Category Archives: Muppets

Jimmy Fallon Has No Mercy

Jimmy Fallon and Late Night were already on a roll last week, thanks in large part to New York Mets ace/budding fashionista Matt Harvey and ripped RIPD star Ryan Reynolds, but they saved the best for last, and in doing so perhaps experienced their finest hour yet. In a flight of fancy that could only have been ripped directly from the pages of our diary, Fallon did the impossible , reuniting the legendary [and fictional] rock band Jesse & the Rippers, fronted by heartthrob and dedicated uncle, Jesse Cochran Katsopolis. They said it couldn’t be done, mostly because the band never actually existed, but Late Night has demonstrated time and time again that they have no interest in getting bogged down with details and logic and whether or not something is quote-unquote real. That’s for Leno to do.

And in proving once again that there’s an undeniable and insatiable appetite for everything we love and hold dear and want to keep only for ourselves 90s nostalgia, the performance, a blistering mega-mix of their greatest hits, was an instant sensation, showing once and for all that Jesse & his Rippers were indeed ahead of their time and only through the benefit of reflection and the passing of decades has their genius been truly appreciated. Would we want to see J & the R mount full-scale reunion with a never-ending world tour and a hit new record? Of course. But if Jesse never dons his leather vest again or lifts his guitar strap over his shoulder or raises a fine-toothed comb to feather his hairt, we’ll forever have “Forever.”

And not only did they did pull off a miracle with this one TGIF night only performance, they topped it off with Mrs. Jesse & the Rippers herself, Becky Donaldson. Talk about get out of my dreams and into my car!

And bonus points for reviving the ghost of 21 Jump Street‘s Captain Jenkno to play guitar (or is that Boober Fraggle?).

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Filed under Brilliance, Freak Out Control, Jump Streets Ahead, Muppet Mondays, Muppets, Nostalgia Corner, Talkies, TGIF, Wake Up, SF!

Parting Shot: Peeples is Peeples

Peeples is PeeplesNo is buildings. Is Tyler Perrys, huh? Is peeples, is dancing, is music, is Craig Robinsons. So, peeples is peeples. Okay?

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Filed under Huh?, Muppets, Parting Shot, The Big Screen

In Memoriam: Jane Henson, Lover, Dreamer

Yesterday the Jim Henson Company announced the passing of Jane Henson, widow of Jim Henson and, perhaps more importantly, his longtime professional partner. We vividly recall as a third grader reading a biography of Jim Henson, a slim paperback with a green cover (naturally aimed at young readers, and being captivated by black-and-white photos of a fresh-faced, clean-shaven Jim Henson. At his side in many of these photos was another young puppeteer by the name of Jane Nebel, and it wasn’t long before the two began dating in addition to collaborating professionally. We still remember finding these photos particularly striking, something classic and timeless about their look, and something special in the way they turned their passion for their work into passion for each other. 

jane & Jim Henson

Jane worked with Jim on many commercials and helped him produce the local Washington, DC program Sam and Friends, which featured a very young, embryonic Kermit the Frog. Through their early work Jane assisted Jim in the creation of the Muppets, becoming a key architect in their development. Eventually Jim and Jane married and gave birth to five young Hensons, and Jane focused more on raising the brood while Jim found other professional partners like Frank Oz and Jerry Nelson, lovers and dreamers who shared the unique Henson vision. While Jane’s contribution could no longer tangibly be seen on-screen, her influence is undeniable and impact unquestionable. And even though she and Jim separated in 1986 she remained an important part of the Henson family, and continued to carry on the Henson spirit after Jim’s untimely death in 1993.

We always found it moving and significant he called her to his side when he fell ill, and she was with him in his last hours. It showed to us, even at ten-years-old, that Jane and Jim were bound by something other than romantic love for each other, perhaps something even greater than that. In that moment, and in her commitment to the Jim Henson Legacy, both literally and figuratively, she showed that whether or not they were in love she and Jim were eternally bound by a shared vision and a desire to bring good into the world. It wasn’t really Jim’s legacy that Jane had been working to preserve and promote all these years. It was their legacy.

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Filed under Brilliance, In Memoriam, Muppets

A Jumped the Snark “Shorty” – Predicting the 2014 Oscars

We’re unveiling a new feature on this blog today: Jumped the Snark Shorties, very brief thoughts and commentary on various topics and issues. Could be a follow-up to a previous post, an ad-hoc op-ed, or a random non-sequtiur. Opinions that are too short and partially formed to necessitate a full-length analysis, but too long for a tweet. Today we revisit our post from last week, our response to response to the Oscars and the outrage fired towards Seth MacFarlane. 

With all the bitter criticism and outcry following Seth MacFarlane’s Academy Awards hosting turn, it’s only natural to wonder who will take the stage next year. Likewise, it’s safe to assume that the Producers will be walking on glass with their next selection, aiming to pull in a host that can pull in the laughs (and ratings) while omitting the more the more offensive elements, effectively compensating for this year’s (alleged) disaster.

Our prediction: Sandra Bullock & Melissa McCarthy

Why? Coming off the upcoming The Heat these will be two very bankable, very likable, very current commodities. And, unlike Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, these are movie stars, and, perhaps more importantly, actresses more than comedians. Their comedic reputation and integrity won’t be at risk; they’ll be more likely to be tame, to be good soldiers, and more amenable to it than the former SNL standouts,  neither of whom, it should be noted, have yet to truly break out on the big screen.

But Jumped the Snark, won’t the “Body Cops” be all over that with Melissa McCarthy’s size? 

No, the Body Cops themselves are handcuffed after this year’s show, nobody would dare say anything remotely misogynistic or negative towards women; it would instead be a celebration of the fairer sex, in all their shapes and forms. And, privately, the producers would feel comfortable tapping an overweight woman because they paired her with a thin, classic beauty, and they’ll pat themselves on the back for being so progressive.

Follow-up question: Is it a requirement that a human hosts the Oscars? I feel like everyone would approve of Kermit the Frog. 

While we would, of course, love a Muppet up there on that stage, but our understand is that non-humans can present, but not host. It’s like how non-native citizens can be Governor, but not President. And now that we say that we do like the sound of “Governor Kermit.” We’ve certainly done worse.

 

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Filed under Muppets, Saturday Night Live, Shorties, The Big Screen

BREAKING NEWS(ROOM): A Fraggle Rock A Day

Inspired by Ben Folds Five and their Fraggle-inflected (infested?) video for “Do It Anyway,” we went down to the caves for today’s A Newsroom A Day. Dance your cares away!

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Filed under A Newsroom A Day, Muppets, Tyranasaurus Sex

Down at Fraggle Rock & Roll

Yesterday Ben Folds Five, in conjunction with Nerdist and the Fraggles, released the video for “Do It Anyway,” the first single from their new and apparently much-anticipated album The Sound of the Life of the Mind, and it’s awesome. It’s just awesome.

Let’s just run down a quick list of why this is awesome:

1. Fraggles. Duh. Obvious #1.

2. Specifically Uncle Traveling Matt. Or, as you may know him, Tarzan from Survivor: ONE WORLD!

3. Rob Corddry, doing general Rob Corddry things (the smarmier the better).

4. A pretty rocking Ben Folds Five song. In fact, it’s so good that we’ve been forced to reassess our whole perception of Ben Folds Five. Thanks to his service as a judge on the Sing-Off, Ben Folds had already endeared himself to us as perhaps the one and only genuinely polite, affable and respectful judge among all reality competitions. But that was specific to his personality and gratitude, his completely unironic earnestness and enthusiasm. It did nothing to make us think of “Brick” as anything other than an okay song that we periodically remember is about abortion which VH1 used to play every morning just before or just after the video for Sheryl Crow’s “Strong Enough,” a song we much preferred. Nor did his positivity and humor suggest to us that we should go back and give Forever and Amen a listen, that perhaps when we surmised that Ben Folds Five was for the other guys, we were mistaken. No, we just grew to really like the guy. However, this video completely calls into question everything we thought we knew about Ben Folds Five. Perhaps we had them wrong all along. 

And 7 more reasons why this is awesome…

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Filed under Brilliance, Lists, Muppets, Tyranasaurus Sex, Virulent

All Good Things Have Sequels, But Not Segels: Looking Ahead on the Day ‘The Muppets’ Arrives on DVD

When this blog first began, nearly three years ago, a new Muppet movie was just a dream, a boogeyman whose existence was whispered about at camp fires and sleepovers.  But since that time the hope materialized into a serious possibility, thanks to Jason Segel, and then a reality, and then a living, breathing motion picture that we saw twice in theaters.  And now it’s available for home consumption on both DVD and Blu-Ray (and we assume digital download).  What was once a mere figment of our imagination, a fantasy, is now something that we can and will have on our bookshelf, taking its place in the Muppets movie cannon next to The Great Muppet Caper and The Muppets Take Manhattan.  And the production of The Muppets, its critical appreciation and relative commercial success, did equal a comeback for Kermit and friends.  Maybe not quite a phoenix rising from the ashes, but a legitimate return to the public consciousness, and, more importantly, proof enough that Jim Henson’s creations are once again a viable commodity.  Which means, then, that a sequel is the natural next step.  That was the plan all along.

Read on: Why a Jason Segel-less sequel is no reason to panic.

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Filed under Be careful what you wish for, Freak Out Control, Muppets