Sunday 9 February 2014

What is the connection?

I've been having this discussion on and off for who knows how long. You could have a pretty decent guess at how long if you had more information. It started when I was a child, which is a finite timeframe in which to operate. It is one of those questions that a great many children ask. What counts as a Muppet? Do they have to be in a Muppet show or movie? Is that the strict rule? Because there were the Tales from Muppetland TV specials, and apparently the puppets in that aren't Muppets unless they're also in some other Muppet stuff. I don't know who decided this, but I think that is dumb. It says 'Muppet' in the title. Both Sweetums and Kermit's nephew, Robin, started there, and they're definitely Muppets. Why can't the rest of them be Muppets? Well, not all of them. Some of them are very clearly people. Unless Jim Henson made some forays into flesh Muppets early on in his career. I think that would've been the kind of thing that we might know about though, and also the kind of thing that might have prevented him from becoming a creator of beloved children's television, which came later.

Jim Henson seems to have been of the impression that the cast of Sesame Street was predominantly made up of Muppets. He would know. They're his toys. This kind of blurs the lines for any argument to be made though. I know that a lot of them appeared in the 'Rainbow Connection' finale at the end of The Muppet Movie, but I think he thought they were Muppets before that. I think that is why they are there. I'm happy with this though. They seem like Muppets. What are the limits of Muppetdom? I've seen Labyrinth, and I've made other people watch it too. Is it a Muppet movie? I'm pretty sure that it is not, but they're also his toys? Are some of those guys Muppets? Is David Bowie a Muppet? Is his crotch? What are the rules? Where lie the Muppet boundaries?

I've also seen The Dark Crystal more than a few times, and I'm fairly certain they are not Muppets. The Skeksis can't be Muppets. That has to be a rule. I'm certain of that. If they're Muppets, we're all in trouble. That Fizzgig thing might be a Muppet. I had a computing studies teacher who looked like Fizzgig. I had a lot of computing studies teachers though. If you had him too, you would know which one I am talking about. You would definitely know. Most of the rest of my teachers couldn't really be said to look much at all like Jim Henson creations. This guy definitely did though. We used to call him Fizzgig, and I don't think he understood what we were saying.

Muppet logic as a rule is pretty loose. Lets face it, askew does not really cover it. It's just whatever it wants to be. Even from the very early days Muppets could have non-Muppet children, implying that there is perhaps some Muppet gene of some kind. It wasn't until later that Kermit's nephew, who was also a Muppet frog, was introduced that there was some suggestion for the possibility of not nonsense in the makeup of Muppet genealogy. Maybe it is some kind of dormant gene. Who knows? I don't. I am neither a geneticist, nor a puppeteer. I do know that Kermit and Fozzie once played identical twins, and their dad is some other thing, but he is not a thing with which I was previously familiar. That's real. That happened. It should be pointed out that the Muppets play characters in the films that often happen to share their names. The Muppets are actors in their films. It's kind of an extension of the show. They are performers in the show, and they are playing roles in the films. The films aren't stories about them. I'm not sure if this extends to all of the films that have ever been made, but I'm under the impression that it does. They pretty much do what they want.

Apart from the obvious, being the shows and films, Sesame Street is definitely in. They're Muppets. Labyrinth is probably out. So is The Dark Crystal. They are not Muppets. Not on my watch. Sam and Friends? I think so. The Storyteller? I'm not sure. Probably not. Yoda is not a Muppet. I know that. It's not a science really. You just kind of have to go with your gut. Unless your gut includes the Fraggles, then you are probably better off ignoring your gut. They're just puppets, and they're not welcome here. There is probably a list somewhere that sorts all of this out. It probably isn't very reliable though. There was a Muppet Workshop. Perhaps thats the connection. It's probably the best indicator anyway. I'm not sure how you go about finding out what went down in the Muppet Workshop. I feel like I could've researched this better. I basically watched the Muppet movies and then remembered things, and perhaps some of that was done incorrectly. If you want accuracy, go to the ABC, while it lasts. Then come back to me.

Save the ABC. They would've knocked this for six. It'd be all citations, and primary sources, and whatever else it is that people who are concerned with accuracy and integrity get into to make sure they're doing it right. It's not amateur hour over there. It's pretty amateur here.

I don't like Fraggle Rock.

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