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Modern Mouse Radio #109: What’s Next for the Muppets?


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Josh is joined by Jordan Duncan, a coordinator at the Museum of Puppetry Arts and a long time Muppets fan. They discuss the recent cancellation of The Muppets on television and ask, “What’s Next for the Muppets?” As Disney grows, it seems like every division continues to be a homerun. Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, and so on, have all found their stride and are major successes for Disney, but The Muppets franchise continues to feel lost without knowing where to really go with it. Is it a nostalgia act? Can it be modern? Is it for adults? Is it for children? We try to answer all of these questions and more!

Be sure to follow Jordan on Twitter (@JordanGhastly) or on Instagram to chat more about Muppets, Jim Henson, or the Puppetry Arts in general.


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Tweets From Tuesday: Favorite Muppet?


The Muppets have been a recognizable entity for decades despite their on-again off-again presence. Like Mickey Mouse, the cast of the Muppets have seen their good times and bad as far as stardom. Mickey was at an all time high during the 1930s but as Walt made way for other ventures, Mickey was put on the shelf and was merely setup to the emblem of the company, but not really seen in theaters or television anymore, until the 1980s when Mickey’s Christmas Carol became a hit with families. The same can be said with The Muppets. Despite sporadic appearances, the new millennium had not been a good one for the furry creatures. It wasn’t until Jason Segel took on the part of bringing The Muppets to theaters in 2011 that the classic characters were reborn. Now with a new television show on primetime television coming this fall, I wanted to post a question to my friends on Twitter. The Muppets are loved by so many generations so I wanted to know everyone’s favorite Muppet? This is what everyone said.

@PixieDustDaily: Sam Eagle: He embodies our great American pride and at the same time pokes fun at our over-exuberance. As an adult I’ve grown to really like the Sam Eagle character as I see the humor in his overly patriotic ideals. When I was a kid I definitely thought the character was too weird and uninteresting. I was a stupid kid.

@HatboxMouse: My favorite Muppet is Fozzie Bear. He just has the best jokes! “Wacka, Wacka!” His jokes from anyone else aren’t funny but through the voice and stylings of Fozzie, they are funny. Maybe it’s that he is funny in his lack of good jokes. I’m not sure, but I’m glad to see him playing a good part in the upcoming Muppets tv show.

@NORMNB8S: This is like picking your favorite child. I wrote about Fozzie as my inner muppet for @thatsostelle once. I relate to him. He just wants to make people laugh. I’m similar in that I feel at ease when I know I can make someone laugh. It’s a feeling of relief, especially when you have a good joke, that someone really thinks its good.

@1MinDisneyDream: Thats Tough. Fozzie because he is often misunderstood and just wants people to enjoy his comedy. See my comment on the above post. I think Fozzie just wants to be a bigger part of the show but his role as stand up comedian falls short. However, he tends to be funny when he doesn’t try. My suggestion to anyone doing comedy is not to try so hard and you’ll get there.

@DizWire: I’ll throw in a token vote for Pepe the King Prawn. Pepe has been a constant favorite for me. His pride and his short fuse tend to be at odds with each other. He is always scheming and I love that about him. I’m not a fan of his recent clothing choices with gold chains and black turtle neck shirts but if he feels comfortable in that as a king prawn/shrimp, then more power to him.

@TheMouseSlap: Ratso Rizzo, he keeps it NYC real. F’getta bout it. Rizzo has been scheming long before Pepe and even though he isn’t an original Muppet, mice have always been a staple of the group. The great part for Rizzo is playing pal with Gonzo (Muppet Christmas Carol) or with Pepe (Muppetes From Space). That seems to be where he shines the most.

@TTAtraveler: I’ve always loved Beaker, always getting walked all over and just seems ready to snap. And that face. How could I forget this Muppet. Before Kenny died in every South Park episode, Beaker was getting blown up, stretched, flattened, and otherwise beat up in nearly any part he has ever had. He always looks like he knows he is 5 seconds from being killed yet he always goes along with what ever Dr. Honeydew does. Love it. Always great for a laugh.

@NORMNB8S: I answered earlier but I wanted to give an honorable mention to Sweetums. I guess you can answer twice. I’ve never said anything against it. Sweetums has been a supporting character to everyone on the main cast but he does have his following. People seem to love Sweetums. Maybe it’s because he is so big but at the same time so…well…sweet!

@ZamboniNerd: Statler and Waldorf because they always make me laugh with their sarcastic comments. The perfect opposition to Fozzy Bear and the rest of the Muppets from time to time are the worst hecklers in the world. Stand up comedians have always had hecklers and whomever came up with this duo is genius. It’s amazing how long they’ve stayed as a major part of the show considering that they aren’t technically part of the Muppets crew.

@Beccaberry73: Gotta be Statler & Waldorf 🙂 LOVE their jokes! I’m surprised by how many people love these guys! Just goes to show that they are a big part of who the Muppets are!

Thanks to everyone who talked Muppets with me all day! It was a great time and it’s only building excitement for the upcoming Muppets show on ABC this Fall! If you are excited or you didn’t get to share on Twitter who your favorite Muppet is, be sure to leave a comment below! If you are interested in participating in Tweets From Tuesday, be sure to follow me by clicking the link below my name. See ya next week!

Josh Taylor
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Top 5: Disney World Attractions That Are Painfully Awesome

I don’t care if it’s a top notch theme park like Disneyland or your local seedy county fair gypsy caravan rides from 1959, some rides just hurt. At the local fairgrounds, they just hurt and that’s the end of the story, but at Walt Disney World I know it’s going to hurt and I’ll gladly stand in line for an hour anyways. Why? Because I can look past the pain and focus on the awesomeness that is Disney. I’m sure everyone has had that experience. Some attractions give you a headache and some that make your stomach feel terrible but you still ride them for the sense of nostalgia or fun or just because it’s what you do when you’re at a Disney park. Regardless, we’ve all had those moments of pain and joy at the same time. So here are my top 5 Walt Disney World attractions that are just painfully awesome.

Primeval Whirl

5-Primeval Whirl. Yeah, I’ll admit that I like Primeval Whirl. So what? The attraction rarely has a long line, it makes me laugh, and it fills time while my fastpass time for Dinosaur is coming up. The wild mouse coaster design along with the spinning teacup design is unique and there are very few attractions like it. The unfortunate part is that wild mouse coasters typically provide a bit of whiplash and spinning for any period of time can make your stomach do a few back flips. I’m prone to both. As a child I couldn’t spin fast enough and whiplash didn’t effect my small body but as an adult I can do a 360 degree turn and I’m queezy and whiplash is the one thing I hate the most from any kind of amusement park ride. Despite all of that pain, I still ride Primeval While because I still laugh and I still have a good time no matter what.

4-Star Tours. I remember as a child going to the Disney parks that my mom would always back out of going on Star Tours and I never really got why. Now I do. With the revamp of the attraction, the ride is a little smoother but then Disney had to add in the 3D element. Things whizzing right by me  with my seat shuffling all around and a seat belt pressing into my stomach doesn’t really sound like a great time, especially considering you have to endure it for over 5 minutes but, in fact, it’s one of my favorite attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and I wouldn’t even call myself a Star Wars fan. I like the movies and I like this attraction despite leaving wanting to hold my stomach for the next hour and a half.

Space Mountain

3-Space Mountain.  I stood in line for Space Mountain in 2005 for over an hour and during that time, I had to use the bathroom. By the time I got to the front of the line, I was doing some weird tribal dance and counting down the seconds until I could get off the ride and make a mad dash to the nearest porcelain throne. It had also been a while since I had been on Space Mountain and I had forgotten how bumpy it is. By the definition of a roller coaster, Space Mountain is pretty smooth, but it jiggles you around a bit and that feeling plus my bladder made me think that I would never make it to see that sign clearly stated “Men”. Topping it off, I love that the ride comes to a complete hault ramming the safety bar deeply into my stomach. I didn’t really need that stomach anyways. Luckily for this story, I did make it to the bathroom, but it goes to show that even having to go to the bathroom as badly as I did, I still rode Space Mountain because it’s one of the best and most classic attractions at any Disney theme park. It’s a must do, even if you’re bladder is about to explode.

2-Muppet Vision 3D. I love the Muppets. Let me say that again. I LOVE the Muppets, but 3D films are something that kind of bother me. I don’t have the best of vision but I also don’t have bad enough vision to wear glasses. So when I put those 3D glasses on and my already blurred eyes look through the blurry lens of some glasses a 2 year old was teething on earlier in the day, headaches start to happen. I can’t miss this attraction ever because it’s the Muppet Theater and it’s the first time we ever see Bunny and then there are all of my favorite Muppet characters and it’s just awesome and this is a run on sentence now. I tend to enjoy myself until about half way through the show and then it hits. A splitting headache due to the blurred perspective and the loud noise that comes along with the film. You know, those parts where the band is playing, explosions are happening, and Sam the Eagle is very angry. Yeah, those parts. It hurts just thinking about it now, but I’ll always find a way to see this show.

Mad Tea Party

1-Mad Tea Party. Truthfully I haven’t been on any Mad Tea Party ride for over 10 years. Why? Because projective vomiting isn’t my favorite thing to do in the world and I really enjoy food so chances are I either just ate or am about to eat and don’t want to ruin my day with that. Mad Tea Party is probably one of the most recognized symbols of the Magic Kingdom, right behind Cinderella Castle and Dumbo the Flying Elephant. As a child I had no problem with being stuck to the side of a pastel painted cup and spinning until I was so dizzy I would pass out. As an adult, I can get 3 spins deep into the attraction and I have to close my eyes and dream that I’m in a better place or else I’m going to make a horrible mess of myself and my friends or family’s shoes. So I don’t ride the Mad Tea Party attraction anymore but I still think it looks really fun and someday soon I will pick myself up, plan accordingly to do it first thing in the morning before munching down on some delicious food, and just ride it because it is awesome and it’s a complete classic.

What are your thoughts? Am I too wimpy? Are there any attractions that make you ill but you still ride them anyways? Leave your comments below and keep the stories going. Until next time!

Josh Taylor

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