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 showing 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.

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
Screencap © 2011 NBCUniversal Media.

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)

Failure to Launch

I’ve had strong opinions about Smallville ever since its 2001 debut. My hope was
to share the long and the short of it all back in May on the occasion of the series’ finale — but I only managed the short.

Here’s the long.

What follows is chock-full of spoilers on the show’s ten seasons, as of last month available in their entirety on DVD. If you haven’t (a) seen this divisive, enduringly popular yet much reviled take on the the Superman mythos begun in 1938 by creators Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster, or (2) at least cared enough to keep tabs it through articles or conversations, then you’re awfully polite to keep reading.

Muppet Monday

Walter the Muppet
Screencap © 2011 The Muppets Studio LLC.

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” [2:59] 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

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.

41 Favorites: #5

The look at some of my favorite things begun here last year upon my 40th birthday is finally continuing. Now it’s 41 Favorites, since I took over a year off after my last entry — but the number will likely change again.

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

My 5th in alphabetical order on the list spitballed last October is the music of Edie Brickell.

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
Photo © 2011 and characters TM/® The Muppets Studio LLC.

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.]