Some 70s television programming for your Halloween viewing pleasure:
Excerpts from Guy Debord’s “The Muppets.” "Though the name 'Guy Debord' is now synonymous with two things: Situationist philosophy and The Muppets, this pairing of passions was not as easily reconciled as you might think. 'I had to fight really hard not to be pigeon-holed as a Marxist theorist in the puppeteering community,' Debord once said. 'They told me 'Kids don't want to hear about how the concrete life of everyone has been degraded to a speculative universe, Guy.' I said 'How about we let the children decide that?' Decide they did..." [Previously, Via]
For those of you celebrating Thanksgiving today (and anyone else), here's Dick Cavett's 1971 Thanksgiving Special. [more inside]
W-ORD Channel 7 News With John Oliver & Cookie Monster. In support of "Sesame Street's" newest vocabulary resource, "Words are Here, There and Everywhere," Mashable has teamed up with Sesame Workshop to encourage families to explore the wonderful world of words.
What's the intersection between Star Wars and the Muppets? Chances are you'll think of Yoda. Maybe you knew that Jim Henson & his creature-makers had nothing to do with the original Star Wars movie. And sure, you probably knew that some of the Star Wars cast were featured on the Muppet Show (watch on YouTube). But wait, there's more. [more inside]
"We all have our nostalgia. But, at least for me, my love of Henson’s work goes beyond that. I don’t think we love the Muppets simply because they came from our childhood. We love the Muppets because they gave us a worldview – a profoundly idealistic, yet profoundly realistic worldview – that many of us carry into our adulthoods. It is only rarely that we take the time to consider where we picked up such ideas."
It remains one of the best science-fiction shows of the last 20 cycles: Farscape. It has been 15 years since the first episode aired. So why not enjoy the 15 best frelling moments from Farscape? Or the 10 must-watch Farscape episodes (or are they?). Or ponder what the cast members think since the show was cancelled? Because, with no space shows on TV anymore, the show with the muppets, shot in Australia, still matters. And Farscape isn't dead. Or is it?
With St. Patrick's Day fast approaching, it's a great opportunity to have a look at "Danny Boy". [more inside]
John Paul Henson, who has been playing beloved Muppet Sweetums since 1991, has died of a sudden heart attack at the age of 48.
Jimmy Fallon signs off The Late Show with an homage to The Last Waltz (SLYT). With Muppets. Lots of Muppets. (Past awesome Late Show musical numbers: previously and previously and previously but that's really just a start.)
A YouTube user has uploaded an earlier cut of Jim Henson and Frank Oz's The Dark Crystal (with characters designed by Brian Froud). Some scenes are re-ordered, there is some different dialogue and the narration has been removed. It didn't perform well in testing, so changes were made to the version we all know and love. A threatened sequel, to be directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, is on hold. [more inside]
♪ Why do we always come here?
I guess we'll never know.
It's like a kind of torture
To have to watch the show! ♫
I guess we'll never know.
It's like a kind of torture
To have to watch the show! ♫
To start with the beginning: Jack Sheppard was a notorious English robber who inspired John Gay to write The Beggar's Opera (1728). Two centuries later, the German composer Kurt Weill and dramatist Bertolt Brecht adapted it into a musical as a socialist critique of capitalism and the modern world: Die Dreigroschenoper. It was about to open when the lead actor demanded a song to introduce his character. It was this song that would open the play and at its premiere, it was Kurt Gerron who would be the first to sing the Moriat of Macky Messer as the street singer setting the scene. [more inside]
HEY YOU! Andrew Horowitz, a musician who goes by the name edu, writes music that sounds like Muppets-influenced psychedelia. At the End is a soft, melancholy song; Miss Melody blooms and blooms and blooms. Horowitz is also the mind behind The Baker Boys, which remixes Jay-Z with 20th century classical musicians like Philip Glass, Igor Stravinsky, Steve Reich, and Conlon Nancarrow.
"She also found herself liking Kermit a lot more than she'd expected to. Anji had never really watched the Muppets before; her parents, like most parents she knew, had treated TV as only slightly less corrupting an influence than refined sugar and gendered toys. But The Muppet Show was really funny—strange, and kind of hokey, but charming all the same. She ended up watching way more of it than she needed just for the project. "Tomorrow Is Waiting", a short science fiction story by Holli Mintzer, published in Strange Horizons.
On the passing of Jane Nebel Henson, who was, as this piece from a Muppets fansite explains, more than Jim's widow, she was the original Second Muppeteer. [more inside]
"You may have noticed that the heroes in this story are all animals, and the villains are all people. I hope none of you take that personally." The Muppet Musicians of Bremen (1972) (Part 1 2 3 4 5 6). [more inside]
Hey guys, remember that old show "Fraggle Rock?" And, and you know that recently-released movie The Hobbit? Well, why not combine the two?
Because you can't, you won't, and you don't stop learning: Oscar, Grover, and Cookie Monster rockin' the Beastie Boys' "Sure Shot." [more inside]
Kevin Clash has resigned from Sesame Street as his first accuser retracts his retraction and a second accuser emerges. Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon says this can't kill Elmo. Previously, and previously, alas.
Quasi-muppets get wasted at a rich kids graduation bash in Your Parent's Cocaine by Oakland's The Coup. [more inside]
In 2008, the Muppetheads behind the Tough Pigs staged their own muppety election, in which Ernie (and running mate Bert) won the Presidency over a Fraggle ticket of Gobo & Red. Now they're doing it again, but with Ernie not going for a second term and inevitable favorite Kermit not running either, the 2012 Muppet Election is between a Sesame Street ticket of Grover/Cookie Monster and a Muppet Show ticket of Gonzo/Rizzo. And yes, there is negative campaigning on both sides. [more inside]
All 32 NFL Quarterbacks and their Muppet Doppelgangers. Single link Buzzfeed.
Jerry Nelson, one of the major talents 'underneath' the Muppets, has passed away at the age of 78. [more inside]
Chaos Theory: A Unified Theory of Muppet types. Dahlia Lithwick poses a taxonomy of muppets based on chaos vs. order.
Years after his first (albeit veiled) public cry for help Kermit once again uses song to deliver a poignant message. [via mefi projects]
The Swedish Chef (Muppet Wiki) is the incomprehensible preparer of foodstuffs for The Muppet Show. A rather literal variation of the Live-Hand Muppet concept, the Swedish Chef is a humanoid character, with human hands rather than gloves. An annotated list of every televised appearance of the Swedish Chef is after the fold... Børk! Børk! Børk! [Click here to view the thread translated fully into Mock Swedish] [more inside]
Jim Henson's Red Book "In June 1965, 28-year-old Jim Henson started a written log of his activities in what became known as “The Red Book.” He noted what had happened up until that point (deemed “Ancient History”) and then recorded anything that he felt was worth recording as single line journal entries until the end of 1988." via retroist.
In 1975, a half-hour variety show titled The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence piloted on ABC television but it was going after an older audience.
Back in December, Fox News attacked the Muppets for the supposed "anti-coprorate" and "anti-capitalist" themes they saw in the movie The Muppets. Kermit and Miss Piggy are, finally, fighting back.
Life's a Happy Song sung by Kermit the Frog and Flight of the Conchords' Bret McKensie, who wrote the song [NYT].
Muppet Labs, where the future is being made today, is the site of scientific enquiry, technological breakthroughs, and sundry explosions on The Muppet Show. Headed by Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, the lab premiered in episode 108 and lasted all five seasons. During the first season, Bunsen worked alone. Beginning in season two, the good doctor acquired an assistant-cum-guinea pig, the hapless Beaker. An annotated list of every single televised appearance of the Muppet Labs is after the fold! [more inside]
If God did call me to run for president I'd say, "Get back to work God, and be thankful you have a job." "
Marvin E. Quasniki officially announces his bid to be the next president of the United States. [more inside]
Ereese-a yuoo preesuners ooff sterfeshun. Ereese-a yuoo vretched ooff zee iert. Fur joosteece-a thoonders cundemneshun. A better vurld's in burt. It is zee feenel cunffleect. Let iech stund in hees plece-a. Zee Interneshunele-a shell be-a zee hoomun rece-a.
BORK BORK BORK!
BORK BORK BORK!
Drew McWeeny muses at length on Muppets, Avengers, and Life In The Age Of Fanfiction.
Mahna Mahna -- the signature Muppets tune you all know and love? It came from the soundtrack of an Italian soft porn film about Swedish lesbians.
One of the biggest stars of TV and movies talks about his 30-year career, his relationship with Jim Henson, and his brand new movie. Jian Ghomeshi talks to Kermit the Frog, on the video version of Ghomeshi's radio show, Q. Unfortunately, you have to put up with some ads before and during the interview.
Bert and Ernie recording their voices for TomTom. This is perhaps the funniest viral ad for a product that I've seen. TomTom in-car navigation systems offer custom voices to read out directions, and their latest additions are from Sesame Street. This is the promotional video, showing what the recording session was like... [SLYTPB]
In 1969, Sesame Street put together an unaired pilot to test in front of children. The pilot contained the appearance of an actor playing Gordon different from the other three actors who subsequently played that character. Sesame Workshop has no idea who this actor was and has exhausted all leads. Do you know who the mystery Gordon is?
"'Being Elmo,' the crowd-pleasing [documentary film] profile of the man behind Elmo, arguably the most-loved Muppet on 'Sesame Street,' has been melting hearts on the festival circuit since premiering at Sundance this year, where it won the Special Jury Prize. ... [It's the] story of how puppeteer Kevin Clash came up through the ranks on sheer ambition and ingenuity to become one of the best in the business is an underdog tale of the best variety."* However, could it be that there is an Elmo backlash brewing? [more inside]