Friday, August 12, 2011

Robert Steven Mack talks about Muppet history - by Robert Steven Mack

I have long been an avid Muppet fan. A collector of the original tv show "The Muppet Show," a viewer familiar with all six Muppet theatrical films and eagerly awaiting the release of the new film in November, I was rather casually introduced to "The Muppet Show" at the Paley Center for Media some time ago. Therefore, upon reading of follow-up shows such as "Muppets Tonight" and "The Jim Henson Hour," it seems only fitting that I be introduted to "The Jim Henson Hour" at the place where I have seen so many other rarities; The Paley Center for Media!

The show is divided into two parts, each intorduced by Jim Henson Walt Disney did it with his show. The first show featured Kermit, still in television and now a producer of MuppetTelevision and having to deal with soggy attemps at announcing soap operas, cop shows, sci-fiction...and more. He has to deal with issues such as unsteady ratings and an abundance of new weirdos. These weirdos -including a small cameo from Gonzo at the start of the program - working for Kermit have a more modern flair to them as the show was produced in the late 80's, including computer generated imagery. Kermit has a new life now and seems annoyed when one of his personal fans of the original Muppet Show continuously raves about the glory days. He finally stops when mentioning Miss Piggy who allegelly broke up with Kermit to pursue a Hollywood career. Though missing the orginal characters, a laugh track, and the old Muppet flair, it was suitable and at times quite enjoyable.

The second half of the show featured Miss Piggy along with Fozzie and Gonzo tagging along and giving a befuddled tour of Hollywood. With a cameo by Bob Hope, Arnold Schwarzenegger and others, it is pure please and delight to see so many of the characters from the old show doing their thing in original Muppet comedy fashion and a bubbling new plot to go along with it. I thoroughly enjoyed the one-hour follow-up to Henson's previous projects. Unfortunately they are not on Dvd.

I must say that my visit to the Paley was really worth it!


Copyright 2011 by Robert Steven Mack (All rights reserved!)

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