Saturday, September 26, 2015

Stevie In Front Of The TV: It's Time To Get Things Started...

UPON FURTHER REVIEW: When I reviewed NINA'S WORLD on Sprout, I forgot to mention Nina's actual relationship to Star: True, he's a very good friend (She calls him her little "Super-Star.") but in both live action and animated iterations, he's also her PILLOW! (Boy, I wish my Snoopy pillow was that friendly with me!)

Ooooooookay, now that all THAT'S over, on to today's topic, THE MUPPETS on ABC. (Tuesday nights at 8 Eastern and Pacific, 7 Central and 6 Mountain, to be exact) Everybody's talking about those wholesome, kid-friendly Muppets going all adult on us. Truth be told, they're just going back to the basics. When Joan Ganz Cooney called Jim Henson to tell him she loved his sophisticated puppets and asked if he wanted to do a show for pre-schoolers, he replied emphatically that he was not a kiddie entertainer. He started on a very sophisticated local show on WRC-TV, Washington called "Sam and Friends" and made his name appearing on "Tonight! with Steve Allen" and other late night shows before moving to family entertainment on shows such as "Fanfare with Al Hirt" and "The Jimmy Dean Show," and he also made some very experimental shorts and TV shows such as the NBC Experiment In Television "The Cube," and of course there were those VERY non-cuddly Muppets from the first year of SNL. (John Belushi called them those "Mucking Fuppets" and Michael O' Donoghue HATED writing for them.) Furthermore, what we now know as "The Muppet Show" was originally going to be called "Sex and Violence with the Muppets," so, armed with THAT knowledge, don't be alarmed if they say things you wouldn't want to hear from the mouth that kisses its grandma. In this most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational mockumentary/sitcom, Kermit, the executive producer of ABC's hit late night show UP NIGHT WITH MISS PIGGY, has just broken up with his star and is now seeing a sexy sow named Denise (As he admits to the camera, "I just have a thing for dating pigs".) and Fozzie is caught up in a situation straight out of "Meet the Parents" as his new human girlfriend tries to convince the folks to give her and the Bear their blessing. A representative from the Independent Women's Forum (Name withheld because I want NOTHING to do with her.) wrote in the New York Post to criticize this show for desecrating Jim Henson's legacy.

With all due respect, lady, YOU ARE A WEIRDO. You make Gonzo seem normal.

True, this show isn't 100% fall-down funny all the time, but Jim Henson was one of those creators who was inspired by the Disney classics that made us cry and the Looney Tunes shorts that made us laugh, and like Walt and his many creators and Chuck Jones, Tex Avery, and their Looney Tunes co-conspirators, he always shone when it came to the boo-hoo and the ha-ha and this show continues the tradition in grand style. As for the sex and violence, this show is aimed at viewers who learned from Kermie and Big Bird on SESAME STREET, laughed with THE MUPPET SHOW, and enjoyed movies such as THE DARK CRYSTAL and LABYRINTH. (Did I mention Kermit's bits on SNL with Seth Meyers?) So far, the show has received guest shots from Elizabeth Banks (who Piggy hates, find out why by watching "Pig Girls Don't Cry!" on VOD, Netflix and Hulu) and Imagine Dragons, and, to paraphrase their iconic theme song, they're just getting things started! It may not be easy being green, but now that the Muppets have returned to their adult (Let me clarify: Adult DOES NOT mean using George Carlin's seven dirty words.) roots, it's going to be better than ever!

NEXT: Mister Pope goes to Washington. (and New York, and Philly)
LATER: The sins of "Omission."

Steve out!

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