Wednesday, November 23, 2011

YEP, I LOVE THE MUPPETS

For most kids in the 1970s and 80s, childhood and Muppets walked hand in hand. My childhood was no different.


As a preschooler I was a regular viewer of Sesame Street. All the characters became fast friends that I adored. After I became streetwise and knew how to say the word water in Spanish, I graduated to The Muppet Show. Now this was my show! Every Friday or Saturday night at 6:30, I was parked in front of the Zenith in my favorite TV watching chair. The same orange plaid chair that Kermit is sitting on in the photo above. Most of the time I would have my Kermit Muppet and Cookie Monster Muppet in the chair with me. It was a Muppet party!

It seems that the Muppets were always there during my childhood. They popped up on awards shows, in commercials, magazine covers and in the toy aisles. Heck, one even showed up in that Star Wars sequel that I was so crazy about. My felt and furry friends were everywhere and I’m thankful for it.

In my stack of saved kid drawings, I found three drawings I made of my favorite Muppets.




Gonzo has always been my favorite Muppet. His odd looks and weirdness clicked with my own off the wall humor. I bet you didn’t know that Gonzo is my personal friend in Hollywood.

Yep, I have the written proof!


Gonzo and his pal Dave Goelz sent me this neato cool autograph several years ago. I wrote Dave and he was super nice to send out this signed card. It has a special place in my collection.

Back in ’05, I met two Muppet celebrities, Kermit the Frog and Oscar the Grouch!


They were hanging out at the Smithsonian. I guess I was too starstruck to ask for an autograph. Maybe next time.


I’ve been an admirer of many celebrities through the years and I’m always saddened when a great talent passes away. When Jim Henson passed in 1990, I felt like a close friend had died. I’d never felt that way for any celebrity before. I was in college when I heard the news and I felt that I lost a piece of my childhood that day. I’m happy to see the Jim Henson Company keep his legacy alive. Check out this fantastic video tribute that played during this year’s D23 Legends ceremony when Jim was honored in Disney’s version of a Hall of Fame.


The Muppets will always be a fond memory from childhood and I’m happy for all the joy they have given me. Thanks to Jim Henson and all of his crew for creating so many wonderful friends for so many.

MUPPETS FOUND IN OLD CHRISTMAS CATALOGS


For your viewing pleasure, here's some scans of various Muppet items that I found in some of my old Christmas catalogs from 1977 to 1983.


















Tuesday, November 22, 2011

1979 THE MUPPETS GO HOLLYWOOD

To coincide with the release of The Muppet Movie, (the Muppets first movie), CBS aired The Muppets Go Hollywood on May 16, 1979. The movie would follow about a month later. After watching this TV special, my eight year old self was hyped up beyond control for the movie’s release.






Watch the 1979 CBS TV special starting with part one below uploaded to YouTube by malachy90.





Click on the links below to watch the rest of the show!


Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5.

NOW A WORD FROM OUR MUPPET SPONSOR

Jim Henson was an advertising wizard when it came to commercials. Here's some of my favorite Muppet commercials!










CROONCHY STARS CEREAL

Bork! Bork! Bork! Back in 1988, Post cereals released Croonchy Stars with a famous celebrity chef, The Swedish Chef! The actual cereal was less than appetizing, but the box was one of the best boxes to grace the cereal aisle.


Jim Henson's fingerprints are all over the box especially with the silly gags on the back. It was the perfect box to read while you ate your cereal. Check out this post from Jim Henson's Red Book about Croonchy Stars here and then a Croonchy morsel can be found in this Red Book entry here.


As a cereal box collector, this is one of my favorite boxes in my collection. Take a look at Jason's two boxes from his collection here and here. Next, head over to view the neato send away doll that Gregg has shared here and here.

Now let's watch that wacky Swedish Chef cook up a batch of his Croonchy Stars cereal!




THE MUPPET SHOW TV GUIDE ADS

Whew! Boy are my fingers tired, ‘cause I just flipped through hundreds of TV Guides looking for Muppet Show ads. All of these are from Missouri stations.










As a bonus, here's a Muppet poster ad and a Muppet News Flash from Kermit!


THE MUPPET MUSICIANS OF BREMEN


From the April 22, 1972 issue of TV Guide, here’s a two page profile of The Muppet Musicians of Bremen that originally aired on April 25 of the same year.

I love seeing photos of the Muppeteers in action! It always amazes me the arm strength and endurance of the Muppeteers. Gosh, my arm gets tired simply changing a lightbulb, so I can’t imagine what it would be like working long hours each day with a muppet.



I love that photo of a Muppeteer’s hand, (I think it belongs to Jim), waiting for a muppet. It looks like a scene out of a George A. Romero movie!



Below you’ll find the first part followed by all the links to watch the rest of this amazing TV special. Visit the fantastic Jim Henson’s Red Book website here and here to read more about The Muppet Musicians of Bremen.


Click on the following links for parts 2-6.
Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 and Part 6

Check back through the day for more Muppet posts!

Monday, November 21, 2011

I'LL ALWAYS HAVE PAC-MAN FEVER


The other day I read on The Retroist that Gary Garcia passed away. Gary was the Garcia half of Buckner & Garcia, the music team that created one of the best novelty songs of all time, Pac-Man Fever!

As a kid I had the Pac-Man fever really bad and spent most of my free time in one of the many arcades in my neighborhood playing Pac-Man. Naturally I was crazy about the song when it came out. I think our local radio station probably blocked my phone number because I requested Pac-Man Fever way too much.

Below is a 1982 drawing that I made when I was eleven as a tribute to my favorite song that year.


Thanks to Jerry and Gary for creating a song that will always bring me back to simpler times.

Visit the official Buckner & Garcia website to read Jerry's words about his friend Gary and be sure to watch the performance of B & G on American Bandstand.

Friday, November 18, 2011

MID-19th CENTURY COUPLE WISHES LOUIS DAGUERRE HAPPY BIRTHDAY!


Today is the anniversary of Louis Daguerre's birth in 1787. Good ol' Louis invented the daguerreotype, one of the earliest types of photography and the first to be commercially successful. Click here to see the very first dag, created by Louis in 1837. Not sure what's up with the two (kinda creepy) cupid heads.

Unfortunetly Mr. Daguerre's birthday wasn't listed on my calendar this morning, but thanks to today's fantastic Google Doodle, I didn't miss it.


Google's clever doodle inspired me to dig out the earliest photo in my collection, the 1850's daguerreotype couple from above. I picked the photo up years ago at an antique store and they've been instant ancestors ever since. Who were these people? That's the thought that spins in my head when I look at the photo. It was expensive to have a daguerreotype photo made and it was usually the wealthy and the affluent that could afford it. Our couple here, looks like they fit in that class of folks. I'm guessing their ages to be somewhere in the early thirties. Actually the woman might be in her twenties. Just think, they probably met or knew men that fought in the American Revolutionary War. I wonder what happened to this couple? Just a few years after they sat for this photo, the American Civil War would break out. Were they northerners or southerners? Did this man fight? Did he survive? Why is he doing an impression of Napoleon with his hand tucked in his coat? So many questions!!!

This is what I love about old photos - the unanswered questions and the unending mystery!

Happy Dag Day everyone!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

SUPPORT NEEDED FOR CURSE OF THE PHANTOM SHADOW

I’ve been hooked on movie serials since I was a kid. Of course I was born too late to experience these episodic chapter films at the matinee. Instead, my introduction was watching them on TV with my dad. As he was reliving childhood memories watching Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, I was being introduced to a world of over-the-top action, cardboard spaceships, wooden acting and damsels in distress.

These films from the 1930s and 40s continue to inspire. From Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark to The Rocketeer, Sky Captain and most recently Captain America all come from the same movie serial mold. It’s always exciting to see filmmakers revisit the movie serial style. One filmmaker, Mark Ross is attempting to complete his own homage to the movie serial with his film Curse of the Phantom Shadow. Watch the video below to see Mark describe his project.

Unfortunately, I’m a little late to the party as Mark has only 17 days left to raise the remainder of money to reach his Kickstarter goal. Just like a true cliffhanger, this project is in peril. If you’re a movie serial fan, please become a backer or at least share this project with your friends. Let’s help Mark bring Curse of the Phantom Shadow to fruition! You can become a baker for $25 and you’ll get a copy of the movie on DVD! Wow, that’s a super deal!

Back the Curse of the Phantom Shadow today before it’s too late!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

THREE COOL KRAFT ADS FROM 1970




Oops! Make that four. I forgot I had this one with the crazy Kraft caramel cone.


--Update--

The Retroist found the commercial that goes along with the crazy caramel cone ad! Check it out here!