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January 2, 2012

2011: The Year of the Muppet

Filed under: Feature,Fun Stuff — Tags: , — Joe Hennes @ 1:06 pm

You’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who didn’t get a face-full of Muppets in 2011.  This was the year of their resurgence, their resurrection, and most importantly, their return.  It was truly The Year of the Muppet.

A lot of important stuff happened in the past 365 days, in the aforementioned Muppet world, surrounding Elmo, involved with the Jim Henson Company, and even your old pals at ToughPigs.

In case your short-term memory is a little faulty, we put together a list of the biggest and most important Muppet-related news, commentaries, and fun ramblings from the past 12 months of ToughPigs articles.  This is your last chance to read up on anything you may have missed!

So let’s bid a fond farewell to 2011 while wondering what exciting Muppet articles we’ll have to spotlight in our 2012 roundup!


“Nom” nominated as the Word of the Year – A much better Cookie Monster-inspired word than “ARRMNARMARAARMCRUNCHMUNCH”.

First-person report on the filming of The Muppets – One of our eagle-eyed pals got to watch The Muppets being filmed, finally confirming the fact that the movie actually exists.

Tony Geiss passes away – The veteran Sesame Street writer and composer is remembered for creations like Abby Cadabby, the Honkers, and dozens of memorable songs.


“Being Elmo” premieres at Sundance – And we actually knew someone in Utah who could go see it for us! (Fun fact: People actually live in Utah.)

Noel MacNeal interview – We talk to the Muppeteer and get the real scoop on Bear and his giant aquamarine abode.

Henson Company puppets perform at the Grammys – The puppets (not Muppets) perform “Forget You” with Cee-Lo, and all we Muppet fans could talk about was how he was dressed like Elton John from The Muppet Show.


The Random Muppet Challenge – It’s a fun game you can play with your friends and the Muppet Wiki’s “Random Muppet button”.  Oh, and a world-class knowledge of Muppet history.

Q&A with Muppet writer David Misch – Co-writer of “Muppets Take Manhattan”, “Inner Tube”,and “Mork and Mindy”.  We didn’t ask him anything about “Mork and Mindy”.


Muppet Madness 2011 – Super Grover wins the annual Muppet fan tournament!  Sorry, spoilers!  For a year-old contest.

The New York Times is misinformed – After their article about the state of the Muppets franchise, we make it a point to prove them wrong.  It’s our duty as obnoxious bloggers.

Jim Henson’s Fantastic World comes to NYC – The special exhibit starts its run at the Museum of the Moving Image, which we now know was so popular, it’s being extended.  That really is fantastic!


“Something I’m Supposed to Be” – Cameron Garrity shares his Henson-inspired stage show with us, complete with homemade Muppets.  You can watch the videos, but you have to put the puppets back where you found them.

Every celebrity looks like Janice – Or does Janice look like every celebrity???  Okay, it’s the first one.

BOOM loses Muppet comic book license – But hey, at least we have all these new Muppet comics from Marvel to read… oh… I guess we don’t.  (I’m bitter!)

New photos of Muppet mural – We finally get to see the infamous Muppet mural in hi-res, as well as the rarely-seen nooks and crannies.  Did you know there were Doozers in that thing???

“The Muppets” gets first poster – They’re closer than you think.  Assuming you think they’re more than six months away.

“The Muppets” gets first trailer – Who cares about a poster?? We’ve got moving pictures!

“The Muppets” gets second trailer – This is about the time when all of our heads began to explode.


Wally Boag passes away – The Muppet Show guest star and professional tooth-spitter has died.

Live from Sesame Street, Luis and Gordon – We made it to the Street and interviewed Emilio Delgado and Roscoe Orman!

Live from Sesame Street, Abby and Rosita – More on-set interviews with Leslie Carrara-Rudolph, Carmen Osbahr, Abby Cadabby and Rosita!  Funny how you never see all four of them in the same place at the same time…

Live from Sesame Street, Steve, Matt and Eric – Oh you know, no big deal.  We’re just interviewing Steve Whitmire, Matt Vogel, and Eric Jacobson all at the same time.

“The Muppets” third trailer – Kermit goes “Green Lantern” for this movie parody, but thankfully didn’t prove to be as much of a flop.

“The Muppets” first full trailer – No more of this parody nonsense, the Muppets flat-out deliver their first actual movie tease.

How to Enjoy the Comeback – ToughPigs founder Danny Horn returns to explain how to be a happy and responsible Muppet fan during these exciting times.  Sadly, it does not include gloating.

Sesame Street wins 8 Daytime Emmys – Quit hogging the Emmys, Sesame Street!  Save some for One Life to Live!

Peter Falk passes away – The Great Muppet Caper guest star can tell your whole story just by looking at you.  Also, he wants to sell you a watch.

Ernie & Bert vs. Bert & Ernie – Which way do you say it?  This is way more accurate than horoscopes.


Threadless Muppet t-shirt contest – Hundreds of people submitted Muppet art to this t-shirt design contest.  All in the name of fashion!

Muppet Beach Party review – Is the album still good after all these years?

Muppet Beach Party review counterpoint – Nope!

Muppetationalism – Does the word “Muppetational” mean what you think it means?  I mean, it might.  I don’t know what you’re thinking.

“Sesame Spoofs” on DVD – Sesame Street collects some of their best spoofs and parodies for one DVD set.  We’re still waiting on the DVD that spoofs the “Sesame Spoofs” DVD.

Q&A with Muppeteer Michael Earl – We chat with the former Snuffleupagus and original Telly Monster.  Not many people can put that on their resume!


Muppeteers singing with themselves – Ever notice when one Muppeteer performs two different characters in the same song?  Well, we thought of it first!

Yip Yip Martians star in their own app – Do you think that if those sketches were made today, would they say “iPhone iPhone iPhone” instead of “Book Book Book”?

Skrumps get their own graphic novel – And it’s not very good.  Our review of it, however, is well worth the price of admission.

Should Bert and Ernie get married? – Millions of people everywhere are asking this ridiculous question.

ToughPigs celebrates 10th anniversary – Obviously the biggest news of the year.  We kick off our celebration with some brilliant artwork by our more-talented-than-us friends!

@MuppetQuotes debuts – Our new Twitter feed, featuring an endless supply of Muppet quotations.  Please RT.

Muppets star in OK Go music video – It’s either this or sleeping in a bed with a bunch of dogs.  That would make more sense after watching the video.

“The Green Album” released – Who needs the Muppets!?  Let’s just listen to a bunch of famous musicians covering their songs.


“Tales of a Sixth-Grade Muppet” released – The young adult novel gives us a new story to geek out over.  Then again, most things with “Muppet” in the title do that.

Miss Piggy appears on “So Random” – I’m sure that one dude who watches that show was really happy about that.

Jim Henson’s 75th birthday – We offered a list of events celebrating the event.  BYOC (Bring Your Own Cake).

Jim Henson-inspired Google Doodle – The Google Doodle was turned into an elaborate puppet for Jim’s 75th.  And we get to use the “We are Google’s puppets” metaphor legitimately!


New Muppet puppets – Hey, remember when the Muppets had cool merchandise on the shelves like hand puppets?  Well now you don’t have to!

Muppets and Apple – In remembrance of Steve Jobs, we look at the Muppets’ history with Apple Computers.

Muppets star in pre-movie video – The Muppets remind you not to eat or talk or use your cell phone or play your drums in the movie theater.  Exits are to your right.

Ugly Muppets – A list of some of the ugliest Muppets in the history of uglydom.

Mighty Fine Muppet t-shirt contest – Another Muppet t-shirt design contest, with some great entries and a whole lotta terrible ones.  Guess which are more fun to write about!

Muppets star in fire safety videos – The Muppets team up with UL for a series of videos that set Beaker on fire.  For education!

Gonzo’s toes – We think about these things so you don’t have to!  A deeper look into the mystery of Gonzo’s feet.

Sesame Street’s YouTube page hacked – And replaced with porn.  The headlines write themselves.

Muppet stuff at New York Comic Con – We pushed our way through the ocean of nerds to bring you these news items. The least you could do is give it a read.  And maybe buy us the next issue of The Hulk.

Miss Piggy the fashion icon – Piggy makes the rounds with the fashion news outlets and designers.  Because she’s a diva, dammit.

The Muppets appear on WWE Raw – Muppets + Pro Wrestling = Whaaaa? Also punching or something.

Muppet pumpkins – The biggest and most complete collection of Muppet jack-o-lanterns on the internet.  You’re welcome.

ToughPigs’ 9th annual Halloween Parade – Featuring the very best Muppet Halloween costumes of the year!  And some of the worst.  But that makes them the best!


Muppets start getting interviewed – There’s about 750,000 interviews in November that we could link to, so we’ll save you the headache for the moment.  But rest assured, the Muppets had a lot to say, and they were going to say it to just about anyone with a microphone.  (Note to self: Invest in new microphone.)

Frank Oz makes rare appearance – The Muppeteer appeared at the Museum of the Moving Image for a Q&A, and he brought his immeasurable talent with him!

Bert and Ernie give directions – The roommates provide a voice track for your TomTom GPS.  No word on whether or not they can tell you how to get to Sesame Street.

Muppets’ Oscar campaign goes viral – The online campaign to let the Muppets host the Academy Awards takes off like a rocket!  A rocket that’s mostly ignored by the Academy in favor of Billy Crystal.

Muppets on Dancing with the Stars – Despite having no legs, the Muppets appear on Dancing With the Stars to sing “Life’s a Happy Song”.

Kermit and Piggy play “Password” on Jimmy Fallon – Joined by the “not a high-IQed guy” Martin Short and “too smart for his own good” Michael Stipe.

The Muppets take over Times Square – The gang (with the help of Good Morning America) hang out in Times Square all morning.  Thankfully there were cameras and stuff.

Tap Tap App – A new iPhone app featuring Muppet music and some hand-eye coordination for people who like things like Muppets and tapping things and owning iPhones.

The Muppets appear on SNL – Kermit and Company join Jason Segel on Saturday Night Live, and Kermit sits at the Weekend Update desk with Seth Meyers.  Really??!!

Our not-very-spoilery review of The Muppets – For those of you who want our opinions without ruining the entire film, and subsequently your lives.

Our totally spoilery review of The Muppets – For those of you who don’t mind us ruining your lives quite as much.

The Muppets soundtrack released – It’s like watching the movie, but without all that boring dialogue.  And all the visuals.  And a heckuva lot shorter.

THE MUPPETS IS IN THEATERS – Yeah, we know it shouldn’t be shoved in the middle of this giant article like this, but hey, that’s what happens when you write chronologically.  Maybe the next movie will be released on January 1st and we won’t have this problem.


Kermit helps light the National Christmas Tree – And I guess the Obamas were there or something too.  Talking frog always trumps President.

The Peter Savieri story – ToughPigs’ own Peter Savieri shares how he got to create an integral prop for an important scene in The Muppets!

Walter reads ToughPigs – Well of course he does!  All self-proclaimed Muppets fans should.  Even if they are fictional.

FOX News attacks Muppets – FOX Business News claims that The Muppets has a secret liberal agenda.  ToughPigs claims that FOX News is full of crap.

Tale of Sand and StoryTeller comics debut – The long-awaited Henson properties are finally on the shelves at your local comic book store.  Now all you need to do is find your local comic book store.

Proto-Gordon found – The mystery Gordon from Sesame Street’s pilot episode has been found, thanks to ToughPigs.  (And Sesame Workshop and the family of Garrett Hobart Saunders.  But mostly ToughPigs.)

Joseph A. Bailey writes autobiography – This is way more interesting when you remember that Joe Bailey wrote for Sesame Street and The Muppet Show.  Yeah, now you wanna buy it!

Oscar the Grouch appears in Michael Buble’s Christmas special – And then everyone had a rotten Christmas because of it.  Mission accomplished, Oscar.  Mission accomplished.

Kermit, Robin, and Jimmy Fallon sing “When the River Meets the Sea” – If Pa was still alive, he’d sing on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Kermit’s Christmas scarves – It’s the holiday tradition you love but didn’t even know about: Kermit’s many holiday scarves.

Thanks for a great 2011, Muppet fans!  See you in 2012!

Click here to let old acquaintances be forgot on the ToughPigs forum!

by Joe Hennes – Joe@ToughPigs.com

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