Another year, come and gone. (Sniff, sniff)
We're thankful for a great many things (especially certain TV shows), and one of those things is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Did you miss the show this year? If so, we have a slideshow of your favorite pop culture balloons that floated through Manhattan.
From Spongebob to Kermit, we've got you covered. We even have the Mighty Morphin Samurai Rangers. Yep, they're a thing now.
I don't care. They were funny when I was a growing toddler still learning how to say my ABCs and they are still funny now that I'm an adult who cannot say my ABCs backwards convincingly enough to prove my sobriety. So just imagine my joy when this video surfaced of the fuzzy funnies doing their rendition of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody".
That's the first thing that went through my head when I saw that the show starts its 39th season today on PBS (check local listings for time). This means that I must have started watching the show when I was around four years old, which seems strange to me, but I've learned never to argue with Bert & Ernie.
Season two is a 24-episode set with classic guest appearances by Bob Hope, George Burns, John Cleese, Milton Berle, Elton John, Bernadette Peters and Julie Andrews, just to name a few. The bonus material includes The Muppets Valentine Day Special, a pilot which aired two years before The Muppet Show came on air. It features Kermit and Mia Farrow, and is hosted by little-known Muppet 'Wally'.
While the Jim Henson Company works away on film and TV projects, we've been constantly teased with the promise of a new Muppet series. The last time this happened was with the short-lived Muppets Tonight in the '90s. Attempts to bring the gang back to television haven't come to fruition, including a pilot in 2004 for America's Next Muppet that was never picked up as a series.
I'm planning on ringing in the New Year like I do every other year: by making sobbing, drunken phone calls to ex-girlfriends, but before that I thought I'd share a cool clip sent to me by my pal James. It's Kermit singing "Lydia the Tattooed Lady" from the first season of the Muppet Show. James and I were in a band together back in the day, and if you were one of the twelve people who heard us play, you couldn't help but admire our ability to make some kind of sound, musical or otherwise, come out of our instruments.
Anyway, James recorded a fun punk rock version of "Lydia" recently, but I had never heard Kermit's version. Terrible, I know, and I call myself a Muppet fan. Anyway, it's after the jump: Kermit's version, not James'.
What a load of crap. This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, a tribute to helium, lip syncing, egregious product placement, and in a small way, Thanksgiving. However, don't expect to see either Kermit the Frog or Charlie the Brown floating high above with all the other balloons. Instead, they'll be replaced by Flying Ace Snoopy, Pickachu and the Energizer Bunny. Okay, I'll accept one Peanuts character replacing another, but c'mon, getting rid of an icon like Kermit the Frog for some lame incoherent cartoon character or a product mascot? If I hadn't accepted long ago that this annual parade is essentially a slow moving advertisement, I'd be much more bothered than I am right now.
Oh yeah, and if you're concerned about another balloon-related accident like the one that occurred last year, extra precautions have been taken, including wind instruments along the route to help avoid such occurrences. Now the only thing they'll have to worry about is a bolt of lightening striking the Snoopy balloon and causing it to come to life a la Frankenstein's monster, resulting in utter mayhem as he flies his doghouse over Broadway, launching sidewinder missiles at the SpongeBob balloon. When you think about it, that's really what Thanksgiving is all about ... in my head.
This may come as a shock to some parents and kids, but the new Sesame Street: Old School DVDs that were released this week come with the following disclaimer at the beginning, read by a cartoon character:
"Welcome to Sesame Street Nostalgia. I am Bob, your host, and I want you to know that these early Sesame Street episodes are intended for grown-ups and may not meet the needs of today's pre-school child."
High on the list of things none of you probably care about is the fact that Grover is my favorite Muppet of all time. He and I even share a birthday (it's true). What I love about Grover, besides his lovable furriness, is how willing he is to do himself bodily harm in the name of education. After the jump I've placed five clips of Grover doing what he does best: teaching kids no matter how much physical punishment it causes him. Now let's all learn together, shall we?
I disagree with all of them. I think the true Muppets test is just in your looks, not your personality. I think I look like Rowlf (it's the brown hair). I have a friend who is a dead ringer for Janice, one who reminds me of Fozzie Bear, and another who could totally pass for Crazy Harry. There's a Muppet for everybody!
So.. forget the stupid tests. Which Muppet do you resemble?
Some of the most memorable characters in television were never actually seen. They were talked about, and their presence, even if it was always offscreen, was often crucial to the plot. I've come up with five awesome (but unseen) TV characters. Here they are:
Vera: From what I recall, Vera, the wife of beer-lover Norm Peterson on Cheers, made only one appearance on the show, and that was just her legs. According to both Wikipedia and IMDb, she was played by George Wendt's real-life wife, Bernadette Birkette.
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