1 The Muppet Mindset: April 2013

Apr 30, 2013

Sometimes Bert Wears Funny Hats

Over the years running The Muppet Mindset I've collected quite a few pictures of Muppets (go figure). One of my favorite picture subjects is Bert. He's boring, but he's also dynamic--it's an odd conundrum for ol' Bert. But one of the things I've recently discovered via these pictures is the fact that Bert often wears funny hats... sometimes more often than his other Sesame friends and certainly more than Ernie. Maybe Ernie puts the hats on him? Probably. Anyway... here's some pictures of Bert wearing funny hats to brighten your Tuesday.
Bert wearing antlers (because Santa needed him to pull his sleigh)
Bert wearing bunny ears (also note the tail)
Bert as a conehead (or wearing a party hat, whatever)
Bert in his casual summer wear (note the argyle socks and the weird hat)
Bert in winter

Boy, hats sure look weird on Bert. His head is so oddly shaped... Anyway, there it is.

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

Apr 29, 2013

The Great Muppet Survey - Julia Gaskill

Answers from Julia Gaskill
Check out Julia's Muppet blog on Tumblr: Never Too Old to Love Muppets

1.   Who are your three favorite characters from The Muppet Show, Muppets Tonight, The Jim Henson Hour, the Muppet movies, etc. and why?
This is a difficult question, as I love all the Muppets, but I'd have to say... Gonzo's number one, because he is so funny and silly and I admire his sheer determination to make art out of just about everything. Second is Rizzo, because I love his sarcasm (and him and Gonzo make such a great duo). And lastly is Sam the Eagle because, come on, Sam's awesome.

2.   Who are your three favorite characters from Sesame Street and why?
Telly's always been my favorite. He's so paranoid and worried, but he's also a sweetheart and I just want to give him a hug. Then I'd say Grover, because he is the cutest little blue furry monster ever. Lastly, I'd say Bert, probably for the same reasons I love Sam the Eagle so much. I love grouchy Muppets!

3.   Who are your three favorite characters from Fraggle Rock and why?
Wembley, because he loves his friends so much and he's just the sweetest. Then probably Boober, because I found his dreary outlook on life endearing. Then Uncle Traveling Matt, for his zany postcards.

4.   What is your favorite television program starring any of Jim Henson's creations (e.g. The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, Dinosaurs, etc.) and why?
Oh, The Muppet Show. Hands down. You can't beat The Muppet Show. There are just so many wonderful episodes, hilarious gags, memorable songs, and lovely moments on that show. Definitely the best thing Jim ever created.

5.   What is your favorite Muppet movie and why?
It's The Great Muppet Caper for me. It has such a wonderful soundtrack, and there are so many moments in the film that make me crack up (Gonzo throwing himself in front of the taxi, Fozzie and Kermit being identical twins, John Cleese's whole bit with Miss Piggy, etc.). I think it's fair to say The Muppet Movie is probably the best of all the Muppet films, but Great Muppet Caper will always be my favorite.

6.   What is your favorite Muppet/Sesame/Fraggle song and why?
Such a tricky one, there are far too many wonderful Muppet songs. But again, I'll side with you and say "I'm Going To Go Back There Someday". It's such a sweet moment in The Muppet Movie, and I love any moment when we get to see Gonzo's more sensitive side (such as him singing "My Way" and "The Wishing Song" on The Muppet Show).

7.   If you could have dinner with any living Muppet performer who would you choose and why?
Dave Goelz. Dave Goelz, Dave Goelz, Dave Goelz. Why? Because he's Dave Goelz!

8.   If you could tell Jim Henson one thing, what would it be?
No words. I'd just hug him (and probably cry). He's given us so much, I don't think I could ever find the words to express that.

9.   If the President called you and asked to discuss Muppet projects, what would you tell him was the "Greatest Muppet Moment of All Time"?
Honestly, Mr. President, you can't get much better than the "good grief, the comedian's a bear" gag.

10.   What's the name of that song?
La Di Da Di Da, La Di Da Di Da...

11.   If a judge ruled that Grover had to be your personal assistant for a month, what jobs would you have him do?
I don't know if I'd give him any tasks. I'd probably just have him follow me around and, when I'm having a bad, let me give him hugs.

12.   In your opinion, what is the worst Muppet production ever made?
The Muppets' Wizard of Oz. I feel like I don't need to elaborate and that everyone's on the same page.

13.   Who is one celebrity you would love to see cameo in the next Muppet movie?
Amy Poehler, please!

14.   If you could take a picture with any Muppet, who would you choose and how would you pose?
Sweetums! I'd sit on his shoulders.

15.   What is your favorite piece of Muppet merchandise that you own? (Feel free to include a picture!)
A Big Bird feather that a friend nabbed for me when she was interning for Sesame Street.

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

Apr 28, 2013

Could More Fraggle Music Finally Be Coming to CD?

Matt Baker - With 2013 marking the beloved Fraggle Rock's 30th anniversary, the series has so far received a level of awareness unseen in years. The most recent development has been the Jim Henson Company's new anniversary website FraggleRock30.com, which reveals new or upcoming items. While Henson most often markets the Fraggles as contemporary, this year looks to hopefully be different in at least two respects: a previously-announced coffee table book is in the works for publication with partner Insight Editions, and a just-announced "Classic Music Collection" is apparently coming soon!

Regular readers of The Muppet Mindset have likely seen the "Vote to bring Fraggle Rock music toCD!" link. It sends you to Ryan's article detailing our collaboration in starting a poll aimed at gauging fan interest in a collection of songs. It has revealed that the core fan-base longs for more music than that offered by the three existing albums. For example, among more than 1,000 respondents, the various questions reveal that about 97% would buy unreleased music. Almost 94% welcome CDs (only 6% prefer downloads) while more than 84% would welcome a single set of the complete library; nearly 70% are willing to spend at least $50 for such a set and over 40% would be willing to pay $100 or more.

These numbers are telling. If a Classic Music Collection is released, would it be targeted to this consumer base? Would it be released on CD? If so, would it be complete? What is "complete" anyway? While I don't know the answers, I can provide some suggestions: yes, it should be targeted to the hardcore fans; yes, it should be on CD; and yes, it should be complete! As for what "complete" could mean, here are some thoughts:

According to Chris Vaughn's Fraggle Rock website (researched from the show's bible, "The Encyclopedia Fragglia," and now sadly defunct) the original series had 232 songs spread over the course of its 96 episode run. A complete collection would be, of course, incomplete without all 232.

- International music/Traveling Matt
- versions of the international theme songs
- a selection of songs sung in various languages
- "All Around the World"

Extras for a collector's set wouldn't be complete without material from the international shows. Album or TV versions (or both) of all the international theme songs would be a great addition, and a selection of re-dubbed songs could serve as a nice complement (the more accessible ones, such as those found on the three albums, might work best).

Essential to the international flavor of Fraggle Rock is, without question, Traveling Matt's "All Around the World." The song holds a special place in the hearts of longtime fans and should be released in all its forms. Though the song was issued as a vocal and instrumental on a 45 RPM single in the UK, the Season 3 and 4 postcard segments of the show itself feature a different instrumental recording. This version should certainly be included along with any other alternate versions that may exist.

Philip Balsam theme demos
Prominent in the Season 4 DVD bonus features, Philip Balsam's numerous--and often very wacky--demos for the Fraggle Rock Theme clearly survive and should be included not only for fun but for historical reasons (especially since they aren't playable as individual tracks on the DVD).

Philip Balsam song demosThe Down at Fraggle Rock documentary revealed the recording process for Fraggle music: after writing the music and applying Dennis Lee's lyrics, Philip Balsam would lay down a full recording of each song to serve as a guide for the performers. If Philip's theme demos survive, it's logical to conclude his other tapes may as well. How fun would it be to hear him sing some of the show's famous songs? I know I'd love to hear his take on "Dixie Wailin'"!

Don Gillis underscore musicIt's hard to imagine a transition to or from Doc's Workshop without Don Gillis. Despite the attention the songs receive, Fraggle Rock's musical landscape would be quite different without him; many of the most powerful episodes shine even brighter with just a bar or two of Gillis music. Though much of his work was a few seconds here and there, a selection of highlights--or even a lengthy suite if possible--would really add flavor just as the composer did to the episodes.

The wrap party/Fraggles Look for Jobs version of "Children of Tomorrow"What was unfortunately missing from the Season 4 DVD bonus features was the "Fraggles Look for Jobs" video portion of the wrap party. The next best thing would be to include the video's concluding song, a modified version of "Children of Tomorrow," so fans may enjoy an alternate recording of one of Fraggle Rock's finest.

The Jerry Juhl tribute version of "Follow Me"One of the best of all the DVD bonus features was Season 2's warm and poignant tribute to head writer Jerry Juhl. The segment ends with another modified version of a Fraggle classic, "Follow Me," performed beautifully by Philip Balsam. Its inclusion would be delightful.
Inside Fraggle RockAccording to Muppet Wiki, this release is "a 1993 book-and-tape set, which includes six songs from the show." Though the songs would already be part of a complete set, it would still be fun to have this program. It primarily features new dialog by several Fraggles (chiefly Gobo and Mokey) which serves as bridging material.

The Animated SeriesThough short-lived and probably not everyone's favorite, there were only 26 songs featured in the series. They, along with the opening and closing themes, would be neat to have.

Outtakes, bloopers or any other extrasAs it says, anything else would be gravy. Muppet Wiki says the UK Fraggle Rock album features an instrumental version of "Workin'." Cool.

While the three original albums are fantastic in their own right (as is their 2007 re-issue ), their output represents not only just a fraction of the show's catalog but little beyond the most accessible of songs as well. One of the many magical elements of the show is the uniqueness of the music to the stories being told. What makes tunes such as "Free and High," "Just a Dream Away" and "Children of Tomorrow" so powerful in context is, unfortunately, exactly what makes them less marketable as a 15-track single CD. The Fraggle Rock library really needs to be fully assembled as a complete collection for the dedicated fan who not only loves the music but is able to appreciate its wonder as a whole body of work.

If a CD can hold 80 minutes, I'd estimate all 232 songs plus the aforementioned extras could fit on six discs. The songs by themselves, with no extras, would need about five (Fraggle Rockin’ was spread over three). Either way, it is certainly feasible as many similar sets have been produced by record companies over the years. With luck, The Jim Henson Company will see it fit to do the Fraggles justice with a complete collection of songs.

If you can think of any extras not on this list that you'd like to see included, please comment below. If you haven'tvoted in our poll yet, please do! And if you'd like to "come and follow me" on Twitter for all things Fraggle, please do @FraggleMusic. Thanks for reading!

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

Apr 27, 2013

News Update: April 27, 2013

NEWS UPDATE: April 27, 2013

The 30th Anniversary website for Fraggle Rock has officially launched with a wealth of new information about what to expect from the show's upcoming anniversary promotions. This includes wall graphics in June, an all-encompassing collector's book in July, and (most exciting) a so-called "Classic Music Collection" in November, plus much more! This is only the beginning of the excitement, so be on the lookout for more!

But wait, there's more right here! A friend of the site alerted us the fact that select clips and episodes of Fraggle Rock would be playing on the TVs at the kids entertainment chain Chuck E. Cheese's. Our friend let us know that a partnership with The Jim Henson Company allowed for episodes of Fraggle Rock (and Pajanimals) to be shown in the restaurants. There's also talk of some Fraggle prizes being available for kids as well. So if you've got kids and they've been clamoring to go to Chuck E. Cheese's... now you've got a Fraggle-ish reason to go!

But wait, there's still more Fraggle news! The Muppet-loving t-shirt design website Threadless and The Jim Henson Company recently announced a new Fraggle Rock design contest for artists. Just like the Muppet and Sesame Street contests Threadless has held in the past, this contest allows artists to submit their work for t-shirt designs to be voted on by the masses. The prizes are incredible, including $2,500 cash and a "one of a kind, handcrafted Doozer, custom created for the Jim Henson Company for display use."! So if you're an artist who loves Fraggle Rock, get to designing and submitting your work!

And would you believe that we've still got more Fraggle stuff? Last weekend, the cable channel The Hub hosted its Fraggle Rock-A-Thon, a marathon of Fraggle Rock's greatest episodes. This marathon was hosted by Gobo Fraggle and Red Fraggle in new interstitials! Check out John Tartaglia and Karen Prell having a fantastic time as Gobo and Red promoting the show for The Hub in the video below, found by our friends at ToughPigs.com!

The Jim Henson Company is developing a brand new reality competition series for the Syfy Network. The Jim Henson Creature Shop will feature Brian Henson as a judge. Check out the press release from Syfy for more info: "For generations the craftsmen at The Jim Henson Creature Shop have brought to life imaginative, lovable and memorable characters that have enthralled audiences around the world. Now, aspiring creature makers will have an opportunity to win the job of a lifetime – an apprenticeship with the Creature Shop. Teams of amateur creators will face off to build elaborate and awe-inspiring creatures, ranging from animatronic monsters and fantastical puppets, to life-like beasts and beyond! Creations are judged by Brian Henson – son of Jim Henson and Chairman to the Henson empire – along with top industry experts. Executive producers: Brian Henson (The Jim Henson Company) and Joseph Freed."

Lastly, our friends at ToughPigs.com have scooped us again with news that Oscar-nominated Frost/Nixon actor Frank Langella has filmed a cameo for The Muppets... Again! The news comes straight from Deadline.com, a very reputable entertainment news source, so we can definitely count Mr. Langella on the list of cameos for The Muppets... Again!

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

Apr 25, 2013

Muppet Retro Reviews: Elmopalooza

Michael Wermuth, Jr. - Elmopalooza is a special celebrating the 30th anniversary of Sesame Street. Unlike other anniversary specials, this one does not include clips from the show. Instead, it features new musical performances of songs from the show, as performed by many pop stars along with familiar Muppet characters, and most of the numbers are done in the style of music videos.

The main plot of the special revolves around Jon Stewart, who is set to host a Sesame Street music special. But right before showtime, Elmo accidentally locks Jon, producer Prairie Dawn, the door repair man, and the entire crew except for a stagehand (played by David Alan Grier) inside Jon's dressing room, so the Sesame Street Muppets decide to put on the show themselves. The Count provides the countdown, Bert directs, and Elmo decides to host, in an attempt to make up for his mistake.

This special also has a B-plot, in which the adults plan to come to the studio by limo, but their driver ends up being Grover. Grover assures them that even though he does not know the way, he will get them there because he has a video map. But it turns out it was not a video map after all, but a video game. Fortunately, Grover does end up getting them there before the closing number, but not before getting them lost in other places, like the desert.

For a special celebrating the music of Sesame Street, particularly an anniversary special, most of the songs included are NOT ones casual fans might expect. We don't get celebrities singing new versions of "Rubber Duckie", "C is for Cookie", "Bein' Green", or other songs like that. Instead, most of the songs are what I'd consider secondary or lower ("I Don't Want to Live on the Moon" is what I'd call the only A-list song to be included). In fact, some of these songs I hadn't heard (or even heard of) until I saw this special (and a few of them I still haven't seen or heard the original performances of). But pretty much all of the performances are great regardless.

Among the songs given music videos are "Caribbean Amphibian" with Jimmy Buffet and Kermit, "I Want a Monster to Be My Friend" (a song not seen or heard on the show since 1984) with En Vogue and the monsters, "Mambo I,I, I" with Gloria Estefan and Rosita, and "One Small Voice" with Kenny Loggins, among other numbers. At one point, Elmo and Rosie O'Donnell take the stage to perform "Nearly Missed", and when Elmo accidentally causes the set to fall apart, he starts feeling bad about himself as host, but he gets better. In addition to all the singers, there are cameos by non-singers like Richard Beltzer (who has a stunt double try to break down the door), Chris Rock (who considers hosting the show, until Prairie Dawn tells him "No dirty jokes!"), and Conan O'Brien (who interviews the Martians).

Eventually, Jon Stewart breaks free of his dressing room, Elmo's spirits are lifted, and they are able to sing a great closing number, "Songs", joined by the cast (and the stagehand). This sequence includes a medley of some of the more famous songs one would expect to see in a special like this, like "Rubber Duckie" and "C is for Cookie". It's a grand finale, followed by a closing credits montage of all the celebrities in the special singing a verse of the theme song.

So that's Elmopalooza. I would have preferred the special to have clips from the show, as that's what I normally expect from anniversary specials, but despite the lack of show clips, this is a great special. I enjoy the various celebrity performances, and it's cool that the special focuses on lesser-known songs, and the special features most of the 1997-1998 cast (plus Forgetful Jones in the background of some scenes). Elmo may have his name in the title, but it's a lot more than just Elmo. It's an anniversary special worth watching.

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

Apr 24, 2013

Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Mad Monty

Written by Ryan Dosier.


Performed by...
Jerry Nelson

First appearance...
Muppet Treasure Island (1996)

Most recent appearance...

Muppet Treasure Island (Muppet Sing Alongs) (1996)

Best known role...
Violent, volatile green monster pirate; part of Long John Silver's crew; cohort of Polly Lobster and Clueless Morgan

Memorable quote...
"But I ordered shrimp scampi!!"

Mad Monty is one of the hapless members of the pirate crew aboard the S.S. Hispaniola in Muppet Treasure Island. Mad Monty is a close conspirator of Long John Silver and part of a nefarious trio with Polly Lobster and Clueless Morgan. With Polly and Clueless, Mad Monty sang about his plans to "Hang 'em high and watch their little feet try to walk in the air, while their faces turn blue" and got thrown in the ship's brig where he lamented the sorry state of the food, asserting that he ordered the shrimp scampi.

Unfortunately, after Muppet Treasure Island, Mad Monty was only seen on screen on one more occasion when he appeared in the Muppet Sing Alongs tape featuring songs from the film. Again, Mad Monty appears with Clueless Morgan and Polly Lobster, joining Kermit on the ship for a rollicking romp of pirate songs.

Although he never appeared on screen again, Mad Monty did appear as a PVC toy with Polly Lobster for promotion of the film. Mad Monty's final appearance in any medium to date was an illustrated cameo in 2010's comic book Muppet Snow White where he again, you guessed it, appeared alongside Polly Lobster and Clueless Morgan.

This question is difficult to answer, since even Mad Monty's performer Jerry Nelson once said in an interview with ToughPigs that he thought the character didn't work. I think that Monty's goofy voice and mannerisms make him a relatively funny character, and he did work well with Clueless Morgan and Polly Lobster. Unfortunately, they also work just as well as a duo (see: Muppets Tonight), so again, Monty is not really needed. Perhaps someday Monty will return and he'll take off as a character.

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

Apr 23, 2013

The Great Muppet Survey - Connor Burke

 Answers from Connor Burke

1. Who are your three favorite characters from The Muppet Show, Muppets Tonight, The Jim Henson Hour, the Muppet movies, etc. and why?
Top three? Ooh that's a toughy. Well, the Great Gonzo is automatically my favorite because he's so bizzarley out there, but doesn't care who calls him a weirdo or an idiot for doing his stunts, he does them because he loves them. My second favorite is (surprisingly) Walter! Walter is just the Muppetization of every fan that wanted a new movie, and he's so cute and hilarious that it's hard not to love him. Number three is probably Kermit because let's face it. Everybody loves Kermit, he's sweet, funny, and an all-around amazing everyfrog.

2. Who are your three favorite characters from Sesame Street and why?
Again with the threes. Okay, so Grover is my top because I used to be able to do an insanely good impression of him, but also because he was hilarious in everything he does, and he is "cute, too." My second favorite is Cookie Monster because his insanity and cravings make for quality television, and I have a lunchbox with him on it! He's amazing! My third favorite is probably Bert because I always love a good straight man. Whether it is Matthew Broderick in The Producers or Paul Rudd in I Love You, Man, the one guy who puts up with his best friends' shenanigans always holds a place in my heart.

3. Who are your three favorite characters from Fraggle Rock and why?
I feel like a terrible Muppet Fan by saying I don't remember Fraggle Rock much at all! I watched it when I was little, but I honestly don't remember much from the opening sequence, and that I thought Wembley was hilarious and Travelling Matt had an awesome mustache. So I guess those two and Boober. Because his name is still in my brain for some reason.

4.What is your favorite television program starring any of Jim Henson's creations (e.g. The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, Dinosaurs, etc.) and why?
The Muppet Show! The vaudeville style, the classic humor, the crazy backstage antics, I can list for days why I love The Muppet Show.I even directed a scene in my school's Senior Directed Cabaret this year that was based off of Fozzie and Rowlf's performance of "I've Got Rhythm"! Plus, I sometimes fall into a slight depression, and whenever it rears its ugly head, I can always count on absurd Muppet Show sketches (especially the Danny Boy one) to cheer me up!

5.What is your favorite Muppet movie and why?
Wow. You just keep piling on the hard questions. Sheesh, I guess it would have to be The Muppet Movie, because you can't go wrong with it. "I'm Going to Go Back There Someday," classic running gags (being lost will never be the same) and of course, hilarious and heartfelt characters with a ton of fourth wall breakage, it will always be the Greatest Muppet Movie Ever Made.

6.What is your favorite Muppet/Sesame/Fraggle song and why?
"Moving Right Along!" What's better than a classic road trip duet between two best friends who just met?

7.If you could have dinner with any living Muppet performer who would you choose and why?
Back to the difficulties, I see. I'd have to say Dave Goelez, simply because he is one of the originals who is still alive! Plus, he performs Gonzo, my absolute favorite Jim Henson creation!

8.If you could tell Jim Henson one thing, what would it be?
Nothing, because I wouldn't be worthy enough to speak to the man.

9.If the President called you and asked to discuss Muppet projects, what would you tell him was the "Greatest Muppet Moment of All Time"?
The finale of the Muppet Movie. "Life's Like a Movie, Write your own ending," the great exploding rainbow, and just the entire happiness of the number, it's honestly one of the most fun Muppet moments ever.

10.What's the name of that song?
Well, I'm assuming "The Magic Store" since I just spoke of that musical number.

11.If a judge ruled that Grover had to be your personal assistant for a month, what jobs would you have him do?
Follow me around and be all around hilarious.

12.In your opinion, what is the worst Muppet production ever made?
I was going to say It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, but it is beaten out in sheer awfulness by The Muppets' Wizard of Oz. Too much Pepe, not enough heart or hilarity.

13.Who is one celebrity you would love to see cameo in the next Muppet movie?
It's set in England so MATT SMITH AS THE DOCTOR (DOCTOR WHO). To see him interact with Gonzo is a fantasy I have had many a time.

14.If you could take a picture with any Muppet, who would you choose and how would you pose?
I would want a picture with Kermit, with both of us doing the "YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY" arm flails!

15.What is your favorite piece of Muppet merchandise that you own? (Feel free to include a picture!)
My Cookie Monster Lunch tin! I would add a picture, but I left it in my locker. I bought into my school my sophomore year, and ALL I got were compliments from everyone I saw. It's wonderful!

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

Apr 22, 2013

Ten Favorite Muppet Environmental Moments

Michael Wermuth, Jr. - Happy Earth Day, Muppet fans! I figured today would be a great time to post my top ten favorite environmental moments from the Muppets. Over the years, the Muppets have done a lot to promote helping the environment, in part because Jim Henson was concerned about protecting the planet. Many Henson productions worked in environmental messages of some sort, it's often been part of Sesame Street's curriculum, and a lack of caring for the environment was the cause for the extinction of the cast of Dinosaurs. Anyway, here is my list!

10. Monsterpiece Theater: Conservation with my Father, from Sesame Street
One of the few Monsterpiece Theater segments starring Cookie Monster, this one, a parody of Conversations with my Father, involved Cookie Monster's pop giving him a lecture on conservation. He teaches him not to let water drip from faucet, not to leave the TV on when nobody is watching, and not to waste cookies. It's not one of the best Monsterpeice Theater segments, but it is a great lesson about conservation.

9. Waste Deep, Better World Society PSA
In this public service announcement for the Better World Society, Kermit asks the viewer to imagine if everybody lived in one house, showing a scenario where several monsters struggle to have food, enough water, or bed space. At the end, Kermit remarks that "we do" live in one house, referring to the earth. It is kinda funny watching all those monsters struggle.

8. Let's Make It Earth Day Every Day, National Wildlife Federation PSA
Bill, Gil, and Jill struggle to come up with a slogan for Earth Day, and end up trashing the office with rejected slogans. When they remark that they did Earth Day stuff last year and wonder why they're doing it again, Robin pops up, tells them they can help the earth all year round, and suggests the slogan "Let's make it Earth Day every day." Great slogan, Robin! Also a good use of characters best known for appearing in The Muppets Take Manhattan.

7. "Don't Throw That Trash on the Ground", from Sesame Street
This song features Ernie singing about a time he and some friends were at a park, where they got some drinks and ice cream, but couldn't find a trash can. They were told by a group of greasers not to throw the trash on the ground. The music at the beginning sounds very epic, the lyrics are catchy, and it's so absurd that they can't find any trash cans at a public park until the very end. It's also Jim Henson's last performance as Ernie on Sesame Street.

6. "Put It in the Trash Can", from Sesame Street
"Put It in the Trash Can" is Bruno's big number. Gina introduces Bruno and the Trashmen, who sing the anti-litter song, with Bruno scat singing and carrying a shiny trashcan, which the other singers put trash in. It's a rare opportunity to hear Bruno's voice, as well as a rare opportunity to see Bruno without Oscar. I like the do-wop style singing and the voice that Camile Bonora gives to the lead singing member.

5. "River of Life," from Fraggle Rock
Doc considers an offer to dump toxic waste in tunnels underneath his workshop, which leads to Fraggle Rock. They dump a sample while Doc makes a decision. This poisons the water, causing all of the Fraggles except Boober (who didn't join them in swimming) to get sick and the Gorgs' radishes to shrivel when being watered. Eventually everything gets resolved thanks to Boober. Boober's song "It Makes You Cry" is a nice song and it's great that Doc finally believes something lives behind the hole in the wall.

4. "Take 'Em Away," from Rocky Mountain Holiday
One of the high points of one of the Muppets lesser specials. As John Denver and the Muppets hike to their campsite, they come across a cabin where Lubbock Lou and His Jughuggers sing this anti-litter song, reminding them to pack up their belongings when they leave. It's one of the Jugband's strongest songs. In this song, each member of the Jugband (except for Lou) gets at least one vocal, making them almost all equal. And it is a fun song.

3. "The Future is Counting on You," from Muppet Babies
From the episode "Muppet Babies: The Next Generation," Rowlf gets beamed to the future by his future grandson, Lt. Woof, who informs him that the future is so cool because the kids of today cared enough for the earth, leading to this environmental song reminding us that we need to protect the planet for the future. It's such a great song, Baby Rowlf has the best singing voice of the Muppet babies. Of all the Muppet Babies songs, this one should have been a pop hit.

2. "Just Throw It My Way," from Sesame Street
Oscar the Grouch sings a parody of "My Way," encouraging us to throw our trash in the trash can. Oscar hates seeing trash strewn across the ground going to waste when it could be much better used in his can. It's a fun song with back up by two Grouch girls and an audience of Anything Muppets. It's a great tune, and a surprising one for a Grouch to sing. But it isn't the first time Oscar has shown his environmental side.

1. "On My Pond," from Sesame Street 
A great song sung by Kermit, singing about his pond while a picnicking family nearby throws their trash in the pond. Kermit and his fish back-up singers sing about the importance of not throwing trash in the pond, and by the end of the song, the family gets their trash and disposes it properly.

Well, that's ten great environmental moments. Unfortunately, I did not write this on recycled paper, or use both sides, but at least since this is online there won't be any paper waste (unless you print it).

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