Thursday, July 22, 2010

It's time to start the music...

I love The Muppet Show. And not in the hipster, oh-it's-cool-to-like-them-and-Journey-too way, but in the sincere, heart-filled-with-joy and-love way. We didn't really have it in Turkey, but since we had so much back-and-forth between the States and home, my parents would always tape episodes of various shows for me. I apparently watched Sesame Street, another Jim Henson creation, too but I don't remember that except for the Turkish version we had here. Muppet Babies however, which, along with Tiny Toons, ranked among my top ten cartoons and I do remember watching it vociferously. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Chip 'n' Dale Rescue Rangers, Jem and the Holograms, My Little Pony, Beetlejuice, She-Ra, Simpsons, and Ducktales round out the list, if you were interested. Man, they all had such excellet theme songs too, I miss '80s/'90s cartoons. They just don't make them like they used to. I mean, listen to this.

Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers (1989) - Opening
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That is just such a good song. I'm showing my nerd here but on a Lufthansa flight, my personal TV once had an episode of Chip 'n' Dale under the family selections and I basically kept rewinding and listening to the theme song over and over again. I may have sang along too. This is why you don't seat me next to businessmen. But I've veered horribly off-course. Let's just say, I'm a big old cartoon geek and I'm kind of proud that I once got called Daria from the eponymous TV show. I mean, I had dark hair and glasses but the reference and reason why were all wrong. Flattering, but no. Also, I think Jem and her gang might have had something to do with shaping my fashion and music tastes. Come on, she was in an awesome, all-girl rock band, had earrings that magically changed her outfits, and huge hair! If you were a little girl and didn't get at least a little bowled over by her amazing-ness, I'd have to argue you had no soul. They had a rival girl band called The Misfits and when I first heard about the punk band The Misfits, of course I first thought of them.

Oh dear, I think I figured out what set off the "scene," trend.

The Misfits. You can tell their the "bad guys," because their make-up, clothes, and hair are tougher. They're like Motley Crue to Jem's Poison.

Also, My Little Pony and She-Ra may have had some influence too because just look at those colors and combinations. The old version of the dolls is also far superior than the new incarnation with their stupidly skinny frames and faintly autistic large eyes, bleh.

Anyway, I would catch The Muppet Show evey now and then (I even mentioned, randomly I admit, that I wanted to be Statler and/or Waldorf, the two old crones making fun of everone that sit in the corner, when I grew up. That comment practically made my friendship with my old roommate, hi again Pam!) because I loved weirdo Jim Henson and wanted to marry Kermit. Okay, if you look past the fact that he's a frog and a puppet, he's the perfect boy as film and television have proven over and over. Sweet, considerate, popular without knowing it, putting up with grief from the hot girl (Miss Piggy) and just trying to keep it together. He's like the guy every girl has a crush on! I said forget the fact that he's a frog!

In high school, sheer good fortune by way of the TV gods made The Muppet Show start broadcasting everyday in English in the evenings. I think it was through it that I first got captivated by Alice Cooper and where I got to learn about the wonder that is Vincent Price. I got to see Peter Sellers and John Cleese as they really were; brilliant British men who quite clearly hated their lives and everyone around them and channeled it through comedy, Prince getting made fun of for his name during the period he changed it to a symbol (arguing with a Muppet on how to pronounce it is probably one of the best things captured on film ever, he just keeps cracking up too!), and I think even Madonna showed up on there. They had a way of keeping an old vaudevillian air while still up-to-the-second current with music and personalities. They were groundbreaking in that they were freakin' puppets but for all intents and purposes were real characters and the subjects and people they featured were often cause for controversy everywhere else. I mean, this is Alice Cooper and Madonna in their heyday, not right now when they're seen as kitschy performance artists but then, when they shocked and outraged everyone. They were educational in the sense that they gave a taste of the whole world to the viewer and I know they touched probably everyone who ever watched because there's no better proof of Muppet longevity than meeting other film students.

I found this picture today while I was doing my internet browsings and it just reminded me of the humor and joy that is all of Muppet world. The internet meme cat and owl just seem to suit it.

I own seasons 1 and 2 because I have friends and family who know me well and I'll be watching them as soon as I get back to Boston. But until then, here are some truly unforgettable performaces that may actually rival the originals. It's exactly the kind of hilarious and slightly fucked up-ness (it's a giant singing bunny eating smaller bunnies and then they sing in his stomach) that's classic Muppets.

Bohemian Rhapsody The Muppet Show
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Stand by me - Muppets show-
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  1. This entry made me so unbelievably happy. I have actually only seen a handful of The Muppet Show episodes (so we may have to watch, a lot) but I loved what I saw.

    And the cartoons! Those were my favorites as well. I lived for Ducktales and Rescue Rangers and there was also that one about the giant bear from The Jungle Book only he flew a plane? I could be mixing my shows there... Anyway, up until I graduated college (when I got a new computer) I had the German version of the Ducktales theme song (why German, I dunno) on all my playlists. Sadly, it was lost when I switched computers. BOO.

    Now you have made me nostalgic and I'm considering dropping too much money on cartoon DVDs...

  2. Tailspin! And dude, I have all the theme songs of the above shows (and more!) saved on my computer I'll burn you a copy.

  3. ummm... i LOVE the muppets. since i grew up with only 3 tv channels i never got to watch the muppet show - i had and watched the movies over and over and over. i too wanted to marry kermit and live for the old crones.

    love love love this post. (and not to mention my little ponies - the sweet smell of their plastic still makes me stop in my tracks when i come across it).


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