1 The Muppet Mindset: October 2013

Oct 30, 2013

Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Twiddlebugs

Today's article is written by Michael Baldasare.


Performed by...
Jim Henson (Thomas Twiddlebug)
Frank Oz (Tessie Twiddlebug)
Richard Hunt (Timmy Twiddlebug)
Jerry Nelson (Tina Twiddlebug)

First appearance...
Sesame Street Season 2 (1970)

Most recent appearance...
Sesame Street Season 37 (2006)

Best known role...
Cute species of colorful insects who live in Ernie's window box

The Twiddlebugs are a species of colorful insects of Sesame Street. They live in Ernie's window box and so many of them can be found anywhere on the street. While the species was established during Season 2 (1970-1971), the main Twiddlebug family made their debut in Season 5 (1973-1974). The Twiddlebug family of four (consisting of Thomas, Tessie, Timmy, and Tina Twiddlebug) was seen most frequently on the show and made appearances in Sesame Street merchandise. Many other nondescript Twiddlebugs could be seen frequently in most Sesame Street merchandise including books.

On the show, the main Twiddlebug family found themselves facing difficult challenges, such as taking their car to the zoo or hanging a postage stamp on the wall. It would be easy for them to simply give up their situations but they kept working until the problem was solved. When the Twiddlebugs worked things out with collective brainstorming and cooperation, they always managed to overcome any tribulation. As the Twiddlebugs celebrate their triumph, we realize that their ultimate solution was probably the most illogical.

Other Twiddlebugs outside the main family have appeared in many Sesame Street books. Another Twiddlebug puppet seen on the show was the Superintendent Twiddlebug who once fixed the Twiddlebugs' smoke detector. Though the main Twiddlebug family live in Ernie's window box, there are other Twiddlebug homes and communities in other window boxes on Sesame Street. Twiddlebug Town is located in Elmo's window box and it is led by Mayor Thaddeus Twiddlebug.

Sesame Street really needs the Twiddlebugs to make it colorful and to make the neighborhood sweet. I mean, there are so many of them to find almost anywhere or everywhere. And all I could say to the main Twiddlebug family who always tried to challenge difficulties, "Don't give up, little Twiddlebugs. Do your best and make things right like the rest of us do."

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

Oct 29, 2013

Muppets Most Wanted Poster Revealed!

The first poster for Muppets Most Wanted has been revealed via The Walt Disney Company and Entertainment Weekly. Check it out below in high resolution:
I don't hate the poster, by any means. It's fun and colorful and manages to get in all of the main characters, which is nice. Also, FOO FOO! And I can't say how much I adore the tagline "Taking The World By Farce"--absolutely brilliant. I do have some major issues though. First, Gonzo and Pepe are far, far smaller than they should be. Second, Animal, Sam, Foo Foo, and Constantine are the only Muppet poser puppets on here that weren't used constantly in promotion for The Muppets in 2011, which is disappointing.

But for the most part I'm just severely excited for this movie. Is it March yet?

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

Oct 28, 2013

The Great Muppet Survey: Mark Hansen

Answers from Mark Hansen

1.)   Who are your three favorite characters from The Muppet Show, Muppets Tonight, The Jim Henson Hour, the Muppet movies, etc. and why?
Picking even three favorite Muppets is a difficult task, not unlike gargling Gershwin or training boomerang fish. The Muppets are such a community of players and their best moments are typically in at least pairs. However, I do know that my favorite is Rowlf. Rowlf, to me, embodies the soul of the Muppets more than any other character. He’s musical, he’s quick with a lousy pun and he’s down to Earth. He’s the consummate entertainer. My second favorite is Scooter. When I was a kid, I had one of those Fisher Price Scooter action figures (along with the other Muppets), and I used to carry him around because I thought we looked alike. Aside from that, I love his enthusiasm, which by all accounts mirrors Richard Hunt’s. For my third, I think I’ll go with Gonzo. The preeminent weirdo speaks to the weirdo in me, and I think, in all of us. Who hasn’t looked up to Gonzo for his courage, if not his art?

2.)   Who are your three favorite characters from Sesame Street and why?
About a year and a half ago, I became a dad, and one of the many, many pleasures of fatherhood is being able to revisit Sesame Street. My favorite character by far these days is Cookie Monster. Here is this potentially one-note character given hilarious depth by Frank Oz, be it as Alastair Cookie or the way he says “Arrivederci, frog,” to Kermit when he learns the item in the mystery box isn’t a cookie. My son’s favorite is Big Bird. I love Big Bird’s childlike wonder and I think my son likes him because he’s big and yellow. That’s reason enough, isn’t it? My third favorite is a little unusual, but when I was young, I remember really liking Guy Smiley. I think his exuberance and his shtick of having trouble finding the curtain’s opening tickled me. He always seemed like his jaw was going to unhinge and the top of his head would fall off, which would have been traumatic, I suppose. Fun!

3.)   Who are your three favorite characters from Fraggle Rock and why? 
I’m not as familiar with Fraggle Rock, so my feelings on it are not as pronounced as other Muppet productions. But I will provide two favorite characters based on what I have seen. My first would be Doc, mostly because of his relationship with Sprocket, and I love an amateur inventor. One of the great things about Fraggle Rock is the way each aspect of the show is so fully formed, you could have a show just about Doc and Sprocket or the Gorgs and it would be thoroughly entertaining. My second favorite is Uncle Traveling Matt. Matt is absolutely one of the funniest Muppet characters, with his hubris, slapstick and skewed view of Earth culture. Plus, my son thinks it’s hilarious when I tickle his face with Traveling Matt’s mustache.

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, as it seems the perfect evolution of Jim’s puppet vision which began on Sam and Friends. Taking the sublime and ridiculous musical numbers from this and the Muppets’ many variety show appearances and marrying it with characters we feel for and whom are so complex we forget they’re puppets. Part sitcom, part variety show, The Muppet Show endures because of the likes of Fozzie and Kermit and Piggy, their relationships and talents (or lack thereof.)

5.)   What is your favorite Muppet movie and why? 
My favorite is The Muppet Movie for reasons too numerous to mention, but I’ll list five of them anyway:
1. The Rainbow Connection.
2. No other Muppet movie has done celebrity cameos better than this one.
3. I love how Kermit’s conversation with himself in the desert is unexplained and not treated as fantastical, it just happens and we know that it’s probably magic.
4. “Bear left!” “Right, frog!”
5. I’ve seen this one probably more than any other Muppet movie, and yet every time I watch it, it feels special.

6.)   What is your favorite Muppet/Sesame/Fraggle song and why?
I know I mentioned The Rainbow Connection up there, but I’ll have to go with Movin’ Right Along. I just love the nonsensical lyrics, and it’s too much fun to sing.

7.)   If you could have dinner with any living Muppet performer who would you choose and why?
I’ve given this a lot of thought, and even though it’d be great to meet Frank Oz and find out what it was like to work with the likes of Jim, Jerry, and John John, and even though I have a bit of a crush on Louise Gold, I think the Muppet performer I’d choose is Karen Prell, who is by all accounts a lovely person and who has not only worked with the Muppets but also at Pixar!

8.)   If you could tell Jim Henson one thing, what would it be?
We miss you terribly. That or you have the same birthday as my Mom!

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"?
Kermit and Joey singing the Alphabet song on Sesame Street. I seriously cannot get enough of it. And replacing letters of the alphabet with Cookie Monster is never not funny.

10.)   What's the name of that song?
George Washington Bridge

11.)   If a judge ruled that Grover had to be your personal assistant for a month, what jobs would you have him do?
Probably just have him hug me lots and play games, maybe babysit.

12.)   In your opinion, what is the worst Muppet production ever made?
Probably Muppet Wizard of Oz, though even that has its moments. I’ll stick with that answer, since I don’t have another one.

13.)   Who is one celebrity you would love to see cameo in the next Muppet movie?
Bruce Campbell, baby!

14.)   If you could take a picture with any Muppet, who would you choose and how would you pose?
I think I’d recreate the “we’re identical twins!” pose from The Great Muppet Caper with Fozzie.

15.)   What is your favorite piece of Muppet merchandise that you own? (Feel free to include a picture!)
I’ve got lots of really cool Muppet merch, even more now that I’m a Dad, but my current favorite is one my wife got me for Christmas this last year. The Muppet Show album, on vinyl, in pristine condition. It sounds great and looks great. It is, in fact, great.

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

Oct 25, 2013

The British Correspondent Defends Lady Gaga

Mupporandum: 25.10.13.

Hello. It is I, the British Correspondent.

I am writing from underneath a table at a rehearsal for the YouTube music awards. I have set up camp under here with a week’s rations and a camouflage suit (which looks like the black and white tiled flooring) just in case I get spotted. I am here, for once, not following a Muppeteer or stalking a Muppet, but rather preparing to observe another of my favourite creations (no, not kneecaps).

GAGA. The GAGA. Or Lady Gaga. (aka. Mother Monster--So named because of Big Mamma, perhaps?)

Whilst here, I felt like I should make the most of my time and pop together a quick list of reasons why it will be a good thing for the Muppets to be appearing this Thanksgiving in Lady Gaga’s Christmas slot (so to speak).

1. The Muppets are ARTPOP. What is ARTPOP? One widely accepted view of ARTPOP (or so I gather from GagaStigmata is that it is an engagement with the audience that transforms ‘just pop’ into ‘art’ through the audience reaction. i.e. The Muppets are ‘just’ foam and fur, ‘just’ for kids, ‘just’ nostalgic, ‘just’ characters, ‘just’ comic, only ‘just’ still alive and ‘just’ pop. BUT NO!!! The Muppets are living, breathing, interacting and integral parts of modern pop culture. Why? Because the audience engages with them and raises them from ‘pop’ to ‘art’ (life!). The Muppets are ARTPOP.

2. The Muppets live for Applause. What gets them onto the stage every night no matter how badly it may go wrong the night before? Why does Gonzo try a new ‘artpop’ stunt each night? (The applause) Why does Fozzie rework his material? (The applause-plause) Why does Camilla play that piano with her chicken friends? (A.P.P.L.A.U.S.E.) Gaga LIVES for the way that you cheer her on. Much like Tinkerbell, without someone clapping for her Lady Gaga would not exist (she would return to Stefani Germanotta) and neither would the Muppets (they would return to foam).

3. Gaga is inspired by The Muppets. She used precious word space in her first letter to the V Collective in V Magazine to state that Kermit is her whimsy (in the same way that Madonna is her inspiration, and Cindy Crawford, her sexuality).

4. Gaga comes from a family of chefs and has Italian roots. She cooked Turkey and Waffles last year in her Thanksgiving special. There is certain to be a cooking segment in this years’ episode and I know just the person to accompany her (Angelo). Shared food is an expression of family, an expression of connection, no WONDER the Muppets keep that Swedish guy around despite his lack of English qualifications. (And yes, ToughPigs got to that Angelo joke before I did, but it bears repeating.)

5. Gaga got early admission into TISCH at NYU where she studied art and performance. Similarly, The Muppets took the time to prepare at a performing arts school before taking Manhattan.

6. Miss Germanotta (as opposed to Gaga herself) has an encyclopedic knowledge of musical history, pop history and fashion history. And where better do these three things collide than Elton John wearing feathers and playing piano while crocodiles sing around his feet? She can reference a dozen artists in each frame of her music videos... she will have certainly done her research before inviting The Muppets on board for her latest artistic adventure.

7. The Muppets face their critics and harness their energy. (That was terrible!) Lady Gaga, too, is constantly criticized by the press. (That was AWFUL!) She’s too famous, she’s too fat, she’s too thin, she’s too much like Madonna, she’s not selling enough records, she’s over. (Well, it wasn’t bad.) She transforms this critical energy and turns it back into art time and time again (That was great!) she writes songs like Papa-paparazzi and Do What U Want With My Body based on this critical energy! (I loved it! Whooo! WHOOO!)

8. Her fans are known as Little (Muppet) Monsters. (And now I can’t get that theme tune out of my head...)

9. Much like Captain Smollet of Muppet Treasure Island, Lady Gaga embraces all creatures of different nationalities and cultures (although she rarely encounters Pig Tribes or ends up tied to a stake).

10. One of her new songs is called S.W.I.N.E.

11. Lady Gaga does bright and explosive, but she also does toned down and peaceful. From throwing an oversized cream pie at a speeding vehicle to singing poignantly in the dessert, I can imagine that Gaga’s latest show will replicate The Muppets own ability to switch gears from fun, fast and fabulous to heart-warming and classic.

12. Also, Lady Gaga once wore a dress made of Kermit’s which (I believe) at least helped in the ushering in of the newest age of Muppets being cool again, she also appeared with him at an event and she had the Jim Henson Company design a giant, tentacled monster which she battled in her original World Wide Tour.

Basically, what I am saying is, Lady Gaga and The Muppets a Thanskgiving Extravaganza will be a real meeting of the minds and I am incredibly excited to see what POPART/ARTPOP moments will be created. It is sure to be huge (with some toned down bits) and I will be sure to over analyse every moment to add to my own Muppart article series (which reminds me... I’m pretty sure I have added nothing to that series since The Pig with the Froggy Tattoo... I have GOT to stop stalking people and start writing things down...)

Ohhp! Got to go. Mark Zuckerberg just showed up!

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

Oct 24, 2013

Review: My Muppets Show App

Michael Wermuth - "My Muppets Show" is an app for phones and tablets that was released this summer. In fact, as I was searching the Mindset articles from the last few months, I was surprised to see that there wasn't a review of this yet, so let's give it a belated review! The plot-line has Bunsen and Beaker inventing a digitizer, which players can use to digitize Muppet characters to appear on a number of stages. Scooter guides the player to let them know what to do. So far there are three stages, the main stage, the kitchen, and the roof top. Hopefully more will be added (the rooftop was added last month). I'd like to see a Pigs in Space, Muppet Labs, or Koozebane-themed stage.

You get coins and diamonds which can purchase things (and you can also use real money to buy diamonds, but it's not necessary unless you are really impatient). While a few Muppets can be purchased with coins, most Muppets get digitized by Muppet combinations, though the correct combination won't always work the first time (or first twenty times). You can also feed characters to level them up--characters get leveled up as high as level 15, but they have to be at level 4 before you can combine them with other characters.

Among the characters that can be digitized include Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Walter, and The Electric Mayhem, as well as many original characters, including Jax Strumley, Big Mo, Durwood Clapper, Kizzy, and Bloosman. I don't really like that they included original characters, given the scores of existing characters. I'm sure that including characters as obscure as Lips or Angus McGonagle would have the same effect on casual players as these new characters. And there's a LOT of characters casual fans would be familiar with who (currently) can't be digitized, including Bunsen (though Beaker can be digitized), Robin, Sweetums, Link Hogthrob, Dr. Strangepork, Lew Zealand, and Crazy Harry. Though I do like the looks of some of the new characters, like Bloosman and Durwood Clapper.

Not every character in the game appears on all the stages. For example, The Swedish Chef is currently exclusive to the kitchen. Frustratingly, there are no stages where you can digitize the entire Electric Mayhem. Dr. Teeth and Janice are currently only available on the rooftop, where Floyd isn't available (he was available there for a limited time, which has passed, but it was insanely rare to digitize him). I hope the next stage that gets added can digitize the whole band. In addition to characters you can also purchase various props and backgrounds, including things from The Muppet Show and the movies such as a gorilla detector and an 8-foot prune.

When digitizing characters, it can take awhile. On the theater stage it's usually shorter, but by the time you get the rooftop, it can take half a day if not a whole day. And since character combinations do not always get the expected character on the first try it can be especially frustrating to wait a whole day and NOT get who you were expecting. The stages are often filled with things in the way, which also cost coins to get rid of and take awhile for them to fully go away. It also costs coins and can take hours to upgrade things. With the current season of Sesame Street having a curriculum in waiting, maybe there should be a Sesame Street game like this.

And for some reason while most of the performers (Steve Whitmire, Bill Barretta, Eric Jacobson, and Matt Vogel) provide voices in this game, Peter Linz, Dave Goelz, and David Rudman are not in this game. As a result their characters don't speak (Scooter's dialogue is in text). I wish I knew the reason for their lack of involvement.

Despite all its flaws I would recommend adding this app to your phone. I was surprised to see that it's free, so getting it isn't a waste of money. Of course I'd like it a lot better if you could control the characters you get. It's a good game and a whole lot of addicting fun.

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

Oct 23, 2013

Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Trumpet Girl

Today's article was written by Abigail Maughan.


Performed by... 
Various, including Rashida Jones in The Muppets

First Appearance...
The Muppet Show Episode 101 (1976)

Most Recent Appearance...
The Muppets (2011)

Best Known Role...
Trumpet player in The Muppet Show orchestra pit

Also known as...

Trumpet Girl is a lavender-colored Whatnot with short, curly blond hair. She is exactly what her name states—a girl who plays the trumpet. She’s a rather long-lasting minor Muppet, having appeared in the first season of The Muppet Show and resurfacing again in The Muppets in 2011. Trumpet Girl did her thing in the first four seasons of The Muppet Show, until fellow squinty-eyed trumpet player Lips showed up and stole her thunder, after which she switched to the trombone.

For the first four seasons of The Muppet Show, Trumpet Girl’s eyes were perpetually closed, which makes one wonder how she could read her sheet music. It’s very possible that Trumpet Girl is such a great musician that she doesn’t need any sheet music! Her eyes opened permanently in the fifth season and have stayed that way since.

A lavender-colored female Whatnot with short, curly blond hair and closed eyes appeared as a chorus girl (along with Miss Piggy and a brown-haired Janice) in the original opening theme and several early At the Dance segments. We can assume that this is Trumpet Girl, because how many other lavender-colored female Whatnots with short, curly blond hair are there?

Her biggest (and only) part in a backstage plot came in Episode 123, where the band decided to quit the show out of hatred for the theme song. She joined the Electric Mayhem in playing their new replacement song for Kermit and shouted “Mup-mup-muppet Showww!” with the others as it ended. This is Trumpet Girl’s only non "At the Dance" line to date and she was performed by Eren Ozker. This episode is unique in that Trumpet Girl is with the Electric Mayhem in place of Janice. She performed with the Electric Mayhem again on a few occasions afterward, but was never an official member.

After 1981, Trumpet Girl completely vanished off the face of the earth until she and several other obscure characters were rebuilt for 2011’s The Muppets. She—what else?—played the trumpet in this movie and sang in the "Life’s a Happy Song" finale with Lips, Nigel, Sam Eagle and Crazy Harry. In one scene of the movie, she was performed by actress Rashida Jones, who, in addition to playing Veronica (the CDE Executive in the film), doubled as a puppeteer extra. Jones also gave Trumpet Girl a real name for the very first time: Dolores.

Well, the obvious answer is that the Muppets really need someone to play the trumpet. But then one could argue that that is Lips’ job, or Gonzo’s. But music plays a very big part in the Muppet world, so any talented musician is welcome and appreciated—especially female musicians, with the only other one being Janice. Since Trumpet Girl was used in the last Muppet movie, chances are good that she’ll show up again in Muppets Most Wanted. Whether she’ll actually speak or not is unknown, but we can be certain of one thing: she’ll play the trumpet.

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

Oct 22, 2013

Muppet Retro Reviews: Muppet Adventure Chaos at the Carnival

Today our friend Joshua Gillespie presents a very special video Muppet Retro Review. Josh and his puppet friend discuss and review the classic Nintendo Entertainment System vide game Muppet Adventure Chaos at the Carnival. Check out the fantastic and fun review below!

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

Oct 21, 2013

The Great Muppet Survey: Lucy Parat

Answers from Lucy Parat

1.)   Who are your three favorite characters from The Muppet Show, Muppets Tonight, The Jim Henson Hour, the Muppet movies, etc. and why?
Gonzo the Great, Rowlf and Floyd Pepper. It's so hard to pick favourites from The Muppet Show. I love Gonzo's weirdness, Rowlf's sense of humour and Floyd's coolness.

2.)   Who are your three favorite characters from Sesame Street and why?
Grover, Bert, and Cookie Monster. Grover is so sweet and enthusiastic, Bert is earnest and practical, and Cookie Monster is just hilarious.

3.)   Who are your three favorite characters from Fraggle Rock and why?
Gobo, Boober and Wembly. From Fraggles, I really like each puppeteer and how their own personalities are reflected in their characters.

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. My love of old movie screwball comedies and muscials come together in the Muppet Show. Such a fun show with great Muppets, guests, music and sketches coming together with wonderful results.

5.)   What is your favorite Muppet movie and why?
The Great Muppet Caper. I can watch it over and over. I love that Kermit and Fozzie play twins. I love that they go to London. I love the human cast. And I love the music.

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

7.)   If you could have dinner with any living Muppet performer who would you choose and why?
Brian Henson. It would be great to have dinner with him after saying "Hi Brian!" to him after every intro on the Time Life Muppet Show DVDs.

8.)   If you could tell Jim Henson one thing, what would it be?
I would thank him, because without the Muppets I would not have met my wonderful husband.

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"?
A Muppet Family Christmas where Muppets, Sesame characters, Fraggles, and Jim Henson all share the screen.

10.)   What's the name of that song?
La dee da dee dum, la dee da dee dum!

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

12.)   In your opinion, what is the worst Muppet production ever made?
Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree

13.)   Who is one celebrity you would love to see cameo in the next Muppet movie?
Nathan Fillion. He's fun and funny and really should do something with the Muppets.

14.)   If you could take a picture with any Muppet, who would you choose and how would you pose?
A winter picture with Grover, who always looks adorable in hat and scarf.

15.)   What is your favorite piece of Muppet merchandise that you own? (Feel free to include a picture!) 
The Palisades Muppet Wedding set means a lot to me. But decorating our Christmas tree in nothing but Muppet ornaments makes me very happy.

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

Oct 18, 2013

The Muppets Go Gaga This Thanksgiving

Hugely exciting news announced this week for the Muppets. It was officially announced yesterday that The Muppets and Lady Gaga will star in a big-budget primetime TV special Lady Gaga & The Muppets' Holiday Spectacular! The special will air on ABC on Thanksgiving night, November 28th at 9:30pm-11:00pm ET. As with many Muppet productions, this new holiday special will feature special guest appearances from Sir Elton John, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Kristen Bell, and RuPaul. According to sources, performance highlights include a duet between Lady Gaga and Kermit the Frog, a dazzling rendition of Gaga’s hit “Applause” with special Muppet guests, and performance duets with Sir Elton John, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and RuPaul, as well as a special sketch featuring Kristen Bell, Lady Gaga, and the Muppets. As if that weren't enough, The Swedish Chef, Beaker, and Animal will perform special Muppet renditions of the holiday classics “Deck the Halls” and “Jingle Bells.” And as if all of that info weren't enough--during the special, we'll get a special sneak peek at Muppets Most Wanted, which, according to D23.com, will feature a cameo from Lady Gaga as well!

I don't know about you, Muppet fans, but this sounds like one of the most exciting, star-studded, and fun Muppet TV specials in a long, long time. I for one cannot wait!

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

Oct 17, 2013

Halloween Hits on The Muppet Mindset

OoooOooOoOoOo! Hear that spooky sound? That must mean it's Halloween time again on The Muppet Mindset! Yes, we've got two weeks left before Halloween actually happens... but what better way to spend those two weeks than by enjoying some classic Muppet Mindset Halloween posts? Check out the spooky spots below!

Danny Beckwith's Muppet Monster Mash-Ups Fan Art
David Rosenberg's 31 Days of Muppet Monsters Fan Art
Muppetology 101: Intro to Muppet Monster Cryptozoology
The Muppet Mindset Halloween Costume Spooktacular
There you have it! Enjoy, Muppet monsters!

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

Oct 16, 2013

Confusing Things About Muppet Babies

Michael Wermuth - Muppet Babies was a great show. It was animated, had great music, we got to see many of the main characters as babies, and the imagination sequences were amazing. But there is something I'm confused about. No, I'm not talking about the fact that they were friends as babies even though they "met" when they grew up. No, what I'm wondering is, WHEN does the show take place?

The show began in 1984, and most of the characters had been adults for at least a decade, though Kermit had been an adult since 1955 and Rowlf had been an adult since 1962. I think it might be wise to overlook that and say that they were all babies in the 1950s, or maybe 1940s. And who's to say that each Muppet ages as fast as its actual species, even though the Muppets tend to stay the same age forever?

For the most part, the show did a good job of staying timeless. Though there were many parodies of things that started in the 1970s or 1980s, and clips were used. But since they were the imagination of the babies, we could just say that they were way ahead of their time, or since the Muppets grew up to be in show business, maybe they were secretly behind many movies and TV shows. But at times they tend to acknowledge stuff from the '60s, '70s, and '80s. In "I Want My Muppet TV" they know who Johnny Carson is, I think they know who many 1980s celebrities are in "This Little Piggy Went to Hollywood," and in one episode they know who Dick Clark is. And in "Muppet Babies: The Next Generation," Gonzo mentions Star Wars, which wouldn't have existed when they were babies.

What about modern technology? Baby Scooter has his own computer. Most homes didn't have computers until the 1970s or 1980s. It's especially interesting how someone as young as Scooter would have his own computer, but today when kids are getting their own cell phones and other forms of technology at younger ages perhaps the show was ahead of its time (though I haven't heard of any babies or toddlers having their own computers). I know there's one episode where they watch a video on a VCR, which wouldn't have been around when they were babies. Whenever they watch TV, the programs are usually in color. Color TV wasn't invented until the late 1950s, and wasn't more mainstream until the 1960s. And in "It's Only Pretendo," the Muppet Babies are playing video games, which didn't become mainstream until the 1970s.

Then again, considering the Muppets always stay the same age, if we want to ignore the majority of productions the Muppets have done over the years I think they could have realistically been babies in 1984 and grew to their current ages by now. Or I could be thinking too much about something that was originally just a fantasy sequence in a movie... Yeah, it could be that.

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