The Muppets TV Show Premieres Tonight on ABC & Fun Facts. Post sponsored by Disney. All witty opinions are my own
The Muppets TV Show Premieres Tonight on ABC + Fun Facts #TheMuppets
Do you know how you have really important people in your life that shaped your childhood? I had no idea that a bunch of fabric and stuffing would impact me as greatly as the Muppets have. Iconic in every aspect and with the gleeful girl inside of me jumping up and down, there’s a lot of childhood at stake with the premiere of The Muppets show on ABC tonight. I had absolutely no clue what it takes to be a Muppet. And after sitting with the men behind Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo and the other Muppets at the 2015 D23 Expo, I have a whole new appreciation for my childhood. To celebrate my childhood coming back to television for the first time, here’s some fun facts I’ve learned from the 2015 D23 Expo Behind The Magic of The Muppets Panel!
Sitting in the same room with the geniuses behind the Muppets is probably the biggest highlight of my adult lifetime. These 4 men are my childhood. Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Bill Barretta, Eric Jacobson and newcomer (at least since “my times”) Matt Vogel all sat smiling and humored. They knew something the packed audience didn’t know. Then, one by one they reached under the table and brought up those beloved characters. Gonzo. Kermit. Rizo. Pepe. Fozzie. Animal. Uncle Deadly. Even Rowlfe.
And the puppeteer masters and their Muppets chatted, interacted, laughed and joked as if we were all sitting at a bar. It was belly-aching hilarious. But under the hilarity were some great key takeaways about the newest Muppets venture, The Muppets show on prime-time ABC. Here’s what I learned.
This is the First Prime-Time TV Appearance Since 1996
Almost 10 years since the showing of The Muppets Tonight, the new The Muppets is a “mockumentary” style show within the show, going behind the scenes of the Late Night with Miss Piggy Talk Show. About 90% of the show is comprised of backstage moments and antics of the characters, mixed with modern adult humor. And keeping with the times, instead of the cheesy spoofed variety show The Muppets have gone for the modern reality type show. With lots of great cameos still on the docket, this more adult show with kid-friendly appeal will still resonate big things from both generations.
Every Muppet Has a Role in the Show
The classic Muppets characters are all involved in the show. Kermit is the Director/Producer. Gonzo, Rizzo and Pepe are writers, Swedish Chef is craft services, Beaker and Bunsen run props, Uncle Deadly is wardrobe, Sam, Eagle is Standards and Practices, the band (including my favorite, Animal) is Piggy’s on-air band, Electric Mayhem. Bobo, Scooter and other classic Muppets are also featured in the show. Even Rowlfe the Dog owns a tavern that the characters visit after work (and yes, he talks!).
Social Media By Storm
And with every big Hollywood break up, The Muppets are no exception. Also keeping with the times, The huge Kermit and Miss Piggy fall out has taken social media by storm, crushing childhoods (including mine) with a single blow. I’m not sure how much more my heart can take! And with the introduction of “Denise,” Kermit’s new right hand pig and the show on the horizon, you bet the buzz was huge! Involving everyone from Hollywood TV shows to magazines and even celebs on social media, the minds behind The Muppets used their creative geniuses to promote the show in a epic way. Brilliant!
Q&A with the Muppets is Emotional
There was a short Q&A session with the audience. Most consisted of hard core fans that broke into tears when approaching the mic. But that didn’t stop the puppeteers from coaxing conversation. Pepe and girls. Enough said.
Want to be a Muppet? Bring A Stiff Shoulder
I think my highlight of the panel was watching the puppeteer geniuses teach regular “Joes” how to be a Muppet. And after watching, it really is so much harder than I thought. Arms outstretched up in a stiff vertical line, puppeteers spend HOURS stuck in that position, with masseuses on set. They seriously must have the strongest shoulder muscles ever.
Then working on the talking, it was difficult to get the volunteers to talk with their puppet without the eyes of puppet looking at the ceiling. Training the movement of the thumb over the use of the four fingers and the concentrated effort to speak while moving your hand, and oh yeah puppet body movements….it increasingly became overwhelming for these folks. I could understand why. Seriously these guys are some of the best multi-talented multi-taskers ever.
Best part? The Muppet dance party. Taking their new padawans under wing, the Muppets began dancing and lip syncing to popular songs like “Single Ladies” and “Uptown Funk.” You can imagine the hilarity that ensued.
There’s More to Come
Can’t get enough of those Muppets? Me either. A few spoilers were revealed during the interactive panel session as well. Besides the new ABC show, the puppeteers confirm the future creation of about 4-5 online videos for “Pigs in Space.” So be on the lookout for those!
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Have you been following my D23 Expo journey? Check out what we’ve experienced so far:
- Pixar & Disney Animation Movie Updates
- Walt Disney Animation Short Films Exclusive Interview
- Disney Parks & Resorts Updates
- Marvel, Star Wars & Disney Live Action Movie Updates
- Live Disney Playmation Demo
- Disneyland 60
- Silly Symphony Concert
- Interactive Gaming Panel
What will be the fate of Kermit and Miss Piggy? Will tensions end the show? Will we see Rowlfe in the first episode? The premiere of The Muppets airs tonight, 9/22/15 at 8 pm EST.
Will you be watching The Muppets tonight?
Disclosure ~ I was invited to attend and all-inclusive Disney press trip in exchange for this posting. All magical opinions are my own. Be sure to follow Raising Whasians for more travel tips, reviews and family moments!
Miles Imhoff says
Janice was always my favourite.
“Yeah, for sure!” XD
Nataile Brown says
I’m so disappointed that I missed this show. I’ve always loved the Muppets and especially Miss Piggy. I’m kind of envious that you got to meet her. lol
I loved the Muppets as a kid and I still love them now. Miss Piggy will always be an icon. Fab!
lana simanovicki says
I love this show such good memories
Amy Green says
That must have been so neat for you to have been so near the actual Muppet puppeteers! That has been a long time dream of mine, especially when Jim Henson was still with us. I am an equally big fan of the Sesame Street gang. I wish that Disney would use its marketing power and release all of the classic remaining Muppets series and specials on DVD! I want younger and future generations to get to enjoy “Muppet Babies”, “Muppets Tonight”, and the remaining 2 seasons of “The Muppet Show” as much as I did growing up!