High Five: Friday Fandom Muppets

There are very few things that spark a true connection for me between my adult self and my childhood, but The Muppets are definitely one of those connections.  It's a tradition in my home to watch The Muppets Christmas Carol every December (it's a tradition that is slowly growing on The Captain at my insistence). I grew up discovering why there are songs about rainbows, campaigning for a little blue president during the Bush vs. Gore campaigns, and watching an interspecies couple that I didn't really understand.  Unless you have been avoiding social media, I can reason that you've seen that The Muppets are returning to ABC this fall.  If you have missed it, then watch it below....don't worry, this blog will still be here when you return!

On a mobile device? Watch the trailer here.

So, for today's high 5, I thought I'd highlight five of my favorite Muppets (in no particular order).

1) Scooter.  Okay, maybe this is in order because Scooter is, without a doubt, my favorite muppet.  Scooter grows up from the muppet babies to become the stage manager for The Muppet Show! Even if you ignore that this stage manager gravitates to the stage manager muppet, I also think he's one of the most under appreciated muppets - both in our world and theirs.  Without Scooter, The Muppet Show would be even more chaotic than it is!  And, I have to give him props for being able to do so many shows that involve chickens, explosions, and cannons. Yes, I did just use "props."   He's initially hired because his uncle owns Muppet Theatre (yes, there is a back-story and I know it!), but he keeps his job through efficiency. For the Muppet Babies, he was re-branded as a brainiac and given a twin sister - Skeeter.

2) Rowlf the dog.  Rowlf is one of my favorites because of his crazy history before he ever became a member of The Muppet Show.  I remember Rowlf from Sesame Street (first season) as a kid, but he also appeared in dog food commercials, and rose to fame through his time on the Jimmy Dean Show where he showcased both his musical abilities and his comedic styling.  Because he is a musical mainstay in The Muppet Show Orchestra, many believe his primary purpose is as backup for Electric Mayhem, but he really only played with them 4 times (I think that's right, don't quote that exact number later).

3) Gonzo.  Gonzo The Great. The Great Gonzo.  Whatever you call him, he's still the wonderful mysterious daredevil.  Like all great circus-type performers of lore his origin and family history isn't just a mystery, it's ever changing.  Sometimes Gonzo talks about his mother dying early on, sometimes she lives to see him in college, and sometimes he's raised by his grandmother.  His history is so mysterious there's even a book (see below)!  Regardless of where he comes from, this little blue man and his chicken wife make me smile every time!

4) Rizzo the Rat.  I think my fascination with Rizzo stems from his stint as narrator (with Gonzo) in the Muppet Christmas Carol.  Rizzo was originally created for a fan mail episode, but he quickly skyrocketed to fame becoming one of the principal characters in The Muppet Show and muppet movies.

5) Sweetums.  Yep, this loveable monster made my list! Sweetums originally appeared in one of the Muppet movies as an ogre who Kermit was able to outsmart by singing him a lullaby. Sweetums has sung duets with Cher - What many of us only accomplish with a hairbrush and empty house sing along. Sweetums made my list because he isn't puppeted like the other Muppets and it brings a bit of artistic variety to the group! 

I hope you are excited about the return of the muppets to ABC!  We've suspected for a while that the recent movie releases signaled a return of the muppets, but I'm surprised that no one considered that ABC (owned by Disney) would be the company to pick it up.  What muppet are you looking most forward to seeing? See you next week!

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