Okay, okay so I’m late on this, I’m sorry! I was distracted getting caught up on my Muppets, since the movie came out last month.
Starting of course with of course with the The Muppet Show.Which first aired on September 5, 1976 and aired it’s last episode in 1981 after 5 seasons. It was one of my favorite shows, even though I wasn’t born until 3 years after it went off the air. So to really do a proper post about the Muppets I should introduce some of the characters for those who don’t know them (Gasp)
Kermit the Frog, theater director and the shows host became an iconic figure of flailing, scrunched faces and a very gentle manner. His girlfriend (wife, whatever) Miss Piggy is the opposite of him, loud, rough and a total diva. (No wonder they’ve never managed to make it down the isle)
Then of course you’ve got Fozzie The Bear, Scooter, Gonzo (The Great) , The Swedish Chef, Rowlf The Dog, Dr. Honeydew and his assistant Beaker and so many more. There’s a wild cast of characters and it would be a long post to just list them all!
Over the 5 years that The Muppet Show was on the air the had guests stars that included Lena Horne, Phyllis Diller, Vincent Price, George Burns, John Cleese, Steve Martin, Gilda Radner, Raquel Welch, Alice Cooper (Yes really!) , John Denver, Mark Hammal, Diana Ross, Roger Moore, Johnny Cash, Carol Burnett and many more. Each episode had one sometimes two guest stars who did songs, participated in skits and much more.
In 1979 the Muppets left the small screen and made a movie the rather aptly titled The Muppet Movie about how the Muppets came together in the first place (approximately anyway). As with the t.v show the movie had a long list of stars, and guest cameos including Charles Durning, Milton Berle, Mel Brooks, Dom Deluise, Steve Martin, Orson Welles and many others.
In 1981 the Muppets reappeared on the big screen in The Great Muppet Caper which has Kermit and Fozzie playing twin reporters sent to investigate the theft of some jewels in England. It stars Diana Rigg, Jack Warden and John Cleese and Joan Sanderson have cameos
In 1984 the Muppets are graduating from college (Don’t ask it’s Muppet time) in The Muppets Take Manhattan. They’re trying to take their show to Broadway but when that doesn’t work out the entire troupe has to take jobs all over the country spreading out from Ohio to Michigan and beyond. After a bunch of fumbles and foibles they manage to get their shot at Broadway. After Kermit realizes what the show is missing and brings on more “frog and dogs and chickens and whatever” including characters from Sesame Street.
Then there is a 12 year break of theater movies (There are several t.v specials) until 1996 and Muppet Treasure Island which is my personal favorite. It focuses on Jim Hawkins a young boy who wants to go to sea. With Gonzo and Rizzo at his side he joins Captain Abraham Smollet (Kermit the Frog) on the Hispaniola to find treasure! However Long John Silver (The utterly charming Tim Curry) has other plans. And after recently watching another version, and looking it up, it keeps the plot surprisingly close to the source, especially for a Muppet movie.
In 1999 came Muppets In Space which focuses on Gonzo trying to discover who he is, and finding out that he is in fact an Alien from outer-space. This was the first Muppet movie since the death of Jim Henson and it shows a little, and despite being considered a flop in the theaters, it is a pretty good Muppet showing.
In 2005 there was a telefilm called The Muppets’ Wizard Of Oz which takes the Muppets and puts them in the standard Oz rolls. It was well received by kids and young adults.
And finally there is The Muppets the 2011, this was a great way to reintroduce the Muppets to a generation of kids that maybe don’t know about them with some shout outs to the older movies, so visit The Muppets at the Muppet Theater and on all their adventures!