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May 26, 2017

Muppet Fan Thoughts on the Muppet Thoughts of the Week

Filed under: Feature,Reviews — Tags: , , — Ryan Roe @ 9:00 am

It occurs to me that we haven’t talked much on this here website about the Muppet Thought of the Week videos on YouTube.  Have you been keeping up with them?  They’ve been posting one every week (naturally!) on the Muppets’ YouTube channel and Facebook page.  This embedded playlist thing should let you watch all of them in a row:

They’re mildly amusing, aren’t they?  You probably smiled pleasantly and nodded your head multiple times while watching them.  You know, it’s fun to complain that Disney isn’t doing much with the Muppets — and right now, it’s true that they aren’t.  But I’m going to be bold and declare that a mildly amusing 30-second video every week is better than nothing at all.  If I had a choice between a steak and a peanut I would choose the steak every time, but if there’s no steak on the menu and the only choices are a peanut or nothing, the peanut is nice.  For now.

I don’t know how many Muppet Thoughts of the Week they have saved up, but I’d be willing to bet they were all shot during the same production session.  I say that because they’re so short, and because they’re so simple with no sets or major props, and because the same four Muppet performers pop up consistently — Matt Vogel, Eric Jacobson, David Rudman, and Peter Linz.

The “Thoughts” themselves are not vastly different from the kind of stuff we see on the Muppet characters’ Twitter accounts, but of course it’s always better to see a Muppet delivering a line in person than just reading it on a computer screen. (Or a phone or a tablet or a smart refrigerator… Say, how many people do you think read the Muppets’ tweets primarily via a smart refrigerator?)

They’re kind of like words of wisdom from a fortune cookie, but with jokes.  Some of them are very specific to the character (Fozzie has done two about laughter), and some of them could have been delivered by anyone (Scooter’s “He who laughs last, laughed just before it was time to clean up!”).  Miss Piggy and Fozzie have been featured, but it actually feels more special when a Muppet like Lew Zealand or Walter gets the spotlight.

Of course we all want bigger Muppet productions, and more fully-realized Muppet productions.  But I guess Disney is saving up their Muppet money for a while, so sure, keep these short YouTube videos coming.  For the next round, though, I’d like to humbly suggest more interaction between characters.  Two of the most interesting Thoughts of the Week are Walter’s, which features an appearance by Robin, and Animal’s, which features his bunny pal previously seen in past online-only videos.

How about a series of Muppets telling each other jokes?  Or Muppets performing songs they’ve never done before?  Or Muppets playing Jenga?  They could even use the opportunity to pair characters that normally wouldn’t interact much, like Lew Zealand and Janice or Walter and Uncle Deadly.  Those sound like pretty good peanuts.

And those are my Muppet Fan Thoughts on the Muppet Thoughts of the Week!

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by Ryan Roe – Ryan@ToughPigs.com

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