1 The Muppet Mindset: June 2012

Jun 30, 2012

Celebrities YOU'D Like to See Work With the Muppets

Last week we asked you what celebrities you would like to see goof off with the Muppets. We have your answers here and now! Enjoy. (Please forgive the lack of pictures in today's post. I'm away from my computer at a wedding and am editing from my phone. Yay technology!)
  • Sarah Cross - I loved the Muppets on WWE Raw and think the Muppets should do a WWE show once a year (Christmas special maybe).
  • Joseph Schmidt - Adam Young, Tim Hawkins, Armin Van Buuren, Tim Allen, Chuck Norris, Harrison Ford, James Roday and DulĂ© Hill, Charlie McDonnel.
  • Anonymous - Amanda Palmer might be a little much for most. Chris Rock has the energy. Jennifer Garner, Sarah Michelle Geller, Ellen Page. Jason Bateman, Wendie Malick, Tommy Lee Jones, Tony Shaloub, Rip Torn
  • Jarrod Fairclough -
    JOEL MCHALE - Like Ryan, I'm biased in that this is my favorite show ever.  Come on.  Kermit and Jeff Winger are basically the same person - both control a bunch of crazy lovable misfits.

    CONAN O'BRIEN - Along with Muppets and Community, Conan is the other thing I am obsessed with.  The man is a comedic genius, and his brand of silly zany humour is a perfect fit for The Muppets.  It surprises me that they haven't done much together.

    NEIL PATRICK HARRIS - The man tried to get Statler and Waldorf to heckle the Emmys when he hosted.  Enough said.

    GILLIAN JACOBS - Again, the Community fan in me demands it.  Who wouldn't want to see her 'Me So Hungy' dance while Kermit sings Happy Feet?  Let's just hope she wouldn't Britta it.

    EMMA WATSON - Because I love her.  Because Pepe would be able to say all the things I've wanted to say to her.

    And one more for good measure:

    JIM RASH - The guy's had more costume changes in 3 seasons of Community, then Miss Piggy has had her idea career.
  • Mary Arline -
    JOHNNY DEPP:  By all accounts, he is very silly and always willing to subvert his Hollywood Leading Man image.  Plus, it would give Kermit another chance to use his adorably accurate Jack Sparrow costume from the Pirates of the Caribbean 4 premiere.

    DANIEL RADCLIFFE:  The adorable and multi-talented Radcliffe is a self-professed Muppet fan, and this would give them the perfect excuse to do a Muppet Harry Potter parody--which, in my opinion, is long overdue.

    NATHAN FILLION:  Not only is he funny, handsome and charming but his body of work suggests nearly endless parody possibilities. 

    STANA KATIC: Fillion's 'Castle' co-star, in addition to appearing in the Never-Ending Mahna Mahna Phenomahna, is a kick-ass actress in every possible sense of the word.

    TY BURRELL:  When Kermit was having trouble finding a celebrity guest star for the telethon in 'The Muppets', my first thought was that he should ask someone from my favorite sitcom, 'Modern Family'.  Lo and behold, 20 minutes later Rico Rodriguez appeared, which was awesome.  Nevertheless, my first choice would have been Ty Burrell (Phil on 'Modern Family').  He has a delightfully self-deprecating sense of humor that would mesh perfectly with the Muppet ethos.
  • Michael Wermuth, Jr.
    1. "Weird Al" Yankovic
    Aside from being one of my favorite music performers, "Weird Al" seems like a natural to work with the Muppets, and yet the only work he's done with the Muppets so far was an interview in Muppet Magazine. I'd like to see him perform with The Electric Mayhem (they could use an accordion player, right?) and do something with Gonzo. And with the word "weird" being part of his nickname, I can't think of any celebrity who'd be more appropriate to work with the Muppets.
     2. Kelly Clarkson
     Aside from her being so attractive (and I'm really not sure how "current" she is), she is a good singer, and I like many of her songs, including "A Moment Like This", "Because of You", and "Since U Been Gone". I think those would work well with the Muppets. Naturally I think The Electric Mayhem should back her up.
     3. Steve Carrell
     He reluctantly turned down a cameo in The Muppets, which is a good sign that he'd be great with the Muppets. He also seems like a modern-day Jim Carrey (even though Carrey is still a little "current"). I feel he could work with anyone, but I think Pepe would be the best character for him to interract with.
     4. Bill Murray
     One of those celebrities who has been around for decades (becoming famous the year The Muppet Show went on the air), and while he has acted in a number of Frank Oz-directed films, it's a wonder he hasn't worked with the Muppets. I could see him as one of those guest stars who acts reluctant/forced to be on the show (like John Cleese).
     5. Ashton Kutcher
     Can you believe that Kutcher has been famous for a little more than a decade, yet he still hasn't done anything with the Muppets? I could see him paired with Miss Piggy and Link Hogthrob, or maybe he could put Beaker or The Newsman in some Punk'D-style situations. 
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

Jun 29, 2012

How To... Be a Fraggle

Ryan Dosier - Who wouldn't want to be a Fraggle, right? You get to be fun-sized, furry, have a tail... Today on The Muppet Mindset we are pleased to introduce our guaranteed-to-work* method of turning yourself into a Fraggle! Just follow this step by step guide and you'll be well on your way to dancing your cares away!
  1. Develop a taste for radishes - As the staple ingredient in the entire Fraggle diet, radishes are something you must learn to love. Either that, or wait to try Doozer sticks when you get to Fraggle Rock and hope you like them (although I've heard those are mostly radish dust anyway). 
  2. Learn to flee Gorgs - You thought training for a triathlon was hard? Try outrunning gigantic, mountain-like hairy creatures that try to thump you just for trying to taste the aforementioned radishes. Begin your training by dodging cars in a crowded street.
  3. Learn Fraggle songs - If you ever want to be able to dance your cares away like a true Fraggle, you have to learn the songs of your kind. Might I suggest buying the Fraggle Rockin' CD Collection for your introductory course?
  4. Decide upon your job - All Fraggles have jobs... but only for a thirty-minute work week. Wembley is the siren for the volunteer fire department (who don't even know how to start a fire!), Mokey collects radishes... what will you do? Might I suggest Fraggle barber?
  5. Get the hang of cave navigation - You don't want to get lost in your new home. Might I suggest some amateur spelunking? That's a great place to start getting the hang of caves.
  6. Go around without pants - Have you ever seen a Fraggle wear pants? Nope. Me either. 
  7. Demolish constructions - Fraggles break Doozer constructions. That's the way it is. Circle of life and whatever. I would start small... break your younger sibling's LEGO constructions and upgrade to deconstructing actual buildings--after that, Doozer constructions will be easy as peach and radish pie!
  8. Get silly - Above almost all else, Fraggles are goofy, silly things. Wear a clown nose, tell a bad knock-knock joke... just do something to be a fool for a little bit. Preferably in the audience of your peers.
  9. Grow a tail - A Fraggle's well-being relies on the health of his/her baloobius, which is apparently in a Fraggle's tail. So... start growing! Might I suggest water and sunshine daily?
  10. Dance your cares away - 'Nuff said.
DISCLAIMER: The Muppet Mindset does not condone any of the aforementioned steps to becoming a Fraggle and is hereby not legally obligated or responsible for anyone maimed or otherwise changed by following these steps. If you choose to play in traffic, eat nothing but radishes, spelunk without a proper permit, and run around pantless, that is your decision and your right to sue is forfeited (probably). Studies have shown that playing in traffic, improper spelunking, and naked running can lead to death, peer-laughing, cave madness, and chronic depression--all of which are very un-Fraggly. Partake in these steps at your own risk.

*Nothing about this is guaranteed to work. The writer himself is also not guaranteed to work. Especially not for free. Maybe for food.

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

Jun 28, 2012

Kevin Clash Brings Home the Emmy (Again)

Last week we reported on the seven big wins for Sesame Street at the 39th Annual Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards. After this, the official ceremony for the Daytime Emmy Awards was held and broadcast on HLN, where the Sesame performing nominees, Leslie Carrara-Rudolph, Kevin Clash, and Caroll Spinney, appeared to find out if they would win the coveted statue. The winner was Kevin Clash for his performance as Elmo, marking his eighth Emmy Award win for Elmo. A video of Kevin accepting his award has yet to surface, but if it does, it will be posted here.

While we don't have a video of Kevin's win, we do have a video (thanks to our friends at ToughPigs.com) of Oscar the Grouch performing with TV's Anderson Cooper. Enjoy!

Congratulations to our friend Kevin Clash on his big win as well as our friend Leslie Carrara-Rudolph and our hero Caroll Spinney for their nominations!

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

Jun 27, 2012

Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Sherlock Hemlock


Performed by...
Jerry Nelson

First appearance...
Sesame Street Season 2: Episode 0131 (1970)

Most recent appearance...
Sesame Street Season 40: Episode 4206 (2010)

Best known role...
Self-appointed World's Greatest Detective


Sherlock Hemlock is a hapless detective on Sesame Street and a clear (bumbling) parody of Sherlock Holmes. He speaks in a British accent and enters scenes with "detective music." He often carries a magnifying glass and wears a traditional Holmes-like outfit including a deerstalker cap and an Inverness cape (whatever those are). He often shouts "Egad!" whenever he finds a clue.

First appearing in Sesame Street Season 2, Sherlock Hemlock was already solving mysteries in his debut. In the premiere episode of Season 2, Sherlock Hemlock attempted to find the missing half of Ernie's chicken salad sandwich... only to find out that Sherlock Hemlock himself ate the sandwich half. This dynamic between Ernie and Sherlock Hemlock would become a popular pairing in the early seasons of Sesame Street.

In later seasons, along with solving mysteries with Ernie, Sherlock Hemlock appeared in the recurring cavemen sketches as the "Royal Smart Person." In the cavemen days, Sherlock Hemlock helped out Caveman Ernie by inventing the EXIT sign, paper, toothbrush, and juice.

Sherlock Hemlock also appeared in two notable sketches about the letter X during his run on Sesame Street. He appeared on Guy Smiley's game show "Mystery Guest" alongside Cookie Monster and Don Music, where the Letter X was the mystery guest. (Sherlock Hemlock guessed the Letter I was the mystery guest.) He also performed one of his only musical numbers on the show, "X Marks the Spot!" which acted as a warning/informative song about what the letter X may represent.

Starting in Season 21, Sherlock Hemlock starred in every Mysterious Theater segment, a parody of the PBS serial Mystery! Hosted and introduced by Vincent Twice (a parody of Vincent Price), Sherlock Hemlock would solve various mysteries presented in a TV-like format. In these segments, Sherlock Hemlock was given a sidekick in the form of his faithful (and often smarter) dog Watson.

The most recent major appearance by Sherlock Hemlock occurred in Season 27, where he once again worked with the Letter X as the notorious letter wanted to quit the alphabet. Sherlock Hemlock did, however, appear in Season 40 in one of the "Hidden Gems" with a small speaking role demanding service at Hooper's Store.

While Sherlock Hemlock has not appeared in a major capacity on Sesame Street in sometime, I think that it is high time he returned. Not only is he quite hilarious in his bumbling mystery "solving," but in today's modern adaptations of Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.'s Sherlock Holmes film series and PBS's Sherlock), the topic is once again ripe for parody.

The Sesame Street writers are fond of having Elmo and Abby Cadabby and other characters solve mysteries in the street stories, so why not have Sherlock Hemlock join in the fun? And with his performance as Uncle Deadly in The Muppets, Matt Vogel has proven that he can mimic Jerry Nelson's British accent with aplomb. Bring back Sherlock Hemlock!

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

Jun 26, 2012

The World of Oscar's Trash Can

Michael Wermuth, Jr. - Oscar the Grouch. He's such a great character, isn't he? But today our focus isn't on Oscar as much as it is on his trash can. Because his trash can is such an integral part of the character. It's where he lives, and it has had changes over the years. There are so many observations to make about that trash can, and I am here to talk about them.

First, let's talk about how that trash can looks, shall we? When the show began, the trash can looked a bit shinier. Maybe too shiny for a grouch, because it soon got darker and rustier. In Follow That Bird Oscar lives in a different-looking trash can. I can't exactly pinpoint the difference between his Sesame Street trash can and his Follow That Bird trash can, but I like how it looks in that movie. But in Elmo in Grouchland it looks very shiny. Not very good for a grouch. I give it some slack for the first episode because the show was new, but for 1999 I'd say a shiny trash can for Oscar is unacceptable.

And now let's talk about the lid. Oscar's lid is hinged to the trash can, staying upward whenever the trash can opens. In the first episode we can actually see some wires that keep the lid open, though later on we don't see anything. As we all know in illustrations, Oscar wears his lid as a hat. The reason for Oscar wearing his lid as a hat but not on the show was explained in a Muppet Mindset article, straight from illustrator Joe Matieu's mouth. Basically somebody didn't think it looked right when in illustrated form Oscar's body appears in front of an open lid, but it had to be done that way on the show. But then again, whenever Bruno carries Oscar's trash can, the lid is just hanging from the side of the trash can. I guess if the lid was hinged up when Bruno carried the can the lid would easily keep falling onto Oscar. But there are times (such as in episode 1899 and in the "Sesame Street, Special") where Oscar can be shown shutting and/or opening the lid on this particular trash can, showing that it is possible for Oscar to open and close it without the lid needing to be hinged on.

And then there's the subject of Oscar's traveling can. In the third season Oscar cut holes in the bottom of the trash can allowing him to walk with his trash can. A clever idea, but lately I've been wondering if they did this so illustrators could avoid drawing his whole body if needed. After all, Oscar has often been seen outside of his trash can, though in the early years it seems he’s rarely out of the can. When Oscar walks this way we only see his legs, the lid on his can being shut. I guess it’s hard to find a short person who could also operate the puppet while wearing the legs. But in illustrations when Oscar uses his traveling can we do see the top part of Oscar in addition to his legs at the bottom.

And finally there's the inside of the trash can. It's rarely shown, but it seems to be bigger on the inside than on the outside, assuming it is inside as opposed to a bigger area underneath the can. I know that The Sesame Street Book & Record has some sort of map thingy to the inside of Oscar's can, drawn as if it's underground. The only time we got a really good look at the inside of Oscar's trash can was in The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, where it looks very impressive. The fact that Oscar cut holes in the bottom so he could bring his trash with him when he travels sort of defeats the theory that his home is actually under the trash can, yet holes in the bottom make it easier for Oscar's items to fall out.

All in all, Oscar the Grouch has a great trash can. Too many places have trash cans that do NOT resemble Oscar's. They're often too plastic and sometimes have wheels and handles, and for some reason they put those garbage bags inside them. Yuck! Who would want those? I say that the only proper trash can should be metal, rusted, with no bag inside, and a round lid, preferably one that can be hinged. And maybe put a swimming pool inside it as well.

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

Jun 25, 2012

Muppet Fan's Muppet Collection Chronicle: Justin Piatt

Justin H. Piatt - Hi! Just felt like showing off a few things. To help me in doing so, I've acquired the assistance of my lovely assistant... some weird, random monster thing. (My apologies for the poor quality, as I have yet to join the rest of civilization in the 21st Century)
My CD collection: I don't have all that many, but I hope to expand. Pictured above:  Platinum All-Time Favorites; Platinum Too; Old School: Volume 1; Fraggle Rockin': A Collection; Kermit Unpigged; Music, Mayhem and More!; Best of the Muppets; The Green Album; The Muppets (soundtrack) – Naturally, all have been listened to far too much.
Next up, The Muppet Show Comic Book! I'm only missing Sherlock Holmes and the last three Muppet Mash comics... and of course, The Four Seasons series.
Here are the only Muppet dolls I own: A giant Baby Kermit that I found at FYE (wearing overalls, for some reason), a Baby Rowlf beanie, Gobo Fraggle (from Hot Topic), and a Doozer. Also, you'll notice two very different pairs of Kermit the Frog slippers. Cozy!
This is my Muppet magazine collection: Big Bird on the cover of TIME magazine; Bunsen and Beaker on the cover of Wired; Kermit the Frog on the cover of Entertainment Weekly; Disney twenty-three; and two issues of the Star Wars Insider... Well, see, the one has a Frank Oz interview, and the other has a series of articles all about Star Wars on The Muppet Show, including one that tries to fit the episode into the Star Wars timeline.
Muppet postage stamps – two sheets of the wonderful stamps that went out of date far too quickly. I had bought five of these, and used three.

Muppet Monopoly – Nothing rare. Just the best edition of Monopoly ever.
This is my collection of Muppet photos: Four that I received from Disney with The Muppets blu-ray, a group photo, three from Muppets Tonight, and a photo of Miss Piggy from Muppet Treasure Island. Can you believe Henson used to just give these things away? Oh, yeah! I almost forgot. That’s my personalized autograph from Frank Oz up in the corner. … No big.
My collection of Muppet books (and there are a lot of them): The Muppets Big Book of Crafts; The Diva Code; It's Hard Out Here for a Shrimp; Before You Leap; Muppet Babies' Classic Children's Tales; My Memory Book; Tale of Sand; Miss Piggy's Guide to Life; The Muppets: The Movie Junior Novel; The Muppets Make Puppets!; The Muppet Show Book; It's Not Easy Being Green; Sesame Street: A Celebration - 40 Years of Life on the Street; No Strings Attached; Jim Henson: The Works; Street Gang; The Wisdom of Big Bird; Memoirs of a Muppets Writer; Sesame Street Unpaved
Additionally, my copy of Street Gang is signed by Michael Davis, and my copy of The Wisdom of Big Bird is signed by both Caroll Spinney and Big Bird. I also have a few photos from the signing, which I wasn’t able to attend, but a very kind, fellow Muppet fan got this for me.
Ah! Muppet DVDs. This could take some time to list: Muppets Magic from the Ed Sullivan Show (complete with hideous cover); The Muppet Show Seasons 1-3, The Best of the Muppet Show Volumes 3, 4, and 10; The Muppet Movie; The Great Muppet Caper; The Muppets Take Manhattan; The Muppet Christmas Carol; Muppet Treasure Island; Muppets From Space; Kermit’s Swamp Years; It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie; A Muppet Christmas: Letters to Santa; The Muppets Wizard of Oz; The Muppets
Sesame Street DVDs: Old School Volume 1; Old School Volume 2; Follow That Bird; 20 Years and Still Counting; Elmo in Grouchland; 40 Years of Sunny Days; Sesame Street Spoofs Volume 1; Being Elmo
Fantasy and other DVDs: Dinosaurs – The Complete Series; Dog City; Henson’s Place; The Dark Crystal; Labyrinth; Song of the Cloud Forest; Animated Fraggle Rock; Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas; Saturday Night Live – The Complete First Season; Fraggle Rock – The Complete Series
And last, but far from least, is this: My hand-written letter from Caroll Spinney. I love this. It’s one of the best things I own, and it even has a sketch of Big Bird on it from Caroll! I love the Picklepuss stationary and envelope, and the 23-year old postcard (signed by Oscar and Big Bird) that he sent with it. I can’t express how much this means to me, and I only wish this picture did it justice.

Well, that’s about all my stuff. I like it pretty well.

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

Jun 24, 2012

(Kind of) Weekly Muppet Quotes Spotlight: Robbie Sinclair

Casey Daron - Hi, and welcome to Part 2 of Dinoquotes. Today I am spotlighting Robbie Sinclair. Robbie Sinclair is a typical teenage boy. He wants to stand out, stand up for what's right, and get his way. He tries to get girlfriends, but almost always fails. Robbie can easily get mixed up with the wrong crowd, like befriending Spike, or when he joined the Wesayso army. In a lot of ways, Robbie reminds me of myself. I hope you enjoy this week's selection of quotes! Now, I just have to figure out how to rock his hairdo...

"Tell me a story."
"Life stinks. The End."
~ Baby and Robbie Sinclair, Dinosaurs: Episode 311

"I want to win this fair and square."
"How have you managed to stay alive so long?" 
~ Robbie Sinclair and Spike, Dinosaurs: Episode 215

"Dad, after you throw Grandma into the tar pit, is there life after that?"
"For me there is."
~ Robbie and Earl Sinclair, Dinosaurs: Episode 103

"I want to go on record, but I'm pretty sure killing Dad is wrong." 
~ Robbie Sinclair, Dinosaurs: Episode 104

"Oh, no! Man! Ugh, I touched my sisters TAIL!"
~ Robbie Sinclair, Dinosaurs: Episode 315

"You got spit up?"
"Did you bring me a present?"
~ Baby and Robbie Sinclair, Dinosaurs: Episode 203

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

Jun 23, 2012

Celebrities I'd Like to See Work With the Muppets

A trademark of many Muppet productions is their uncanny ability to attract some of today's biggest stars to appear alongside Kermit, Fozzie, and the gang. Why, The Muppets alone featured some of the most popular names in comedy today (Neil Patrick Harris, Jim Parsons, Donald Glover). The Muppets have worked with so many people in their productions that almost every time I watch a television show or movie I find my mind wandering and thinking about how perfect some individuals would be with the Muppets. That is what inspired this post and my challenge for you, Muppet fans: List five celebrities you would like to see work with the Muppets and briefly explain why. Email the answers to muppetmindset@gmail.com by Thursday, June 28th, and I'll collect the answers and post them here next week! Here are my answers below (and I listed six... because I can):

KRISTEN BELL - Besides being drop dead gorgeous, Kristen Bell is an extremely funny and willing actress. See her in Forgetting Sarah Marshall if you don't believe me. Kristen Bell has some major comedy chops that would be a fantastic match for the Muppets. I can see her now flirting with Kermit, duking it out with Miss Piggy, or throwing Pepe off his game. And again... drop dead gorgeous.

JON HAMM - You may not believe it, but the Mad Men star is actually incredibly adept at making funny things. Catch him in Bridesmaids for him being a hilarious jerk. Yes, he did kiss Miss Piggy at the BAFTAs (see right), but he has never worked with the Muppets on any of their productions. He would be so great partnering with Fozzie for some jokes or dodging Rizzo and Pepe's sleazy requests for advertising work from Don Draper.

AMY POEHLER - The SNL alum and Parks and Recreation star appeared on Sesame Street in Season 41, but how perfect would she be with the Muppets? I'd love to see her try (and fail) acts with everyone... but seeing Lew Zealand hurl boomerang fish at her would be amazing. Plus, I'm sure Statler and Waldorf would get a kick out of her character's name being Leslie Knope.

JOEL McHALE - I'm completely biased here because Community is by and large my favorite show on television... but that doesn't make Joel McHale any less awesome. When Statler and Waldorf appeared on the McHale-hosted The Soup earlier this year they cracked up the audience with their banter with Joel. Perhaps Joel could share handsome tips with Bobo the Bear or play Batman in a sketch with Robin the Frog as Robin. (Can you tell I think about this a lot?)

STEVE CARELL - Another one of my favorite actors, Michael Scott himself, Steve Carell. He is one of the most naturally funny individuals on the scene today and he would make any encounter with a Muppet undoubtedly hilarious. Picture him being a diva and making Scooter work for him or laughing throughout an entire stand-up routine with Fozzie.

CRAIG FERGUSON - My personal favorite late-night funnyman, host of The Late Late Show Craig Ferguson always makes me laugh. He has a great history of Muppets on his show (Kermit and Pepe have both stopped by) and appeared on Sesame Street. He is also a big lover of puppets... see why Craig would be perfect with the Muppets? I'd love to see him in a war of words with the Swedish Chef or gargling old Scottish ballads with Angus McGonagle. (Hey, a guy can dream, can't he?)

Submit your Muppet celebri-dreams to muppetmindset@gmail.com

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