Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Way Back WhensDay: The Muppets

The Muppets
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

I'm old enough to remember when the Muppet Show came on TV once a week in prime time.  My family would gather around the television and sing the opening theme song along with the colorful cast of characters created by the genius, Jim Henson.  There was something magical about that 30 minutes of television each week and I was always sad when the show would come to an end.  

From the corny skits to the guest stars (human form) to the Muppets themselves, I was captivated each week.  The show spawned several great movies, that I remember watching in the theaters at the time each was released.  The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, and The Muppets Take Manhattan came out in the span of five years.  With them, a collection of drinking glasses, t-shirts, and other sundries.

Me & Rolf
As the films grew in popularity with me, I began collecting plush versions of my favorites characters.  The first and probably my favorite piece of the collection is Rolf.  He's an actual puppet too.  Through the years, I added Miss Piggy and Fozzie (also puppets) as well as stuffed versions of Kermit, Gonzo, and Scooter.  I could not get enough of them, and truth be told, my Muppets are still in a box in my attic, sometimes I break them out for blogging and vlogging purposes.

Muppets Most Wanted
Photo courtesy: Disney 
When Disney bought the company from the Henson family, I think many people feared the worst.  I think it was a great move and the legacy of Kermit, Miss Piggy, The Swedish Chef, and the gang will continue to live on.  In fact, there are new movies being released and a renewed interest in the 40 year old institution.  That doesn't include the undying love for Sesame Street and all the characters America has come to love through the decades.

So whether it's Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, Kermit, or one of the Fraggles, the work that Jim Henson created so long ago has left a huge mark on pop culture.  I'm glad to say that I watched those movies with my parents, and now as the updated versions are coming out, I'm starting that tradition with my kids.  

For the worst impression of Fozzie Bear watch the video below...

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