One of our latest Netflix offerings was The Toy That Saved Christmas - another Veggie Tales show (because we are having far too much fun with the hilarity that is talking vegetables). Sunday I mentioned that we had the DVD to my parents and somehow this turned into a movie swap, since they have now joined NetFlix and had just finished watching a trio of old Muppet Show episodes. So tonight we popped the Muppet Show DVD into the player and started watching.
Talk about a big slap in the face with the “old” stick. I remember seeing these episodes back when they first aired twenty years ago! There was Linda Rhonstadt, singing in the swamp with the little chorus of frogs, and Harry Bellefonte doing a drumming duet with Animal, and John Denver, looking so very, very young, being mauled by large toadstools and surrounded by singing delphiniums and succulents. There was Dr. T and his band, and Pigs in Space, and the two old codgers sitting up the theater box who always had something sarcastic to say.
I was never a fan of Miss Piggy. She always struck me as somehow just a bit too pushy and a bit too self-centered. Kermit was always cute but somehow a bit too wimpy for my tastes. In fact I think Gonzo was one of my favorite characters, just because he is so…well…odd. Any character who hangs out with chickens and keeps a mold garden is someone I could find fascinating (although granted, in real life I might be more apt to keep my distance, especially with the mold garden thing). And Ralph the dog was a favorite just because he played the piano.
I remember seeing all the Muppet movies when they were released at the theaters, and then getting the sheet music so my sisters and I could play the Rainbow Connection song (and the one Gonzo sings in the original movie) over and over on the piano until I’m sure my parents were sick of it. I remember when it was a big deal for a star to appear on the Muppet Show – somewhat like the prestige stars now get when they score a spot on The Simpsons. And while they might have been interacting with fuzzy puppets on the Muppet Show, surely that was better than being simply a voice for a cartoon character.