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June 26, 2017

A Tale of Three Janices

Filed under: Feature,Fun Stuff — Tags: , — Joe Hennes @ 10:47 am

The Muppets, the feature film (not to be confused with the similarly titled TV series or the colorful cast of puppet vaudevillians) debuted in theaters almost seven years ago.  In that time, many of us have revisited the movie several times, obsessively collecting information until we’ve memorized every frame and fact until there are no more tidbits to absorb.

So of course, there’s nothing new we can discover about the movie, right?

Wrong!  Oh so very, very wrong.  You’re so stupid, Joe, for even thinking that.  Stupid stupid stupid.

A while back, I was visiting the apartment of my ToughPigs partner-in-arms Ryan Roe and his wife Staci, and they have a really cool transparent poster from The Muppets in a lightbox frame that illuminates the whole thing.  Although I spent a good amount of time dissecting the poster before, I stood before it like the people at art museums who stare at Jackson Pollack paintings and pretend to understand what they’re looking at.

Ryan Roe’s poster of The Muppets, complete with lightbox frame.

And then I noticed it.  And I noticed it again.  And again.  The three Janices.

(Note: Click on the image at the top of this article to get a higher-resolution glimpse of the poster.  See if you can spot all three Janices before we reveal them!)

Okay.  So.  The first Janice is pretty easy to spot.  She’s the one being held back by Amy Adams’ left hand.  Right behind the penguin.  The lady in the pink tube top.  If you squint reeaaalllyy hard, your eyes will close and you won’t see her at all.  Otherwise, you should have no problem spotting Janice.

Janice #1

Now direct your attention to the bottom left corner of the poster, and you can spot a second Janice behind the Snowths.  As you can tell from the arm tattoo, this is actually Janooce, the Moopets’ version of the Electric Mayhem’s lead guitar player.  So while this isn’t technically another Janice, it’s a Janice analog.  And a pseudo-Janice is technically still a Janice (if not the Janice), so it counts.

Janice #2

And now look up a bit, just above Bunsen Honeydew’s head, under Fozzie Bear’s armpit.  Yes, this is a third Janice!  Just having a peek to see if it’s okay to come out.  And no, it is not okay.  She might break the space-time continuum!

Janice #3

This third Janice is believed to be, once again, Janooce, as you can tell from the blue eye shadow (Janice Prime has pink eyelids).  So to get technical again (ugh), we actually have one Janice and two Janooces, but that isn’t nearly as catchy as saying “three Janices”, so we’re letting it slide.  Don’t think about it too hard.  Janice wouldn’t!

So now the question is: Why so many Janices??

Perhaps she fell into Muppet Labs’ copier machine (as seen in the Mac Davis episode of The Muppet Show), and Janices are running rampant through movie posters.

Maybe Janice is a time traveler, and she’s come back to warn the Muppets about Tex Richman, but then she got distracted by a photo shoot and slipped into the group picture instead.

Or could this be a Russian nesting doll situation? The “Moopet” version of Janice is Janooce, so the mystery third Janice is a “Moopet” version of a Moopet.  Making her… Joonooce?  This makes my Muppet-saturated brain hurts.

Despite this eye-opening revelation, there continues to be more worth noting about the poster beyond Janice-related mishaps.

For example, note how creepy it looks when some of the characters near the bottom just sort of… end at the waist.  Sam the Eagle, Kermoot, and Lew Zealand look mighty uncomfortable without legs, and not in the fun puppety way.  More “land mine mishap” than “below the frame”.

Where is Floyd?  All the other Electric Mayhem characters made the cut (except Lips, because Lips always gets cut… maybe they need some Chapstick?).  He’s the only missing core character as far as I can tell, with only maybe Beauregard also not present.  They bothered to include the Muppet Cactus.  Fan favorites like Crazy Harry, Gloat, and Behemoth are in there somewhere. And did we mention three Janices???  But no room for Floyd!  I guess this poster didn’t need a bassman.

Some of the photos definitely come from different sources, which I guess you’d only notice if you stared at this thing as long as I did.  Rowlf looks like he’s been propped up to stand motionless in a museum exhibit at the Center for Puppetry Arts.  Pepe is wearing a suit which I don’t think he’s worn since It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie.  But the most obvious example is the two chickens to the left of Gonzo.  One has a shinier beak, and the other is missing her eyelashes, and neither came from a photoshoot within a decade of each other.  Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have even noticed that the photos came from different sources if these two weren’t standing next to each other. They should’ve taken a tip from the chicken behind Thog and spread out to avoid confusion.

And who the heck is this guy below??  Seen to the left of Bunsen, I just can’t identify who those teeth belong to.  It’s not quite King Ploobis (though that would have been amazing), it’s not Walleye Pike, it’s not yet another Janice.  Maybe someone out there can shine a little light on this for me!

In all seriousness, one of the best things about writing about Muppets every day is that there’s always something new to discover, over-analyze, and take way too seriously. I suppose that’s what happens when you choose a 60-year-old franchise with countless films, TV shows, and assorted productions with all sorts of offshoots and promotional materials as the thing to obsess over.  And every so often, we find something spectacular.  Or at the very least, something kind of interesting to an extremely small number of people.

Click here to explain to your mother why you want to walk around a beach naked on the ToughPigs forum!

by Joe Hennes – Joe@ToughPigs.com

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