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Muppet Wiki:Current Events Archive 09 (May 2006)

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Archiving discussions from Current Events.

more on disambigs

Just a head's up: there's a discussion going on about how we'll be doing disambiguation pages over at Talk:Gladys (Muppet Show). It's a somewhat obscure place to be talking about it, but that's where the conversation evolved. I wanted to bring it up here before we started implementing it, just to be fair. So, there you go. -- Scott (talk) 04:25, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Article Naming

see: Cecil the List

Scott and I have been having a debate over at User talk: Scarecroe over article titles. Scott seems to strongly disapprove of combining a description with a character name for disambiguation purposes, as with Dorothy the Goldfish and Gladys the Cafeteria Lady, as opposed to characters whose title is part of their names like Kermit the Frog or Rizzo the Rat. I honestly don't see it as misleading at all, and even useful in cases where a minor character has a name, but is credited only by their role or species, like Henderson the Guard, or in Babe, the cat, named twice and only twice as Duchess but otherwise referred to as "the cat" in dialogue and "cat" in closing credits. So, community thoughts on this? Andrew Leal (talk) 14:55, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

The problem I have with Gladys the Cafeteria Lady as an article title is that it's inaccurate. Articles for characters are named for what their name is, and that's not hers. It's just Gladys. Therefore, to disambiguate from Gladys the cow, Gladys (canteen) is a more accurate title for her article. Same goes for Henderson. Saying that his name is Henderson the Guard is likening it to Kermit the Frog.
Basically, we need to have a policy to not make up character names for own own purposes unless there's absolutely no evidence for what their name is (like Munchos Spokesman, until we found out his real name). Disambiguating can be achieved by placing descriptive text in parentheses rather than making the description part of their name.
This works well with Cher. It's the name of a show and the name of a performer. But we wouldn't name one Cher the Show and the other Cher the Performer. -- Scott (talk) 15:35, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
But it's not making up a name, it's adding a descripter. I guess adding parentheses works, and in a case like Henderson necessary, though it would be a bit of work to go through and change everything, i.e. Stinky the Skunk to "Stinky (skunk)" (was he ever referred to as Stinky the Skunk?) and so on. Hippie Grump and what was previously "Purple Lothar" are making up names. Its just adding a descriptor. I'll give in if it bothers you so much, but it seems like an awful lot of backtracking. And "Gladys (canteen)" is just silly to me, implying she *is* the canteen. Andrew Leal (talk) 15:59, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
And what about grouches? Nearly all of the articles are Felix the Grouch and Otto the Grouch and such, even if "the Grouch" was not actually attached in their appearance. Andrew Leal (talk) 16:00, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Scott on this one. Adding a descripter as a part of the character's name, without brackets, makes people believe that the descripter is a part of the name. Which is incorrect info. One example that I found ages ago (and never did much against) is Fred the Dragon. As far as I know, he was never fully named "Fred the Dragon"; there's not even any source that says he is a dragon; all we know is that someone said "Hi Fred!" to that monster in one scene. Someone considered him a dragon and made the name up; which suddenly makes Baby Monster a dragon as well... -- Jog 16:10, 27 May 2006 (UTC) Jog
And would we at least still be allowed to use "the" in sentence structure? Saying the Mallory Gallery "employs Henderson for security" would just raise a "who?" for most readers, and "guarded by Henderson (guard)" is just awkward. Andrew Leal (talk) 16:03, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
That's a matter of giving the link a different name. You'd have to type Henderson (guard)|Henderson in that case. Shouldn't be too much of a problem, because everyone does that for episode numbers/titles too... -- Jog 16:13, 27 May 2006 (UTC) Jog
What about just Henderson? It's no more baffling to see on a category list than any other number of baffling names.
I just think the wiki has a responsibilty for properly naming a character. I see a new generation of online fans watching The Muppet Show season one together and upon seeing Gladys appear, saying "oh hey look, it's Gladys the Cafeteria Lady! She comes from a long line of the Cafeteria Lady family."
Boppity and Gloat anyone? -- Scott (talk) 16:16, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
I'm not talking about linking, I'm talking about actually reading. Though I guess in context it might make sense who "Henderson" is, but "Henderson the Guard" makes it inarguable. Anyway, where do you stand on the overall issue, Jog? I agree we wouldn't just call Bruno from Dog City (series)Dog City "Bruno the Dog" or "Bruno the Superintendent," but then he's a major character with a name firmly attached. A character listed in credits as "guard," "cat," or what have you, with a name mentioned only once, it seems to me to make sense to combine the two. Andrew Leal (talk) 16:18, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
And, well, online Muppet fans *already* come up with odd names for characters. If you're so insistent, I'll change it, but at my estimate that's at least 50 or more pages (Hector the Frog, Roy the Frog, Bruno the Security Guard, and so on). 16:19, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
I'm really of two minds about it; I can see both sides. One thing that would help me is if we could compile a list of all the questionable "the" names. I think it's possible that we might come up with a more nuanced, compromise decision, rather than saying yes or no to all of them. For example, I personally think "Stinky the Skunk" and "Jake the Polar Bear" make sense, but "Fred the Dragon" and "Bruno the Dog" don't. I'm going to create a temporary list, just for the purposes of this discussion, which I will arbitrarily name Cecil the List. -- Danny (talk) 16:27, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
Okay, Cecil's up now. I put in all the "the" names on the Muppet Characters list, questionable or not, just so we can see what we're talking about. It's not an easy yes or no answer at all. There are some, like Yorick the Skull, that I think are definitely misnamed; I'm totally with Scott on that -- his name is Yorick. On the other hand, I think Harry the Duck is helpful. So what do we do? -- Danny (talk) 17:02, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

Maybe start a new discussion on the list's talk page? A few I know contradict credits or presskits. Alfred the Duck was listed on Sesame Workshop's website as "Alfred Duck." The credits for Muppets Take Manhattan have Bill the Frog as "Bill (frog)" and the rats as Chester Rat, Yolanda Rat, and so on, with only Rizzo with "the" in his screen name. I've never really seen Camilla the Chicken anywhere. Lefty the Salesman is closer to the "Henderson the Guard" issue. In most books and materials, including Gerald S. Lesser's guide, he's identified simply as "The Salesman," but somewhere he was named Lefty, so the two have been combined for easy comprehension. 17:06, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

I did a basic quick and dirty sort into the characters that I know for sure are called "the", characters that there's probably a source for one way or the other, and characters that I think are probably just made-up by us. That's just a first pass, though, to give everybody else a place to start.
I'm considering anything a source -- for example, if Slimey is just called "Slimey" on the show, but he's "Slimey the Worm" in books, then I would say Slimey the Worm is legitimate.
So everybody should feel free to play with this now, and we can figure what's got a source and what doesn't. I would suggest not moving anything until we've had a chance to look at it -- I think "Yorick the Skull" and "Winny the Cafeteria Bird" are probably just made-up, but I want to give people a chance to find a source for it before I go ahead and move them. -- Danny (talk) 17:32, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
This is interesting. I'm finding that most movie credits list Gonzo as "The Great Gonzo." I'm also listing cases like Grace the Delphinium where the description was how the character was credited, but a name is sourced in dialogue. All the Seuss characters are sourced in the original text and elsewhere except Max (though Thidwickthe Moose's book name was "Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose")Andrew Leal (talk) 17:45, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
Great list. It's too hot for me to think that hard right now, but I'll be digging in soon and slowly. -- Scott (talk) 21:38, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
I am not sure if what I am about to say fits this topic, but although Bruno the Trashman is called "Bruno" in his character description in Sesame Street Unpaved, the two-page spreads listing performers and their characters lists him as "Bruno the Trashman", and Bruno is also briefly refferred to as "Bruno the Trashman" in The Wisdom of Big Bird (Caroll Spinney stated that performing full-body characters rollerskating gave him experience for performing Big Bird and Bruno the Trashman), a trivia question about him in the Sesame Street 35 Years Anniversary Game listed him as Bruno the Trashman, and Caroll Spinney's biography page in the last Muppet Show Fan Club newsletter refers to Bruno as Bruno the Trashman. I don't know if he has ever been called by that "full name" on-screen in any episodes of Sesame Street, but there are plenty of sources for him being refferenced by that title. --Minor muppetz 23:42, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, Michael! I'll add that to Cecil the List. -- Danny (talk) 18:21, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
We've seen how the fan community will latch on to obscure names. And I don't want to encourage or promote unsourced made-up names. Is Seymour's real name "Seymour the Elephant" (the way Kermit the Frog's name is)? Or is it "Seymour Elephant" (the way Fozzie Bear's name is)? Or is it Seymour Finkelstein? We don't know and presenting his name as "Seymour the Elephant" is misleading. Since the "the Elephant" is there for description and disambiguation it should be presented as his name (the way Kermit the Frog is), so if anything it should be "Seymour the elephant" (lowercase "e" in elephant, as it is not part of his proper-noun of his title).
But why have the "the elephant" at all? I've also heard it said it's to let people know who the heck the page is about (as just having the name "Seymour" or "Henderson" in a list might leave some clueless without the descriptor in the title). So with that in mind, should we have Statler the old man or Beaker the lab assistant for people who need a little help? I think if you want to describe him as an elephant (or guard, or old man, or lab assistant, you can do that in the article page). I'd rather have him be "Seymour" than "Seymour the elephant". In this case, I'd rather see Gawain as the articles name instead of "Gawain the Frog".
But a big argument for having the "the elephant" part pf Seymour's name is for disambiguation purposes (to separate Seymour from Seymour the Turtle or any other Seymour's that may arise). For the disambiguation argument, I wonder if we should list Sesame Street the location rather than Sesame Street (location). I look at Wikipedia and there so many pages have disambiguation in parenthesis in the title. I might make it a bit longer to reference them to an article but with a disambiguation page set up on Seymour and a redirect going from "Seymour the elephant" and using the old [[Seymour (elephant)|Seymour]] trick I think we'll get by – just like the millions of pages on wikipedia and all the pages here that deal with a similar problem of the "awkward" parenthesis. Having "Seymour (elephant)" and Bill (frog) as the article pages' names seems better to me than making up names for a character that happens to have the same name as someone else.
Another issue that doesn't sit well with me is the completely made-up names for the pages of characters with un-official names. I think we really should use Name that Puppet at all cost and avoid at all making up names. When in doubt, go with what we know (its not hard to move a page if more information arises later on). Sexy Muppet really doesn't sit well with me...but that's another issue. -- Brad D. (talk) 23:53, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
Well said, Brad! It sounds like you and I are in agreement on this issue. The idea of naming an article Sesame Street the location really puts the whole thing in perspective and gets to the root the problem with certain naming conventions. I'm hoping Cecil the List will help us figure this out. -- Scott (talk) 01:38, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Regarding Seymour, I once read a local newspaper article about Muppets Tonight that mentioned him, and that article referred to him as Seymour the Elephant. Oddly enough, this article was published before the first epsiode where Seymour was mentioned by name, back when he was mostly a background/ cameo character. This article both let me know what his name was and taught me thathe was an elephant (though I guess technically I was just speculating that it was him, untill I knew for sure). I don't know if we should go by local articles from people who might have used "the elephant" as a descripted refference. --Minor muppetz 02:05, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

I unblocked myself to say something now. I'll try to keep it breif since personal health and emotional problems are making me hypersensitive in ways that aren't good for myself or the Wiki. I'm convinced that "Henderson the Guard" should be changed but I'm pretty insistent on "Henderson (guard)." To me, it's not the same instance as "Statler the Old Man" or "Seymour the Elephant" at all. Seymour and Statler have clear names which have been mentioned in dialogue in multiple productions, over a span of time, and appeared in dialogue and print merchandise. Now let's look at the guard. In general, I've tried to be more careful about creating pages for human bit players as opposed to Muppets. While any Muppet however small the role deserves a page, I know we don't really want dull human pages for "Irate Sardi's Customer #3." It seemed to me that the guard in The Great Muppet Caper was an amusing character with sufficient screentime and a distinct enough personality to be worth writing about. However, it was only when in rewatching the film that I caught the name "Henderson" that I decided to create the page. Muppet Wiki is absolutely the only place to identify him as Henderson. It's a Boppity situation where the name is mentioned only once, when Kermit claims his name is on the slip and then asks him his name. It's not in the credits and probably not in the script, but it is in the dialogue. So even if there's never any other Hendersons, "Henderson (guard)" strikes me as useful and even necessary. Another page I forgot about was Stanley the Maitre'D. There, however, Stanley would work best. I don't know if anybody else lists him as Stanley, but the name is mentioned in dialogue at least half a dozen times, sufficient for that to be clear as his primary identity. Now to try yet again to sleep and gain at leats temporary respite from heat and breathing problems. It's up to you all, but that's my case. Andrew Leal (talk) 02:06, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Well, I think we can leave Henderson where he is for the moment. I'm moving some of the Cecil characters, but I'm leaving all the ones who are in the "questionable" heading right now. Henderson can wait until you've had some rest. Don't worry about him; he'll be fine. -- Danny (talk) 02:15, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Some people have mentioned some ridiculous ways to list descriptions in character names to make a point, such as Statler the Old Man. Since Statler and Waldorf have their info combined on one page, wouldn't it be listed as Statler and Waldorf the Old Men? --Minor muppetz 03:06, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
GuardCredit
"Michael Robbins...Guard"
I wouldn't object to Henderson (guard). His screen credit is "guard" and not Henderson. Plus it'll make Andrew happy. -- Brad D. (talk) 03:15, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Non Muppet Productions

For those who haven't noticed, there's been some serious discussion over the Non-Muppet Productions category at Talk:Law & Order. Currently, a consensus exists that the category doesn't really fit into a Muppet Wiki, and it's hard to draw the line on what fits in and what doesn't (someone created a page for the Walt Disney World character Figment just because Dave Goelz is the current voice). So right now, the decision is pretty much to dispense with the category. Most of those shows with Muppet relevance shuld fit into either References or Muppet Mentions (and in fact, almost half already did). However, since it is fun to see which non-Henson shows or films featured many of the same puppeteers, a new list has been proposed, tentatively titled Projects with Muppet Crew Connections. If anyone has any further suggestions or objections, feel free to add them either here or at that page. Andrew Leal (talk) 18:02, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

Acknowledging Edits

On pages for nearly every Henson production that has been edited on video and/ or DVD, it is mentioned what is edited there. For most of The Muppet Show episodes that were shown on Nickelodeon, I put in info on what was edited on that channel. Most episode pages for Sesame Street episodes that were on Noggin mention what is known to be edited (though many pages acknowledge that Noggin's edits are currently unknown). However, there are a lot of other pages that don't mention certain edits. I have read that The Odyssey Channel edited almost every Henson prodcution for time, but I haven't seen any Oddyssey edits mentioned anywhere. Did TNT ever edit Fraggle Rock or The Muppet Show (aside from UK Spots)? Were any episodes of Fraggle Rock edited on The Disney Channel? I know what was edited/ altered from Nickelodeon's broadcasts of A Muppet Family Christmas, but were any other Henson specials edited on that network? Were reruns of Muppet Babies ever edited? Were the video releases of The Frog Prince and Hey, Cinderella! edited? I do know of some cuts that were made to network television broadcasts of The Great Muppet Caper. Let's all pitch in what we know!--Minor muppetz 05:12, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

I know that practically everything aired on Odyssey was edited a bit. They shaved off thirty seconds here and thirty seconds there on pretty much every show. I never kept track of what the edits were, though. -- Danny (talk) 13:12, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
I would say that tracking edits is not a bad thing. A bunch of pages have them listed and it good info to have. I would like to say make sure you are clear about what the edited version is from. I saw a few The Muppet Show episodes that just said "DVD edits" and listed cuts. There was no mention to that these edits only apply to Disney's 2005 The Muppet Show: Season One DVD release and not all DVD releases of the show ever and everywhere. Although right now that is "the DVD", it is not (and might not be) the only DVD release in existance. For example A Muppet Family Christmas aired several times on TV with different variations from one year/network/video to the next (so don't just list "TV Edits" and "DVD edits" without prefacing what TV airing(s) or DVD(s)/VHS(s) you are talking about. Make sure you are specific about where the changes came from, and not just list a nonspecific list of cuts and changes. -- Brad D. (talk) 13:30, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
I just made changes to some of the episode pages to state that the DVD edits refferred to are the first season DVD edits. I thought that ahd been clear. For edits on Nickelodeon, I mentioned that they were edited on Nickelodeon. Nearly every edit that I have listed on the wiki has been specific about which edits they are.

I would like to ask about edits that seem to be on local stations. My local UPN station once showed The Great Muppet Caper with quite a few edits. I'm not sure if this particular broadcast was just on the local station or on all UPN stations at the same time. How should I acknowledge edits from local stations without saying something to the effect of "when aired on my local UPN station..."? I have seen this same movie broadcast on CBS with different edits, so it's not like all stations got the same copies for broadcasts (the CBS broadcast had scenes edited on UPN, and vice versa). I've also seen The Muppet Movie on my local FOX station a few times with the ending credits shortened, but I am not sure if that was just on my local FOX station or if it was broadcast nationally on FOX. I've seen broadcasts on other channels that showed the entire closing credit sequence. --Minor muppetz 23:44, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

I personally think that noting local broadcast edits isn't particularly useful. Like you say, there's no way to tell whether a particular "cut" of the movie was used anywhere else. Edits for commercial releases and cable networks are interesting, because they're available for a national audience. I think if you're trying to note edits for local broadcasts, you could probably spend that time on the wiki more productively. -- Danny (talk) 01:12, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Video Releases

As long as we're celebrating National Nitpicking Week here on the Current events page, I might as well bring up something else. I don't like "Album Availability" and "Video Availability" on song and episode pages; I don't think that word makes a lot of sense. I prefer "Album Releases" and "Video Releases", so I've been changing the headings wherever I find them. Is that cool? -- Danny (talk) 16:37, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

No complaints here. "Releases" does flow off the tongue better. Because, you know, I read the wiki out loud. What, like you don't? -- Scott (talk) 16:58, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
I have someone else read it out loud for me. -- Danny (talk) 16:58, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
I agree it does sound better for a heading. Plus some video/audio releases are no longer available. -- Brad D. (talk) 20:46, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Exactly. And "Video Unavailability" or "Video Used-to-be-Availability" just doesn't sound right at all. -- Danny (talk) 21:53, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
I'm happy to do that, especially since I've been using "Availability" on a lot of the Sesame song pages. -- Melissa (talk) 00:14, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
Thanks... Don't worry too much about switching them, we'll catch them eventually... -- Danny (talk) 03:51, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

Disambiguation pages

What do people think of images on disambiguation pages? I'm for them if the image is represntational of all the articles the page is linking to, like Cheesecake. But on a page that links to completely different and unrelated items, I think placing the image of one of them is misrepresentational to the point of a disambig page. You browse your way there and it's distracting and misleading. Also, disambigs don't really need pictures as their purpose is not to look pretty, but to disambiguate. My impulse has been to remove them when I see them, but I thought it more fair to bring it up here first. -- Scott (talk) 15:11, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

I kind of like them. But as for being representational, that's probably close to impossible for some pages like Gladys, without becoming too image heavy or laboring to squeeze five or six character images into a single graphic. So if you're that strongly opposed, then I guess they work without them. I do think the "disambiguation text" at the top sort of gives it away, regardless of pictures. And to be honest, apart from shared production titles, I generally mess with disambiguation pages just to fix the links, since Character Disambiguations covers most of the rest, and since many pages, like Roy the Frog or Gary Cahuenga have what strike me as almost redundant "See Alsos" (which does bug me a little, but hey). Andrew Leal (talk) 15:22, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
I like 'em, obviously, cause I've been the one who's adding them. I'm hoping that at some point every page on the wiki will have at least one picture. Pictures serve a number of different functions. One is to illustrate something, another function is to look pretty -- but the important one for this discussion is that images help to visually "anchor" a page.
Reading off a computer screen isn't as easy as reading a book. Most of the time, lines of text are much longer on a computer screen than in a book, especially on big screens. Also, the text is usually smaller, and the line spacing is smaller. You need a slightly heightened focus to read off computer screens.
Pictures give your eye a subtle "anchor" that helps you subconsciously keep track of where you are on the page. Even when you're reading text and not looking directly at the picture, having the image there helps you focus on the text, because you're not spending as much energy making sure your eye is in the right place. If you want to see what I mean, compare the experience of reading Roscoe Orman and Sonia Manzano. They both have boring Sesame Workshop bios, but Manzano has a picture, and it's a lot easier to keep your eye on the text.
So I think that same principle applies to disambiguation pages. Disambigs don't have much text, obviously, but they actually require you to pay close attention, so you can choose between the sometimes subtle distinctons. I think having a picture on those pages helps your eye to focus on the text long enough to figure out which one you're looking for. -- Danny (talk) 15:58, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Well, I don't like them, but if I'm in the minority on that, that's cool. I just ask that they be more representational. When I hit up a page for XY and I only see a picture of X, it's misleading to me.
I agree with the anchoring theory, however I don't see how it applies to disambig pages which are very short and usually only consist of two very short links. The images are messy and distracting.
I like the idea of every article on the wiki having an image, but disambigs aren't articles. They're there to disambiguate, and that's it.
By the way, I wouldn't want the "image for every page" philisophy to consume us, either. Placing the album cover on every song's page from a certain album would be painful to me. It wouldn't help with the anchoring either as song pages are often extremely short. I also don't think that an album cover helps to illustrate a song. We have character pictures for every character page, but they're very specifically related to the subject. An album cover doesn't have anything to do with a song in most cases. -- Scott (talk) 16:26, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Why is that painful? When you listen to a song on iTunes, it shows you the album cover. The ideal picture for a song page is a screenshot from the show, but there are some songs that were just recorded for an album. If we can't put the album cover on the page, then you're essentially saying that we can't have any pictures on that page. I'd much rather have the album cover than a random picture of the character who sings it, or no picture at all. Why do you hate the pretty, pretty pictures? -- Danny (talk) 16:34, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't hate pictures, I love them! But, we are an encyclopedia, and I think we have a responsibility to not get carried away. I think the two cases mentioned here are those in which the Image Philosophy has the potential to get excessive. I just want to make sure that we're gauging that. -- Scott (talk) 16:44, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't see what's excessive about it, especially the album covers. I think it's a reasonable graphic representation of the topic. -- Danny (talk) 16:47, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Whatnot

Do we capitalize whatnot as a proper noun? -- Scott (talk) 03:19, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

I would say yes. If we capitalize Anything Muppets, then we should capitalize Whatnots. -- Danny (talk) 03:19, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Roger that. -- Scott (talk) 04:03, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Guidelines for transcripts

Moving this conversation from Talk:Talk Spot: Rita Moreno...

Do we need this article? I can see transcribing Sesame skits or something, if it's part of a larger project to archive a particular kind of skit. But one random sketch from an episode that's out on DVD... I don't get it. -- Danny (talk) 04:53, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

I guess it depends on if we're going to get into doing transcripts on the wiki. It's one random sketch now because it's the only one that's been done so far. -- Scott (talk) 14:39, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, when the whole transcript discussion came up, we never did really establish any guidelines, outside of avoiding songs, complete episodes, and stressing accuracy. Though I think staying away from anything commercially available which otherwise lacks any historical significance (I could see a transcript of the pitch reel working, sort of), might be a good idea. Andrew Leal (talk) 14:55, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
Should we have a Current events discussion about it? -- Danny (talk) 16:37, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
A CE discussion could be in order for the topic in general, but Andrew brings up a good point: we shouldn't allow transcripts of currently commercially available products. Which would say bye-bye to this page. -- Scott (talk) 16:44, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm cool with that. -- Danny (talk) 16:46, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
By the way, the same would be true of everything in Muppet Show Transcripts. I don't see the point of it anyway, and it doesn't really belong in an encyclopedia. -- Danny (talk) 16:47, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
Which sort of brings us back to the general issue of transcripts, and which wasn't made duly clear when the decision was made to allow them (which is why Michael got carried away with them). It seems to me that there should be some sort of informational or other purpose and justification for transcribing. The four Sesame Street transcripts are not commercially available, the school sketch exemplifies the Sesame Street News Flash in a non-fairy tale setting, and the others can be justified probably for either the word play (The Grof/Gorf stuff) or showing early character development for Grover and a forgotten moment of stardom for Farley. Shrinkel and Stretchel Transcript, I think, is useful as a record of an early industrial film (wish I'd had time to do more before the clips stopped flowing). So I guess there should be some sort of either implicit or explicit rationale behind any transcripts. Andrew Leal (talk) 16:59, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
I agree. My idea is to make a Transcript policy page, with three basic guidelines: 1) Don't transcribe any video that's currently commercially available. 2) The transcript should have an introductory paragraph explaining the informational purpose of the transcript -- what it illustrates, why it's interesting. 3) It should follow the Muppet Wiki transcript format (now that we have one). What do you think? -- Danny (talk) 17:42, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
I have nothing more to add other than I like Floyd and Zoot's Musician Jokes. Which is not commercially available yet. Everything else in that category is. -- Scott (talk) 19:04, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
Which brings up another good point. I agree we should avoid creating pages for stuff that can be easily purchased and for which there's no other real reason to create a transcript except that somebody really liked the sketch. However, if a good transcript page is created and some time in the next six months a "Shrinkel and Stretchel Special Edition" comes out, would we delete the page? I'd personally be inclined to say no, unless of course we get "hints" from legal people, and as long as there's still a good reason to have it on the Wiki (i.e. to add evidence for a particular point or information about characters, or to include dialogue that might have been trimmed or censored, etc.). But it's worth adding to the debate, especially with the buzz about a vintage Sesame Street DVD set. Andrew Leal (talk) 20:24, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
If we should avoid creating transcript pages for stuff currently available on DVD, and delete existing transcript pages for stuff currently commercially available, then we should delete The Wonderful World of T-Shirts Transcript. That sketch is available on the Bert & Ernie's Word Play DVD, which (as far as I know) is still in print. --Minor muppetz 03:18, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
That's a good point. -- Danny (talk) 03:18, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Episode reference

I brought this topic up in a Current Events discussion last month, but we didn't really make a decision. When I looked at the conversation again, I realized that we got sidetracked into a separate issue, and got some agreement on that, but not the question I started with.

So here it is again: How do we refer to Muppet Show, Muppets Tonight and Sesame Street episodes? Last time, we started talking about episodes with titles, so now I'm just asking about shows that have numbers and not titles. The same sentence structure comes up over and over, and we're not consistent with it. So should we say:

Michelle Pfeiffer fought with Miss Piggy on Muppets Tonight episode 101.
or
Michelle Pfeiffer fought with Miss Piggy on episode 101 of Muppets Tonight.

Right now, they're kind of switching back and forth, depending on who edited the page last. Is it possible for us to make a clear decision on this? -- Danny (talk) 21:16, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

Well, I've generally been using "Muppets Tonight episode blank" and so on. So I'm reasonably braced by format a. Andrew Leal (talk) 21:21, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
My position on it hasn't changed. I'm not going back to look at my archived reply, but I think it's up to the contributor at the time it was added. Whatever works for the way it's included in the article. I don't think we should have a policy on it. I use both depending. -- Scott (talk) 00:09, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't think "whatever works for the article" makes sense. The exact sentence structure in the example above is used on hundreds, if not thousands of pages. "X happened in X episode." I wouldn't object at all to variations based on the style of a well-crafted paragraph; I'm just talking about the basic bare-bones info that we have on all those pages.
We don't necessarily need to be consistent, but I think it makes sense to have a guideline for people. I've been changing "episode 101 of TMS" to "TMS episode 101" on a bunch of pages, and I assume at some point somebody else could take it in their head to change it back. That's not a problem, per se. It just seems like a waste of time for everybody, when it would be easier to just make a group decision and stick with it. -- Danny (talk) 03:37, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
I just don't agree to make a group decision about it. I've been going through and doing the opposite of what you just described you're doing. So, you're right, it's a waste of time and it's silly to keep changing it. -- Scott (talk) 04:27, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
Well, if you've been going through and changing them, then you must prefer one over the other, right? I thought a while ago you said you liked "TMS episode 101". Have you changed your mind? -- Danny (talk) 04:38, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
I usually change it to episode 101 of TMS when it feels right. That's been the one I prefer the majority of the time. But I think anyone should be free to use what they want. They both work. -- Scott (talk) 04:41, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
I've used both ("episode x of y" and "y episode x"). They both work when writing a page out. However when not in the context of a paragraph (such as a list or a single phrase) I tend to use "The Muppet Show episode 101" in situations with out a full sentence supporting it. But I don't think we need one way to be the only way to it.
It's like writing the date. You could write "it happened on the 4th of July" or "it happened on July 4th". Both are technically correct, and in a sentence either way would be fine. But for lists, abstracts and such - I tend to go with the shorter (July 4). Same is true for episode references (why put "X of Y" when "YX" works?).
While I'm thinking of it, I would like remind people to at least put the show title somewhere in the article (even if not with every episode reference). I just went through the Muppet Songs to make Muppet Show Songs and saw several articles that just said something like "Kermit sang the song in episode 101" and I had to think if that was The Muppet Show, Muppets Tonight, Jim Henson Hour... (and sometimes I had to check). Other pages, such as some of the Fraggle Rock characters, have great information and include episode references (for "first seen in" and such) but only tells the reader that they are talking about the show "Fraggle Rock" through the category tag at the bottom. Sometimes the things obvious to us fans are forgotten, such as identifying that Traveling Matt is from the show Fraggle Rock or "Episode 101: Juliet Prowse is an episode of The Muppet Show somewhere on the page. Also when referring to episodes from The Muppet Show (cause I've seen this), don't link to the guest star instead of the episode. (such as saying "in The Muppet Show episode with George Burns" rather than linking to Episode 210: George Burns). -- Brad D. (talk) 05:47, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
That's a good point about mentioning the show title, Brad. I hadn't thought of bringing that up, but yeah, I've fixed a lot of those, too. I also agree about the format for lists. Although usually the lists are under a heading for what show it was in and the show title isn't necessary. -- Scott (talk) 14:31, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
I usually try to mention the show in every article I write about a character, song, sketch, whatever.
As for citing episodes, I don't really see why it matters that they be the same every time. It looks like there's a consensus on lowercasing the word "episode," so beyond that, is it really that important? The same information comes across, and just as clearly, whether you say "The Muppet Show episode 302" or "episode 302 of The Muppet Show." -- Ryan (talk) 18:54, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, it looks like that's the general feeling. I'll just try not to be uptight about it. -- Danny (talk) 18:58, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Delete Template

We have a new template for articles you wish to nominate for deletion. If you started a page that you later realized was a duplicate, a redirect may be more in order. But this template would come in more handy on image pages. If you've uploaded an image and decide not to use it, just edit the page and place {{delete}} in the edit field. The article will go to the Delete category and will be cleane dout by an admin. -- Scott (talk) 18:27, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

About.com

I thought you might like to see this: one of the Wikia team has been talking to various hosts on About.com, telling them all about Wikia and the work you do here. And one of those that showed interest picked this wiki to talk about! The article is at http://classictv.about.com. Great work everyone! -- sannse (talk) 15:23, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Oh, cool. Thanks for letting us know! -- Danny (talk) 15:28, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

First Name Basis?

Something I've been thinking about for a long time is the frequent use of first names in articles on the Wiki, and glancing at the Muppets in Space article made it more obvious. The majority of the performer biography pages (especially given they were amongst the first articles to be added) also use first names almost exclusively (and to a lesser extent, a few of the celebrity or other actor pages). Now, in a way that's natural, since as Muppet fans we think of the Muppet people as Jim, Dave, Frank, Steve, the two Jerrys. However, while obviously we're not Wikipedia, I do think the constant first name usage in otherwise purely informational articles detracts from the encyclopedic nature. Obviously no pure encyclopedia would have Characters Whose Names Sound a Bit Rude either, and that's part of what makes Muppet Wiki so special, but I also think it doesn't hurt, especially as we've been adding more and more hard carefully researched material, to try to make sure the project isn't just lumped in with other fan sites. My own thinking on the issue is this. If it's an informative biography or other piece on an individual, either full names or last names should be used. In cases like MuppetFest or descriptions of other fan events or maybe detailed descriptions of talk show appearances by puppeteers and so on, first names work in context, just as most of the Muppet Show episode descriptions refer to the guest star as "Harvey" or "Loretta" and so on, but on their own pages, only surnames or full names should be used. If its a quote from, say, Dave Goelz recalling a specific memory or aspect of Jim Henson's personality, then it might, depending on sentence structure, make more sense to say that "Dave Goelz recalled Jim's tendency to blank" rather than "Dave Goelz recalled Henson's" and so on. Any way, any thoughts on this? Right now, it's awfully inconsistent and a bit distracting. Andrew Leal (talk) 01:50, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree with you, all the way down the line. I don't have much to add! -- Danny (talk) 02:27, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
I'm in agreement as well. ... And yeah, that's all I got. Last names good. -- Scott Hanson (talk) 03:34, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
I would tend to agree, but I would urge caution. These are the Muppets, after all, and there's no need to be overly formal. We should err on the side of informality, I think. LtPowers 19:00, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure what it being the Muppets has to do with anything, but a sense of formality is a given sign of respect when speaking in an encyclopedic tone certainly of artists of their calibre. They've more than earned it. -- Scott (talk) 19:26, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, but this isn't Wikipedia. I suppose it comes down to what kind of tone the admins want to set, but I couldn't find any relevant policy pages. LtPowers 00:27, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
I admitted we're not Wikipedia, but let me show what I mean. Take a look at Jim Henson. "James Maury Henson was born in Greenville, Mississippi in 1936. Henson moved with his family to Hyattsville, Maryland, near Washington, D.C. in the late 1940s." Then the rest of the article uses neither Jim Henson nor Henson but "Jim did this" and "Jim did that." It becomes particularly unsettling with this sentence: "Jim became sick with an extremely rare bacterial infection in May 1990 that, unfortunately, was discovered too late to recieve proper treatment." This is followed by a rather graphic discussion of his illness. Such informality in an otherwise encyclopedic article, and dealing with the death of a famous person who none of us personally knew, seems both sloppy and a bit tasteless. Yeah, this isn't Wikipedia, but it also isn't a pure fan site. Besides, we may know what we're talking about when suddenly a sentence says "Frank and Jim switched characters" or "Dave quit," but it's both messy and possibly confusing to any folks using the site for informational purposes, and especially the use of "Jerry" in articles that mention both Jerry Nelson and Jerry Juhl. Andrew Leal (talk) 00:33, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
I agree, that should all be "Henson". The only place it gets tricky is in an article where we're talking about both Jim and Brian Henson. -- Danny (talk) 00:41, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
OK, I agree in some articles it's appropriate to stick with last names. =) LtPowers 02:06, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

Brand spanking new transcript format

I figured out a new way to do the Muppet Wiki transcript format that's much easier than what we had before. There's a couple things I'd like somebody to help me figure out, and I put that on the format page itself. What do you guys think of the new system? Can anybody help fix it? -- Danny (talk) 12:40, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

Outreach

I was looking at our very sad Farscape section today, and I thought it would be cool if we could invite some Farscape fans to come be a part of the wiki. As far as I know, there isn't a Farscape wiki, so if the Farscape folks wanted to "adopt" Muppet Wiki and build a Farscape wiki here, that would be awesome. So I sent a message to PKBarb at Karlsweb, who I was friendly with back when I was writing Farscape stuff for Tough Pigs, and asked her how we could reach out to Farscape folks.

So now I'm wondering if there are other groups of people we could reach out to, like puppetry guild people. I don't really know any, but maybe somebody else here does. I think if we could invite more kinds of people to contribute to the wiki, that'll build up the contributor base, and make this a richer database. Does anybody have any ideas about who we could reach out to, or how? -- Danny (talk) 23:28, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

About the puppetry guild people, what are you looking for? Non-Henson info or something? I can send an email around to some people I know. Scooter 02:11, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
Not non-Henson info per se. But there's probably a lot of people in the puppet world who like Muppets but aren't part of the "Muppet fan" world. They might know stuff about the puppeteers, or something. Does that make sense? -- Danny (talk) 02:12, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
I am a member of a puppet guild. I am sure that I know other members who are acquaintances of Muppeteers and might know interesting info. Theatrefreak25 05:07, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
Cool, if you could spread the word, that would be great! -- Danny (talk) 14:16, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Character Evolution pages

I think we need to create a better system for the Character Evolution pages. At this point, they're becoming a magnet for every new user to come in and switch stuff around. A lot of people don't discuss changes on the talk pages; they just go ahead and switch pictures and text around. In my opinion, those pages used to be fun, but they've been a big mess for a while now.

This is my idea: We need some people to volunteer to be the "editors" for those pages, and then we create a two-tier system for creating those pages. The "Through the Years" page for each character is protected, and only the editors can change them. Everybody who wants to change or add something has to post their suggestion on the talk page, and the editors only make the change if there's general agreement about it. I think that would give some structure and accountability on those pages.

I'm going to temporarily protect those pages now. I'd like to know if other people feel the same way about them. -- Danny (talk) 04:08, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree, some pages just get out of hand (see also Characters Whose Names Sound a Bit Rude) and you need someone to be the leader and organizer of the article (for some time) to help get things back on task or else you'll end up with an unproductive mess. I think some kind of template (like the {{talk}} one that an admin (who can talk with and assign an editor) could place at the top of an article to say something like "In order to keep this page up the Muppet Wiki quality and standards, an editor has been place in charge...blah, blah, blah. The designated editor of this page is ______. Post and discuss any additions/updates on the talk page, or contact the page editor or a Wiki admin". -- BradFraggle 01:20, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Pictures in Song Pages

I have noticed that most of the song pages do not have any pictures for them. I think that pictures should be included for a lot of the song pages. Perhaps stills or other appropiate pictures. There is a picture on the page for Rubber Duckie, but it's an illustration of Bert taking a bath outdoors while Ernie plays the piano with his Rubber Duckie on top of it. I think it's odd to put that picture there, as opposed to a picture of Ernie in the bathtub with Rubber Duckie (I'm thinking include a still from one of the sketches with the song, though a generic picture of a similar setting, like the one included with the song lyrics in Sesame Street Unpaved).

There are also many songs that featured characters who only appeared in those songs, and the character pages for those characters had stils from those songs, but the individual song pages do not. The page for Bruce Stringbean features a still from Born to Add, but the song page does not. Pages for some of the Monotones feature pictures from Telephone Rock, but the song page for Telephone Rock does not. While Best Friend Blues does not have any pictures, a picture of Ernie from that song is included in a page about rod hand and live hand switching.

So I would like to ask politely those who can to put pictures in the song pages. Who's with me? --Minor muppetz 02:21, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

I think that's a great idea; I was hoping that people would do that. You know how to upload pictures, right? -- Danny (talk) 02:35, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
No, not really, and I'm not sure that I have the proper equipment. That's why I brought attention to this subject, so that those who do know and have the proper equipment would see this and add pictures. --Minor muppetz 02:45, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
Well, if you have any pictures saved on your computer, you can upload them by clicking the "Upload file" button on the left navigation bar. You hit "Browse", and then open the photo. Then hit "upload", and it's there.
If there's pictures on other pages that you think would work on the song pages, then you can also just copy and paste the image code into the song page. -- Danny (talk) 02:47, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

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