Here at ToughPigs, we love games! Much like our recurring “Random Muppet Challenge“, our writers are pairing off to test their Muppet knowledge. Will this game be as fun? Who knows! We just made it up! Read on to see how it’s played, and then give it a try yourself!
Joe: Ryan! Welcome to our new ToughPigs game for expert Muppet fans!
Ryan: Thanks, Joe! I can’t wait to see how impossible this game turns out to be.
Joe: Pretty impossible, methinks. We just made this game up, so let me explain the completely arbitrary rules, which will likely change once we realize how difficult this ends up being.
Ryan: What a professional operation we’re running here!
Joe: We’re going to take turns clicking on the Muppet Wiki’s Random Article button to create two random articles. The other player must find the most entertaining/interesting/bizarre connection between those two topics. The first one to break down crying loses!
Ryan: There’s no crying in Six Degrees of Muppet Wiki! Anyway, do you have two random pages for me?
Ryan: This wasn’t specified in the rules, but I’m going to attempt to make the connection in a way that can be achieved completely by clicking on links within Muppet Wiki. So how about this… “Happy and Sad, Grouchy and Glad” is about a pageant directed by Prairie Dawn, who was originally performed by Fran Brill. Fran Brill also played Vicki on The Jim Henson Hour, which is the series that saw the debut of Waldo C. Graphic! Am I doing this right?
Joe: Yes? Yes. Totally right. Ten points to Gryffindor! So, what do you think Waldo would be doing if he was in that Sesame Street book?
Ryan: Excuse me, I’m a Ravenclaw. But to answer your question, “Happy and Sad, Grouchy and Glad” is book about emotions, and Waldo’s standard emotion is pretty much “hopped-up clown,” so he’d just be flying around being wacky and morphing into things. If Elmo said he was happy, Waldo would turn into a big yellow smiley face. If Grover said he was sad, Waldo would turn into a box of tissues. One thing he would not do, though, is provide any actual help for Prairie Dawn’s pageant.
Joe: Considering how frustrated she gets at the minor chaos of Herry Monster, Waldo might actually give Prairie Dawn an aneurysm. And that would make for a super fun Sesame Street storybook.
Ryan: Yikes. Okay, clicking the button and… Well, I’m starting you off with a less-easy one. Your two random pages are: The Fraggle Rock song “Fly to the Sky (Learn to Fly)” and MTV’s irreverent puppet show Wonder Showzen.
Joe: Well, good news for me, because I’m an expert on all things Wonder Showzen! (Was that convincing at all???) So, “Fly to the Sky” appeared in an episode of Fraggle Rock (naturally), which might or might not someday be made into a movie produced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who starred in the movie Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, which also featured Christopher Meloni, who appeared as a “Cooties spokesman” in an episode of Wonder Showzen. As an added bonus, Meloni also appeared on Sesame Street, which I only mention because this round kinda got away from the Muppet thing.
Ryan: Impressive! I’m taking your word for it that Christopher Meloni appeared on Wonder Showzen. I haven’t seen much of it, but from what I have seen, it was strictly middle of the pack when it comes to dirty puppet things. It certainly pales in comparison to Avenue Q.
Ryan: A-ha! Okay, I’m taking a thematic, rather than strictly click-through, route on this one. In “The Case of the Missing Chicken,” Baby Gonzo loses his toy chicken, Camilla. And it just so happens that in the Leslie Uggams episode of The Muppet Show, Adult Gonzo loses his girlfriend chicken, Camilla! But not by misplacing her… It’s because she gets mad when he falls in love with Big Bird! Which is pretty weird, because Big Bird is six years old.
Joe: Nice job not just going for the simple “they both star Gonzo” answer! I wonder if Gonzo’s feelings of impermanence of his love toward chickens began at this early age, leading him to openly flirt with Big Bird as an adult. Freud would have a field day with Gonzo.
Ryan: And yet, sometimes a Cigar Box Frackle is just a Cigar Box Frackle.
Ryan: Hey, Joe. I got your next two random articles RIGHT HERE! They are: the song “Somebody Stole My Gal” as featured on The Muppet Show, and an issue of Quilt magazine that featured a 30th anniversary Sesame Street quilt! So that’s… interesting. Now it’s time to prove whether you’re innocent or quilty!
Joe: Yikes, that pun. It makes me want to just up and quilt this game. Anyway, this is a needlessly difficult connection to make. Let’s see… “Somebody Stole My Gal” was performed by Lubbock Lou and his Jughuggers in the John Cleese episode of The Muppet Show. John Cleese is notably a member of Monty Python. And look, I found a picture of a quilt inspired by Monty Python and the Holy Grail! That quilt should probably be featured in Quilt magazine, the favorite magazine of quilters everywhere.
Ryan: Is that the best you can do? Is that the best you can do? Well, let me tell you something: It works for me! Say, have you ever made a quilt? I wouldn’t know where to begin. You need yarn, right?
Ryan: I certainly prefer it to the World Wrestling Federation. Which isn’t even called that anymore, so how good a federation could it have been? Limbo was an eerie face with a floating pair of eyes and mouth, who was used, among other things, in Jim Henson’s short film The Organized Mind. The music for that film was by Raymond Scott, a composer who also had eyes and a mouth. Scott’s other collaborations with Jim include the short film Wheels That Go, which featured a young Brian Henson. Brian Henson is, of course, most famous for having built the first Muppet penguin. And Muppet penguins appear in two of the commercials the Muppets did for… that’s right… Polaroid! Wait, no. I mean, the National Wildlife Federation!
Joe: You got there eventually, and that’s what counts! And you managed to get Raymond Scott into a paragraph with Muppet penguins, which is the highest honor anyone could ask for.
Joe: Hmm, another tricky one! I was hoping that Snow Grouch was a Christmas-related thing, but it seems that she’s a Grouchy version of Snow White, and this sketch sounds amazing. Grundgetta as the evil queen (great casting), forcing Snow Grouch to take a bite out of a sour lemon, and then Oscar as the Prince waking her up by shouting, “Hey you! Snap out of it!” That’s classic Sesame Street gold! But I guess I should try and find a connection to this random Muppet book. The obvious connection is thematic: Snow Grouch kicks the Seven Dwarfs out of their cottage because she’s truly the Grouchiest of them all, while Miss Piggy (who is slightly less Grouchy than usual in “Mixed-Up Christmas”) invites the Muppet crew into her home to help decorate for the holidays. So, less of an actual connection and more of just a juxtaposition.
Ryan: Okay then! So, what’s the final score?
Joe: Oh shoot, we were supposed to keep score? We were supposed to have a scoring system??? It feels like a tie, but I’ll cede the win to you for that excellent “Cigar Box Frackle” joke. Nice job being good at this made-up game! You’re a good sport!
Ryan: Quilty as charged.
Joe: Never mind, I’m taking back the win.
Click here to connect the Muppets to Kevin Bacon on the ToughPigs forum!
by Joe Hennes and Ryan Roe