Category Archives: Muppets

May 22, 2012, 7:09 pm

This American Epistemological Crisis.

I cannot understand the alleged crisis now reportedly plaguing This American Life – a program I have loved and listened to since its beginning. Indeed, even before I liked it, I liked Ira Glass’s reporting on NPR and even his stint hosting Talk of the Nation. I am, I think it’s fair to say, a TAL nerd. And the reason is the same reason people become nerds for anything – they believe they’ve found a group of people who share the same sensibility. But this sudden po-faced shock that David Sedaris’s stories might not be strictly factual reportage makes no sense in this sensibility, and leads me to wonder if I have been listening to a different program than TAL has been producing.

I always thought TAL aired stories chosen for their goodness as stories, and they might be true or not. Each episode of TAL is divided into “Acts” – which is something you do with a theatrical production, not…

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March 28, 2012, 7:59 pm

Bring back the Muppet Show.

The Muppets provided joy from start to finish. I knew we were in good hands from the first big musical number – part of which is above – “Life’s a Happy Song.” It gets a full, MGM-musical style choreographical treatment. It states the movie’s major theme (it will be reprised in the finale). And it also sets up the story’s major problems – Walter needs to reach Muppethood, Gary needs to reach manhood. It’s a nice piece of writing work. And the lines, “Life’s a fillet of fish … Yes, it is” still make me laugh.

Most of all, though, the movie suggested to me that the Muppets would serve us best by returning to variety television; the movie made me want to watch new episodes of The Muppet Show and made me confident it could succeed. Jack Black and Zach Gallifianakis would be great guests, as would Jason Segel and Amy Adams. The existence of Funny…

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January 30, 2012, 5:17 pm

Dangerous liberal agenda.

June 25, 2010, 3:01 pm

If you gaze into the ping-pong balls, the ping-pong balls gaze also into you.

OK Go’s drummer has a staring contest with Animal, overseen by Ira Glass of This American Life.

April 3, 2010, 8:32 am

Muppet Miltie.

I sometimes imagine Statler and Waldorf sitting in the back row while I’m teaching.

February 8, 2010, 10:07 am

They will eat your creamsicle.

In picking the soundtrack of a Super Bowl for the second line, blackink implies no Nevilles are necessary. Well, okay, but:

Granted, beating up on the burnt-orange and burnter-orange Bucs was not such a recommendation. Still.

“Brother John” b/w “Iko Iko” and ObMuppets under the fold.


December 31, 2009, 2:57 pm

Night and day.

One of the best New York things I ever did, during the time I lived there, was to go see Bobby Short one cold night at the Café Carlyle. It was impressive how Bobby Short could make you love a nothing song like this one. Or maybe Cole Porter could write a nothing song that was somehow easy to love.

Anyway for some reason I like to hear that kind of music this time of year. Since we previously featured a Cole Porter tune roundly denounced as derivative, here’s the Muppets performing the tune from which, we are told, that one is derived.

[vodpod id=ExternalVideo.911596&w=425&h=350&fv=%26rel%3D0%26border%3D0%26]

more about "cole", posted with vodpod

Happy new year. If you like, throw a link to your favorite Cole Porter or other tinpantithetical tune into the comments.

December 13, 2009, 6:48 pm

Come what might.

This video of the Muppets doing Cole Porter’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” seems to have been chased off YouTube by Warners, and I can’t embed it because, according to WordPress, the site hosts NSFW video (unlike YouTube? anyway). But you can see it if you click on that link. It’s a fine example of what made the Muppets great—there’s lots of serious weird in there with the sweet. This is especially true of the Muppet Show pilot (1, 2, 3), sometimes called “Sex and Violence.”

If only the Beatles had accepted Lorne Michaels’s offer.

November 28, 2009, 6:27 pm


Via beamish down in comments somewhere, and via my dad (sorta), some bohemian Muppets.


November 10, 2009, 7:56 pm

40 is the new 20.

Happy Birthday Sesame Street! And many more! For a wonderful series of posts marking the occasion, see here, here, here, and here. Also, if you’d like to share your favorite Sesame Street moment(s) in the comments, with or without links, that would be lovely. And finally, yes, I know the above clip isn’t exactly celebratory (and that we’ve talked about it here before), but for me it represents the essence of the show. Put another way: it’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to.

November 6, 2009, 1:16 pm

Ricky Gervais would teach a first-year seminar for free. For the fun of it. So there, haters.

“Get off Elmo! You’re not supposed to touch Elmo!” Seriously.

September 15, 2009, 2:05 pm

“You know the Faust story?”

Alice Cooper tries to convince Kermit to sell his soul in exchange for fame as a rock star. From a list of the ten weirdest moments on the Muppets. Number 6, Alan Arkin on a bunny killing spree, is pretty odd. Also, Peter Sellers! That’s all.

Thanks to B for sending this along and brightening up my day.

August 25, 2009, 1:20 am

Still running

On this day in 1975, Bruce Springsteen released Born to Run. The greatest rock and roll album ever produced by an American artist? Maybe not. But it certainly makes my top ten (though I like Nebraska even more). Anyway, let’s not fight about such things. The rendition above is from 1975, when Bruce was still a kid.

You’ll find a couple of more recent performances below the fold.


August 13, 2009, 4:46 pm

Even if Obama did it (which he didn’t), at least he did it discreetly.

In a belated comment on this post, David Brewster links to a photograph he took that neatly brings the conversation back to the subject of this blog:

This image also debunks one of those vicious smears about the pair.  (This other one?  Not so much.)

July 17, 2009, 10:22 am

“Sounds like a nice song, till you know the truth of it.”

For a Friday followup, the real thing: Arlo Guthrie on The Muppet Show singing a song perfect for the Edge of the American West, “Get Along, Little Dogies.”

Completists may wish to consult “Grocery Blues” and “Sailing Down My Golden River.”