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May 12, 2015 11:14 AM   Subscribe

ABC has released a trailer for its new Muppets show. Video doesn't play outside the US, so try here if that's you.
posted by dry white toast (76 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm with Gonzo on this. Still, I'm excited.
posted by GuyZero at 11:17 AM on May 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


I may or may not have shed tears of joy when I saw the Swedish Chef.
posted by dry white toast at 11:17 AM on May 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


Most sensational. Inspirational. Celebrational. Muppet-ational.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:18 AM on May 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


I love the Muppets, and I'm still hopeful, but dear god that trailer is not promising.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 11:19 AM on May 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


Am I the only one having weird audio drops on that video clip?
posted by symbioid at 11:20 AM on May 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


NVM - the twitter version is fine.
posted by symbioid at 11:21 AM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


So it's basically 30-Rock/Parks and Rec but with Muppets? That might be the perfect show.
posted by VTX at 11:21 AM on May 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


All of the voices are different and it's hurting my brain.

It hurts because it looks okay.

But...

Kermit's voice is way too high.

And I mean, the voice actors who are still around are all 70+, so it makes sense to recast it all and do your best...but man, Kermit's voice has been in my brain since I have had a memory. And that ain't it. :(
posted by Hamadryad at 11:21 AM on May 12, 2015 [17 favorites]


30 Fraggle Rock
posted by standardasparagus at 11:22 AM on May 12, 2015 [51 favorites]


Kickstarter to create a network that consists entirely of network and cable shows entirely re-done with Muppets.
posted by dry white toast at 11:24 AM on May 12, 2015 [9 favorites]


I don't think Kermit's voice is meant to be higher. I think the entire preview is played back at a slightly high speed. All of the voices sound faintly sped up. So it may well be something about the clip, as opposed to any real changes in the voices.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:25 AM on May 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Well written.

What the hell is going on with the voices, though? That's NOT Whitmire. Or Eric Jacobsen. (Fozzie) It sounds like the entire cast is on helium. What the hell?
posted by anastasiav at 11:28 AM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I desperately want to see Kermit actually leave Piggy and never look back.

Like, about the only fictional character break-up I ever hoped for more intensely was Harley leaving the Joker.

I'm not even kidding. Piggy is a hilarious character and all, but nobody should have to suffer being in a relationship with her.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:30 AM on May 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


If they fuck this up....

I mean, I have a lot of hope for this show. But then, after The Muppets movie, I was pretty excited for The Muppets Most Wanted, but that ended up being so tone deaf to why we like the muppets at all that it should never have been released.

This is either going to be really great, or is going to be the Jar Jar Binks of the Muppet universe.
posted by hippybear at 11:30 AM on May 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think those of us who are 35+ will need to resign ourselves to the fact that there are multiple generations now who never knew a world with Jim Henson in it and are therefore perfectly OK with a high-voiced Kermit.
posted by grumpybear69 at 11:31 AM on May 12, 2015 [14 favorites]


Yes it is sped up and yes the audio's dropping out. And it also looks like it might a bit derivative. But I'll absolutely give it a chance; the Muppets have earned as much in my book.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 11:33 AM on May 12, 2015


Piggy is a hilarious character and all, but nobody should have to suffer being in a relationship with her.

You know, I dated a woman who was a lot like Miss Piggy (I'm more than a little like Kermit, actually), and...let's just say I can confirm this.
posted by dry white toast at 11:33 AM on May 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


I haven't watched the trailer yet, but Steve Whitmire's voice for Kermit is pitched slightly higher than Jim Henson's.

The only principal member of the original Muppet Show cast left is Dave Goelz (Gonzo, Bunsen, Zoot). Jim Henson, Richard Hunt and Jerry Nelson have all passed away, and Frank Oz retired. It's sad, but I feel like there's still a sense of continuity among the Muppets as parts pass from the old performers to the new, a continuity that doesn't exist with other legacy properties like, say, Looney Tunes.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:34 AM on May 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Hey guys, the Muppet Twitter link has the correct/better audio.
posted by thivaia at 11:36 AM on May 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


This really puts into perspective how much Muppet DNA was in 30 Rock. The Muppets are true to their established characters here but dropped into a similar aesthetic to 30 Rock it's really uncanny how much it highlights the feel that both ensembles of characters share. That scene with Piggy calling Gonzo "Gary" is simultaneously a Kermit/Piggy/Gonzo scene and a Liz/Jenna/Josh scene.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:38 AM on May 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


Yeah, the pitch and the dropouts there sound like they're two halves of the same processing fuckup somewhere along the line, probably playing back 44.1 kHz audio at 48 kHz, which would have the effect of pitching everything up about 8% and leaving you about 8% short on running time for every little chunk of resulting audio. It's sort of magnificent in a "someone is going to have a bad day" sort of way that that's what ended up on the official network youtube channel.
posted by cortex at 11:40 AM on May 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


This really puts into perspective how much Muppet DNA was in 30 Rock.

I don't see it.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:41 AM on May 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


kermitarms.gif
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:42 AM on May 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Who does the voice of Obscure Muppet around 1:42? He sounds really familiar, but I can't place it.
posted by Metroid Baby at 11:45 AM on May 12, 2015


So probably not kid-friendly anymore? I was looking forward to raising my toddler on Muppets. By the time he's old enough to get some of the jokes it will be old and uncool.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:50 AM on May 12, 2015


I am so excited for this that I can't even explain it or anything else anymore.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:52 AM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Navelgazer is secretly Bill O'Reilly?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:54 AM on May 12, 2015


I was looking forward to raising my toddler on Muppets.

There are seasons of The Muppet Show and Muppets Tonight available on DVD and all the movies are still available. You can raise your toddler on Muppets just fine. :)
posted by hippybear at 11:56 AM on May 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


Bear in mind that one of the Muppet Show pilots was called Sex and Violence. The show was meant for grown-ups; it just happened that kids could enjoy it too.
posted by Shmuel510 at 11:57 AM on May 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Seconding hippybear on the Muppets DVDs... all 3 of the little Guys (some not so little anymore) were/are being raised on The Muppets, and all of them love them.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 11:58 AM on May 12, 2015


Who does the voice of Obscure Muppet around 1:42? He sounds really familiar, but I can't place it.

He sounds (and looks like) Jason from Home Movies
posted by littlesq at 11:58 AM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Navelgazer is secretly Bill O'Reilly?

Dude, shut up!
posted by Navelgazer at 11:59 AM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


there are multiple generations now who never knew a world with Jim Henson in it and are therefore perfectly OK with a high-voiced Kermit.

JE REFUSE
posted by poffin boffin at 12:00 PM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


The second link is definitely better. Kermit sounds nearly perfect.

God bless America and its Broadcasting Company.
posted by Sophie1 at 12:01 PM on May 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'd been thinking of doing an FPP about this other Muppet-related development, but it's kind of thin, and I might as well just leave it here as a side-note.

The Muppets have been doing some guest appearances with YouTube stars. (The Tompkins video is the standout.)
posted by Shmuel510 at 12:08 PM on May 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


Listening to the audio on the twitter link after the original link reduced my stress level about 25 degrees. I could actually feel my shoulders lowering back down from my ears. Those voices are sooooo much better.
posted by blurker at 12:16 PM on May 12, 2015


Who does the voice of Obscure Muppet around 1:42? He sounds really familiar, but I can't place it.

He sounds (and looks like) Jason from Home Movies


Come to think of it, he sounds like a Greg.
posted by Metroid Baby at 12:21 PM on May 12, 2015


Kermit's voice is way too high.
They (the Muppet folks) said it would have been easy enough to bring in someone who could imitate Henson's Kermit voice, but they wanted to be respectful of his contribution to the character and draw a fine line there. It's a bit jarring, but I'd say that was the right choice.

Personally, I thought Jason Segel's Muppets film was all right -- it started off strongly, but the plot never really came together for me (where did Gary's whistling talent come from?), but I give them credit for getting a theatrical film made and released that at least had some of the spirit of the Jim Henson-era movies. (The first one is, in my opinion, still the best.) I enjoyed Muppets Most Wanted, and so did my six-year-old son, but I think I enjoyed it more because I really, really wanted to. Again, the plotting never really came together, but at least it was funny enough. But still -- Kermit in prison? Who thought that was a good idea?

I've felt for a while that the Muppets belong back on television, where they can tell smaller, bite-sized stories, which is where they always excelled for me. But I'm not sure the Modern Family schtick is really the best idea. For starters, as has been mentioned, it skews awfully grown-up. The Muppets have always had a bit of an adult edge to them, but the hook was always that it was a kids show where the grownups had jokes aimed at them, too. This seems to have that relationship reversed, and I'm not sure it will play.

Then again, Disney has a vested interest in making it work, so who knows? I guess some Muppets is better than none at all!
posted by gern at 12:25 PM on May 12, 2015


"all ages" the term you're looking for is an All Ages show.
posted by The Whelk at 12:28 PM on May 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


Even in the Twitter version of the trailer, the voices are in that Uncanny Valley of almost-but-not-quite-like the originals. It's also interesting to compare the near-frantic pacing of that clip vs. the old Muppet Show (or the first movie). I wonder if Kids Today could sit still for the more relaxed pacing and vibe of the original shows, the way I used to back then. ...Or am I just getting old and slowing down?
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:28 PM on May 12, 2015


Fitting into the 30 Rock model is exactly within Muppets history. It's literally the modern version of what The Muppet Show and Muppets Tonight were.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:32 PM on May 12, 2015 [9 favorites]


Therapist: "So, how's it been going this week, Devonian?"
Devonian: "Well... I've been thinking a lot about my past relationships..."
T:"Good, good..."
D:"And, eh, I'm on this online bulletin board thing..."
T:"Uh-huh"
D:"And they were talking about one particular TV character, and I realised that, uh, when I was a kid..."
T:"Mmmm?"
D:"Well, I had something of a thing for her. At an impressionable age. And I was wondering whether that might, uh, explain some things..."
T:"Interesting."
D:"Tell me, doc, does the phrase "Todo sobre mi cerdita" mean anything to you?"
T: "I think you should be seeing someone else. Just wait there..."
posted by Devonian at 12:38 PM on May 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


First link is dead.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:44 PM on May 12, 2015


God bless America and its Broadcasting Company.

I love Sam. And the post title reminds me of one of my favorite Sam sketches: his editorial on "Nudity."
I would just like to say a few words about nudity in the world today. And I, for one, am just appalled by it. Why, did you know that underneath their clothing, the entire population of the world is walking around completely naked? Hmm? Is that disgusting? And it's not just people, although, goodness knows, that's bad enough, but animals too. Even cute little doggies and pussycats can't be trusted. Underneath their fur, absolutely naked! And it's not just the quadripeds, neither. Birds too. Yeah! Beneath those fine feathers, birds wear nothing. Nothing at all! Abs...
[realizes and walks off, covering himself]
posted by audi alteram partem at 12:44 PM on May 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


First link is dead.

Good.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:46 PM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is either going to be really great, or is going to be the Jar Jar Binks of the Muppet universe.

Mr Bear,

The step down between the movies makes me think this will be way more "Muppets Tonight" than "The Muppet Show". I'll watch. I'll hope. But I'm making sure to keep my expectations low, so I can enjoy it and not just really wish Jim had given us 20 more years of stuff.
posted by DigDoug at 12:52 PM on May 12, 2015


::face twitch:: Not. Good. ::/twitch::
posted by Faintdreams at 1:04 PM on May 12, 2015


The "offensive stereotype" scene is the only time Fozzie's had a working joke. I don't know how to feel.

But I'll probably watch.
posted by emjaybee at 1:40 PM on May 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


the only time Fozzie's had a working joke

"Bear left!"
"Right, frog!"
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:50 PM on May 12, 2015 [12 favorites]


[Swapped out the first link with the unfucked new official youtube upload, carry on.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:54 PM on May 12, 2015


it's a little odd to see the psychopath guy from Justified playing Fozzie's potential FIL
posted by angrycat at 2:04 PM on May 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Kermit's voice is actually not bad, but Sam the Eagle sounds nothing like his old self.
posted by oneirodynia at 2:16 PM on May 12, 2015


Well that was...underwhelming. Although, how can it not be with the complete absence of Pepe the Prawn? *hmph*
posted by mal de coucou at 2:29 PM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


That's going to be shite, isn't it?
posted by MartinWisse at 2:35 PM on May 12, 2015


No way! Me and an ex flatmate have a long standing joke about Obscure Muppet. He is in a couple of scenes in Muppets From Space. He just walks about looking lost. There's this guy around town that neither of us know but who seems to haunt us both and he looks just like him. I'm giddy!
posted by gnuhavenpier at 2:40 PM on May 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


I am cautiously optimistic. Gonzo was always my favorite, and he feels like he fits this format better than the rest of them.
posted by ocherdraco at 3:38 PM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ok, so this shouldn't be the number one thing that bothers me, but at the end of that trailer, they type out the name of the show, using typewriter noises, and make a mistake, and then backspace and delete some letters...like this is some magical typewriter that can just go back and make mistakes disappear.

This is the worst thing to happen since Itchy playing Scratchy's rib bones like a xylophone, hitting the same bone twice in succession and producing two different notes.
posted by Dmenet at 3:54 PM on May 12, 2015 [9 favorites]


like this is some magical typewriter that can just go back and make mistakes disappear.

IBM Correcting Selectric II. Probably bought at auction from the set of Mad Men.
posted by localroger at 4:08 PM on May 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


Or the Brother GX-6750, still available new for $80.
posted by bgrebs at 4:09 PM on May 12, 2015


Not quite. Unlike some of the later Selectrics the first Correcting Selectrics were entirely mechanical and did not use an electronic type-ahead buffer to permit correction. Instead they performed a backspace and temporarily switched in a white correction ribbon, and you would repeat the errant key to white it out. Pretty much exactly as in the animation :-)
posted by localroger at 4:15 PM on May 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


"I bet I can derail a trailer for a revival of a beloved kids' show into an argument over electric typewriter features."

"You're on!"
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:28 PM on May 12, 2015 [16 favorites]


I don't know, I'm cautiously optimistic about this.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:39 PM on May 12, 2015


The show or the typewriter derail? Both?
posted by VTX at 4:47 PM on May 12, 2015


Both. Especially for the way the derail incorporated an appropriate Simpsons reference.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:49 PM on May 12, 2015


But I'm not sure the Modern Family schtick is really the best idea.

I think it could work well, if they keep up with the self-conscious parody of the format, like with Gonzo in this preview.
posted by dnash at 5:33 PM on May 12, 2015


Bear in mind that one of the Muppet Show pilots was called Sex and Violence.

A personal favorite was when Alice Cooper hosted. In that one, Gonzo kept trying (and failing) to sell his soul to Satan because he thought it sounded like a good deal. I didn't realize as a kid how subversive that show could get.
posted by middleclasstool at 5:37 PM on May 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


So, no mention of the OK Go Muppets video? And, yes, Sam sounded vehemently wrong.

And SO happy my boy Sweetums is still around!

I have hopes too, folks.
posted by Samizdata at 6:50 PM on May 12, 2015


> the OK Go Muppets video

Janice has a dangling uvula!?
posted by moonmilk at 7:01 PM on May 12, 2015


Well, the OK Go video's from 2011. Previous discussion here.
posted by Shmuel510 at 7:10 PM on May 12, 2015


A couple of people have said up thread that this format highlights how much The Muppet Show is built into the DNA of shows like 30 Rock. So it sorta makes sense that a new Muppets show would reflect the modern approach to the workplace comedy.

In other words, I'm far too excited about new and weekly Muppets to think critically about this.
posted by dry white toast at 7:17 PM on May 12, 2015


I actually think the format is appropriate. When the original Muppet Show was produced the variety show was fading but recently huge. Nowadays the varity show of that sort is forgotten and the closest big thing you can hang a huge muppet cast on is the "reality" show.
posted by localroger at 8:08 PM on May 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


On seeing the trailer, I was super excited at the start. Awesome! Great! And then my excitement kind of waned and my trepidation grew, as things went on. I'm with the cautiously optimistic lot.

Anyone notice that a random (and terrible) narrator pops in, halfway through, out of nowhere? "They're all back... like you've never seen them before!" It's like the ABC execs wanted to show their faces briefly, just to remind everyone that they can still f#@^ things up if they wanted to.
posted by avoision at 8:26 PM on May 12, 2015


The title quote reminds me of my favorite Janice line: "So I said look man, I don't take my clothes off for anyone, and I don't care if it is artistic!"

So excited to see more of this.
posted by heisenberg at 8:47 PM on May 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


It MUST be noted that the typewriter font for "the muppets." logo is identical to that for ABC's existing show "the middle". And it'll be Tuesday 8PM Muppets, Wednesday 8PM Middle. Coincidence?

Also, "the muppets." will be on right before "Fresh off the Boat", which is the most halfway-decent new comedy this season (to be renewed for a second season). Then, at 9PM: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Let's just try to ignore the "FBI training/terrorism trainwreck" Quantico at 10PM, shall we?) One of the most interesting lineups on anybody's schedule this fall. (And maybe Miss Piggy could be written out of the show to return in an "Muppets' Agent Piggy" mid-season fill-in, hmmmmm?)

But the highlight for me really was Fozzie's "offensive stereotype" line, providing the slightest hint that something outside of the Classic Character Model might possibly work here. Of course, that might be the only good gag in the pilot, and remember that this production involves Bill "Big Bang Theory" Prady in a writing/not-showrunning capacity. But if we ever see Kermit in a superhero logo t-shirt, ABANDON SHOW!
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:48 PM on May 12, 2015


Prady has worked with the Muppets, so he's not quite the out of left field choice that you might think. Here's a Vulture interview with him where he explains the premise further. It sounds like Muppets met Larry Sanders. I love the idea of Piggy as the host of a talk show.
I loved the idea of Gonzo and Piggy doing Love Letters, but of course whenever I think of puppets doing Love Letters, I think of this .
posted by cottoncandybeard at 7:10 AM on May 13, 2015


"Fozzie... We're home."
posted by Theta States at 11:15 AM on May 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


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