1 The Muppet Mindset: April 2012

Apr 30, 2012

The Ramblings of Jarrod Fairclough, Muppet Nerd: Part 7

Jarrod Fairclough Presents: Ramblings of a Muppet Nerd Part 7


Hello friends.

So I own something I think you’ll all think is pretty amazing.  It took me 2 months to make a decision to buy it, but I bought it. It was expensive.  More than I care to admit.  But it’s amazing.

I bought a photograph hand signed by Jim Henson.  Wanna see?  Here ya go.

So that's what I bought. Against my mother's wishes. She was like "Come on, really?" And when I was asking opinions on Facebook, one person asked "Do you really want to spend that much on that?" And that's when I realized why I had to buy it. Yes I wanted it, because it was a hand signed photo from my long dead hero. Jim Henson is my hero. As I'm sure he's a hero to most of you. And I'm devastated that I'm never gonna get to meet the guy. I've met his friends. I've shaken the hands of people he worked with, including Kevin Clash and Marty Robinson. But I had the chance to buy something that he actually held in his hand, and signed. So I took that chance. And now, a part of Jim Henson is now on display in my bedroom. 

Every day I look at that, and I find it incredible that this man, this brilliant man, did so much. And I have something he signed. Yes, I'm not the only guy in the world that has his hero's signature. But this man isn't some A-list actor, this guy created an institution, and created some of the most recognizable characters in the world. I may never get to meet the guy, but this is the next best thing in my book. And I will own it forever, proudly displaying it like the Muppet Nerd I am. You jelly, bro?

What's more illegal? Briefly inconveniencing Jack Black, or destroying The Muppets?


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

Apr 29, 2012

(Kind of) Weekly Muppet Quotes Spotlight: Lew Zealand

Ryan Dosier - Greetings, Muppet fans! Casey Daron is off on some expedition in Taiwan searching for the Golden Pelican of Destiny (at least that's what his postcard said... although it was postmarked from Hawaii), so I'm covering today's (Kind of) Weekly Muppet Quotes Spotlight on one of my favorite Muppets: Lew Zealand!

"Listen, Lew, what does it take to become a boomerang fish thrower?"
"Well, you've gotta have sole... and if you can't get sole, use halibut."
"How did you acquire this talent? Was it on accident?"
"No, it was on porpoise!"
"I give him the straight lines and he gives me the fish lines..."
~ Leslie Uggams and Lew Zealand, The Muppet Show Episode 318

"Hey, Mister the Frog! Can me and my boomerang fish be in your movie?"
~ Lew Zealand, The Muppet Movie

"I brought the paper towels!"
~ Lew Zealand, The Great Muppet Caper

"I've seen this movie 97 times! My name is Lew Zealand. I'm a boomerang fish thrower. I throw the fish a-way, and they come back to me. Heheheh! Oh! Here's my favorite part! Go get 'em guys!!"
~ Lew Zealand, The Muppets Take Manhattan

"I'll do my boomerang fish act!! I throw the fish a-way... and they come back to me!!"
~ Lew Zealand, It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie

"Let me throw!!"
~ Lew Zealand, "Bohemian Rhapsody" video

"But Mister the Frog, we all agreed a celebrity is not a people!"
~ Lew Zealand, The Muppets

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

Apr 28, 2012

40 Favorite Muppet Show Sketches and Songs, Part 1

Michael Wermuth, Jr. - This is the first in a four part series presenting my list of my opinions of the top 40 greatest segments from The Muppet Show. And it wasn't easy, since the show has so many great segments. I've had this idea for the last few months, and I have gone back-and-forth over which ones make the cut. Even when I started this list, before sending it to be submitted, I did some re-thinking, taking some great clips out and putting better clips in. So if you're favorite segments are not included, chances are that I considered including it at one point.

Keep in mind that this list does not include backstage plots. The majority of this list reflects the onstage entertainment from the show, with the only backstage scenes included being musical numbers. Also, this listing is in chronological order, going by the show's production order. 

31.   "I Got Rhythm" Episode 420: Alan Arkin
In this classic musical number flub, Fozzie Bear attempts to perform the Gershwin classic "I Got Rhythm" with Rowlf the Dog at piano. Of course, all that Fozzie ends up doing is proving that he doesn't got rhythm, much to the delight of Statler and Waldorf. This is a great piece because it not only showcases the wonderful relationship between Fozzie and Rowlf, but also Fozzie's trademark ineptitude. Who could ask for anything more?

32.   "Six String Orchestra" Episode 417: Star Wars
One of Scooter's best moments on the show was this fun tune where he dreams of becoming a big musical star with his guitar. He imagines performing with a whole slew of instruments, including lead guitar, bass guitar, drums, and horns. As he sings the lines, ghost-like images of Floyd Pepper, Janice, Animal, and Zoot appear. This was a huge technological feat for 1980, making this song all the more special. We also get to see Scooter's room for the first and only time.

33.   "Feelings" Episode 424: Diana Ross
One of the most classic and casual-fan-favorite moments of the entire run of The Muppet Show is this goofy, throw away number where Beaker attempts to croon his way through "Feelings." The audience, of course, revolts at the repeating chorus of "Mee-mee." It takes Animal's ferocious threats to make the audience calm down and listen to Beaker butcher the remainder of the song... in hilarious fashion, of course.
34.   "Last Time I Saw Him" Episode 424: Diana Ross
This Diana Ross favorite was one of musical highlights of the episode she guest starred in. She performed the song with Dr. Teeth, Floyd, Janice, Animal, Rowlf, and a slew of Muppet musicians. It starts off backstage, but Kermit convinces Diana and the band to move it onstage. This song is notable because it marks one of the few occasions when Dr. Teeth traded his keyboard in for tambourine. But it's Diana's dynamite vocals that make this song truly one of the best.

35.   "Barnyard Boogie" Episode 504: Shirley Bassey
One of my favorite Electric Mayhem songs is from the final season of The Muppet Show. "Barnyard Boogie" features the entire band, including Lips, as they jam through this hoppin', boppin', swingin' set joined by chickens, cows, sheep, and more barnyard animals. The most notable thing about this song is that it features extremely rare vocals from Lips, who sings an entire line of the song by himself. But besides that, this is a near-perfect showcase of what makes the Electric Mayhem so fantastic.

36.   "Jabberwocky" Episode 506: Brooke Shields
"Have you SEEN the scene? Even when you know what it is, you don't know what it is!" Scooter bemoans to Kermit as this sketch reading of Lewis Carrol's popular poem begins. Rowlf and Scooter play the leads as a ton of strange Muppet creatures fill the background. The Jabberwock puppet is incredible detailed and cool looking as Scooter fights it. Even with its head chopped off, the head remains moving in even more ahead-of-its time technology.

37.   "Another Opening, Another Show" Episode 514: Mac Davis
This musical number features a slew of great, secondary Muppet Show characters--one for each performer. Link Hogthrob for Jim Henson, Fozzie Bear for Frank Oz, Scooter for Richard Hunt, Gonzo for Dave Goelz, Lew Zealand for Jerry Nelson, and Rizzo the Rat for Steve Whitmire. The song itself is hysterical as Beauregard and Beaker run amuck in the background. Just another opening at The Muppet Show.

38.   "Whenever I Call You Friend" Episode 512: Melissa Manchester
One of my all time favorite Muppet Show numbers is this beautiful rendition of "Whenever I Call You Friend," sung as a duet between guest star Melissa Manchester and Floyd Pepper and growing into a full chorus of Muppets singing back up. Lips gets an awesome trumpet solo, Melissa's voice is serene, and Floyd has never sounded better. This song is wonderful and perfectly done. The harmonies between Melissa and Floyd are enough to sell this... but all of the other elements come together to make it one of the best.

39.   "When I Grow Too Old to Dream" Episode 523: Linda Ronstadt
I can't get enough of this song. Yet another perfect Muppet/guest star duet as the adorable Linda Ronstadt takes the stage with Kermit to perform this wonder. Linda's voice is smooth and powerful and Kermit's is strong and comforting. This is truly one of the most romantic, magical moments on The Muppet Show, not only for the vocals, but for the set up. Rowlf on the piano, a massive pack of Muppets behind, Kermit in a white tuxedo, Linda singing straight to him... it's perfect. I hope I never grow too old to enjoy this.

40.   "In the Navy" Episode 524: Roger Moore
We jump from the sacred to the silly (as the Muppet so often do) with this number. An all-pig, all-viking rendition of "In the Navy." The pigs sing of the joys of naval life while plundering and pillaging a town. The amount of crazy puppet moves and set ups here is amazing... but the hilarious actions of the Muppet pigs are what make this. Link Hogthrob and his viking-pig cohorts sing and cavort and otherwise carry on in hysterical fashion--even the ship sings! It doesn't get more Muppety than this.

Check back next week for even more favorite Muppet Show sketches!

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

Apr 27, 2012

News Update: April 27, 2012

NEWS UPDATE: April 27, 2012

Awhile back we told you that our friend Rocco Fonzarelli (which still is not his legal last name) got to puppeteer for musician Jill Scott's latest music video along with veteran Muppeteer Bruce Lanoil. Well, the music video is finally online and you can check out our pal Rocco's dynamite work for yourself! (He's performing the Rokko Whatnot Muppet, Bruce Lanoil performs the weasel.) Watch it below!

Another one of our good friends, Sesame Workshop's Louis Henry Mitchell, recently created some awesome chalk drawings for the 8th floor of Sesame Workshop's offices. He made chalk renditions of Elmo, Cookie Monster, Oscar the Grouch, Grover, and Big Bird on the walls and they are truly beautiful. (See an in-progress drawing at right.) Sesame Workshop was awesome enough to put a Making Of article up on their website written by Louis. It's very, very cool to hear about the creative process and even more cool to see pictures of our buddy Louis hard at work. Congrats, Louis!!

Next year is 2013, and by all mathematical calculations, that means that Fraggle Rock will be turning 30 next year. The Jim Henson Company has decided to celebrate in style with a whole myriad of exciting high-end and affordable products being made available for the 30th anniversary. Perhaps the most exciting offering is A DESIGN CONTEST they're running where fan artists can design products for the 30th anniversary. The winning design not only gets produced for the product line, but the winning artist receives a private tour of The Jim Henson Company and attendance to Fraggle Rock's 30th anniversary party, a framed copy of their artwork, a feature on henson.com, and $2,500. So to all you Muppet fan artists out there... get to designing!! Designs must be submitted by June 20th and voting lasts from June 21-June 28, with a winner declared July 12th.

Over on Facebook, our friend Chris Stulz has started a brand new fan page for Muppet collectibles, aptly named Muppet Stuff. Chris plans to share Muppet collection photos, new Muppet merchandise and where to get it, and highlighting some old Muppet merchandise as well. Already there have been some fun posts to enjoy, so head on over to Facebook and "Like" Muppet Stuff!

Finally, over on Twitter, Muppet writer and keeper of the flame at The Jim Henson Legacy and Jim Henson Company, Craig Shemin, posted an incredible video of legendary Muppeteer Jerry Nelson recording the tune "Get Yourself Free Happy Little Song" from his incredible album Truro Daydreams. (If you don't own Truro Daydreams yet that must be amended immediately... head over to CDBaby.com/NelsonJerry right now and buy a copy--you'll never regret it.) The video is marvelous and it's such a joy to watch Jerry sing. Check it out below:

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

Apr 26, 2012

Kermit and Miss Piggy Make The Muppets 2 Official

On Tuesday night the Walt Disney Company hosted their panel at CinemaCon 2012 (just as they did last year, when Jason Segel and Amy Adams appeared to promote The Muppets). This included announcements of numerous Pixar projects, The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp, and more. The most exciting thing (at least for all of us) was a surprise appearance by Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy to officially announce/confirm that they are making another Muppet movie! This official announcement came almost exactly five months after the U.S. release of The Muppets in November 2011. Check out video of Kermit and Piggy at the event below!

If you couldn't tell, Kermit came dressed as the Lone Ranger, trying to usurp the role in the upcoming Disney feature. Check out a picture of the Frog as the Ranger, atop his plywood horse "Silver" below!
Finally, to close out this hugely exciting evening, take a look at this amazing first logo for the film, tentatively titled The Muppets 2, released by almost all Disney accounts on Twitter:
Are you excited yet?! You should be! We still haven't gone six months without a Muppet movie and already Disney has announced that they're making a new one. This is truly, truly unprecedented and incredible. The film still has not received even a tentative release date (although writer Nicholas Stoller says Disney wants it by summer 2013), and so much more is still left to be discovered and revealed. As always, keep your eyes on The Muppet Mindset for more when there is more!

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

Apr 25, 2012

Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: 80s Robot

Written by Ryan Dosier.


Performed by...
Matt Vogel

First appearance...
The Muppets (2011)

Most recent appearance...
Muppets Most Wanted (2014)

Best known role...
Android made in the 1980s; butler to Kermit the Frog

Famous quote(s)...
"Gnarly to the max dude!"
"Gag me with a spoon!"
"Help! I've been mugged!"

80s Robot is one of the few entirely mechanical characters in the Muppet world. He joins the rankings of Robot Kermit, Digit, Bunsen's Steel Rabbit, Robot Abraham Lincoln, Vendaface, and Otto the Automatic Entertainer. He is the first robotic character to appear in a Muppet movie. Is he a Muppet or is he a fully-robotic man? No one can say for sure.

In The Muppets (2011), 80s Robot's first role, the old robot was introduced as Kermit the Frog's butler and driver. When Gary, Mary, and Walter visit Kermit at his Beverly Hills mansion, 80s Robot is there to immediately offer the group cans of surely-expired TaB and New Coke. He shows his clumsy side afterwards when he crashes into some of Kermit's more kitschy home items, perhaps eluding to his obsolete nature.

Later, when Kermit and company set out to reunite the Muppets, 80s Robot drives Kermit's car all around the country (and outside the country). His comically loud, out of date modem was crucial to locating Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Miss Piggy, and all of the other Muppets spread around the world. Throughout the rest of the movie he appears to play guard of Kermit's Rolls Royce car, keeping it upright during Gonzo's explosion, and falling prey to Tex Richman's evil plot by being thrown from the passenger's seat.

80s Robot's main contribution to The Muppets were his fantastically out-dated catchphrases. "Gag me with a spoon," "Gnarly to the max," and "Totally tubular" are sure to reenter the national vernacular based solely on 80s Robot's dynamic turn in the film.

80s Robot has been seen in a few shots in trailers for Muppets Most Wanted and will reappear in the film.
The Muppets can use 80s Robot for a menagerie of reasons. He is a portable internet resource (when their iPhones run out of battery), a competent driver (when Fozzie's correspondence course license is expired), and he's a robot (for Bunsen and Beaker to fiddle around with). He's a good back up and a constant reminder of the 1980s, the decade where the Muppets hit their popularity peak. 80s Robot works for many reasons, but mostly he's just gnarly to the max, dude. What more could you need?

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

Apr 22, 2012

Jim Henson's Musical World Overview/Review

Jim Henson's Musical World Concert at Carnegie Hall

Alison Durkee - As most Muppet fans are probably aware, something incredible happened at Carnegie Hall on April 14. For two performances only, the different worlds of Jim Henson--Muppets, Sesame Street, and Fraggle Rock--all came together in the same show to celebrate Henson through music. While videos have already been posted here that capture many of the wonderful moments from Jim Henson's Musical World, I was extremely fortunate enough to see the concert in person. I attended the 3:30 performance of the show and was so incredibly thankful I did, as for less than the price of seeing The Muppets in an NYC movie theater, I was able to witness a truly extraordinary and unforgettable show.

As the audience entered Carnegie Hall and settled into their seats, a mix of Muppet video clips played on a screen above the stage, setting the Muppety tone from the very start. A few minutes before the performance began, I could see the Muppeteers sneak behind the black curtains that lined each side of the stage and take their places, and I knew that something truly special was about to begin. When it was finally time for the concert to start, the house lights dimmed as another video started up. This one was of Rowlf and Jimmy Dean from Rowlf's first appearance at Carnegie Hall in 1965. But just a few seconds later, Rowlf greeted us onstage live, popping up from behind a black curtain set up center stage. Telling us how he knew he would come back to Carnegie Hall but didn’t think it would take 47 years, seeing Rowlf right there, in the fur, was definitely an attention-grabbing way to start the show.

When Rowlf left, the concert officially began as the extremely talented New York Pops orchestra kicked things off with, appropriately, "The Muppet Show Theme Song." Hearing this song (as well as the concert's many other songs) played by a full orchestra in person was pretty stunning, but it was made even better by the fact that the Electric Mayhem (minus Animal) joined them onstage. The orchestra then segued into the theme songs for both Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock (complete with audience claps).

Following this overture, the spotlight circled around the theater as the familiar voice of Jerry Nelson filled the hall, introducing the concert's host: John Tartaglia! ......Who was, of course, nowhere to be found (this IS the Muppets, clearly something had to go wrong). So naturally, conductor Steven Reineke pulled out his cell phone and called Tartaglia, who appeared on the screen above the stage, still at home in his rubber duckie pajamas. When Reineke convinced him that the concert was, in fact, happening RIGHT NOW, and not next week as Tartaglia thought, he immediately headed for Carnegie Hall, miraculously appearing in the theater just a few seconds later. Stripping off his pajamas to reveal a suit with bright green pants, Tartaglia launched into "Sing" from Sesame Street, joined by the talented Essential Voices choir that accompanied many of the songs. He then talked a little bit about Jim Henson and how important music has always been to the Muppets, pointing out that doing musical numbers was how Jim Henson originally started the Muppets in the first place.

However, there was still the matter of the many special guests that Tartaglia invited to the concert, which he thought was next week. Reineke asked John if he had told them the wrong date, to which he assured him he had not. But as Reineke left the stage to use the "little conductor's room," Tartaglia confessed that he HAD told his guests the wrong date, and didn't know what to do. This, of course, was not a bad thing for Statler and Waldorf, who popped up in their traditional balcony seats, exclaiming, "You mean the Muppets aren't going to be here? This is our lucky day, we finally came to the right show!"

But sadly for Statler and Waldorf (and luckily for the rest of us), this Muppet-less performance didn't last long, as none other than Fozzie Bear himself appeared on stage. Forgetting that he was told the concert was next week and accidentally showing up today instead, Fozzie talked with Tartaglia, who asked Fozzie if he had been able to do any research on Jim Henson like John had asked. But all he found out, Fozzie replied, was that "they don't let bears in the New York Public Library." With that, Fozzie was sent off on a mission to round up the Muppets and get them to the theater while John kept the show going.

With Fozzie gone and no special guests in sight (An attempt to contact Sesame Street was only met with the Hooper's Store voice mail message "We're closed right now. Our normal hours are 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM, Monday through Friday."), John turned to the orchestra and asked if any of them wanted to be a star and perform with him. A violinist raised her hand and "Steppin' Out with a Star" started up, as Tartaglia and this "unknown musician" sang and danced in perfect synchronization around the stage. Of course, this musician was really Broadway actress and Sesame Street performer Stephanie D'Abruzzo, who starred alongside Tartaglia in the original Broadway production of Avenue Q.

After D'Abruzzo left, a familiar-looking Fraggle popped up. It was Uncle Traveling Matt, leading a tour of Outer Space for Red and Wembley! There to teach Red and Wembley about the "historic Carnegie Cave," Matt presented a slideshow of the "cave," which was supposedly built by Doozers as a summer home for Ma and Pa Gorg. Tartaglia insisted that no, this was actually not the case, but the Fraggles still stuck around to sing some Fraggle songs, performing a medley of "Follow Me," "Pass It On," "Workin'," "Wemblin' Fool," "Let Me Be Your Song," and the Fraggle Rock theme song. While seeing the Fraggles in person was pretty astounding to begin with, clapping along to the theme song with the actual Fraggles and watching as the rest of Carnegie Hall clap along in unison was extremely cool. Then, Tartaglia showed the Fraggles a picture of Jim Henson with Cantus the Minstrel, to which Matt exclaimed, "Cantus is being kidnapped by a Silly Creature!" When he calmed down, the Fraggles decided to stick around and watch the rest of the show from backstage.

Next to arrive was the Muppet that we had all been waiting for (or so she believes): Miss Piggy! The crowd was visibly excited when she appeared, arriving at what she believed to be her dressing room (the theater) early to redecorate. When told that the show was today, Miss Piggy exited in a panic and promised to return soon, frantically calling for her hair and wardrobe team. Then, a stage manager wandered onstage, offering to help out the show with some Muppet impressions. This stage manager was, in actuality, Saturday Night Live alum Rachel Dratch, who entertained us with some... interesting impressions, including a deadpan "Me want cookies. Nom nom nom." and "Elmo loves you. Tickle Elmo." But Tartaglia instead offered for her to join him in a song, as they performed Sesame Street's "Sing After Me."

This Sesame Street theme was continued as the orchestra launched into the show's theme song. As the song started to play, special Sesame Street guests suddenly began to appear, and Sesame adults Sonia Manzano (Maria), Bob McGrath (Bob), Nitya Vidyasagar (Leela), Alan Muraoka (Alan), Allison Bartlett (Gina), Loretta Long (Susan), and Roscoe Orman (Gordon) took the stage, joined by Bert, Ernie, Cookie Monster, and Elmo (much to the delight of the many children in the theater). The group performed a medley of "People in Your Neighborhood," "One Fine Face," "C Is for Cookie," "I Love Trash," and finally "Rubber Duckie." During "Rubber Duckie," Elmo provided the "squeak squeak" noises for Ernie, which led Steve Whitmire as Ernie to improvise a line acknowledging Elmo. Even from my very high up seat, I could see Kevin Clash laugh over the exchange, as well as his clear joy the entire time he was performing, which was fantastic to see. Being able to see the Muppeteers behind the curtains from where I sat was perhaps one of the biggest highlights of the concert for me, as being able to get even a tiny glimpse of their work in person was tremendously exciting.

The Sesame gang left the stage and Tartaglia headed into the audience, eager to hear some good Muppet memories. What he found instead was Muppet composer Paul Williams, who just so happened to have all his Muppet lyrics with him! Williams took the stage and said a few words about Jim Henson, including the fact that he was "the nicest guy [Williams] worked with in [his] life." He was then joined by some of the animals from Emmett Otter's Jug Band Christmas, who all performed "Barbeque," "When the River Meets the Sea," and "Ain't No Hole in the Washtub."

We were then greeted once again by Fozzie, who eagerly arrived with the... muffins that he had gathered on his mission. When Tartaglia explained that he had asked him to gather the Muppets, not the muffins, Fozzie was so disappointed with himself and the fact that he can never seem to do anything right. But John comforted him and emphasized that he still believed in Fozzie. Of course, this just so happened to lead perfectly into "Just One Person," which started out simply as Tartaglia singing to Fozzie. But we all know that "Just One Person" is best when performed by a whole group of Muppets, and this instance did not disappoint. As the song continued, more Muppets kept popping up, and by the end, on the stage were Kermit, Gonzo, Scooter, Beauregard, Rowlf, the Electric Mayhem, Bunsen, and Beaker. While I had seen Muppets in person before and had seen so many characters throughout the concert already, seeing all of them singing live in person was completely amazing.

The Muppets said a few words (looking out at the theater, Gonzo exclaimed, "I bet you could fit a million chickens in here!") before launching into a medley that included "The Muppet Show Theme Song," "Mahna Mahna," "Movin' Right Along," "Happy Feet," and "Together Again." Then, Kermit took a seat on the curtain's ledge and the other Muppets left, as he fondly remembered Jim Henson as the one who taught him about music, how to sing, and even how to put on a show, calling him his "right hand man." Tartaglia was impressed that Kermit could put on a show so well, since he knew that "it wasn't easy," just like some other things (hint, hint). While Kermit didn't initially take the bait (when first asked about some other things that are "not easy," he responded, "Math class?"), he finally gave in, performing "Bein' Green" as only Kermit the Frog truly can.

But of course, we couldn't possibly forget about Miss Piggy, who made a grand return to the stage with another announcement by Jerry Nelson. She started to launch into "Never Before, Never Again" before being stopped by Tartaglia, who apologized to her and said that the show was about to end. However, Miss Piggy was all ready to go (She was wearing three pairs of Spanx!), so John convinced her that while the rest of the cast was going to join them onstage for the final number, they would be singing backup to her. She agreed, and all the human performers joined the Muppets onstage to sing a moving rendition of "Rainbow Connection," with the audience invited to sing along. The show closed with Kermit saying a final goodbye to the audience in the tradition of his closings on The Muppet Show, and it was even complete with a signature Kermit flail, ending this thrilling concert with an equally thrilling conclusion.

When the show concluded, the entire cast took a bow, first with the Muppets and then with the Muppeteers themselves appearing from behind the curtains. To be able to give these amazing performers a standing ovation for not only this wonderful show, but for all the joy and amazing work they have given all of us over the years was one of the most fulfilling moments of the afternoon for me.

Overall, Jim Henson's Musical World was a ridiculously special experience that I'm so thankful I got to witness. While the simple act of bringing together the Muppet, Sesame, Fraggle, and Emmett Otter worlds in one performance is amazing enough, the concert was incredibly well done, and being able to not only see these Muppets live, but also get a glimpse at the Muppeteers performing them was such a tremendous opportunity. My only slight issue with the concert was that I wished the audience had been a little more enthusiastic and appreciative of what was happening onstage. While there were a lot of hardcore fans in the audience and everyone was clearly enjoying the show, it felt like (from the perspective of where I was sitting) a lot of people were treating it more like a casual concert and way to spend the afternoon instead of the special event that it was. Nevertheless, it was a beautiful tribute to the lasting legacy of Jim Henson and all the joy he brought to the world, and I can only hope that its success at Carnegie Hall means that we'll be seeing these characters performing together again at some point in the future. While different companies may own these characters now, none of them would exist without the incredible creativity of Jim Henson, and seeing them come together to celebrate the man that unites them through music was a truly remarkable experience, and one that I hope future audiences will be able to enjoy as well.
Pictures courtesy of Dave Hulteen, ToughPigs.com, and Muppet Wiki

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

Apr 21, 2012

Happy Earth Day, Muppet Fans!

Prove that it IS easy bein' green!

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

Apr 20, 2012

Vote for the Muppets in the Webbys!

In our News Update last week, we reported on the numerous Webby Award nominations for the Muppets and Sesame Street... and today, we're heckling you to go vote for them! Voting is incredibly simple (registration is required, but it is quick and easy) and your vote truly can make a difference! Check below for all of the nominations that need your vote!
OK Go and The Muppets
Nominated in the ONLINE FILM AND VIDEO - VIRAL Category
Nominated in the WEBSITES - FILM
Nominated in WEBSITES - YOUTH 

Well there you have it! Every nomination for the Muppets and Sesame Street in The 16th Annual Webby Awards! Go cast your votes and let's bring our furry friends victory!!

But until that victory occurs... watch the amazing video of Floyd Pepper and Animal accepting the Webby Award for "Bohemian Rhapsody" in 2010. 

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

Apr 19, 2012

More News About The Next Muppet Movie

Ryan Dosier - Hey, remember The Muppets? That was a great movie, wasn't it? Gee, that must have been so long ago that we were showing off tons of news about that... It wasn't? It was less than a year ago? Huh. Then how come there is a steady stream of news about the next Muppet movie already coming our way? Because Disney finally has faith in the Muppets? If you say so!

But seriously... we all know that's the case, and I couldn't be more thrilled about that case (obviously). Just five days ago we showed off some major news on the new Muppet feature film from Nicholas Stoller, and already we have even more to showcase.

First and foremost, we have more news on the Jason Segel front. The star and co-writer of The Muppets recently revealed why he wasn't going to be writing or starring in the next movie, but yesterday he revealed that he won't even return for a cameo appearance. In an interview with The Playlist while on the press junket for his new film, The Five Year Engagement, Jason revealed why he wouldn't return for a cameo saying...

"No, no cameo. It was a very distinct choice on my part. Of course I was asked to do it. I did exactly what I set out to do, if that makes any sense. My goal was never to take over the helm of the Muppets. They have people who are better equipped for that. My only goal was to bring back the Muppets that I loved. And I did that. I kinda don't know what I have left to do in that regard."

Again, Segel proves that he just wants to let the Muppets be the Muppets without him. He is doing the honorable thing by moving on, realizing that none of the previous Muppet movies had recurring human characters, and continuing on that tradition. 

Meanwhile, Nicholas Stoller keeps talking about the next movie that he's writing with director of The Muppets James Bobin. While on another press appearance for The Five Year Engagement, friend of The Muppet Mindset, Elizabeth Leary, while reporting for ToughPigs.com, got the chance to ask Stoller a few questions about the movie. Here is the recap from ToughPigs: Walter will play a role in the next movie. It will be a complete story separate from the first movie, but there will be some "connective tissue." And having successfully reintroduced the characters, they're planning to concentrate on the comedy this time around.

All of those things sound excellent to me. More Walter? A new story? More comedy? Connective tissue? Like, like, like, and yeah, okay! This is so thrilling to hear about, and just another reason to be extra excited for what is to come. I think the most exciting thing, however, is that it hasn't even been six months since The Muppets was released in U.S. theaters... and we already have this much to say about the next movie. Just incredible.

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