Tuesday, August 23, 2011

it's time to light the lights

Splitsider has a new post in their "Checking In..." series, this time, with the Muppet Show Muppeteers. Between this and seeing the Jim Henson exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria a couple weeks ago, my love for the Show, the Street, and the Rock has been fully refueled. For those in NY, the exhibit runs through January 2012, and there are related screenings (free w/ admission). CHEAP TIP: The Museum is free from 4-8p on Fridays, and has a regular discounted rate for students. If you go, you can get the delicious (and huge) St. Petersburg Fish for dinner at Greek restaurant Elia's Corner.

Highlights from the Splitsider piece include which characters were played by the same person (e.g., Beaker, Sweetums, and Janice, oddly enough), along with more photos.

And this excerpt, originally from the "Jewish Journal", about Muppeteer/director Frank Oz, because it's amazing:

"[Oz’s] Jewish father furtively dug a hole in Nazi-occupied Antwerp to bury a marionette he'd secretly carved of Adolf Hitler. The puppet-caricature, which had a funny mustache and a uniform sewed by Oz's lapsed-Catholic mother, Frances, was too dangerous to carry on the road. So, his father, Isidore, carefully covered it with spadefuls of earth before he and his wife (who was sometimes disguised as a boy) fled south to catch a boat to England…After the war, Oznowicz returned to Antwerp to dig up his puppet, which later occupied a place of honor in Oz's childhood home in Oakland, CA."

While we're talking Muppets, watch this doc on the making of Labyrinth. Seriously, do it. Every David Bowie talking head is fantastic. Also the part where you see the guy standing behind him trying the manipulate the crystal balls blindly. 

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

For those of you in a rush, here's the crystal ball part:

Lastly, this video of Big Bird singing "It's Not Easy Bein' Green" at Henson's funeral will make you cry.

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