Wednesday, November 23, 2011


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 (agua) 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.


Beta Mike said...

I am glad to hear that we are two kindred spirits as I have loved the Muppets for years myself. Now that I work for Disney, I am proud to claim them as part of the family. On a recent Spring day, we had the honor of attending an intimate town hall with Dave Goelz and he even brought his alter-ego Gonzo with him!!! So honored and surreal to be so close to two icons.

I hope you will enjoy The Muppets as much as I did. We had a special screening last week and while not part of the Holy Trilogy, it does stand on its own, and it's a true return to form for them.

Paul Duca said...

Who doesn't love them?

Todd Franklin said...

Mike - That's so neato cool that you had the chance to see Dave and Gonzo! Congrats! Yeah, I really did enjoy The Muppets. It was a nice tribute to the old TV show and the original movies. Hopefully more Muppet movies will come out thanks to the success of this newest one. Thanks for the comment and long live the Muppets!

Paul - There's probably a few haters, but I'm sure they are a rare breed.

Mike Middleton said...

I'm digging the new logo and design NC!

Todd Franklin said...

Thanks Mike! It was time for a new look.

Paul Duca said...

The new look and your language skills surely are helpful on the mean streets of Neato Coolville.