about twenty minutes' worth of clips of various lengths. Some of these were more appropriate to the storytelling theme than others, but they certainly represented a fairly wide spectrum of Henson’s work. They included the Sam and Friends skit “Visual Thinking”; three Wilkins Coffee advertisements (which got the biggest laughs of this screening) and Henson (assisted by puppet builder Don Sahlin) on a chat show demonstrating how simply changing the facial features can completely change the character of the puppet. The longest clip was taken from a Henson narrated backstage Muppet Show documentary showing amongst other things the making of the “In The Navy” number. One quite startling fact that cannot at all be appreciated from the final cut of “Another Opening Another Show” was the sheer distance covered by the Muppeteers during the recording of that number which reminds us that a huge amount of stage, televisual and puppetry tricks were used by Jim Henson and his team.

This feature ended with The Storyteller episode "The Heartless Giant," which was perhaps intended to demonstrate how puppetry can be used as one element within storytelling. This included The Jim Henson Hour introduction and closing where Jim Henson himself notes that the idea behind the series was to combine folk tales with fast paced and up-tempo pop music videos.

Sesame Street at 40: Milestones on the Street was the second film to be shown. This screening had a slightly higher attendance with around 20 adults but also 10 little kids. It opened with some clips from the first episode with Gordon introducing a little girl called Sally to the inhabitants of Sesame Street with the rather odd looking early versions of Big Bird and the orange Oscar the Grouch.

There were too many clips featured for me to list them all but they included Gordon and Snuffleupagus running the marathon; various trips away from Sesame Street to New Mexico, Santa Fe, Hawaii (with Mr. Snuffleupagus being airlifted in) and Puerto Rico; Big Bird’s nest being damaged in a storm; Maria and Luis’s wedding and, of course, the grown-ups helping Big Bird to understand that Mr Hooper died.

Best for Sesame Street Muppets were: Ernie counting cupcakes while Cookie Monster reduced the number; Waiter Grover serving Fat Blue alphabet soup;  Prairie Dawn’s Four Seasons pageant; Bert teaching a pigeon to play checkers and the hilarious Ernie and Bert disguise kit sketch. Kermit doing the alphabet with the little girl who thinks Cookie Monster is a letter received audible “awws” and Herry and John-John counting and getting louder (and in John-John’s case much older) also got laughs.

There were plenty of cartoons (including Ladybug’s Picnic and The King of 8) but not so many songs (Sing: The Music of Sesame Street is a separate feature later in the season) although the arguing art critics with living works of art and the tongue-twisting “An elevator operator is a person in your neighbourhood” were among the few included. There was one block of Kermit’s Sesame Street News Flash made up of many short clips and Elmo’s World was dealt with similarly.

A recurring feature was “Family Album: Before They Moved To Sesame Street” showing actors Will Lee, Roscoe Orman, Bob McGrath in pre-Street roles, in Bob’s case on the panel game I’ve Got a Secret singing Irish songs in Japanese. This was later turned on its head when a clip of Big Bird and Elmo on The West Wing was shown allowing us to see Lily Tomlin and Stockard Channing on Sesame Street before they moved to the West Wing. More celebrity appearances included The Fonz, R2D2 and C3PO, Fred Rogers, Patrick Stewart (“B or not a B?”), Liam Neeson; Ben Stiller as a cheese; Robert DeNiro as a Muppet Cabbage; and Michelle Obama helping Elmo and some kids plant a garden.

Of most archive value might be the brief appearance by Rowlf in the Song of Nine but of equal interest to me were some more recent clips I had never seen before (Sesame Street is no longer shown in the UK) which were parodies of recent hit shows (Meal or No Meal, 30 Rocks, and Mad Men). I’ve heard the criticism that Sesame Street is now geared towards younger children but these clips were certainly appreciated by the adults in the audience. There were a couple of vocal interventions from the children though and it was genuinely heart warming to here a small child excitedly shout “Cookie Monster” when our cake scoffing furry friend popped up to eat Ernie’s cupcake while (perhaps more predictably but no less cute) another small voice announced “There’s Elmo” the moment the small red monster first appeared in the corner of the screen in a non speaking role.

The final film of the day, attracting about 50 cinema goers, was The Great Muppet Caper. Before the screening began a member of Filmhouse staff apologized that the print was of variable quality and in places faded and too pink (“A little too much Miss Piggy and not enough Kermit” as he put it.) Seeing The Great Muppet Caper at a screening is something I would highly recommend to everyone, Muppet fans especially. I’ve always thought of it as being the funniest of the Muppet films and almost every line got a big laugh – not least the scene with John Cleese and Fawlty Towers guest star Joan Sanderson as the upper crust couple plagued by pigs climbing up the outside of their house and lizards in the cupboards. I won’t go through the movie but suffice to say it was enjoyed by all and, in spite of the brief Gonzo scene at the end of the film being cut, there was spontaneous applause at the finish.

As I said earlier, the more obscure clips will be part of two Muppet History films to be shown at this weekend (full details at http://www.filmhousecinema.com)but other less commercially available gems feature in Commercials and Experiments–which includes "Time Piece" and "The Cube." There are two other Sesame Street compilations and one of musical numbers on The Muppet Show. Five of the first six Muppet Movies (The Muppet Christmas Carol was shown separately last year), The Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, Elmo in Grouchland, and Muppet Fairytales round out the program. Some more recent productions, by that I mean those made since Jim Henson’s death, would have helped to show his ongoing legacy and a more location specific film showing how British involvement was important to the success of The Muppet Show would also have been appropriate.

Having said that, Muppets, Music &; Magic: Jim Henson’s Legacy is a fitting celebration of both the obscure archive piece and a rare and welcome chance to see some of our favourite films as they were intended to be shown on the big screen.  I very much hope that this collection of features will be added to and that it will go on to tour around the UK and further afield.

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

Apr 22, 2011

News Update: April 21, 2011

NEWS UPDATE: April 21, 2011

Our good friends over at Mighty Fine T-Shirts have alerted us to some fun new Muppet and Sesame Street t-shirts available in their store. There are three odd but cool Sesame Street Zombie t-shirts. Designed by Evan Cheng, these shirts are exclusive to Mighty Fine and include Big Bird, Elmo, and Oscar zombies declaring "B is for Brains," Bert and Ernie zombies who are frenemies of the human race, and, finally, The Count simply shouting "Blah!". These shirts are odd, indeed, there's no denying that... but they are officially licensed Sesame shirts and relatively cute, so think what you will! Mighty Fine also has a great selection of Muppet shirts and other Sesame Street shirts as well. Check out their whole stock!

Our friends working on the upcoming essay collection From Fraggle Rock to Farscape have asked us to pass along the information that deadline for entries for inclusion in the upcoming book is fast-approaching. If you would like to submit an article for the collection, simply write an essay having to do with anything from Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, Dog City, and basically anything Henson-related that isn't Muppets or Sesame Street and submit your article or your idea to jennifer.garlen@gmail.com. The publishers are really hoping to develop a book that covers the wide breadth of Jim Henson's work--so have at it, Muppet fans!

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, which is now the distributor of Sesame Street DVDs, has released a press release on WBShop.com for a new DVD set they're calling "Sesame Street: The Best of Sesame Street Spoofs" and is scheduled for release on July 5. The spoofs will come in two volumes, so presumably this will be quite the collection of Sesame's greatest parodies. Here is the official DVD synopsis from Warner Bros.:

From the beginning, Sesame Street has always been known for entertaining both children and adults with spoofs on popular culture that happen to teach something too! Now the best of these segments have been culled together in a special 2 disc set for Sesame Street fans featuring classic content on disc 1 and more recent spoofs on disc 2. On Sesame Street, "Grey's Anatomy" becomes "A's Anatomy", "Mad Men" is really about teaching emotions, and "The Closer" is about "open" and "close". Fans will be nostalgic over old school classics "Hill Street Two's", "Born To Add" and "Miami Mice". This special collection will be treasured by adult fans of the series but can be enjoyed by the entire family.

After that super cool news of an awesome release from Sesame Workshop, check out this lame release from Disney: the 2012 calendar from The Muppets which is essentially a reprint of the Muppet parody calendars from 1999. Yes, only the hippest parodies for the Muppets now... Men in Black, Driving Miss Daisy... what more do you need?

While we're still on the subject of merchandise, the Vinylmation Muppets Series 2 figures are finally available to order on DisneyStore.com. The figures can be ordered individually in blind-boxes or you can order a box of blind-box figures that comes with 24 and is guaranteed to include ever figure, including the chaser (Waldo C. Graphic). Or, you can just be like me and order all 12 on eBay... (That's my collection in the picture.) (Anyone selling/giving away a Kermit figure?) 

Everyone's favorite touring exhibit from The Jim Henson Legacy, Jim Henson's Fantastic World, is finally coming to New York City! Starting in July, the exhibit will find its home for the remainder of the year in Astoria, Queens where Jim Henson's work will be featured on display. For more information on the exhibit finding its place in New York, check out this article from The New York Times.

Friend of the blog and amazing creator, Lance Cardinal, was featured on Discovery Channel Canada with his incredible custom Muppet Theater playset. The video can be seen online for a limited time only, so be sure to check it out as we watch our friend Lance hit the big time! 

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

Apr 21, 2011

Michael Wermuth, Jr's Top Ten Favorite Fraggle Rock Songs

Michael Wermuth, Jr. - You’ve seen my articles and lists on The Muppet Mindset. Most articles I’ve written have been about either Sesame Street or The Muppet Show. While I’ve occasionally mentioned Fraggle Rock in my articles, I have never done a full article relating to the series before. And there’s a simple reason for that: I like most of Henson’s other works better. I do enjoy the show, but I’m a bigger fan of Jim Henson’s other properties. But, to show that I do like the show, for the first time ever, here is my list of the top ten Fraggle Rock songs. Enjoy!
10. Dum of a Son of a Gun (from "The Garden Plot")
This is a catchy song, sung by Pa Gorg and Junior Gorg. Pa expresses his frustration over his son's stupidity.

9. Pass It On (from "The Perfect Blue Rollie")
This song was sung by the Fraggles as they get and give rollies to each other. This song was later sung by the Fraggles in A Muppet Family Christmas.

8. Yes We Can (from "All Work and All Play")
This song was sung by The Architect at a ceremony for Doozers to get their helmets. I used to think the line “Does a Doozer thumb his nose at doing Doozer work?” was asking if Doozers pick their noses over Doozer work.

7. Follow Me (from "Beginnings")
The first song from the show, Uncle Matt sings to Gobo before setting off to “Outer Space.” Also famous for being Jerry Juhl's favorite song from the show and sung at his memorial service.

6. I’m a Little Fraggle (from Boober Gorg)
This song, sung to the tune of “I’m a Little Teapot,” was sung by the Fraggles to Boober after Boober lost his memory, in an attempt to get Boober to remember who he is.

5. I’m Always Here (from "Wembley and the Gorgs")
A funny little song sung by Wembley, about always being here and never being there. It would have made a great song for Sesame Street as well.

4. I’ve Seen Troubles (from "Beginnings")
Marjorie the Trash Heap sang this song, stating that troubles are her favorite thing.

3. Let Me Be Your Song (from "The Minstrels")
One of the best songs sung by Cantus and the Minstrels, sung by the group when they made their first appearance on the show. A good way of introducing the group.

2. Convincing John (from "The Preachification of Convincing John")
Convincing John’s trademark song, sung to both convince the Fraggles to NOT eat Doozer constructions, and later to convince them TO eat Doozer constructions. This song includes a rare instance of a Fraggle referring to a human being (as opposed to calling them "silly creatures").

1. Friendship Song (from "Marooned")
Sung by Boober and Red (two of my favorite Fraggles) when trapped during a cave-in, this is a very moving song.

What are some of your favorite Fraggle songs? Mine is "Dixie Wailin'," but we'd love to know yours! Share with us on Facebook or Twitter or in the comments below.

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

Apr 20, 2011

Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Lyle the Dog

 Today's Weekly Muppet Wednesday post is written by our friend Maxwell Jessop who brings us probably the most obscure character ever to be spotlighted in one of these posts. This character is so obscure, in fact, that I had to look him up on Muppet Wiki to figure out exactly which character we were talking about. So... this one's for you, uber-obsessed fans! And for everyone else, including me, join me in a resound chorus of "Who?!" as we present...


Performed by...
Various (1979-1996)

First appearance...
The Muppet Show Episode 414: Liza Minnelli (1979)

Most recent appearance...
Muppet Treasure Island (1996)

Best known role...
Background dog

Lyle is a Muppet dog who has appeared in the background of various Muppet productions such as The Muppet Show, The Jim Henson Hour, and Dog City. In these appearances his roles have included an All-Dog Network Announcer, Colonel Claghound, and an exercise coach, but Lyle has mostly stayed in the background.

Lyle also appeared in two Muppet movies, The Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island (in which he appeared as one of the pirates), and the special The Muppets at Walt Disney World.

Lyle Conway designed Lyle the Dog and built the puppet as well. Conway also served as the character’s namesake.

Lyle may be a background character but he does have a few moments in he spotlight. His debut was in the UK Spot of the Liza Minnelli episode of The Muppet Show where he sang “Pass the Peace Pipe” with three other dogs who, along with himself, died after being hit by a bow and arrow.

Lyle also appeared in the episode “Much Ado About Mad Dog” of the Dog City series as Colonel Claghound who was a hearty business man with a Texan accent who, in the episode, worked on a business deal with Terri Springer.

Lyle is a mostly background type character, which is a good thing. The Muppets need a big ensemble. Without an ensemble, the Muppets would be a group of only nine or ten characters. Along with that, they need dogs. The Muppets just wouldn’t be the Muppets without a cast of animals.

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

Apr 19, 2011

Muppet Merchandise and Where to Find it in YOUR Neighborhood

Greetings, Muppet fans! Tired of hearing about all the great Muppet merchandise available in Walt Disney World and Disneyland--which are inconveniently not located near you? I know I am! Well, fear not friends, because The Muppet Mindset has gone through tireless (actually, we're pretty tired) efforts to find lots of great Muppet stuff available at stores near you!

Wal-Mart, everyone's favorite gigantic superstore with everything from printer paper to poor health benefits, has lots of Muppet stuff, surprisingly. Including!
  • Kermit baseball cap - There are two caps available at Wal-Mart... there's one with a flat bill available for men and one with a curved bill that is plaid and available for women. Both cost $10. (How could you not want?)
  • Gonzo baseball cap - Same as Kermit, only Gonzo! LOVE. One of my favorite new things. Again, only $10.
  • Kermit iPod Touch 4th Gen Cover - This is awesome... and I'm so perturbed that I have a 3rd Gen iPod Touch. I'm extremely close to buying a 4th Gen just for this. Costs $19.99 and is awesome.
  • Muppets Pajama Pants - I haven't been able to find these at FOUR different Wal-Marts... but they are incredible. Kermit, Animal, Beaker, Swedish Chef, Dr. Teeth, Scooter, and Pepe are all on these pants. I'm not sure how much they cost but I need them.
  • Animal Boxer Shorts/Sleep Shorts - No picture available of these, but they are basically just Animal's face spread across a pair of boxer shorts. Why you would want Animal's mouth that close to your... well, you know. $14.99.
  • Animal Neon Face T-Shirt - Again, no picture, but it's a very simple shirt. Black background with a colorful neon outline of Animal's face on it. I think it glows in the dark, too. $9.99, I think.
Kohl's Department Store
Yet another store that has always had great support for the Muppets and it still shows. They have some awesome t-shirts...
Kohl's also has some cool Sesame Street Muppet "Face Shirts" which are basically just singularly-colored shirts with various Muppet faces on them, including Cookie Monster, Elmo, Bert, and others.

Target has some great t-shirts available...
  • Fraggle Rock T-Shirt - Yellow, "washed out" Fraggle shirt for guys. Has the whole Fraggle five on it. I really don't know if I've ever seen a widely-available Fraggle shirt... so this is great to see! $9.99.
  • Animal T-Shirt - Animal is obviously the most popular t-shirt character... and here he is yet again on another shirt. $9.99.
  • Muppets "Abbey Road" T-Shirt - Love. This. The color is great, the design is great (the poser puppets are ugly). I've gotten so many compliments on this shirt when I wear it around. $9.99.
And, other than that, I'm sure if you look around you'll find some more awesome Muppet stuff creeping into stores. Let us know if you find any more Muppet stuff that we missed by tweeting us @MuppetMindset or writing us on Facebook--or you can just leave a comment here, we don't really care!

Happy shopping, Muppet fans!

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier
The Muppet Whatnot Workshop-Only Available at FAO.com
The Muppet Whatnot Workshop-Only Available at FAO.combanner