10 Awesome Things About ‘A Muppet Family Christmas’

Posted 9 years ago by Television

A Muppet Family Christmas

If you listened to our last episode of Bubble Pipe Theater, you heard me mention ‘A Muppet Family Christmas’ as I rambled on about the Muppets with Tim and Rob. I can’t believe I haven’t written about it on the site before, because it just may be my all-time favorite holiday special. It’s a unique blend of Henson characters that just couldn’t be possible today with Disney owning the Muppets.

‘A Muppet Family Christmas’ first aired on television way back in 1987 and I just have vague memories of seeing it as a kid. It wasn’t until 2003 when I picked up the (now out of print) DVD that I fell in love with it. The hour-long show is the perfect blend of Christmas warmth and the classic Muppet humor we grew to love with The Muppet Show and the early movies. Without further ado, I’d like to kick off a new series here on the site with 10 Awesome Things about ‘A Muppet Family Christmas.’
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The Muppet Geek’s Guide to ‘Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas’

Posted 9 years ago by Television

Emmet Otter

I’ve loved the work of Jim Henson my entire life, and it seems like each year my appreciation of his creativity grows more and more. Even with his life being cut tragically short, his body of work is huge. As you could tell from our Muppet podcast last week, everyone has different parts of Muppet history that they remember the most, and there are plenty of pieces to pick up on later in life and enjoy for the first time. For me, Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas is one of the pieces of Muppet history that I didn’t see much as a kid, but now love as an adult.

There are a lot more dedicated Emmet Otter fans than me out there, but I recently did some digging, learning as much as I could about the special and comparing home video versions, so I thought I’d share the love a little bit.
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The Story Behind the Muppets Tune “Mahna Mahna”

Posted 9 years ago by Music

The character known as 'Mahna Mahna' and two Slouths

Slate has a great article on the origin of the Muppets’ song “Mahna Mahna.” The second most interesting bit I gleaned was that it wasn’t an original tune by the Muppets troupe. It’s so iconic and muppetesque that it’s hard to imagine it having a very non-Muppets beginning.

Yes, that’s the most shocking revelation from this story. The ditty was by Italian composer Piero Umiliani. Surprising given its Muppet notoriety, it was written for the 1968 documentary “Sweden: Heaven and Hell.” The film chronicled sexuality in the Scandinavian country for Italian audiences.

You read that right. The song made famous by those cute and cuddly Muppets had its origin in a soft-core porn movie.

The song, originally released as “Mah Nà Mah Nà”, was featured on the film’s soundtrack. The single was a minor hit and reached #55 on the U.S. charts in ’68. “Mahna Mahna” then began its second life when it appeared in a “Sesame Street” sketch during the first season of the children’s TV show. Later that same year, the Muppets performed the song on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” The catchy tune was reprised for the very first episode of “The Muppet Show” in 1976. See the video below. The Muppet hit even appears in the new film.

For more on this fascinating bit of Muppets trivia, head over to the Slate article. They also have videos of the song from (gasp!) the original movie.

Missing Links: Muppet-Mania Edition

Posted 9 years ago by Missing Links

“The Muppets” has a 97% score on Rotten Tomatoes
Users on the site have rated it slightly lower at 82%. It’s the best reviewed wide release of the year so far.

Which Muppet is most like you?
CBC News gets all analytical by breaking down the personality types of the popular Muppet characters. I long to be an Animal but resign myself to a Scooter.

Disney’s ‘Muppets’: The Raciest Marketing Campaign Ever for a PG Film
The Muppets are everywhere—even the late night shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live, Saturday Night Live, and Chelsea Lately. Should it surprise people if the talk gets a little racy?

Before the Muppets: 10 Surreal and Experimental Works by Jim Henson
The Atlantic chronicles some of Henson’s earliest professional puppet work including TV commercials from 1957. Wacky stuff.

The Muppets Are Back! So What Happens Next?
Cinema Blend has some suggestions for the Muppets’ next media move. Please oh please don’t take their final advice!

The Great Muppet Podcast

Posted 9 years ago by Podcast, Uncategorized

The Great Muppet Podcast

To celebrate the release of the new (and awesome, I just got back from seeing it) Muppet movie, Tim, Rob, and Tommy sat down to talk Muppets, Jim Henson, Fraggle Rock, Dark Crystal, Muppet Babies, and everything in between. Rob discusses his article on the legacy Muppet Babies left behind, Tim and Tommy get nostalgic about Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas, and Tommy can’t help but sing a song. Celebrate MuppetWeek with Bubble Pipe Theater, see the new Muppet movie, and then see it again!