Episode #053 – MUPPETS SPECIAL

It’s time to get things started for the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational, this is what we call the BAD RAPPORT MUPPETS SPECIAL, done in commemoration of the new full length feature film “The Muppets” written by and starring Jason Segel. In this extra-long PG-Rated episode, we cover the entire history of Jim Henson’s Muppets from 1955 all the way through to 2011 with the current Muppet Studios productions being done at Disney, as well as what’s happening over at The Jim Henson Company. Along the way, we have over 90 minutes of Muppet music & comedy to tickle your funny bone on our nostalgia trip, along with a couple of tribute songs by Tom Smith and yours truly the great Luke Ski.

Before we get to that, Carrie and I do a truncated version of our regular podcast with reports on Halloween, ContraFlow, and WindyCon, another News of the Stupid report, Luke talks about entering a bizarre art contest, and Carrie tells of her & Josh watching a pre-natal puppet show. However if you’re just interested in the Muppets content, skip ahead to the 55 minute mark of the podcast, that’s when the Special starts.

Hope you all enjoy the show, be sure to go see “The Muppets” in theatres, and for the record the big purple witch in the 1971 Muppet special “The Frog Prince” was named Taminella. (Cue Zoot’s final sax note.)

Episode length: 4:49:04

13 thoughts on Episode #053 – MUPPETS SPECIAL

  1. LINKS TO THINGS WE TALKED ABOUT IN THIS EPISODE:
    Luke’s entries in the Sleeping In The Aviary Coloring Contest Sweepstakes: PICTURE 1, PICTURE 2.
    The song “A Boy And His Frog” can be found at the website of Tom Smith.
    The song “Who Let The Frog Out?” can by found at the website of the great Luke Ski.
    Here’s the video for “Skeksis Back” by the great Luke Ski:

    You can get an MP3 of “Skeksis Back” at The FuMP dot com (The Funny Music Project).
    Here’s links to the fan-made Muppets Theatre Playset that we mentioned.

  2. The song Insane Ian parodied for Moves Like Frogger was done by Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera. Now, I am an unashamed Maroon 5 fan, I don’t care what Todd in the Shadows (my favorite music critic right now; he reviews pop songs for the Nostalgia Critic’s website) says. That said, I LOATHE Moves Like Jagger. Maroon 5′s stuff has never been what one could call deep, but it’s been fun stuff. If I Never See Your Face Again (both the album version and the duet with Rhianna) is one of my favorite songs of the past 10 years. But Moves Like Jagger is like a sad sad joke. It sounds less like a Maroon 5 song to me, and more like what a Maroon 5 haters hears when they think of Maroon 5.

    I think i just broke the record for the number of times Maroon 5 was mentioned on any Luke Ski affiliated website in a single comment.

  3. Luke good run down of the Muppets. My favorite Weezer music video Keep Fishin has Muppets in. What I like about the Muppets was the attention to details and some of the songs have something for the kids and adults.

  4. Such a big chunk o’ listening, and on one of my favorite subjects, too! I actually made notes on my phone as I listened of things I wanted to comment on, presented here in convenient bullet point form:

    * In the event of future specials, would it be possible to divide the extra-long podcast into chapters? Twice while listening to the Muppets Special, I accidentally hit “back” instead of “pause” on my MP3 player, and had to do several minutes of fast forwarding to resume where I left off.

    * I hold Bad Rapport responsible for any loss of face I might have suffered from unconscious dancing to The Banana Boat Song and other Muppet music while at the laundromat. Then again, I owe Bad Rapport (along with the Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me podcast and various audiobooks) big time for making trips to the laudromat much more bearable, so I might just let it slide.

    * I was going to take issue with Luke regarding being “old” for having watched The Muppet Show first-run back in the day, since we’re roughly the same age….but I realize that I just admitted above that I not only listen to NPR, but I download podcasts of their programming, so I’ll have to let that one slide as well.

    * I share the love of “The Monster at the End of This Book”, and I remember most of the CTW Workshop children’s books, be they Muppet Show, Sesame Street or Electric Company-based, all being entertaining, quirky, and, yes, even educational without talking down to the target readership.

    * For the record, Baby Kermit on the Muppet Babies cartoon was not , but yet another of the fifty’leven roles from our cartoon childhood that Frank Welker performed. ALL HAIL THE WELKER!

    Luke reminiscing about watching Muppet Babies touched a nostalgic chord in my heart. Who remembers when you could groove on an hour of Muppet Babies, followed by an hour of Garfield and Friends? Good times, good times.

    I don’t know if TV’s Kyle has a list, but Wikipedia credits Muppet Babies with “inspiring” A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, The Flintstone Kids, Baby Felix, Tiny Toon Adventures, Tom and Jerry Kids, and Jungle Cubs, plus baby-version merchandise for characters like Snoopy and the Care Bears.

    * I’m almost glad that I have yet to see Muppets from Space, now that I know that someone re-worked one of my favorite songs from The Muppet Movie, “I’m Going to Go Back There Some Day”, into a near-clone of “More Than Words”. To me, that cover takes all of the heartfelt sincerity out of the original and makes it just another generic ballad.

    * I’m SO utterly jealous of Luke’s Muppet figure collection, but enjoyed the discussion of the Palisades Toys line. I recall seeing ads in Toyfare Magazine for a kitchen playset for the Swedish Chef–to your knowledge, was that ever produced before Palisades closed down?

    Overall, a very enjoyable special that spoke to my love of most things Muppet. I’m hoping to get a chance to see the new film and confirm the positive response that I’m seeing across the web as Thanksgiving weekend winds down.

  5. “Baby Kermit was not Dave Coulier”, was what I meant to type above….stupid fingers, not typing words that brain wants to say.

  6. LOTS of good memories in this episode. I saw The Frog Prince when it first aired on PBS (makes me feel old to realize how long ago that was). I never saw the Muppets Today show, it aired when in the Navy (and thus has no access to local TV), so almost all of my memories of the Muppets comes from Sesame Street and The Muppet Show (along with the early movies; surprisingly I never saw all of the movies, I need to correct this error).

  7. Typo correction: Muppets Today aired while I was in the Navy, and thus had no access to local TV. So I have never seen that series (I didn’t even know it existed until two years ago).

  8. My favorite color is orange as well, Luke. Because it is Unique and not common. I don’t wear it often, because it is not a color to be worn willy-nilly, it is to be appreciated on the rare occasions when it is worn…

  9. As far as Muppets go, I’ve always had an affinity for the weirdos Bert and Gonzo. Gonzo particularly for a scene in Muppet Babies where he wants to build a nuclear reactor, and asks Nanny for uranium, a cement mixer, and a paper plate (and he’s concerned Nanny might not have a paper plate).

    I recall that the Jim Henson Hour had basically the first digitally rendered puppet. It was manipulated with an armature with a rough rendering for the Muppeteer to reference, and then later pasted over with a fully rendered image in post production.

    It also spun off the cartoon series Dog City, based upon live Muppet episode of the same title. The villain’s catch phrase “Senseless (violence)” became a standard at home whenever we watched a Schwarzenegger or Chuck Norris movie.

    Thanks for nearly turning me into a blubbering idiot talking about Jim’s death (both with Tom’s song and the review of the the tribute show). Did you ever get to see the live memorial with Big Bird singing It Isn’t Easy Being Green, and the Muppeteers singing Just One Person?

    And finally, Farscape is definitely an acquired taste. You don’t need to have seen the whole thing for SciFi/Muppets street-cred. But, you’d probably really enjoy the episode where John is trying to escape from D’Argo during a dream, in Looney-Tunes form.

  10. I absolutely love this topic. Luke i had a record C is for cookie and we listened to it all the time. I love the old frog printe movie and wish I could find it on netflix at least. great show and good luck carrie with the little one.

  11. A few thoughts I’d like to share:

    - When I saw the length of this one I almost skipped it because I didn’t particularly enjoy the Transformers episode, despite having enjoyed the cartoon in my youth. I think there are two reasons for this.
    (1) If you went into the minutiae of muppets, the way you did Transformers, the episode would be 14 hours long.
    (2) The music made this one much more enjoyable.
    Well done!

    - When Luke was saying that Jim Henson’s death at an early age was “just not fair”, the first thought that came to my mind was “it’s not fair, but that’s the way it is.” …and then I laughed at myself because that phrase is straight from Labyrinth.

    - I saw Jim Henson on the Arsenio Hall show (yes, I actually watched Arsenio Hall) with Rowlf. It was amazing that even though you saw Jim’s lips moving, my brain associated that voice with Rowlf and I would swear Rowlf was the one talking. The funniest thing from that, Rowlf pointed at somebody in the audience and said “son of a bitch!” When Arsenio gave him a surprised look, he said “no really, that’s one of the nicest things a dog can say to somebody.” I also just found out today when looking on Wikipedia that the appearance on Arsenio Hall was Rowlf’s last public appearance before Henson’s untimely demise.

  12. There was one Jim Henson show that was skipped over in all this, despite the special that inspired it being mentioned.

    In 1994 “The Secret Life Of Toys” aired on The Disney Channel, based on “The Christmas Toy” special. All 13 episodes, as well as The Christmas Toy are now streaming on Netflix if you want to check it out.

    Opening theme: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkWqL2C28Js

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