It's a question that's floated around forever: Are Bert and Ernie gay?
Former Sesame Street writer Mark Saltzman says yes.
In a recent Queerty interview, Saltzman (whose partner is Arnold "Arnie" Glassman) reveals that the Muppet duo were based on his own (gay) relationship:
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Ok, so we have to address—that’s the big question, right? In the writer’s room, you’re all adults. Were you thinking of Bert & Ernie as a gay couple? Did that question ever come up?
I remember one time that a column from The San Francisco Chronicle, a preschooler in the city turned to mom and asked “are Bert & Ernie lovers?” And that, coming from a preschooler was fun. And that got passed around, and everyone had their chuckle and went back to it. And I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert & Ernie, they were. I didn’t have any other way to contextualize them. The other thing was, more than one person referred to Arnie & I as “Bert & Ernie.”
Yeah, I was Ernie. I look more Bert-ish. And Arnie as a film editor—if you thought of Bert with a job in the world, wouldn’t that be perfect? Bert with his paper clips and organization? And I was the jokester. So it was the Bert & Ernie relationship, and I was already with Arnie when I came to Sesame Street. So I don’t think I’d know how else to write them, but as a loving couple.
My daughter and her cousin are watching Muppets From Space, a $2 DVD bin find last weekend. It is well worth rewatching.
There is a low quality version free on YouTube, or you can stream it in HD from Amazon. Read the rest
Enjoy these fun outtakes from Jim Henson's hour-long Christmas special from 1977, Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas. They give "drum roll" a whole new meaning.
By the way, that's Frank Oz (AKA Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, Sam Eagle, Cookie Monster, Bert, Grover and Yoda) puppeteering the increasingly-frustrated mother.
Jerry Nelson, Frank Oz, Dave Goelz and Jim Henson
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On September 13, 1997, Prince, who had changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol, was the special guest on "Muppets Tonight." I like how he didn't take himself too seriously! But then, how could he with this crowd.
P"Episode 201: The Artist Formerly Known as Prince" (Muppet Wiki) Read the rest
If ever I require courtoom representation in Canada, I'm definitely hiring Alf Kwinter of Singer Kwinter. Read the rest
In 1987, Jim Henson produced and directed this pitch reel for Inner Tube (aka IN-TV), a cyberpunk, culture-jamming series that just wasn't meant to be but did inform The Jim Henson Hour's MuppeTelevision segments. From Jim Henson: The Biography:
(Muppet Wiki and r/ObscureMedia)
At the heart of IN-TV was a clever concept; each week, a live guest star would get sucked into the television set and would have to work his way back out again, usually by moving from one bad television channel to another. It was a fun idea, giving Jim an opportunity to satirize the seemingly endless parade of upstart cable channels and lame public access shows that were common in the early days of cable.
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Using common objects like socks, tennis balls, wooden spoons, and even potatoes, Jim Henson and his assistant Don Sahlin show children how to make basic puppets and bring them to "life" in the 1969 Iowa Public Television show, "Volume See."
Previously: These over-the-top Muppets shoes are downright inspired
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My friend JoAnne Yada shared this quirky collection of Muppets shoes the other night on Facebook and I nearly jumped out of my seat. They're so wild and creative, just like a brand for (a certain type of) inner children should be!
Here's a look at some of them:
This pair of heeled boots is aptly named "She's Hip He's Hop" because it features both Miss Piggy and Kermit...
These "Super Couple" heels also feature the famous pig and frog duo...
Then there's "The Great Gonzo" style, stars and all...
And Kerm-y flats...
These "foot stomping vixen heeled boots" are called "Fierce Piggy"...
While these pig-pink satin heels are called, "All About Moi,"
The next three pairs really crack me up. First Statler and Waldorf get their mugs on a pair with these "Boo Hiss" flats...
Folks who identify with Animal may be drawn to these "Louder Louder" red fake-furried heels...
And the best for last... the "Mahna Mahna" shoes, if for no other reason that they'll implant that earworm in people's head...
The collection is by UK-based Irregular Choice and the shoes range in price from £129.00 to £220.00.
And yes, there are more shoes, as well as matching purses and tights.
Star Wars more your thing? Go here. Crazy heel aficionado? Here. Read the rest
Pure Imagination is my go to song on the guitar these days. Read the rest
Trichinosis will seem like a walk in the park after what Captain Link Hogthrob has to endure in this Muppets Alien sendup starring First Mate Piggy. Read the rest
Disney, through the Jim Henson Company, is the owner of the domain name muppetfucker.net. There is nothing at the address, but... why? io9's Beth Elderkin investigates and finds the answer to be the obvious one: a guy registered the domain long ago and the muppet people made him give it up on pain of expensive legal action.
Austin resident Noah Lee started going by the DJ name Muppetfucker in 1995, after he and a friend of his came up with it and thought it was funny. He used the name for six years, and owned several MuppetFucker domain names, including MuppetFucker.net. Lee told io9 the Jim Henson Company likely found out about Muppetfucker after he performed at SXSW in March 2001 and got a review in a local weekly magazine. A few days after the review came out, Lee got a cease-and-desist letter from the Jim Henson Company, which demanded he stop using the name Muppetfucker and hand over all domain rights.
“The day the letter showed up, I walked to my mailbox and opened it up, and when I pulled out that Kermit letterhead I knew right then it was over,” Lee told io9.
Whatever trademark registrations surround the word "muppet" must be quite shopworn by now: in the UK, the word is a common euphemism for "idiot".
Good news, though! Read the rest
On Sunday October 2, the Muppets arrived at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World to star in a new show, Great Moments in American History. As expressed by Samuel Johnson in another context in 1777, when a person is tired of the Muppets, he is tired of life.
The show stars Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Sam Eagle, Fozzie Bear, and other bags of foam and fur.
There are two different versions of the show, one 11 minutes and the other 8, both of which are repeated multiple times a day, and include a new musical number. The Muppets appear in windows above street level.
In addition to the four or five puppeteers required, there is also a singing performer on the street who portrays the Town Crier. With so much labor involved, the notoriously tight-fisted folks who run Walt Disney World probably have already decided on a closing date for these shows because they are so labor intensive (I would love to be proved wrong. I’ve been waiting about 15 years for a decent attraction in the Imagination pavilion at Epcot with no news in sight).
In the meantime, you can delight in the Muppets on your next visit to the Magic Kingdom. For those who can’t wait, or who won’t make the live show, Attractions Magazine posted videos of the new shows. Take it away, Sam Eagle!
The Full Declaration Show:
The Paul Revere Show:
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Dance your cares away!
I just love the Doozers. Read the rest
Recently, I went to Outside Lands 2016, where bands such as Radiohead, Lionel Richie, LCD Soundsystem, Duran Duran and many more were playing. But my favorite was Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem (The Muppets Band). The day after, I looked up the video for "Once in a Lifetime," by Talking Heads, and happened to find this obscure gem!
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In light of Flint lead catastrophe, John Oliver gets the cast of Sesame Street to update their 20-year-old segment warning kids to steer clear of lead paint, making it over into an economic parable about moral hazard and aligning incentives.
(via Rolling Stone) Read the rest
On the season finale of The Muppets, Jack White and the Electric Mayhem covered Stevie Wonder's "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life." The single will be released as a 7" vinyl single from White's Third Man Records.
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Melt chocolate into slabs, coat with blue candy-melts, and stud with broken oreos and edible googly eyes and voila: it's as though you blenderized a thousand Cookie Monsters, rolled them flat, and baked them. Read the rest