Music and Muppets
December 2, 2007 11:56 PM   Subscribe

 
Some notes: I know the REM piece is from Sesame Street, but still. Also, the Rita Moreno appearance won her an Emmy.

And I forgot Gene Kelly's lovely number!
posted by blahblahblah at 12:02 AM on December 3, 2007


It's amazing how much of my early education in popular music came from The Muppet Show. Even today, when I hear the original version of a song that I first learned from the Muppets, it's kind of jarring.
posted by doift at 12:18 AM on December 3, 2007




Peter Sellers.
posted by homunculus at 12:37 AM on December 3, 2007


Zero Mostel!
posted by louche mustachio at 12:52 AM on December 3, 2007


MUPPETZ FUKKIN RAAAAAAHHHHHHHK!!!!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:38 AM on December 3, 2007


Another bonus song without the live stars:
Octopus's Garden.

And don't even hint at apologies for YouTube linkfests. Thre's nothing wrong with YouTube linkfests, if they're good linkfests, and this is a good linkfest.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:41 AM on December 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


How about Joel Grey singing "Cabaret" or Rodger Moore's version of "Talk to the Animals"? I know it's not singing, but I've always been partial to Harvey Korman as an animal trainer.
posted by miss-lapin at 3:55 AM on December 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


The gambler in "The Gambler" looks just like Harry Dean Stanton the fact that he has real hands and a puppet head adds too his creepiness.
posted by I Foody at 4:17 AM on December 3, 2007


I remember the Steve Martin guest spot on the Muppet show as a highlight of eighties tele-viewing.

Thanks heaps for this.
posted by mattoxic at 4:35 AM on December 3, 2007


I remember Dale Evans singing "Deep in the Heart of Texas" and Helen Reddy singing a duet of "I am Woman" with Miss Piggy---including "P.I.G." after getting the death glare. :-)
posted by brujita at 5:35 AM on December 3, 2007


I love how Cash does his usual growly, melodramatic reading, but once and awhile just breaks a grin that ends up... creepy. It's like he keeps thinking "Kids show. Kids show. Better smile."

Seems like a weird song choice for the Muppets, a long way to go for a yippie-ya-yay joke.

Anyway thanks for the recap of my entire childhood, blah.
posted by rokusan at 6:14 AM on December 3, 2007


It was Raquel Welch singing 'I'm a woman'. Helen Reddy attempted to launch the career of Sopwith the Camel, also known as 'Loretta'.

Nice post!
posted by ulotrichous at 6:20 AM on December 3, 2007


Kermit the Frog's latest work (nsfw language)
posted by LordSludge at 6:21 AM on December 3, 2007


I watched that Gambler one and was struck by the refs to booze, smokes, and the dude dying in the carriage like that and wondered if that sort of thing would fly in kids' shows today. I noticed they were having a debate about it in the comments on YT, and about whether the Muppet Show was really a kids' show or not. My husband reckons it was a "family" show, in that the family could all sit and watch it together and there would be things for the kiddies to appreciate and things for the adults to appreciate, which if you think about it is probably a much more civilized way to be, rather than the parents parking their kids in front of an "age-appropriate" (soulless, bland, annoying) TV show and walking away. I thought the thing was fantastic, by the way, if creepy, and I think if I ever have kids I'm just going to have to buy DVDs of all these old shows that I used to watch when I was little and just avoid broadcast TV altogether.
posted by Hal Mumkin at 6:33 AM on December 3, 2007


The Springsteen classic "Born to Add."
"In the Navy."
Swedish Chief, Beaker, and Animal sing "O Danny Boy."

I did a Muppet Week on my blog not too long ago which had a few others I don't see here. I love this stuff. Great post.
posted by gerryblog at 6:56 AM on December 3, 2007


Oh man. The third Johnny Cash link ("more") has some of the most painful quasi-dancing by the Man in Black in the beginning, but somehow seeing him trying so hard to be "kid-friendly" is just so incredibly endearing. This is a great post. Thank you.
posted by lazaruslong at 7:07 AM on December 3, 2007


And the REM! Wow. Great post again. Sheesh.
posted by lazaruslong at 7:16 AM on December 3, 2007


The one that always sticks in my head, video and all, is Leo Sayer doing "You make me feel like dancing".

And there is goes again.
posted by JaredSeth at 7:59 AM on December 3, 2007


Or "When I need you".

The description on YouTube: Leo Sayer in the woods with muppets with bipolar disorders,/em>
posted by JaredSeth at 8:03 AM on December 3, 2007


That Springsteen one was new to me, gerry.

"And we scream into that bitter night, hey one plus three makes four."

I'm crying now from laughing so hard.
posted by rokusan at 8:11 AM on December 3, 2007


In the Navy (without the live stars)
posted by Hal Mumkin at 8:19 AM on December 3, 2007


oops, beaten to it
posted by Hal Mumkin at 8:19 AM on December 3, 2007


the Buddy Rich vs Animal thing is one of the greatest things i've ever seen in my life.

I heard afterward that Rich told animal to "shave the fucking beard off" because this is not the goddamn house of david fuckin' baseball team.
posted by shmegegge at 8:24 AM on December 3, 2007


Roger Moore in James Bond mode, singing. Kind of.

James Coburn peacing out w/Animal.
posted by Dr. Zira at 9:11 AM on December 3, 2007


Am I dreaming, or was there a Muppet Show/Sesame Street puppet version of "Close to You"? I've been trying to find it for ages. Basically the Opera Muppets are singing it, and the birds and critters and girls all get "stuck" to the guy being sung about as the lady is singing it.
posted by lysdexic at 9:29 AM on December 3, 2007


And anything with Animal just makes my day. Thanks!
posted by lysdexic at 9:33 AM on December 3, 2007


That Gambler segment has haunted me all my life.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:51 AM on December 3, 2007


Awesome!

Proped my daughter up on my knee and watched several with her this morning.
posted by Artw at 10:40 AM on December 3, 2007


This post has all sorts of awesomeness!
posted by Vindaloo at 11:14 AM on December 3, 2007


That REM "Furry Happy Monsters" clip made my day.
posted by cazoo at 11:59 AM on December 3, 2007


Wow - Jackson is a pretty risqué choice of song for a kids' show (middle of the third Cash link).
posted by Flunkie at 12:38 PM on December 3, 2007


lysdexic: That was from the James Coburn show. Not on YouTube, although the Connie Stevens version is.
posted by ormondsacker at 12:41 PM on December 3, 2007


That Gambler video is weird. And I saw the video that "Kermit" was reacting to ... and my mind has been deeply scarred, moreso than goatse or any other video I've ever seen. Nauseous just thinking back to it ...
posted by WCityMike at 12:51 PM on December 3, 2007


Drummers in general could learn a lot from Animal. For example:

Drum solos? Boring.

Drum solos plus random primal screaming? Awesome.
posted by Flunkie at 12:53 PM on December 3, 2007


That Buddy Rich vs. Animal segment is one of my earliest inspirations to play drums - I later was lucky enough to see Buddy Rich live. I really miss the Muppet Show, not the least for the great collection of musical guests. The show with Alice Cooper is one of the best. Fantastic clip collection. Thanks.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:03 PM on December 3, 2007


Flunkie writes "Drum solos? Boring."

Not to other drummers, or anyone who has been inspired in that direction.

Drum solos plus random primal screaming? Awesome.

Yes, that's true.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:06 PM on December 3, 2007


Touchy, touchy.
posted by Flunkie at 1:09 PM on December 3, 2007


Flunkie writes "Touchy, touchy."

Well, I've heard it a lot over the years. But they did inspire me, and still do, although the drum solo is not as prominent as it once was. I know not everyone thinks of rhythm as musical by itself, but you'd be surprised how much expression you can get from a simple drum kit. OK, rant off ...

/derail
posted by krinklyfig at 1:27 PM on December 3, 2007


Way back in the day when I used to DJ I used to finish with the Muppet Theme Tune... hearing it always brings back pleasant memories.

And the Buddy Rich drum battle is the greatest thing of ever, ever.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:36 PM on December 3, 2007


If we're going to include Sesame Street, then I always loved "U Really Got a Hold on Me" featuring Smokey Robinson and a very large letter U.
posted by ALongDecember at 1:40 PM on December 3, 2007


"Drum solos? Boring."

Not to other drummers


Hmmm...
posted by Artw at 1:57 PM on December 3, 2007


One of my favorites: Danny Kaye - "Inch Worm"
posted by evilcolonel at 9:52 PM on December 3, 2007


These are great to revisit. Time in a bottle is my favorite.
posted by obol at 10:20 PM on December 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Whoa that Drum Battle Buddy Rich Vs Animal was amazing, sitting here slack-jawed, surprised the drums didn't burst into flame. What delicious ferocity.

Put Down the Duckie of yore post.

The Steve Martin Rambler skit gave scary little peeks into the yaw of entropy with his melting momentarily into the absurd.

Wonderful post. Sesame Street and The Muppet Show are superb. A handy list of the different Muppet characters, most of them with their own Wikipedia page.

Elmo, a personal hero and mentor, isn't in the list, he has his own page though. He was the only Muppet ever to testify before the U.S. Congress. At the request and with the assistance of Rep. Duke Cunningham, he testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education in April 2002, urging support for increased funding in music education.
posted by nickyskye at 10:31 AM on December 4, 2007


nickyskye: He was the only Muppet ever to testify before the U.S. Congress.

A Muppet talking to puppets. Huh. Recursive.
posted by WCityMike at 10:33 AM on December 4, 2007


Take a Chance on Me. Very cute.
posted by WCityMike at 10:42 AM on December 4, 2007


Elmo, a personal hero and mentor...

Uh oh. You might want to avoid my song, then: Bring Me the Head of Elmo
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:05 PM on December 4, 2007


I've enjoyed this Crystal Gale appearance on the Muppet Show. Please don't judge me.
posted by erikharmon at 8:02 AM on December 5, 2007


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