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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 or Die and College Humor suggests today’s comedians and actors are game enough for goofy bits.

This should happen.


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

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

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.

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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 videos no longer available.

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.

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.

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


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.

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

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.

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.

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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.)

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.”

Happy Fourth. Now, off to fireworks. (And yes, I know I’ve posted this before. Whatever. It’s a topical Muppets post. That’s the very best I can do.)

Well, what else do you need to know? Sent us by Ben Wolfson, whom we count (despite everything) as a friend of the blog.

Appears to be from Sam and Friends.

Last, I noted that I increasingly left the most important out of sentences.  What began as a seems to be getting worse and.  Looking over what I today, I can’t help but at how deliberate it seems, as if I’m trying to make it impossible to edit what I.  Granted, with every passing I’m a little older, but honestly, this can’t be what it’s like to be?  Crafting sentences that only lack the most element required to understand them?  On my list of fates worse than, this probably takes the.

Now that I about it, if I’m to run out of words, maybe I should in the sciences, where words don’t seem to be required:

Though as a parent I have the predictably mixed feelings toward Elmo, I can nevertheless appreciate the brilliance of Kevin Clash (see, for example, this interview).

And this is even better:

This is officially an award-winning blog

HNN, Best group blog: "Witty and insightful, the Edge of the American West puts the group in group blog, with frequent contributions from an irreverent band.... Always entertaining, often enlightening, the blog features snazzy visuals—graphs, photos, videos—and zippy writing...."