Muppet Monday

When these posts began their avowed purpose was to make sure the blog had some content while my focus was largely directed elsewhere, stoking my own and hopefully my readers’ enthusiasm for the new Muppet movie.

Jim Henson surrounded by over a dozen of the best-known Muppets

These past few months have ended up being among the busiest on the blog, however, not only in terms of posts posted but viewers viewing them — one big reason why I decided to keep fresh content flowing, Muppet Monday included, even after the movie opened. I’ll share an update on bloggy business down the road a bit; right now I’m wrapping up this feature with links to a half-dozen sites for Muppet lovers interested in further exploration, most official and most mentioned on the blog before.

I Melt with You

We’ve had this little travel-sized, traditional-styled Chanukah menorah for
at least as long as I can remember.

photo of a small traditional Chanukah menorah with melted candle wax in different colors all over it

I’m fonder of it with every passing year, not just for the memories but for how its collection of “battle scars” — the bits of leftover wax, never completely scraped off the arms and base or entirely gouged out of the little cups that hold the candles — have accreted over the years to give it extra character.


The last three movies I’ve seen were about movies. As is The Artist, which I hope
to see next. I came to this realization walking out of a screening of My Week with Marilyn the other day, not long after having seen Hugo and The Muppets.

Williams as Marilyn sitting at vanity, its mirror surrounded by bulbs

While the Muppets actually put on a telethon in The Muppets, and the film’s cornerstone reference is TV’s The Muppet Show rather than the 1979 Muppet Movie, it’s about movies in the way the characters make metatextual references to being in a movie.

Hugo could be said to be a movie about the moviegoing experience by virtue of the
way in which it takes full advantage of the medium of film — the 3D process in particular. Of course, Hugo is also about movies themselves in the very literal fact of its plot involving silent-film auteur Georges Méliès. The scenes of Méliès and company producing his early-1900s fantasias is a highlight of Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece, as
is the opportunity to see actual clips from cinematic classics featuring Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton, Louise Brooks, Douglas Fairbanks, and Charlie Chaplin rendered in Hugo’s surprisingly thoughtful 3D.

Muppet Monday

Jimmy Fallon returned to Saturday Night Live this weekend — and so did Horatio Sanz, Tracy Morgan, and Chris Kattan, to help him close out 2011 with a rendition of their old standard “Christmas Is Number One”.

Horatio Sanz with Kermit, Fozzie, Animal, and Gonzo on the 'SNL' stage decorated with holiday lights

The last time the song was performed on the show, seven years ago, Sanz was the only one of the four still in the cast, and stopped the tune almost before it had begun when he realized there was nobody to back him up. Until, that is, Kermit the Frog popped up to tell Horatio that his friends would happy to join in... Here’s the video from this past Saturday, to jog your memory, and the previous clip with the Muppets.

Related: Muppet Monday (Nov. 28th) Emerald Sit-In Stocking Stuff (2011)

Muppet Monday

Walter the Muppet

I figured that given how last week’s installment was another long one — also that I’ve had trouble posting (with that, my actual review of The Muppets, and this all going up late) — I’d keep today’s Muppet Monday brief. A music video for the song “Man or Muppet” from the film (performed by the new Muppet, Walter, and Jason Segel as his human brother Gary) has been released with clips from other parts of The Muppets interspersed with the song’s scene in the movie. For those who’ve seen The Muppets, the song is a treat to revisit, but there are some surprises spoiled for those who haven’t seen it and plan to — like what’s probably the funniest cameo in the film, even if like me you don’t watch the hit show that made the actor in question famous.

Related: Muppet Monday (Oct. 17th) Heart, Felt Muppet Monday (Nov. 28th)

Ghosts in the Machine

Whether you’re fortunate enough to still be in touch with your sense of wonder or
have lost it and thought it never to be regained, I beseech you: See Hugo.

Asa Butterfield as Hugo dangling from minute hand of giant clock reading just after 8:15
Hugo poster and stills © 2011 GK Films. Photos: Jaap Buitendijk.

Directed by Martin Scorsese from John Logan’s screenplay, based on Brian Selznick’s acclaimed book The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Hugo runs 126 minutes. About 120 of those minutes are pure cinematic nirvana. I’m almost mad, yet also strangely relieved, that no matter how many films I see as this stacked season progresses — and no matter that it’s difficult to compare movies of wildly different styles, aims, and approaches — I’ve clearly seen the most fascinating, most captivating movie of the year... unless, almost ironically given their subject matter, The Artist ends up matching it.

I haven’t yet read Selznick’s book, although I plan to do so before I see the movie again. So I can’t say how faithful the film may be; I can only tell you that Scorsese has delivered a masterpiece.

Heart, Felt

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41 Favorites: #5

Cover to Edie Brickell album 'Volcano' showing her at the corner of two green walls kicking at some leaves on the ground

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51 Favorites: #1-3 | #4 | #5 | #6 | #7-9 ...

Muppet Monday

Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, and Animal all facing the viewer, severely lit from one side, the other side of their faces in shadow

Above is a neat homage to the iconic, oft-mimicked Robert Freeman photograph
used on the cover to 1963’s With The Beatles and early the next year for the US release Meet The Beatles! It’s from a recent Parade article titled “Meet the Muppets (Again!)” — which is also the general theme of this post.

Yucky and Mean

Since I’m under the weather and behind on everything, here’s another batch of the word-verification definitions that I leave when commenting on other blogs. An explanation of what’s going on and a collection of all the definitions to date can be found at the dedicated page I’ve set up for that purpose.

adynog — [ad ee nahg] n. (Spanglish) Having promotional material in one hand, a traditional Yuletide drink in the other.

britend — [brit end] n. 1. A bum (not a panhandler; rather, the buttocks region) in Merry Olde England. 2. The farthest point of the United Kingdom’s territorial waters in the English Channel or Atlantic Ocean.

colifou — [koh ly foo] n. French bacteria strain that takes your sanity.

copone — 1. [kop wun] v. Get handsy. 2. [koh pohn] v. Make cornbread in tandem.

Exhiali — [eks hee ah lee] Alien race of heavy breathers.

Flumenta™ — [floo men tuh] The first FDA-approved treatment for psychic influenza.

grizato — [grih zah toh] n. Italian ice cream made from brown bears. [No animals were actually harmed in the creation of this definition.]