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Can't pay the rent if Ma can't scrub, can't pay the rent with a hole in the tub
January 7, 2007 5:31 PM   Subscribe

Emmett Otter's Jugband Christmas in six parts on Youtube. It may be well into January, but let this classic 1970's Muppet Christmas special cheer you. For the cynics who prefer to stay out in the January cold, here's a pretty cutting breakdown of same.
posted by Happy Dave (33 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Look at the birds up in the trees....
posted by horsemuth at 5:34 PM on January 7, 2007


River Bottom Nightmare Band!
posted by oats at 5:44 PM on January 7, 2007


Ain't no hole in the washtub!
posted by Balisong at 5:44 PM on January 7, 2007


I loved the songs in this, thanks for posting!
posted by Fricka at 5:52 PM on January 7, 2007


OMG, I can replace my nearly 20 year old VHS tape.

Some of the finest muppeteering, IMHO, and awesome songs. Right up there with Rudolph, It's a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th as classic Christmas fare.

Thank You, Thank You for posting!
posted by dozo at 5:53 PM on January 7, 2007


Ok, who's up for throwing a jug band together? I can play a mean cigar-box banjo.
posted by billysumday at 5:57 PM on January 7, 2007


"There just aren't enough people who want to oil a snake!" I've missed seeing this movie . . . it's been years!
posted by augustweed at 6:05 PM on January 7, 2007


Oh, thank you. This made up for that scary 3-d animation remake of "Rudolph" someone subjected me to a few weeks ago.
posted by ltracey at 6:05 PM on January 7, 2007


Believe it or not, this is out on DVD, with some pretty kickin' behind the scenes footage.
posted by Biblio at 6:06 PM on January 7, 2007


Ok, who's up for throwing a jug band together?

Ok, band, who's for throwing up a jug together?
posted by loquacious at 6:08 PM on January 7, 2007


Emmet Otter was written by Russel Hoban, who also wrote Riddley Walker, which at least partially inspired Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.
posted by sonofslim at 6:09 PM on January 7, 2007


dozo wrote: OMG, I can replace my nearly 20 year old VHS tape.

It's also currently available on DVD.
posted by dryad at 6:14 PM on January 7, 2007


We're not birds, we're a jug band!!!!
posted by neustile at 7:19 PM on January 7, 2007


Blast from the past. This is great.
posted by LoriFLA at 7:27 PM on January 7, 2007


I thought my mother was the only one in the world who liked this... guess I was wrong. She's gonna love this post. Proof YouTube is good for something, I guess!
posted by blaneyphoto at 7:29 PM on January 7, 2007


blaneyphoto - my mom loves it too.

Really, I love it too. It's so great. As sad as it is, Ma and Emmet relate to my mom and myself.

But at least for Christmas I didn't have to put a hole in the washtub to win ma a purdy dress and Ma didn't have to hawk Pa's toolchest so she could win me a guitar (with pearl-inlace strings!)

Good find, BTW, Happy Dave. You've made my day.
posted by champthom at 7:40 PM on January 7, 2007


"The grass does not grow on the places where we stop and stand" -- Riverbottom Nightmare Band

"If this band moved in next door to you, your lawn would die" -- Lemmy

It was good to see this again, if for no other reason than to recall how hard the Riverbottom Band rocked (well, for Muppets, anyway.) Does that make me a bad person? What can I say? I always thought the Devil's band rocked harder than Johnny's too.

Now, the Nightmares vs. The Queen Haters? That's a battle of the bands I'd pay good money to see.
posted by Opposite George at 7:41 PM on January 7, 2007


I squeeled like a little girl when I saw that this was on DVD last Christmas. The folks at work had quite a laugh about that.
posted by geekhorde at 7:50 PM on January 7, 2007


It's also currently available on DVD.

If you loved the TV special, I'd advise against buying the DVD. Its not complete - its cut in sometimes inexplicable ways. The fact that the intro and closing scenes with Kermit are missing can be explained, I guess, by the fact that Kermit is now owned by Disney while Jim Henson Co owns the right to EO, but other cuts, like the cuts to the scene between Ma and Gretchen Fox, just make no sense.
posted by anastasiav at 7:59 PM on January 7, 2007


Thanks for that, I watched this countless times as an HBO-addicted kid.
posted by zardoz at 8:33 PM on January 7, 2007


If you loved the TV special, I'd advise against buying the DVD.

And watch nothing? I was a huge fan, and have been watching the dvd the last two years. Not perfect, but better than nothing.

My favorite christmas special.
posted by justgary at 8:35 PM on January 7, 2007


Hoy! Turns out the end-credits are to CBC and Parents' Magazine Press. It's a Canuck film! Those weren't otters, they were beavers in disguise!
posted by five fresh fish at 8:37 PM on January 7, 2007


I had the book, and I still get tears in my eyes thinking about when they say "Let's sing one for Pa."

Where the river meeeeets the seeeea....
posted by Liosliath at 8:54 PM on January 7, 2007


Did you see Wendell fishing on the shoreline?
posted by gen at 9:27 PM on January 7, 2007


champthom: "...so she could win me a guitar (with pearl-inlace strings!)"

I tried to hold my tongue, but I can't help myself. It's mother of pearl inlays. Mother of pearl is that iridescent stuff inside of shells, and it is inlaid into the neck of the guitar.
[/pedantry]
posted by team lowkey at 9:51 PM on January 7, 2007


Chalk me up as another Riverbottom Nightmare Band fan. The water-squirting fish was a triumph of Muppeteering. If someone could point me towards a good, clean MP3 of their song, I'd be thrilled.

::growls:: RIVERBOTTOM NIGHTMARE BAND!
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:37 AM on January 8, 2007


And having followed the link, the Progressive Boink write-up isn't entirely fair. It's hard to disagree with its analysis of some plot issues, but when it complains about the primitive special effects and the voices sounding too much like other Muppets, well, it was 1977 after all. The Muppet Show had only been on the air for, what, half a season? One-and-a-half, tops? Henson and company were still finding their legs at that point, and they did the best they could with a shoestring budget.
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:49 AM on January 8, 2007


it was 1977 after all. The Muppet Show had only been on the air for, what, half a season? One-and-a-half, tops? Henson and company were still finding their legs at that point, and they did the best they could with a shoestring budget.

*cough* You know, in 1977, I was 8 years old, and so was Sesame Street. I'm not agreeing with the critics here, just trying to point out that Henson had been around in the TV format for quite a while by the time '77 rolled around.
posted by thanotopsis at 5:27 AM on January 8, 2007


thanatopsis, you certainly make a fair point, in that Henson and the rest had the technical aspects mastered by '77. They were all master puppeteers by that time; no arguments here. After all, they'd already been doing commercial work and TV guest spots for years. But the fact remains, I think, that the real machine as we know it hadn't started rolling at that point. Remember, for the first couple seasons of the Muppet Show, the special guests were almost all personal friends of Jim Henson. It would still be a couple of years before the Muppets as we think of them today blew up into a true worldwide phenomenon (doo doo doo-doo-doo). I was just saying that it's unfair to judge Emmet Otter using the studio's later and better-budgeted output as a yardstick.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:22 AM on January 8, 2007


WOW. Thank you so much for posting this.
posted by cavalier at 7:52 AM on January 8, 2007


This is awesome! I never saw it as a kid, but man, is it great!
posted by OmieWise at 7:59 AM on January 8, 2007


i bet, if you looked around on some of those new fangled 'bit torrent' sites, you could find the DVD with the kermit intro , etc still intact.
I mean, just sayin'

This is my favorite xmas movie, and has been a xmas-only tradition in my house for years. We only watch it around xmas time, never during the rest of the year...sort of like how the old school specials were broadcast, etc...
adds to the magic, imho

also , i am gonna have 'just a pretty girl dancin' to jugband music, and a mess of mama's barbecue!' stuck in my head for the rest of the day
posted by das_2099 at 2:31 PM on January 8, 2007


Thanks for using the YouTube Playlist format in your post.
posted by blasdelf at 7:21 PM on January 8, 2007


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