Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's Time the Play the Music...

Last night I had some options to consider. I could go out and be with friends, get drunk, and spend money OR.....I could go to the gym, stay in eating Spagghetio's (with meatballs) and feel sorry for myself while watching "The Muppets: Letters to Santa." Well, I implore you to try and figure out which one I did.

Go ahead, think about it, I'm giving you some time.

Do you have your answer? Think you're right? Well....

You probably are!

Since I was a little kid, I have LURVED The Muppets. The one thing that always disappoints me, however, is that my favorites are always the characters that aren't ever really featured. I mean sure--Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo...they're fine, whatever, you know. But my faves aren't usually in the spot light and in the past few Muppet specials, have barely been seen at all. Last night's special, however, I got to see a bunch of my faves that I haven't seen in a while and it made me laugh, made me cry, and really made me miss being 7 years old. And while watching it, I realized I have never sat down and figured out who my top ten Muppet characters are. So now, without further ado, I'd like to present to you my Top 11 Muppet characters. And yes, 11, because I couldn't pick just 10.

11. Beauregard

My favorite moment with B-Dawg is in The Great Muppet Caper when he was the taxi driver and was driving all mad crazy everywhere. Then later on in the movie Kermit says they're going to catch the thieves red handed and Bo goes "What color are their hands now?" Oh man, gets me everytime.

10. Scooter

Maybe it's the specs, maybe it's the adorable green track jacket, but I feel like I have a connection with Scooter. He was always in the background, but you knew he had a deep rooted friendship with the gang. My fondest memory of Scooter was when he would come on in the beginning of each Muppet Show episode and say "fifteen seconds to curtain!" Remember in Muppet Babies when he had that random sister Skeeter? I used to always be so confused as to where she came from. A bit of Skeeter trivia--she was voiced by Howie Mandel from 1984-1986. The more you know..... Anyway, loves me some Scooter.

9. Rizzo the Rat

My first memories of Rizzo aren't from The Muppet Show, but instead from Muppets Take Manhattan. I remember loving how he was a waiter at Pete's Diner and how his friends skated around on the pans with butter. Rizzo makes me laugh still with his sarcasm and New York attitude. Speaking of Muppets Take Manhattan, how much of a slut was Jenny? I remember always hating that bitch, trying to steal Kermit away from Piggy. I mean the nerve....

8. Dr. Teeth

I have a fond spot in my heart for Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. Bigger than Paul Shafer and CBS Orchestra, bigger than The Max Weinberg Seven, even bigger than Kevin Eubanks, The Electric Mayhem was THE original House Band, with Dr. Teeth as their leader. One of my fondest memories of him was in The Great Muppet Caper when they were going out on the town in the giant double Decker bus and Dr. Teeth was leading the way, rocking out. Played by Jim Hensen, Dr. Teeth has sort of faded into the background since his death but it's great to see him when he does come around.

7. Lew Zealand

Lew Zealand is the shit! He throws fish like it's nobodies business and they always come back to him. My favorite memory of him is in Great Muppet Caper when the gang was needing to break into the galleria to save the Baseball Diamond, and they have no way to get down until Lew supplies them with paper towels. They all climb down the paper towels and into the galleria. Classic. I mean, who has paper towels just hanging around? Lew Zealand, that's who. Fun trivia note--Lew was supposed to only appear in one episode of The Muppet Show and has since appeared in every Muppet motion picture and TV Special.

6. Beaker

Beaker, like Lew, is the shit. Always helping Dr. Bunson Honeydew cause disaster, always good for a joke. For some reason, the majority of my favorite Muppet moments are coming from Caper, even though Manhattan is my favorite Muppet movie. Anyway, best thing of Beaker is when he gets electrocuted in Caper. His eyes light up, his hair sticks straight up, the loud "meeeeeeep" comes from him---hilarious.

5. Swedish Chef

BORK BORK BORK!! Do you guys remember The Muppet Show episode when The Swedish Chef is going to make a Lobster, and all of a sudden the gang of lobsters show up in cowboy hats and wielding guns to save their friend from the pot? Ugh. Classic. There are SO MANY great Swedish Chef moments, it's hard to pick just one. The character is absolutely ridiculous, and completely fantastic. Trivia note--on the show, the Chef's hands are the performer's real hands. It is only in publicity photos that they are Muppet hands.

4. Miss Piggy

I wish I could have Miss Piggy up higher on the list, because she is fabulous, but the top three really are my top three. I do believe, however, that Miss Piggy is what turned me into a gay man. She was the very first fag hag, as we alllll know someone like Miss Piggy. There are too many great moments of hers to name just one. The moment in Manhattan with Joan Rivers. Whenever she gets mad at Kermit she hits him with that giant "hiiiii-yah!" The bike riding scene in Caper. The dancing scene in Caper. Piiiiiigs In Spaaaaaaaace. I love it all. She is one hot diva.

3. Sweetums

I don't know why I love Sweetums so much. I really don't. He has had small roles in both the show and the movies. But I think I love him because he looks so scary, so menacing, but he's just a big sweetie underneath. My favorite moment with him was in The Muppet Movie when he chased Kermit and Fozzie all over town. Or in The Great Muppet Caper when he fell in the pot hole and yelled out "hey a movie!" Lame, I know. But he cracks me up!

2. Animal

"Wo-man! Wo-man! Wo-man! Woman..." Animal is fruckin' awesome. My second favorite member of The Electric Mayhem, Animal is probably the most popular of the group. From eating his drums on the show to growing fifty feet tall in The Muppet Movie, Animal has consistently made laugh year after year. My most vivid memory of him (besides running down the aisle chasing the girl in Manhattan) is when he played the drums for Rita Moreno when she performed "Fever" on the show and he kept upping the tempo. Good times.

And my number 1 member of The Muppets is.........

1. Janice!!

Oh Janice, what is it about you that I love so? For me she has the best one liners in all the Muppet universe. Take these two examples, for instance. In The Muppets Take Manhattan: "So I told him 'Look, man, I don't take my clothes off for anybody, even if it is artistic.' Another example is in The Great Muppet Caper when everyone is talking and they quiet down and she says: "Look, Mother. It's my life. OK. So if I want to live on a beach and walk around naked..." So perfect. She's stylish, she's artistic, she's musical. She's Just Janice.

So I'm curious to know--who are your favorite Muppet characters? Did I miss anyone? Or am I the only one who still, as a grown up, is in love with the Muppets?


Jwise said...

You are so not alone, my friend!

Janice definitely deserves number one, but part of me always liked Robin. Don't know why - oh and Piggy as the original fag hag? Priceless.

annette said...

If Miss Piggy is the original fag hag, I have to say that Janice is the original Tranny. We all know what you've got under your skirt, Janice, and we thank you for the beacon you've been to the gay, lesbian and transgendered community all these years.

Silly Billy said...

Brian, this is why I like you. I, um, maybe, um, recorded the Muppet Show last night cause I had something else to do, and I um, might have watched it, um, immediately when I got home. Just maybe that is what I did. Maybe.

Oh, and Janice is totally my favorite as well. I was disappointed she was not featured more last night, but oh well. Also, I have to say I like Rowlf, Sam the Eagle, and Pepe.

And yeah, what ever happened to Skeeter? I actually asked myself (out loud mind you) that last night. Sad, so sad.

Where in the World is Kevin? said...

My favorite was always Fozzie. His bad jokes, his upbeat attitude, his trying so hard to be good when he's really bad, but who cares...


annette said...

Fozzie's great. Katie Slackerman as Fozzie might be even better.

Wocka-wocka-wocka, indeed!

Kelly said...

There are other muppets besides Miss Piggy? What?

Sarah said...

My favorite muppet is Robin. He's kermit's nephew and is always adorable. Plus, in the best muppet movie ever "The Frog Prince" he gets to be "Sir Robin the Brave" and I like that.

The Janice line you forgot was in the Muppets Take Manhattan when she says "I'll trade anyone who has a jacuzzi!" about their rental lockers.

This is one of the all-time best BriTunes posts.

(if we were including favorite Sesame Street muppets, I have to ask... where is Prary Dawn? She's the best... "ooh welcome oh welcome to our little play, we're ever so glad you could join us today."

Sarah said...

HEY, also in my not-working while at work time I found out that Sweetums premiered in The Frog Prince. Awesome. Just makes me love that movie EVEN more. If that's even possible.

doug said...

Good lord, I hate the Muppets.

Runelady said...

I used to listen to "the Frog Prince" on LP when I was a kid. It used to make me cry! Ahh... good memories. :)

Michele said...

Oh, I can;t find a clip of Lew Zealand saying "I got the paper towels" anywhere! I quote it all the time around my husband and I can't find a clip to show him! Can ANYONE find one for me??