1 The Muppet Mindset: July 2013

Jul 31, 2013

Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Gladys

Written by Ryan DosierSpecial thanks to our friend Chris Stulz for his always-stellar Photoshop work!


Performed by...
Richard Hunt

First appearance...
The Muppet Show Episode 301: Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge (1978)

Most recent appearance...
The Muppet Movie (1979) (On-Screen)
The Muppets: Doodle Book (2012) (In-Print)

Best known role...
Cafeteria lady at the Muppet Theater

Gladys is the leader of the Muppet Theater's canteen and cafeteria, serving food to the cast and crew of The Muppet Show. Gladys only appeared in the first half of Season 3 of The Muppet Show, but she was quite memorable as one of the few female characters to be featured prominently. Gladys worked alongside The Swedish Chef in the canteen, helping to serve up his inedible food.

Gladys's physical appearance was quite distinct. She wore sparkly green glasses and a sparkly green headpiece. Her gray hair was untamed and spread around her head. Perhaps Miss Piggy requested that all other female characters be unattractive compared to her. Richard Hunt performed Gladys with an obnoxious, high-pitched voice that could be very funny as well as annoying.

Gladys's final on-screen appearance was a small cameo in the "Rainbow Connection" finale in The Muppet Movie. However, she also appeared a few times in the recent Muppet comic books; most notably in The Muppet Show Comic Book series "The Treasure of Peg-Leg Wilson." Gladys also made an illustrated appearance in the 2012 kids book The Muppets: Doodle Book where aspiring doodlers could draw food for Gladys to add to her soup of the day.

Gladys obviously failed as a character because she was dropped from The Muppet Show so quickly and unceremoniously. But in a world where Uncle Deadly can have a featured role in a new Muppet movie, maybe anything is possible. Gladys did add to the dwindling roster of female Muppet characters, but she wasn't a great representation of females... Basically, I don't know why the Muppets need Gladys. I guess to serve them their food.

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

Jul 30, 2013

How To... Get a Girl to Like You

Maxwell Jessop - Hello, dudes, dudettes... and other hip variations of the word dude! I'm back! Sorry for my inactivity around here. But I'm gonna make it up to you, because today I'm going to show all you singles out there how to win a lady... or a chicken... I get the two mixed up sometimes. I mean, aren't girls called chicks sometimes? Anyway, here it is!
The Muppet Mindset Calamitously Presents…
Get a Girl to Like You

1. First things first, decide who you would like to date. Find someone you would like to show your affection to. Anyone will do, quite frankly. Remember, girls with feathers and beaks are not deal-breakers by any means.

2. After finding that one person, plan something special for her. Possibly bring her flowers. This is a very tricky thing, however, because some girls are allergic to such gifts. Hay fever isn't exactly something that'll boost your odds of her liking you.

3. If you don't want to try all the other clich├ęs in the book (optional), try singing a song to win her heart. Write the song yourself. Women love that. Be sure to include lyrics like, "you’re prettier by far than Godzilla..."

4. By now you've probably won her love, if you didn't change your mind and fall in love with a big yellow canary, that is. Still, solidify your relationship. Take her on your wild and crazy escapades. Nothing shows your love more than strapping her to a motorboat and having her do her best impression of Tony Bennett singing "The William Tell Overture."

5. Take her to all your holiday activities. Come Christmas, she'll love to snuggle up with you around the fireplace. Just be careful. The Christmas Turkey has his eye on her. He’s one sly bird.

6. (Optional) Take her on vacations. I hear Walt Disney World is a fine place to be this summer. I'd recommend for you and your gal check out Walt Disney's Laundryland--the most romantic place west of the broom closet.

7. Listen closely for this one, be sure to remember her. I don't just mean keep her in your thoughts and don't forget to be romantic, do that, I guess. But, I mean, don't forget what she looks like. The color of her eyelids might be recognizable, but it's pretty hard to tell these girls apart.

8. Also, don't forget to cheer her on. Be there for her whenever she does something exciting. It won't always be as exciting as eating a rubber tire, but it's good to be there when she's showing her talents. Especially if she's singing a clucking rendition of Cee Lo Green's hit song, "Forget You."

9. Finally, cherish her. Because at this point, she's yours and you have succeeded in your goal to find a chicken---err---lady...

Disclaimer: The Muppet Mindset will not, cannot, and shan't not be liable for any emotional, physical, mental, metaphysical, or bacteriological damage associated with following the steps in this How To guide. We have literally no faith that these steps will work nor do we believe any dating advice with the style and mindset of Gonzo the Great will work. We do not condone treating women like chickens. We do, however, condone going to the world-renowned Walt Disney World laundry facilities. Please, just do not sue us. We're still in a legal rough patch. Right now, our lawyer is Ryan's fish he got at the State Fair. All he does is float around upside down at the top of the bowl in that scummy water...

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

Jul 29, 2013

The Great Muppet Survey: Ceris Thomas

Answers from Ceris Thomas

1. Who are your three favorite characters from The Muppet Show, Muppets Tonight, The Jim Henson Hour, the Muppet movies, etc. and why?

Kermit the Frog has always been my absolute favorite. I know there is nothing unusual about choosing Kermit, but as much as I love all the Muppets, I keep returning to the crazy one at the centre of all the crazies! The fact that he brought all of these nuts together and somehow manages to keep somewhat sane is something I identify with in a big way.

Pepe the King Prawn makes me laugh--a lot. He's one of the best characters who keeps the anarchy going within the troupe and his dedication to self is something to which I aspire. I'm generally much more selfless--but there are times when you really should put yourself first.

Miss Piggy is the greatest icon, the greatest role model and the greatest female image of the last 30+ years. Every woman who has a sense of self and power and style owes a little bit to her. Her determination and singlemindedness is inspirational!

*The Penguins--cause I love penguins in general and I love when they get flung around in behind the scenes!

2. Who are your three favorite characters from Sesame Street and why?

Ernie & Bert - I know that's two, but as wonderful as they are apart, there's nothing quite like the magic of the two of them together. The way they laugh, the way they make each other laugh, the way they push each other's buttons... it's all gold. I used to practice laughing like them. Still do from time to time.

Grover - he's just perfect. He's always so positive and funny without knowing he's funny. I love the way he keeps trying and interjecting commentary whenever he's working with someone, or ruining their meal or whatever. Plus, he's cute too!

Don Music - because I was learning to play the piano and I often felt that I would "never get it! Never! NEVER!" But each week, he'd be back there, trying again and even though he thought he couldn't get it, he always managed some great songs. He's the epitome of the self-doubting artist and I saw myself there, even when I was little.

3. Who are your three favorite characters from Fraggle Rock and why?

Wembley - he's nuts. And funny. I love the way he dances and is so positive and silly. Plus, that hair!
Sprocket - Liking him is akin to liking Big Bird--in the sense that he always sees these silly Fraggles and Doc never does and doesn't even believe in him, but he never gives up. Plus, I bet everyone would love a dog who was that expressive and talented.

Cantus - like, really - you have to ask? He was just SO cool, man.

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?

Hands down: The Muppet Show. It's the beginning, it's the genesis, it should still be on the air and I'd still be watching it. As a matter of fact, it's still running inside my imagination and I need to go watch another episode. (If only...)

5. What is your favorite Muppet movie and why?

I love them all, for different reasons, but I have to pick The Muppet Movie as it is just sheer perfection. It has enough songs (some later films don't have "enough") and each character gets a good feature moment. The story is simple, clean and leaves room for the comedy and antics. A close second could be Muppet Christmas Carol because of the amount of music and that it has the built in excuse of being able to watch it every year. But then of course there's.... (I better stop now)

6. What is your favorite Muppet/Sesame/Fraggle song and why?

Next you'll want me to choose a favorite child... Depending upon which song I'm listening to, or the mood I might be in, the answer to this can change. But I can always listen to "Rainbow Connection" (pretty much any version), and "I'm Going to Go Back There Some Day." Perfection. But then there's "Life's a Happy Song" and "Sing" and "Can You Picture That?" and... I'll stop now.

7. If you could have dinner with any living Muppet performer who would you choose and why?

Dave Goelz and Steve Whitmire. As a team. One on one side and one on the other. I'd love for them to banter back and forth and for me to get dizzy from the laughter of that tennis match. I'm sure they'd have great stories and they'd keep the conversation going, so I could just listen and hopefully not make a fool of myself during the dinner.

8. If you could tell Jim Henson one thing, what would it be?

"Come back, please."

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"?

This is too tough... so I'm going to agree with James Lloyd who said the moment at the end of A Muppet Family Christmas when Jim is washing dishes with Sprocket.

10. What's the name of that song?

When you find out, will you tell me? Cause I'm still singing the La-di-da-di-dum lyrics.

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

Make me laugh and be certain to stay cute.

12. In your opinion, what is the worst Muppet production ever made?

Oz. Can't. Even. Ugh. The Muppets themselves were great, but...

13. Who is one celebrity you would love to see cameo in the the next Muppet movie?

Can I be considered a celebrity? No? Hmmmm..... then maybe Daniel Radcliffe or Rowan Atkinson.

14. If you could take a picture with any Muppet, who would you choose and how would you pose?

Well, we'd take our pictures during our dinner outing, so Gonzo and probably Rizzo. I'd like to be dressed in Dickensian garb and for them to have all the costume changes they had in the film, so I'd have a series of photos with those guys. Food would be involved in each photo - just to keep Rizzo happy.

15. What is your favorite piece of Muppet merchandise that you own? (Feel free to include a picture!)

I love all the stories and the behind the scenes info, so I think I'll choose my book collection--which I always want to add to and reread from time to time. I also enjoy my lunch box and a Kermit book bag I acquired at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta.

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

Jul 27, 2013

Muppet Retro Reviews: An Evening with Jim Henson and Frank Oz

Adam Bush - There's nothing like watching old videos of Jim Henson puppeteering. If you've seen the behind the scenes footage from The Muppet Show DVDs, you've experienced what I'm talking about. To watch Jim in his natural habitat, in a time when he was inventing the world of puppetry as we know it now, is really thrilling.

In 1989, Jim Henson and Frank Oz were invited to perform at the Puppeteers of America national festival at MIT in Boston. Due to, as Frank puts it, their laziness, they instead ended up doing a Q&A session with the audience. There are two wonderful things that happened that evening.

1. It was filmed.
2. They brought a few friends.

Below, for your enjoyment, is An Evening with Jim Henson and Frank Oz. The camera work is terrible, the audio is hideous, yet the video is just fantastic. It's all about the content. Throughout the one-hour discussion, you hear from Jim on several shows and films, Frank talks about directing features, and they do plenty of performing with (to name a few) Rowlf, Cookie Monster, and Grover (I don't want to give all the character performances away. It's be fun to be surprised.)

Frank introduces the entire video circa 1993. As you watch this, it's cool to think about what was going on with Jim at the time. 1989 was the year he initially started talks with Disney to purchase rights to the Muppets, and it was during the only season of The Jim Henson Hour. It's also around the time he was developing Muppet*Vision 3-D for Walt Disney World.


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

Jul 26, 2013

The Muppet Mindset Goes to Walt Disney World (2013)

Ryan Dosier - Greetings, Muppet fans! It is I, Ryan, here with an important update for you about The Muppet Mindset. Starting tomorrow, I'll be taking my annual family vacation to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The entire family is going and it's sure to be a blast.

But never you fear, The Muppet Mindset will continue to run smoothly while I'm away. We have a week's worth of scheduled posts ready to entertain you and keep you interested while I'm away. However, if some breaking news happens while I'm gone... well, that probably won't get reported on the site until later. I will be checking Twitter and Facebook, so keep an eye on those for up-to-the-minute news, as well as exclusive updates (or, rather, Mupdates) from Walt Disney World!

Our friend Jarrod Fairclough will also be keeping watch over The Muppet Mindset while I'm away in case something goes horribly wrong (don't get any ideas). So thanks to Jarrod for doing that!

Have a great week, Muppet fans! I know I will!

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

Jul 25, 2013

News Update: July 25, 2013

NEWS UPDATE: July 25, 2013
The biggest news of the week over in the real world was the birth of the royal baby, the Prince of Cambridge, the son of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Why should we as Muppet fans care about the new heir to the British throne? Because Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy care, of course! Check out the video below, direct from our friends at The Muppets Studio, to watch Kermit and Piggy pause filming of Muppets Most Wanted to congratulate the royals on the new baby!

At Toy Fair this year, the toy company Funko revealed a new series of "Cupcakes" figures modeled after various Disney characters. Two of these characters in the series will be Kermit and Miss Piggy! The figures are kind of weird but also pretty delightful... so check out the figures and their boxes below! They'll be released in October and will retail around $14.99. (Thanks to our friends at VinylmationWorld.com for the info!)
This week The Jim Henson Company launched a brand new website for Jim Henson's classic fantasy epic The Dark Crystal. The site is located at http://darkcrystal.com and it is totally awesome. It is jam packed with information, mythology, pictures, and a whole encyclopedia of vast information about the film. I'm not a huge fan of The Dark Crystal, but the website is pretty incredible. You could spend ages pouring over all of the interactive content. Well done, Henson Company!

Last week, the great Jeffery Tambor appeared on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson to promote Arrested Development. Well, since Craig is such a big Muppet fan, it shouldn't be such a big surprise that they ended up talking about Muppets From Space. It's a fantastic moment, that you should definitely check out in the video below. Skip ahead to 8:45 for the Muppet talk!

Back in February, we were thrilled to showcase a fan made animated video starring Baby Sinclair and Earl Sinclair from Dinosaurs. The video was ridiculously good and made by our friend Davide Maugeri and his team of animators. Well, I'm once again thrilled to announce that Davide and his team are working on another short starring even more Dinosaurs characters! Check out the teaser poster below and be on the lookout for the new short sometime in 2014.

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

Jul 24, 2013

Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Zondra

Today's article was written by Michael Wermuth, Jr. Photoshop work was once again done by the phenomenal Chris Stulz.


Performed by...

Fran Brill (1989)
Leslie Carrara-Rudolph (1997-1998)

First appearance...
The Jim Henson Hour Episode 105: "First Show" (1989)

Most recent appearance...
The Muppets' Wizard of Oz (2005)

Also known as...

Best known role...
Gorilla Television pirate station worker; Housemate on "The Real World Muppets"

Zondra is among the crew of Gorilla Television, a station that despises popular television. Joined by a gorilla named Ubu and a nerdy technician named Chip, Zondra seems to be the leader of the group. In two episodes of The Jim Henson Hour, they interrupt the MuppeTelevision signals to showcase what they want broadcast, which includes a puppet act by Marc Weiner and forcing a TV consumer into watching commercials. Unfortunately for them, their taking over of the airwaves only lasts a few minutes, allowing the Muppets to continue with their show.

After The Jim Henson Hour was cancelled, Zondra wasn't seen again until the second season of Muppets Tonight, where she was part of the cast of the recurring segment "The Real World Muppets." In these segments, she was renamed Darci and was an aspiring songwriter and poet. Her terrible songs focused on her hatred of men, bears, and rats--offending her roommates Clifford, Bobo, and Rizzo. As Rizzo once said, "We had to tell her that her songwriting was good. She threatened to read us her poetry." All but one of "The Real World Muppets" segment were not featured in the original United States broadcasts, limiting her exposure on the show to US audiences.

After Muppets Tonight, Zondra made silent background cameos in Muppets From Space and The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, and hasn't been seen since.

Why Do The Muppets Need Zondra?
Well, there aren't many female Muppets, and she is a fairly tough female character. Her goth attire may very well appeal to today's goth audiences. Although she was never exactly portrayed as a villain, she and her Gorilla Television crew could very well pass off as villains or anti-Muppets in the same way the Moopets do.

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

Jul 23, 2013

Muppet Movies Video Reviews Coming Soon!

Ryan Dosier - Today I am thrilled to showcase the start of a brand new video series from my good friend Rachel Herrick, who is a funny, friendly, talented, all-around awesome Muppet fan. With the release of Muppets Most Wanted just under eight months away, Rachel and The Muppet Mindset are teaming up for a seven-part video series where Rachel reviews every theatrical Muppet movie once a month leading up to Muppets Most Wanted.

Eager to learn more? You should be! Watch Rachel's hysterical, zany, wonderful preview video for the upcoming reviews below. This is just a taste of how much fun Rachel's reviews are going to be.

I for one can't wait for Rachel to get started! The video review of The Muppet Movie will debut on August 21st, so be on the lookout for it!

Special thanks to my friend Rachel for doing this awesome countdown!

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

Jul 22, 2013

The Great Muppet Survey: Maria Kersey

Answers from Maria Kersey

1.Who are your three favorite characters from The Muppet show, Muppets Tonight, The Jim Henson Hour, The Muppet movies, etc… and why?
Oh, now that's unfair... Um... Either Fozzie or Gonzo, because Fozzie is sort of like my super hero/me and Gonzo is like me/my weird super hero. And because they are the underdogs, they are bullied and mistreated, but loved and envied in a way. That's sort of like me, the bullied and mistreated part, probably not the loved and envied part... And they're weird and unpredictable! Plus, you got to love Fozzie and Gonzo! I also love Rowlf, because he is amazing and the reason I took up piano! From Muppets Tonight would have to be Pepe because he's Pepe and he's awesome! Jim Henson Hour... Digit, because... I might love Dave Goelz...

2. Who are your three favorite characters from Sesame Street and why?
Big Bird, because He's the best teacher in the world, and my mother is afraid of him... Ernie and Bert (Yes, I know, I broke the rules), because they're Henson and Oz gold! And because of Ernie's snarkiness and Bert's boringness I still watch Sesame! Elmo, because everyone has to love Elmo because Elmo loves you!

3. Who are your three favorite characters from Fraggle Rock and why?
Red Fraggle, because I'm just like her... but wish I had red hair. Sprocket, because I love that little big dog done by my other Muppet crush. I also love Sprocket because he's curious and lovable and wonderious! (My word! No one can steal!) And Junior Gorg because he's awesome and always wanting to catch those Fwaggles!

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?
YOU LIKE TO HURT ME!! I CAN'T PICK... I CAN'T... JUST... NO... IT'S ALL TOO GOOD! YOU CAN'T MAKE ME! Okay, either The Muppet Show or Dinosaurs, because The Muppet Show is amazing and it's funny and has amazing music! Dinosaurs, because I love Baby Sinclair and not the momma!

5. What is your favorite Muppet Movie and why?
The original 1979 The Muppet Movie, because it speaks to me as a Muppet fan and as to my moral values. Also the music, score, and everything about it makes me warm and Fozzie fuzzy on the inside!

6. What is your favorite Muppet/Sesame/Fraggle song and why?
"Hey, Mr. Bassman" and "Ain't Misbehavin'" because they are always stuck in my head! And "Ain't Misbehavin'" speaks to my jazz classic soul! Also "Hey, Mr. Bassman" is my theme song! Sesame has to be Ernie's version of "Somebody Come and Play" and Fraggle Rock would have to be either "Dixie Wailin'" or "Wemblin' Fool."

7. If you could have dinner with any living Muppeteer who would you choose and why?
Steve Whitmire, Dave Goelz, or Richard Hunt (I broke the rules again) because they all seem like down to earth people and so funny! And other reasons mentioned before...

8. If you could tell Jim Henson one thing, what would it be?
Thank you so much, you ARE my hero and you changed the world over! Thank you, so, so much!

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”?

September 24 (For so many reasons) or The Muppet Christmas Carol.

10. What’s the name of that song?
Do, Ra, Me, Fa, So, La, Tea, Do (I had to! Either that, or "Maria, I just meet a girl named Maria!") Or Disco Frog?

11. If a judge ruled that Grover had to be your personal assistant for a month, what jobs would you have him do?
To be everyone's best friend in whole wide world! Oh wait... he is! To hug me nonstop!

12. In your opinion, what is the worst Muppet production ever made?
Besides Pepe and Frank Oz references, The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, in my opinion, is not good. Kermit is SMART thank you!

13. Who is one celebrity you would love to see cameo in the next Muppet movie?
Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Matt Smith, Alex Kingston, and Neil Patrick Harris!

14. If you could take a picture with any Muppet, who would you choose and how would you pose?
Floyd and Janice, and they'd be in guitar poses, and I would have my guitar in a kind of guitar giddy fan girl pose!

15. What is your favorite piece of Muppet merchandise that you own?
Either every single one of my Muppet DVDs or my Imagination Illustrated: The Jim Henson Journal or my Whatnot Sparkles, the time travelling Muppet!

Again thank you and have the day you have! This was fun! And as the main frog says, "Times fun when you’re having flies!"

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

Jul 20, 2013

First Official "Muppets Most Wanted" Videos

Disney is ready to teach you all about the word synergy with the first official videos from the set of Muppets Most Wanted (or The Muppets Most Wanted, no one is really sure). These two videos feature Kermit and Miss Piggy as they interact with Disney Channel sensations and apparent cameo guest stars Ross Lynch and Debby Ryan. Normally, I'm not a fan of Disney Channel people shoe-horning their way into Muppet stuff, but these two seem pretty decent and their parts seem VERY small, so it could be worse. Anyway, watch the videos for some very brief snippets of Muppet footage including Kermit in an awesome gold tux!

Special thanks to our friends at ToughPigs.com for finding the videos!

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

Jul 19, 2013

Vinylmation World Muppets/Star Wars Custom Series

Last night, our friends at Vinylmation World released an incredible custom Vinylmation set by artist Ryan Branoff that spotlights The Muppets/Star Wars mash-ups that we've been seeing around the Disney Parks in recent years. The figures are gorgeous and awesome and you can check out all of them below! Unfortunately, these figures sold out incredibly fast, but you can still enjoy the pictures below!

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