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Muppet Explosions

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Explosions have always been a Muppet trademark, from the early days of the Wilkins Coffee commercials through The Muppet Show and beyond. In the early days of the Muppets, explosions were made by blowing into a tube attached to a funnel filled with powder.[1] By the 1970s, Muppet designer Don Sahlin developed new techniques, using pyrotechnics and compressed air. The differences between the two techniques are evident in the sketches themselves, as the powder use resulted in particles floating, while the pyrotechnics were accompanied by greater amounts of smoke and sparks of light.

Dave Goelz described Sahlin's love for explosive practical jokes in a MuppetFest panel. Goelz said that Sahlin would run "squibs" -- little remote-control explosives -- all over the office, wiring them back to a doorbell under his desk. "He would just sit there and choose when you would explode. He would just sit there, talking to you, waiting for the moment -- and then you went."

Commercials

Macexplode
Mack blows up Kermit.
  1. Wilkins blows up Wontkins.
  2. Wilkins blows up Wontkins' house, with Wontkins in it.
  3. Wilkins (as "Swilkins the Swami") predicts that Wontkins will explode, and he does.
  4. Wilkins' rocket explodes.
  5. Wilkins (as a soldier) blows up Wontkins with a grenade.
  6. Wilkins blows up Wontkins' TV.
  • C & P Telephone Co. of VA: Suzy warns Mack that people who don't check the telephone directory for dialing info blow up sometimes. Mack scoffs at her, and then blows up.
  1. Tommy blows up Fred's house, with Fred in it.
  2. A loaf of "Brand X" Bread blows up.

The Ed Sullivan Show

  • Sclrap Flyapp: The Sclrap Flyapp creature blasts the other creatures.
  • Business, Business: The two "Business" creatures are blown up.
  • Java: The small creature blasts the larger one.

Sesame Street

  • Six Dollar Man: A small explosion occurs when the Six Dollar Man destroys the lab.
  • Danger: Little Jerry and the Monotones sing part of this song surrounded by blastings, shown as explosions. Of course, they are unscathed, but one leaves looking really freaked.
  • Danger's No Stranger: Similar to above, How Now Brown and the Moo Wave sing surrounded by forms of danger, including blastings.

The Muppet Valentine Show

  • Crazy Harry (called Crazy Donald in this, his first appearance) sets off an explosion near the beginning.
  • Crazy Donald sets off an explosion as the title song ends.
  • Crazy Donald sets off an explosion after George says "Blast."
  • Crazy Donald sets off an explosion during the closing song.

The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence

  • Crazy Harry sets off an explosion after the title is shown.
  • Crazy Harry sets off an explosion when the Seven Deadly Sins are about to attack Nigel.
  • Crazy Harry sets off an explosion during the credits.

The Muppet Show

Gonzo gong
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115 chef
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118 exploding hat
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  • Episode 101: Juliet Prowse: Gonzo's gong explodes when he hits the O in the theme song, being all blackened; Fozzie's apple explodes after he realizes that the fuse is lit. Following this scene, the cigar that Statler is smoking suddenly explodes.
  • Episode 117: Ben Vereen: Crazy Harry sets off many explosions: three before Ben Vereen's second number, one during the talk spot, once when Ben tells Hilda that he gets a big charge out of being on the show, and at the end when Ben Vereen says that the show was "dynamite." (Although not seen, he also blew up the trunk that Fozzie Bear was locked in) Several of the explosions throws the guest star on the rafters.
  • Episode 307: Alice Cooper: Thog sets off an explosion with a stick of dynamite in the closing number, "School's Out." At the end of that number, the school blows up, unprompted by anyone. In the episode's final moments, Gonzo appears onstage in an explosion, holding a bill from the Special Effects department.


Muppet Movies

  • The Muppet Movie: Crazy Harry sets off a few explosions before the movie starts. He later fiddles with the electricity while filming the movie, causing an explosion.

The Jim Henson Hour

  • Episode 103: Monster Telethon: A story segment ends with a book getting blown up, as a narrator says, "And they all lived happily ever after, until they blew it all up."

Muppets Tonight

Song.coffeebrazil

Muppet Meeting Films

  • Wilson's Meats: In Meeting Film #2, explosions occur near the beginning and at the end of the "pop art" commercial. Later, the "Smoke-o-Meter" machine explodes.
  • Explosion: Leo blows up Grump after he complains about the meeting.
  • IBM Training Film: The machine blows up the monster.

Other Explosions

Disneyland's35thAnniversaryCelebration(1990)-Gonzo'sNose
StarStripes03
  • Muppets Party Cruise: In "Lights Out," the "bomb light" explodes if caught by players. In "Chemical Imbalance," if you mess up the formula, it explodes. In "Aeroplane Island," you're plane explodes if you crash.
  • Muppets.com: In the "FX Generator 9000 Game," Beaker's head explodes, but instantly grows back.

Sources

  1. Muppet Morsels for Episode 115: Candice Bergen

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