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The Muppets' Salute to Canada02:24

The Muppets' Salute to Canada

The Muppets salute Canada in song, from the Just for Laughs gala.

Album.campingincanada

Big Bird and Oscar go Camping in Canada.

Saskatchewan

Fozzie Bear and Kermit drive through Saskatchewan.

Grover-Saskatch

Canada is a country occupying the northernmost portion of North America, and is the world's second largest country in total area. A number of Henson/Muppet productions have been filmed there, ranging from early productions like The Cube and The Tales from Muppetland to recent productions like The Muppets Wizard of Oz. By population, its largest city is Toronto, a hub for many of the filming, appearances and connections.

The Canadian co-production of Sesame Street, initially known only as "Sesame Street Canada", was rechristened Sesame Park in 1996, with new Muppets and framing footage made specifically for the Canadian market. The American series has proved popular; in 1990, the O'Keefe Centre added a tenth performance to their stop, a result of high demand.[1]

The Ministry of Education for the Canadian province of Ontario commissioned the creation of a type of computer called the UNISYS ICON. Ernie's Big Splash was reprogrammed for this platform.

The Gemini Awards are the Canadian equivalent of the Emmy Awards, honouring the best in Canadian-made television. Fraggle Rock, Down at Fraggle Rock: Behind the Scenes, Jim Henson's Dog City, and Sesame Park have each won, or won and been nominated for Geminis.

Various props from Fraggle Rock are in the collection of the Canadian Museum of Civilization.

Oscar the Grouch helped to promote Canada's "Waste Reduction Week" in 2008. In an interview on CBC radio, Oscar revealed that his parents are both Canadian: His mother is from Nova Scotia and his father is from St. David's Ridge, New Brunswick.

Filming locations

Jim's Red Book "Fraggle Rock Press"02:09

Jim's Red Book "Fraggle Rock Press"

Henson talks about why he chose Canada to film Fraggle Rock.

A number of Henson/Muppet productions have been filmed in Canada, some of them taped at Toronto's VTR Productions/Robert Lawrence Studios (including commercials for Purina Dog Chow[2] and McGarry's Sausage[3]).

Ironically, the Canadian-set Creature Shop production Mee-Shee: The Water Giant was filmed in New Zealand. The Jim Henson Company, post-Muppets, still uses Canada on occasion; for instance, Dinosaur Train's voices are recorded in Vancouver.

References

  • Gobo Fraggle of Fraggle Rock speaks in a light Canadian accent, with the occasional "eh" thrown in, as a passing reference to the show's filming location.
  • In a Sesame Street sketch, Grover has 15 seconds to name an S word. After fulfilling said task, he lists other S words, including Saskatchewan.

Sources

  1. Robert Crew, "Oscar performances", The Toronto Star, February 9, 1990.
  2. Jim Henson, "Fraggle Rock wrap party," official Henson Company video (1:04)
  3. Jim Henson's Red Book entry, April 1971
  4. Connie Passalacqua, Muppets team up with Disney - Herald-Journal, December 24, 1989
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