As you may have noticed from Google this morning, today is the 40th Anniversary of Sesame Street! New seasons are in production including the newest muppet, Abby Cadaby, but today is a day for our old friends. Videos a plenty to fuel your nostalgia.
How well do you know your friends from Sesame Street? Scroll over this illustration of 101 Muppets to find out their names, a brief bio, and the season in which they appeared. Slimey is still my favorite.
Something never before seen on the Internet: culture, morality, and patriotism! (SLYT) In honor of July 4th. We couldn't just put it on the American part of the Web. Sorry.
In honor of the 40th anniversary of Sesame Street, let's take a few moments to honor those Sesame Street humans overshadowed by their Muppet counterparts. Check out Bob (Bob McGrath) singing Danny Boy in Japanese on a 1966 broadcast of To Tell The Truth or singing a Japanese ballad. Watch Gordon (Roscoe Orman) as the big pimpin' title character in this original trailer for the film Willie Dynamite. See Maria (Sonia Manzano) as a lady trucker on B.J. & the Bear or getting menaced by Jeff Goldblum in the movie Death Wish. And Mr. Hooper (Will Lee) plays Pac-Man in an Atari commercial. Meanwhile, the Muppet stars of Sesame Street have gone some interesting evolutions as well in their career. [more inside]
Muppets' Exclusive La Choy Fire Breathing Dragon! While on the road to success, Jim Henson's creations were used in the advertising world. The La Choy pitch is a great insight into the workshop's early genius. [more inside]
Surprising stories behind 20 Muppet characters. Example: "Miss Piggy is apparently from Iowa".
"Some day we'll find it, the rainbow connection, the lovers, the dreamers, and me." In 1979, Paul Williams and Kenneth Ascher composed "The Rainbow Connection" [midi] which served as a radio hit and song for the The Muppet Movie. It was nominated for an Academy Award and reviewed in the allmusic guide as a song in which "Kermit the Frog sings with all the dreamy wistfulness of a short green Judy Garland." Enclosed are some performances of it I hope you enjoy. [more inside]
F.A.O. Schwartz (doesn't everybody think of that first when they hear the name?) has come up with a Design Your Own Muppet Workshop (with appropriate video intro). Limited design options (they're the "Whatnot" Muppet extras, no identifiable characters) and a $90 pricetag for a custom-made Mup, but the design process is still fun (and better than their previous Design Your Own Tutu).
Every Halloween I think about him Vincent never wanted to be an actor. What with the degree from Yale in Art History and English. His intent was certainly not to be one the classic Masters (YTV) of Macabre (YTV). Never the less his legend surpasses his own humble ambitions. Part of our collective childhoods (MP3) gone but not forgotten. [more inside]
The first time I encountered this song was on an Anita Kerr Singers record I found in my dad's basement. The original was composed for The Thomas Crown Affair. When the film was remade in 1999, the song was performed by Sting, but his was far from the first recurrence. It inspired numerous covers, perhaps most popularly by Dusty Springfield. I find Jose Feliciano's version to be particularly soulful. Dorothy Ashby layed down some of the funkiest harp you'll ever care to hear. My personal favorite is Peter Nero's performance of the windmills on a Moog synthesizer. Cameron Carpenter puts the phantom to shame with his rendition. New Dawns Show Choir do it with jazz hands. Arturo Sandoval uses his jazz hands to a slightly more impressive effect. I could keep going but I feel like a door that keeps revolving in a half forgotten dream. Oh. The Muppets did it, too.
"Fuck The Pain Away" performed by Miss Piggy and The Muppets. (SLYT) (Audio is Not Safe For Work.)
The Muppets have their own YouTube channels! Enjoy a little classical music with Beaker or Gonzo, opera with the Swedish Chef, get patriotic with Sam the Eagle, or just leave commentary with Statler and Waldorf.
It's been proven that people tend to look like their dogs, but startling new findings reveal a freakish resemblance between Hollywood celebrities and Sesame Street puppets.
There seems to be a lot of bleeping going on lately. But now it's time, with the help of our friend Count von
Count Bleep (wikipedia), to bleep the number of times you can have a laugh with the bleeping bleeps. Start here and then go on: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5;
And more bleeping fun with Ernie, Bert, Oscar, and the Cookie Monster: 1, 2, 3, 4. [more inside]
Sesame Street video archive from Sesame Workshop itself, searchable and keyword-tagged. It's not quite comprehensive (yet), but includes many Monsterpiece Theatre, Kermit's News Flashes, and Ernie & Bert sketches. [more inside]
Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue was an animated drug prevention television special starring many popular cartoon characters from American Saturday morning television. Airing in 1990 and financed by McDonald's, it was simulcast on all three major American television networks. The VHS home video edition of the special also opened with an introduction from then-President George Bush Snr and Barbara Bush. And thanks to the wonders of the interwebs, you can watch the whole thing here. And you really should. After all, where else are you going to get to hear cartoon characters like Garfield and Winnie the Pooh talking about smoking crack and shooting juice? [more inside]
The Muppet Show featuring performances: by Johnny Cash (and two more), Steve Martin on banjo, Elton John (and two more), Alice Cooper (also some skits), Debbie Harry (and another), Liza Manelli singing Copa Cabana, REM, Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Rich vs. Animal, Rita Moreno vs. Animal, Harry Belafonte (vs. Animal), Julie Andrews and more, Mac Davis, Nureyev singing and tap dancing,Sandy Duncan, John Denver, Paul Simon (on lute!), and a somewhat freaky version of The Gambler. [more inside]
Meatballs! Donuts! Banana splits! Chocolate mousse! Lobsters! Cake! Frog legs! Eggs! Turtle soup! Salad! Angry dough! Singing with Cleo Laine! Friday fun featuring the Swedish Chef.
Scary Stuff: Count Floyd's Scary Little Christmas Promo, Dr Cube's Posse, A Scarier Skeleton by Jack Handey [mp3], The Lost Skeleton Of Cadavra Trailer [previously], Shining, Plan 9 From Outer Space - Best Lines, Re-Enactment - Pan's Labyrinth, [previously] Scream in 30 Seconds and Re-Enacted by Bunnies, Season of the Witch, The Thing in Lego, REM & Muppets - Furry Happy Monsters. Happy Halloween everyone!
Of Muppets and Men. [1 2 3 4 5 6] Excellent behind-the-scenes documentary showing the mental, verbal and physical athleticism of putting together The Muppet Show. Also, a TMBG video mashup with excerpts from the doc. [All YouTube, Previously]
A preachment dear friends, you're about to receive, on John Barleycorn, nicotine, and the temptations of Eve, from the Good Reverend Peter Sellers and his Muppet friends.
Pulp Muppets. The title says it all.
Do The Right Thing (youtube) performed by little people muppet figures, set in Sesame Street.
Put Down the Duckie! A silly, jazzy song from the Muppets, featuring an all-star cast. Careful: it may change your life? [First Link = YouTube, Awesome]
Happy Birthday Jim. Today, Sunday the 24th 2006 would have been Jim Henson's 70th Birthday. (and is the 46th birthday of current Kermit Muppitter Steve Whitmire) Rarely has one person had such a impact with their vision for the world. From Sam and Friends, Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, The Dark Crystal, and on and on and on. Lots of Muppets on Youtube, lots of muppets on Metafilter. Henson died on May 16th 1990 of pneumonia. A Boy and his Frog (mp3) Happy Birthday, and thanks.
Mah num ah num (Google Video) - The Muppets debut their first music video in 1976.
Muppet Wiki. It's like Wikipedia, except, y'know, about the Muppets.
Be my echo. (Be my echo) Sing what I sing. (Sing what I sing) Follow the leader and sing after me. (Sing after me) [YoutubeFilter]
The aerodynamic qualities of Bert's head. G-cluster rockets constructed out of vintage Muppet toys compete for glory in the semi-annual Evil Bert Rocket Race. (Video available from 2002, 2004, and 2005) And of course, when you're ready for it, you can make your own. (via PuppetVision)
"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor Paypal problems?!? stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. So apparently our goverment is now a power seller on Ebay. At least they're not selling tanks or anything. Just stuff like this. If you're lucky, you won't have to wait until the inevitable auction to buy the official 37-cent MUPPET STAMPS!! which officially go on sale tomorrow. Typical of our government - Camilla the Chicken is in; Floyd, Dr. Teeth, Scooter are out. In a perfect world, letter bombs would have a Crazy Harry stamp, and we could pair a stamp of the politician of our choice with Rizzo the Rat.
The newist book from the world of Jim Henson about the man who spoke through puppets, I mean muppets.
42. I had always wondered why Jim Henson did The Muppet Show in England, after years of successful collaboration with The Children's Television Network in NYC. As a then 9-year old, I felt a kind of betrayal that I couldn't exactly put my finger on. As some little punk kid, what did I know about the financing of entertainment?This analysis of The Jim Henson Co. as a globe-trotting band of gypsies goes a long way to explain the oddness of The Muppet Show and the change in tone that resulted when the puppets moved from Sesame Street to Lew Grade's London soundstages.
Muppet Diplomacy - USNews and World Reports has a new must-read article: "The White House has approved a classified new strategy, dubbed Muslim World Outreach, that for the first time states that the United States has a national security interest in influencing what happens within Islam. Because America is, as one official put it, "radioactive" in the Islamic world, the plan calls for working through third parties--moderate Muslim nations, foundations, and reform groups--to promote shared values of democracy, women's rights, and tolerance." This means surprising US-funded initiatives such as restoring historic Sufi (i.e. moderate, non-Wahhabist) mosques, saving 11th Century Uzbek Korans, and convincing Pakistani madrassah teachers to quietly add science and math to the curriculum. Oh, and it means we're funding secular and independent media, including "in what boosters are calling Muppet Diplomacy", an Arabic version of Sesame Street. Can cultural revitalization, increased educational access, nascent democratic movements, and adorable lil' Elmo--all paid for with US tax dollars--be an effective innoculant against the tentacles of Radical Islam? Daniel Pipes, The Progressive Muslims' Union, and Reason magazine weigh in. See also a related RAND Corporation report from March, 2004.
“Because if Mr. Snuffleupagus is real, anything is possible.”
25 Favorite Sesame Street Memories
25 Favorite Sesame Street Memories
Ladies And Gentlemen, The Teeny Little Super Guy - not quite a meme, but more of a collective, "Oh man, I had totally forgotten about that" from the internet. This obscure 80s Sesame Street character's nostalgic resurgence has taken the form of a Livejournal Community, countless blog entries and even an indie rap video homage. Could Captain Vegetable be far behind [.wav file]?
Drummer Buddy Rich's appearance on the Muppet Show (QuickTime embedded, or get it "direct").
The Ten Least Successful Holiday Specials of All Time. From An Algonquin Round Table Christmas to Noam Chomsky: Deconstructing Christmas, these are the worst Christmas specials ever. I'd pay good money to see the Ayn Rand one for real.
Odd Collections: plastic bags, X-rays, fish posters, air-sickness bags, uggly Fozzies, impaled garden gnomes, owls and bananas.
Things that go moo in the night. We've all heard of the possessed Raggedy Anne doll, the eBay haunted painting, and the talking mongoose. But what about the rest, the dancing cows, the evil muppets, and the Kermit-like, child-molesting frogs? Ludicrous enough to be true?