Muppet Wiki

Muppet Wiki:Current Events Archive 10 (June 2006)

Talk0
27,318pages on
this wiki

Archive of Current events discussions.


more formatting

A few weeks ago, we were discussing how to list the sketches in each episode of The Muppet Show, and it got me thinking: We could use the format that's being used for Sesame Street episodes to list the individual sketches on The Muppet Show, The Jim Henson Hour, Muppets Tonight, and any other series that features short skits. --Minor muppetz 03:50, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, I think that's a good idea. Anybody who wants to do that, please go ahead! -- Danny (talk) 03:55, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm not so sure. There's key differences in the way Sesame Street and The Muppet Show pages were set up even before the format change. Most Sesame pages were just a list of skits and sometimes a summary as well, or just a summary. The Muppet Show includes backstage trivia, performer lists, character lists, edits, sometimes quotes, and publicity images which wouldn't necessarily fit that strict table. To me, tables work only when there's little to no competing images and text, maybe just one at the top and some text as summary intro and then the table. It's not impossible, but it would take some rejiggering to fit it to The Muppet Show. Another element is that Sesame Street has dozens of components which can be clearly categorized (cartoon, film, celebrity, song, cast insert, etc.) Apart from recurring sketches and elements like the cold open/intro, everything in The Muppet Show is basically "skit," "song," and maybe "skit with guest star," plus backstage. Actually, it might work at that, but I think it needs some thought. Sesame Street, even prior to the more rigid formula of recent seasons, has a stricter format. Not all Muppet Show episodes are alike in that way. Something like Episode 219: Peter Sellers, with a minimal backstage plot, could fairly easily be reformatted. Something like Episode 502: Loretta Swit, however, has more of a single plot affecting nearly every sketch as well as backstage scenes. Now, something like The Animal Show, what few episodes we have, could be converted as is if someone had images. Episode 122: Grizzly Bear & Hedgehog is just a list of skits and a cast list at the end (and a lot of that info could be included in the sketch descriptions), and each show followed a rigid format with no real storyline per se and the same individual segment types. Andrew Leal (talk) 04:50, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
I would strongly oppose reformatting other episode pages (especially The Muppet Show) to that of the format being used for Sesame Street. For all the same reasons that Andrew stated. I can't see that working for any other show. Actually, I'm really surprised to see you, Danny, agree to that since we just recently decided on a reformat for The Muppet Show pages and you were the one opposing making everything a list. So much so that we made a compromise that someone would write editorials for every episode and we would still keep a short list of non-descript sketches/songs. So we went through every page and set up the headers to reflect this change, but still the only episode that fits this is Beverly Sills.
Furthermore, I've been staying away from the Sesame Street episode pages because they're so daunting, but -- and while I think you guys have been doing an amazing job with the new format -- I think it's overkill. I don't want to see other shows turn into the same image farm. I especially like The Muppet Show just the way it is. -- Scott (talk) 14:26, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
Okay, it doesn't have to be that way. My main objection to the list format was that it's hard to read a list and really process each item -- they kind of all run together. I think the new format for the Sesame episodes works, because the pictures help the reader to glance through the list and find the thing that they're interested in, or to see the episode as a whole. So I think if the list of on-stage songs and sketches had pictures like that, they'd be easier to see.
Anyway, I haven't been that much involved with the reformatting of the Muppet Show pages, because I've been working on other stuff, mostly the Sesame pages. I overstepped in my response to Michael; I was commenting on an area that I really haven't been working on for the last couple weeks. I'm sorry about that. -- Danny (talk) 16:07, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
It's cool. I just don't feel that the SS format would work for TMS. I think a list is perfectly suitable for information. It's easy to read, it's chronological, and they link to the areas you want to know more about. Otherwise, we may as well nuke the entire Muppet Songs category. Which I would not want to do.
The format currently in use on SS episodes pretty much only works for SS. It's an hour long collection of mostly random skits having almost nothing to do with one another. The Muppet Show takes on more of a narrative, which we would be making robotic with a strict format of images and skits.
I also don't think everything has to be so image-heavy. We keep stretching the limit on that with galleries and now image lists. I don't think the wiki has to be Pictures Everywhere. -- Scott (talk) 16:39, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, fair enough. -- Danny (talk) 16:44, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
By the way, lists with images aren't just image farms -- besides being an episode guide, they also serve as research tools to help build other articles. When we have all the Unpaved episodes done in that format, it'll be easy to build up, say, the Ernie and Bert Sketches category, or the News Flash pages. It'll also be easier to build articles on locations, like Susan and Gordon's apartment, or song articles. Once those images are in the database, they can support a lot of different things. -- Danny (talk) 22:20, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm excited about that, and it sounds like it's really going to work for Sesame Street. With The Muppet Show, we've been doing it all along with song and sketch pages which allows for the same level of growth. They're two different ways of doing a similar thing; it just so happens that one works better for one and likewise, the other. -- Scott (talk) 22:49, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
If it's a bad idea for the episode pages, then maybe we could at least use this format for the pages on various Muppet Show Compilations (and also various Sesame Street Videos). --Minor muppetz 03:54, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
Now that I'm against. How would that be useful? With The Muppet Show cassettes, pretty much every song or sketch already has a page with images, and if they don't, that's where they should be added. On the other hand, not every one-shot minute and a half Sesame Street sketch deserves its own page. And with Sesame, setting up video pages that way would be repeating what the episode guides are becoming. I can see adding images from wraparound footage (when I get back to Syracuse, I want to add Gonzo's trailer house from Gonzo Presents Muppet Weird Stuff), but a video list isn't the same as an episode guide. I suppose if you really want to, you could do it, but it seems rather pointless. (I still think it would work on The Animal Show, if we had the pictures, since frankly those pages are dull as ditchwater and not especially enlightening, for me anyway, right now). Andrew Leal (talk) 04:06, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
I just started thinking... if anybody ever tries to add episode pages for Play With Me Sesame, this format could be used. I've never seen the show, but from what I understand, most of the material, even the newly-produced segments, were reused several times. And while using this format on a page for an individual Sesame Street video would be like repeating stuff from the episode pages, it's possible that there are some skits included on video that none of us know of any exact episode featuring them (I could be wrong). --Minor muppetz 03:46, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

How to categorize future Henson puppets?

I just started thinking about the upcoming Late Night Buffet, and a question appeared in my mind. For future henson productions that feature all original characters that are clearly not Creature Shop creations, will we give a Muppet Characters category to the character pages for characters from those shows, or will we just categorize them as characters from those shows (for example, will we only give Late Night Buffet characters a "Late Night Buffet Characters" category, or will we also give them a "Muppet Characters" category as well?)?

In addition, what will we do for productions still owned by Henson whose characters have "Muppet Characters" categories that have some new follow-ups, like the upcoming Fraggle Rock movie, which include all-new puppet characters? If the Fraggle Rock movie get's made, or if any other new types of Fraggle productions get made and there are new characters, will we put them in the Muppet Characters category? Then again, we seem to have put every Sesame Street puppet character in the "Muppet Characters" category, even characters who were created after henson sold the rights to those characters to Sesame Workshop. --Minor muppetz 15:23, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

That's a good question! I'd say that "Muppet" and "Creature" are designations that go beyond what company currently has the rights to produce them. It would be silly to classify Fraggles or Sesame characters differently just because Disney owns the Muppets now. So I would vote for Late Night Buffet characters to still get classified as Muppets. -- Danny (talk) 15:28, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
I don't think that would be accurate. When Disney bought the characters, they also bought rights to the use of the term "Muppet" (with some clause that allows for Sesame's usage). But the Improv and Late Night Buffet characters were developed at Henson after the Muppets wers sold, independantly of anything having to do with Muppets. Unless the Henson company names their act they way Jim Henson named his act "the Muppets," we're going to have to use something like Henson Puppets. -- Scott (talk) 15:33, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Point, but that sort of brings us back to the Muppets vs Creatures debate, over the fact that the Creature Shop built Mother Goose. Yeah, at the time, they legally *could* have used the term Muppet, but since we were defining Muppets/Creatures based on aesthetics rather than ownership/place of manufacture, it feels odd to do so here (though a note on the category page wouldn't hurt). Of course, we don't even know if Late Night Buffet will actually air, or if it will use new puppets. Every character in the Improv shot is recycled (an Animal Jam DJ, the goat from Tomie DePaolo, etc.), and thus would still be Muppets even if the name can no longer be legally used. Andrew Leal (talk) 15:37, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
I don't think we should get hung up on the legality of who owns the characters. I think the aesthetics matters more than who owns them. -- Danny (talk) 15:50, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Are we sure they were all recycled?: Jim Henson's Puppet Improv ... Even if that were the case, it's a pretty strong argument that the act is not the Muppets. The puppets may have been used in Muppet productions before, but they're not being used in a Muppet act now. I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens with the Buffet show, but it's worth noting here that when that show was announced for tapings, the promotion agency used the term Muppet. When they discovered their mistake, the term was taken out and the description clarified. I'm pretty sure JHC would also say that Improv and Buffet are not Muppets. -- Scott (talk) 15:54, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
I think that categorizing by aesthetics is inappropriate. The puppets on Between the Lions have a Muppet aesthetic. In fact, most modern television puppetry has a Muppet aesthetic. That doesn't make them Muppets. Like it or not, new Henson characters aren't Muppets, and it would be misleading to label them as such. Sure, there are fine lines for reused puppets and such, but we'll have to make those distinctions. Speaking of which, do we address the legal and ownership uses of the word Muppet anywhere on the wiki? -- Peter (talk) 16:03, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Sort of: The Muppets. There's probably a lot of clarifying that needs to be done, as well as expansion. -- Scott (talk) 16:06, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Scott, the only one I'm not sure of is the little rag-doll-like girl (and possibly the fuzzy critter in the new shot, need to check), but you've got Tomie DePaolo's goat, the koala DJ from Animal Jam, Billy, Lester Possum. We probably can't create pages for them as "improv" characters anyway, since we have no idea if they even had personalities, but that doesn't change the fact that they originated as Muppets, not to me anyway. I agree that if Buffet actually gets off the ground, the article should specify that the Muppet term was not used, but I don't know if that should necessarily alter our definition. Right now, this is all pretty academic anyway. Why don't we wait until such time as we actually have pictures or a page for one of these questionable Late Night Buffet characters? I mean, given the way Henson's been going, let's be frank, we may not even need to be concerned about this. Andrew Leal (talk) 16:09, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Zing! -- Danny (talk) 16:11, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
That's what I'm saying (read my earlier reply) -- we'll have to wait and see where these things go if they go anywhere at all. I still maintain that these productions are not Muppets. We may not have to worry about it, but if/when it comes down to it, JHC is going to pretty much say they same. -- Scott (talk) 16:20, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
I have seen some pictures form the improv show, and I believe that the rag doll-like girl is Raisin from The Secret Life of Toys. Also, it has been said that Late Night Buffet will include all new characters. Of course, the press releases could have been wrong and overexaggerating. I wouldn't be surprised if any characters from previous productions were used, at least in the background if not renamed and given a new personality. --Minor muppetz 18:47, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Augieanddel
Just turned to the Henson.com front page, and they've got illustrations of the characters. They do look new to me. -- Zanimum 15:22, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Some of the original characters for Puppet Up! have included Image:Herman.jpg, Image:Althealien.jpg and Image:Crab.jpg, none of which are Muppets. Only Disney has the right to use that term. -- Scott (talk) 15:39, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

New Recurring Sketches Format

I've started a new format for the recurring pages, starting with the Guest Star Gags. Instead of bulleted lists, I've changed it to subheadings. This allows us to directly link to an individual sketch using, for example Guest Star Gags#Episode 101: Juliet Prowse instead of just Guest Star Gags, which only brings you to the top of the page. We can also use galleries beneath every group of four sketches.

I've done the same thing for The Muppet Show Season One Muppet Labs sketches. I've added a gallery there, even though there are no images yet, as incentive for folks to take screencaps, as I unfortunately can't. What do you guys think? I feel like this would be really good for Vet's Hospital, Pigs in Space, Bear on Patrol, etc. -- Peter (talk) 23:02, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

If it works better for the page, you may not have to make all the sketch titles headers. You can create anchors with the HTML DIV tag. For example, this link: Detective Amphibowicz will show you the end result of surrounding the appropriate part of the article with <div id="detective">blah, blah, blah</div>. -- Scott (talk) 04:46, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
I'll have to experiment with the DIV tag. Do you think tables would work for the recurring sketches pages, though? Personally, I'm fond of the mini-galleries, but I wouldn't necessarily be against a change if someone could figure out the right way to make it work. -- Peter (talk) 16:46, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
You don't have to use tables; you can place the DIV tag anywhere in an article. -- Scott (talk) 16:49, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Also, I didn't mean to say that what you've been doing with Muppet Labs doesn't work. Just mentioning that we do have an alternate way of doing it when the header method isn't right for an article. -- Scott (talk) 17:21, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

moving pages

Just a reminder to make sure you check "What links here" when moving a page. I just went through and edited a bunch of pages which were linking to Blue when they were meant to have been linked to Blue (song) before Blue (character) was created. Thanks! -- Scott (talk) 18:45, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

Sesame Street format

I created a new format for Sesame Street episodes, and you can see it on Episode 2096. This format uses a table, with a picture of each segment, so that it's easier for readers to scan down the list of segments and find what they're looking for. There's also a new template, Template:Episodesesame, to hold the airdate and season info on each episode.

The pictures in the table are 200px, but I uploaded them all as 300px, so that they can be used on other pages.

What do you guys think? Can we make this the standard format for all the Sesame episode pages? -- Danny (talk) 18:21, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

The pros: it's big, it's beautiful, it's as in-depth as you could possibly get. Well done.
The cons: The Wiki may get overloaded with images, and I don't have screencap equipment. --MuppetVJ 19:20, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
Overloading with images is no problem... We've got all the space we need. And it's cool if you aren't able to take screencaps -- we can work together. If you put the information into the table format without pictures, then I'll take screencaps and add them in. How's that sound for a deal? -- Danny (talk) 20:05, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
Does this answer your question? :) --MuppetVJ 23:48, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

Official Bios

An anonymous user just updated Stephanie D'Abruzzo's page, because it said that she was still in Avenue Q and she isn't. The problem is that the text came from her official Sesame Street bio, which is technically a quotation that shouldn't be changed. I took a look at more official Sesame bios on the wiki, and a lot of them suffer the same problem of outdating quickly, so I'm suggesting we start eliminating the "official" information and replacing it with our own. Then, we can proovide a link to the official bio. Thoughts? -- Peter (talk) 19:43, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, absolutely. I may have been the one who first started posting official bios, for the international Sesame characters. My intention at the time was just to get that information onto the wiki, where it could then be used to create actual articles. They're temporary. Absolutely, go ahead and start mining those for info. -- Danny (talk) 19:46, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I already replaced the ones for Kevin Clash and Roscoe Orman (especially pleased with the latter) and wanting to tackle Sonia Manzano next. They're useful stopgaps and are especially effective as providing an official source for a performer's roles and so on, but they shouldn't be permanent. It's just taking time to redo them, and they provide a useful starting point. Andrew Leal (talk) 21:06, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Pages needing attention

We were talking the other day about stubs, and how to help people find things to do. I looked on Wookieepedia to how they handle it -- they're the biggest wiki on Wikia, so they must be doing something right. They have a system called "Pages needing attention", which they mark with this Attention template. That template puts articles into a "Pages needing attention" category. Unfortunately, that category isn't linked directly from the main page, which really it should be.

Anyway, I think that's a good idea. I have a problem with "Stubs", because there's also situations like the one that just came up on the Episode 1186 page this morning. The page had a partial guide to the episode on it. An anon user came along and added a more detailed guide, but just dumped it at the bottom of the page without integrating it into the existing page. I put a "stubs" tag on it, to mark it as a page that needed to be improved. Within ten minutes, Guillermo came along and fixed up the page.

That's exactly how an "Attention" category should work; that was perfect. But the page wasn't really a stub, it was just a mess. So I think something like "Pages needing attention" is a better way to describe it. What do other folks think? -- Danny (talk) 16:06, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

I like it. -- Scott (talk) 16:15, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
I like it too. I also think this could help eliminate people from tagging the short, but complete, pages from being labeled stubs just because they are a one (or two) paragraph article. -- Brad D. (talk) 16:49, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
I like it. -- Melissa (talk) 17:31, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
Okay, I created Template:Attention, which you can add to pages as {{attention}}. That lists pages in Category:Attention.
So now my question is: How do we let people know this exists? Do we put it on the navbar? Or what? -- Danny (talk) 19:52, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
I added it to the sidebar -- although I'm not sure exactly how to phrase it. "Pages that need attention" is long, and it spills over on to a second line. Still, I can't think of a shorter way to phrase it. What do you guys think? -- Danny (talk) 22:23, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
Hmm --- maybe just "Attention needed?" George B. (talk) 02:26, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Transcript policy

I've put together a Muppet Wiki transcript policy, following some discussion or other that we had a while ago. What do you guys think? -- Danny (talk) 00:13, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

It's been a couple days, and nobody's commented on the transcript policy yet. Does that mean that folks agree with it, and it should become an official policy? Just give me somethin'. -- Danny (talk) 15:52, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
It looks pretty good to me. Might wanna add a rule about transcribing something shown at private events and/or was passed around when it shouldn't have been - such as the FR wrap party thing. --MuppetVJ 16:14, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
That's a good point... How can I phrase that? -- Danny (talk) 17:07, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
There happen to be a few Henson-related projects floating around which were not intended for TV broadcast and/or the home viewing audience, and were meant for private or company viewings only (Muppet Meeting Films, etc.). Transcribing such projects is considered an invasion of the privacy of The Jim Henson Company, so we suggest against it. If you are unsure of the source of a certain project and would like to transcribe it, please contact one of the administrators for advice.
How does that sound? --MuppetVJ 17:32, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
Pretty good. Make sure to add Disney to it, too, as they own the Meeting Films. -- Peter (talk) 17:38, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
I think the Meeting Films are a different thing; those are commercially available (if very expensive). I thought you were talking about things like Henson's funeral, the Fraggle wrap video, or Sesame Street Christmas gag reels. -- Danny (talk) 19:04, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
I was. I just put the MMFs into that category since, in general, only companies use them. Get it? --MuppetVJ 19:08, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
Henson's memorial service was public. So I feel like that would actually be OK for posting if anyone had it. -- Peter (talk) 19:14, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
How about I just put something in about things that were intended for internal use? (Production staff or in-house company stuff.) -- Danny (talk) 19:19, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, that might work. But would you be specific? --MuppetVJ 19:17, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

Timeline

I've been looking at the timeline and realizing that 1)it's missing a bunch of stuff and 2)it's not really internally consistent in terms of categories and such.

Regarding Point #2, if we're going to link Television and Movies in one category like we do in, say, 1996, then I think we should do it throughout. Also, what constitutes a Television Show as opposed to an Appearance? I'd like to think that if you could tune in every Tuesday (or whatever) to see the Muppets on Jimmy Dean or the Today Show, then that should be categorized under Television. But if the Muppets only made occasional and (more importantly) irregular guest appearances, then that would be classified under Appearances. Any thoughts? -- Peter (talk) 16:06, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

Based on the ones that were up there I took appearances to mean "showed up on some other show" but tv/movies to mean "muppet production". I was more confused by how to classify specials: it's a one-shot deal, but may be all muppets. But yeah, it's sort of fuzzy all around. Perhaps it would make more sense to always have "TV" and "Movies" as separate categories and drop the appearances separation? -- Wendy (talk) 16:17, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
No, I agree with the way you first explained it, Wendy. TV/Movies should be for Muppet/Henson productions, and guest spots are Appearances. The only one that's debatable is Jimmy Dean. Technically, it was a whole string of appearances by Rowlf, but he was also a regular cast member. -- Scott (talk) 17:09, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
I would put Jimmy Dean in the same category as Saturday Night Live (Land of Gorch). -- Brad D. (talk) 17:55, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

Tenses

Can we talk about how we want to approach tenses on the wiki? For example, should it be "Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem performed this song on that episode of The Muppet Show" or "Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem perform this song on that episode of The Muppet Show?" Or is this another thing where we don't care too much about consistency? Personally, my preference is past tense. -- Peter (talk) 14:44, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

I like present tense when one can still go see the performance in question, (such as tv show episodes and movies), or read the book. The stuff in those just isn't "over and done with" for me. Admittedly, English can sound awkward in the present tense. More critically than which is used on the wiki at large, it's important to me that any given article pick a tense and stay there. But it doesn't particularly make sense for us to be going around changing tenses back and forth on each other, so some standard would be useful for the rather common case of "perform" vs. "performed" Peter gives above. -- Wendy (talk) 15:04, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm glad Peter brought this up. Yeah, it's all over the place, and I know my own writing has done so. To me, it depends somewhat on context, but in some cases, it could go either way, and we probably need to reach a general agreement. With songs, I'd tend to prefer past tense, particularly if it's a repeated song. However, if it's a more detailed description of plot action occurring during the song, present tense might work better. Then there's the simple issue of the first sentence, especially when dealing with off the air shows or retired characters. Do we use "is" or "was"? This came up recently with changes to Linda. It makes sense to say she *was* on Sesame Street, but not to change things like her being deaf and a librarian to past tense, since presumably those aspects of the character don't change. On the other hand, while I usually like to use "So and so is a character on," unless they died or were written out, for one shots like a lot of the Dinosaurs guests, I tend to use "So and so appeared in episode blank." Andrew Leal (talk) 15:54, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Wendy. Not so important wiki-wide, but the article needs to be consistent. -- Scott (talk) 17:11, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
My rule is that real people exist in real time, but fictional characters exist in an eternal present. Linda Bove played Linda from season x to season y, but Linda is a librarian on Sesame Street. Jim Henson was, Kermit is.
That means that there may be some tense switching within a particular article, if the article covers both the fiction and the real-life backstage info. So, for example: "In The Muppet Movie, Kermit rides a bicycle as he leaves the swamp for Hollywood. To achieve this effect, puppeteers performed the character from a crane above the shot."
Or: "Cookie Monster enjoys eating cookies, but he'll eat almost anything. In 'The Ballad of Casey McPhee,' he even eats his way through a snowdrift. In 2005, Sesame producers were concerned about the message that they were sending to children -- so in season 36, Cookie Monster learns that cookies are a sometimes food."
Those aren't the best-written sentences in the world; I was trying to mix things up between fictional world and real world in a brief passage. But I think they make sense -- the characters exist in the present, the producers and performers exist in the past. What do you think? -- Danny (talk) 17:15, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
I just thought of a way in which the eternal present is tricky, but I think it can be handled like this: "Hooper's Store is owned and operated by Mr. Hooper up until season 13. After Mr. Hooper dies, David takes over the store for a few seasons, assisted by Gina. Mr. Handford takes over the store in season 22. Alan is the current proprietor of the store." Again, not very well-written, but I just wanted to show how you can talk about changes on the show, and still keep the characters in the present tense. -- Danny (talk) 17:25, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
I think that that last example is absolutely awful. It should be past tense until Alan. I think that when we talk of the character in general terms, it should be present, unless the character has expressly died. For example, "Kermit is green" or "Kermit is a world famous movie star." However, when detailing what has happened in a television show or movie, I much prefer "Kermit hosted The Muppet Show" or "Kermit left the swamp to pursue his dreams in Hollywood." -- Peter (talk) 17:29, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
If everything is past tense except for what's on the air right now, then that condemns pretty much every character except the Sesame folks to past tense. The Fraggles lived in Fraggle Rock, Bear was Tutter's best friend, Crichton was in love with Aeryn. I don't think that matches up with viewers' personal experiences watching the shows, even shows that are no longer in production. -- Danny (talk) 17:36, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Then we should at the very least be able to use past tense within the history of each show/universe and acknowledge that change happens, as in the Hooper's Store example. -- Peter (talk) 17:40, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
To me, it depends on where that "Kermit went to Hollywood" sentence is. If discussing what happened in a television show or movie *within* a character's page, just in passing, past tense works. But for myself, when writing up episode guides or plot synopsis, present tense seems to make more sense. And I might add that the British Film Institute journal Sight and Sound also uses present tense in all of their plot synopses, and past tense or present perfect in the review which follows. Here's an example, in their listing for The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland. As for the other issue, I actually agree with Peter that "David takes over the store" could be past tense since Sesame's own continuity has established it in the past, but with the "a few seasons" portion, it works just as well. Again, it depends. "Forgetful Jones is a cowboy on Sesame Street." Well, even if he hasn't been seen since 1998, he's still a cowboy. On the other hand, "Forgetful Jones is a cowboy who appears on Sesame Street" would be incorrect, I'd use "appeared," unless his inserts start airing again or he makes a comeback like Gladys the Cow. And here's an example from Linda: "Linda is deaf, as is her performer. As a deaf character, Linda allowed the producers of Sesame Street to teach viewers about sign language and address issues faced by deaf people." Ryan initially had was in the first sentence, but the deafness of Linda the character and Linda Bove the actress has not changed. However, the second sentence should be past tense since the producers are no longer using the character for that curricular purpose. (Of course, the sentence order could also be re-arranged, so the tense switching isn't as obvious, but it strikes me as grammatically functional). Andrew Leal (talk) 17:45, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

I could get behind the plot synopses in present tense thing, but saying that "Boober and Red get trapped in a cave-in in Marooned" sounds an awful lot like a TV Guide blurb to me. And, like I said, "Bear is Tutter's best friend" and "Fraggles live in Fraggle Rock are fine. Those are general character and relationship descriptions. It's "Uncle Matt discovers a portal to Outer Space" that I don't like. Or "Gonzo falls in love with Camilla in episode XXX." Those things happened once, and then a lot of other stuff depended on that within the show's context. -- Peter (talk) 17:50, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree with Andrew - I think we just need to differentiate a description of Episode XXX ("Gonzo falls in love with Camilla") and a history of Gonzo's life ("Gonzo fell in love with Camilla in episode XXX"). Within the context of songs (which is where this all started, isn't it?), it seems to me that present tense is appropriate: "Rainbow Connection is the opening song of The Muppet Movie", because it's still true in our present; it hasn't changed recently (I hope). -- Wendy (talk)
Like it or not, "sounds like a TV Guide blurb" isn't an insult, if you're writing about episodes of TV shows. TV Guide may not be great literature, but they have 40 years of experience on how to write about TV shows, so they deserve a little respect. "Uncle Matt discovers a portal to Outer Space" is the appropriate thing to write for the "Beginnings" page. For a later episode, you could say, "Uncle Matt returns from Outer Space, which he's been exploring since he discovered the portal two seasons ago." The point is that the writing always takes place in the present of the moment that you're writing about. If the episode that you're writing about shifts from one sentence to another, then the present tense follows it. -- Danny (talk) 18:02, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Skin! Tomatoes! Tires! Actually, and I'm not sure, I think Peter was questioning such phrasing within a character's page, and not the episode guides. At least I think so. I changed one sentence in Uncle Traveling Matt to "In Beginnings, he discovered a portal and left to explore Outer Space" or something like that, since the rest of the page discusses his observations and actions in the Fraggle Rock "present," and the discovery of the hole to the workshop, even if it happens onscreen, is really backstory, establishing the premise. Andrew Leal (talk) 18:41, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
You're right, Andrew. I concede on the Episode articles, but I think in context of Character and other related pages, past tense should be used in the appropriate continuity contexts. Kermit's collar changed when he appeared on The Muppet Show, as opposed to Kermit's collar changes when he appears on The Muppet Show.
Robin is Kermit's nephew or Gobo is an explorer, on the other hand, are perfectly acceptable in the present tense.
As for song pages, I think it varies. As Wendy said, present tense can work for origins, especially for songs written expressly for the Muppets (Rainbow Connection is the opening song from The Muppet Movie or Tit Willow is from Gilbert and Sullivan's light opera The Mikado). But I prefer past tense for all other uses (Kermit later performed (as opposed to performs) The Rainbow Connection on episodes XXX and YYY or Rowlf and Sam performed Tit Willow on episode ZZZ). It distinguishes between the song as an entity unto itself and performances of the song. -- Peter (talk) 19:45, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

Puppeteer Credits

I've been trying to expand the puppeteer credits of the main Muppet performers recently, adding a lot of minor/one-shot characters performed by Jerry Nelson, Dave Goelz and Richard Hunt, to start. This is just a request that when the performer is added/removed/changed from a character page that everyone tries to remember to add/remove/change it on the respective puppeteer's page as well. Thanks! -- Peter (talk) 14:32, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

Things to do

Now that we have a working stubs category, what do we think about revamping Things you can do? I know we decided not to use it on account of it being a bit pretentious, but I think it can be helpful. Especially now that we're in sixth month and approaching 10,000 articles. I hear people all the time saying that they'd love to contribute, but don't know how. We've got a fantastic Help section, but really nothing to get people started and let them know how they can be useful. Nothing like, "oh, please run around and fix all our spelling mistakes," but a Beginner's Guide for where to look and how to look. Also, it would be a great place to link to Stubs since it doesn't really belong in the Current Events navigation, and I really don't want the left sidebar getting crowded again. Thoughts? -- Scott (talk) 00:01, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

I thought the page fell into disuse less because of pretentiousness than because it lacked specificity wasn't getting much response. Most of the tasks were data entry, just generic "Add stuff from books and Sesame Encyclopedia" suggestions, which is less useful now that tons of stuff has been added from books and Sesame Encyclopedia, without being more specific. That's why I think something like Images Wanted, though it's seeing a lull, has been more successful, because it has a list. Something like "fix spelling mistakes/correct faulty links" would also be more useful, it's something anyone can do and doesn't require going to other websites and then trying to add something that's not already there. Listing specific pages, rather than just general areas, that need expansion/cleanup would also be useful, and could be removed when fixed, like with Images Wanted. Andrew Leal (talk) 00:18, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
I'll try to write something up tonight (or more likely tomorrow) to show you what I mean. Our FAQ and Help pages are awesome, and they show people how to do things on the wiki. But we need a friendly Beginner's Guide that shows them where to look and how to flow with the groove. I guess I can't describe it without doing it, and maybe it's a bad idea. I just don't have the time to do it right now, but I'm interested in thoughts from other people. We know how to get around the wiki because it's been our stomping ground for months, but for someone just walking into the front lobby, they see a spiraling staircase that goes up and up and up, and no idea how to tackle it. Others jump right in, but some might benefit from a Beginner's Guide. -- Scott (talk) 00:38, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Oh, I agree on that. I'm just thinking that apart from the front text, and maybe not even that, such a page would need to be started from scratch. Here's an example: " Check out Special:Wantedpages for a list of pages that people have linked to but that don't exist yet. Find something you know something about and create the page." That's fine, but basically it puts the burden on the newcomer to go to Wanted pages and dig through and try to "find something" they know something about. A more useful alternative might be, ala Wikipedia, to have a list of requested pages, maybe even catgeorized for easy use (book titles; characters, though now those are becoming a bit scarcer; performers and writers, of whom there's still plenty of gaps, etc.) Plus as you said, th more general stuff. It might also help to include in such a page some basics about how category tags work, since both several newcomers and the majority of anonymous users tend to create a page and leave it untagged. Andrew Leal (talk) 01:05, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Wiki motivation is very complicated. I think the way it happens is that somebody sees something missing, or something that bothers them. People correct spelling mistakes because they happen to see it, and it bugs them. Or people see a gap somewhere and they say, hey, I have that book. And then they go get the book, and they get the information from that.
So I think any portal for beginners needs to point people towards places where there are gaps. I think a Beginner's Guide would be really useful if it explained how to use Stubs, Images Wanted and Active talk pages to find gaps that they could fill in. -- Danny (talk) 01:31, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I think it would be good to also point out to people the "What Links Here" tool; if they are editing a typo on some page anyhow it's worth the 3 seconds to check that all the major references on the subject are actually included. That's a very useful thing to do that's generally a bit less major than writing a whole article or uploading an image. -- Wendy (talk) 15:09, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm just checking in briefly, and will probably get to work on that Intro later tonight, but it occured to me this morning to throw an additional idea out there. Peter suggested way back in December or so, that we put together a Category Tree. A structure that one can look at for ease of naviagtion. In the early days of the wiki, it was easy just to look at the Category Index, but now we have over 550 categories (!) which could benefit from some structure. My desire would be to see that integrated into the Beginner's Guide I'm thinking of. -- Scott (talk) 17:16, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree about category help. A template tutorial might also come in handy. I started on a List of Templates, and never finished it, and quite a few have been added since then. Confusion over how category tags and template usage is common for new users, and even I have a hard time remembering the code for a lot of the templates off the top of my head. Andrew Leal (talk) 18:46, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

Stubs

Moving discussion from Talk:Emmy Awards Ceremony

Since I was voted down on creating a "stubs" category, I'm placing Emmy Awards Ceremony in Active talk pages to bring attention to this article for reasons of expansion. -- Scott (talk) 13:31, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

When were you voted down on creating a stubs category? I don't know about Danny, but what I objected to was taking pages with absolutely no text and just a title and sticking them all under stubs, thinking that if we were to use the category, it would be better reserved for just such a case, a pre-existing article in need of expansion or major research help. We probably still have a template, so feel free to use it here. Andrew Leal (talk) 17:22, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
I should also add that some sort of policy on what, for Muppet Wiki, counts as a stub (or in cases like this, not exactly a stub, but a page in need of work), and what doesn't. Someone could go around and decide Pink Frackle is a stub because it's not as long as Kermit the Frog. Andrew Leal (talk) 17:26, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I agree with both things that Andrew says. A "needs work" type template/category would be great, and really helpful. It might help not to use the word "stub", which I think implies that the article is too short. There's plenty of articles that are appropriately short. But something that indicates that an article deserves some extra love would help direct people towards places that need the work. -- Danny (talk) 18:07, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
Speaking of stubs, I was hitting the Randomm button today and kept running across book pages that have author, illustrator, a picture and nothing else. I'm inclined to say that if we don't start adding descriptions for these books (or even a list of the characters featured), then we should find a way to consolidate. The "blank" book pages look pretty silly, in my opinion, and should all be categorized as stubs. -- Peter (talk) 18:46, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree with putting those book pages as stubs, But I'm not sure about consolidating. Author, illustrator, publishing dates, and an image is useful info to my mind, and I'm not sure if shoving a bunch together, or how one would do that, is actually productive, unless it's an otherwise identical series or something. Andrew Leal (talk) 18:58, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
I don't think the book pages are stubs. They have six pieces of information -- writer, illustrator, date, publisher, series and ISBN -- plus a picture. At least four of those six pieces of information are linked to other pages -- so you can go from a particular book to a list of other books that that illustrator worked on, or that writer. Yeah, they don't have sentences on the page, but as short articles go, they stack up well against other short articles, as far as information content.
I agree that it would be nice at some point to have a plot description on those pages, and it would be even better if each page discussed that particular book as an example of that illustrator's style, the curriculum goals of the show, and that era in literature and world history. We'll get around to that at some point. But for now, I don't think it's a good idea to get rid of those pages. -- Danny (talk) 19:27, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
Here's one example, since you asked. But again, I'm in favor of a stubs category. Where "stubs" is defined as "pages that need work." -- Scott (talk) 20:32, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
Does it help if we say you were right? Or does that make it worse? -- Danny (talk) 21:08, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
It doesn't matter to me. I only answered because Andrew moved the conversation here and asked me. Also, Wikipedia says "A stub is a short article in need of expansion." -- Scott (talk) 23:00, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
Of course, we do have a Stubs category, it's just not actually been used. So the questions seem to be a) do we call it stubs or change the name to "Page improvement" or something (it could double as a clean-up tag for pages like Sesame Place, which is still a bit of a mess), and b) how do we define its usage to encourage rational use of it? King Ploobis is a stub, and Queen Peuta even less of a stub right now. Buster the Horse is pretty puny too. On the other hand, Nelson is just the right size for what it is. Andrew Leal (talk) 22:23, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
We might as well call it "Stubs", since that's a word that people who have worked on Wikipedia know. -- Danny (talk) 23:22, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
I just played with Template:Stub -- the template that was there directed people to a Wikipedia article on stubs, which I think is just distracting. I made it a simple notice that the article needs to be improved. What do you guys think? -- Danny (talk) 23:26, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
I like it, but can we modify the text to mention cleanup as well? Or should we go ahead and have a seperate template for that like Wikipedia does? Andrew Leal (talk) 23:45, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
I'd say Stubs are mostly for expansion, but a mention of clean-up wouldn't help. Unless you mean to use the tag on pages that you wish to bring attention to for clean-up only. Which, in that case, I'd say a separate tag. In the end, I would think the two categories should link to each other. -- Scott (talk) 23:50, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, with Sesame Place, it's sort of both. A lot of the text still there is plagiarized, and what isn't needs both copy editing and general expansion. I guess two templates wouldn't hurt, though. (Oh, and to clarify, Danny moved the discussion, I didn't; not that it matters, but). Andrew Leal (talk) 23:58, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

Episode guide pages: Almost done!

There's just four more shows that need episode infoboxes and navigation boxes! Lots of people have pitched in, and now we're close to the end.

The Animal Show
Dinosaurs
Farscape
Secret Life of Toys

If anybody wants to help finish these up, please do!

Here's the templates:

{{episode|show=|airdate=|writer=|director=}}

{{Ep-nav|prev=|next=}}

Post here when you've done some, and we'll cross it off the list... -- Danny (talk) 21:22, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

I just noticed that we should also add the Seas-nav to seasons 4 through 37 of the Ernie and Bert Sketches. If I have the time later, I might do it, but if someone want to "beat me to it" I won't complain. -- Brad D. (talk) 21:31, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
Secret Life of Toys is done... -- Danny (talk) 00:44, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
Dinosaurs Season 3 is finished, though some of the redirects still need to be fixed, because of the faulty numbering. I'll try to finish Season 4 tomorrow, but it's hard on dial-up (took 2 minutes just to get this page open for editing), so if anyone wants to help, feel free. I've been trying to save the taping dates for reference, though. Andrew Leal (talk) 03:34, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
I finished Dinosaurs. Andrew, I left in the taping dates as notes. What determines the episode order for the unaired eps?? It seems sort of random. -- Wendy (talk) 05:06, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, Wendy! And as for ordering, I dunno. Brad created the initial numbering system, but you're right, it does seem random, not even in production order. I think this may have been how Bill Cotter listed them in The Wonderful World of Disney Television (left my copy in Syracuse, so can't check), or *possibly* based on syndication order, but that would be faulty anyway since the mass market syndication (not sure about Disney Channel reruns) was completely out of order anyway. Maybe another renumbering is in order? (At least it's only 7 episodes this time. Still a *lot* of faulty numbered redirects to correct from season 3). Andrew Leal (talk) 06:33, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
Cotter lists the unaired episodes after the aired ones, in order of taping date. That makes the order: Into the Woods, Scent of a Reptile, Working Girl, Variations on a Theme Park, Life in the Faust Lane, Earl and Pearl, Georgie Must Die. I think that makes sense as a way to order them -- at least, more sense than the random order they seem to be in now. What do you guys think?
Also, what do you think of putting an asterix next to the numbers, to indicate that these are outside the regular season? As in: Episode 408*: Into the Woods, Episode 409*: Scent of a Reptile, etc. -- Danny (talk) 17:30, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
That works. Technically, the episodes were filmed for season 4, just didn't air, but we include the delayed episodes from season 1 in season 2. So yeah, asterisks works for me. Andrew Leal (talk) 18:37, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I just mean that those episodes were intended to air before "Changing Nature", which we're calling Episode 407. It's a little strange to have seven more episodes listed after the entire cast goes extinct, so the asterisks help to mark that those episodes should have aired earlier, but didn't. -- Danny (talk) 19:09, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
So, what does the asterisk mean actually? I was browsing Recent Changes before reading here and saw an article title with a asterisk in it, and there's no explanation as to why. -- Scott (talk) 01:38, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
I think the asterisk means what Danny said -- that the episodes were meant to air earlier in the show but didn't. Admittedly that's not necessarily self-explanatory to the whole world, and should be perhaps explained on the category page and individual pages. -- Wendy (talk) 02:04, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, those are the seven episodes that didn't get aired on ABC. They aired later, in syndication. The asterisks should definitely be explained on the episode pages. -- Danny (talk) 02:16, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
I just finished renumbering Dinosaurs, and at long last, it's extinct. I also added text explaining the asterisks on the category page. I didn't explain it on the individual episodes, but can add that if anyone feels it's necessary. Or if enough people feel the asterisks should be removed. For right now, however, I think it works, so all I have to worry about is fixing and deleting a lot of faulty links (though I'll leave the unasterisked 411 and 414, the only episodes accurately numbered, since the asterisk doesn't matter as much as faulty numbering which could be copied on other pages). Andrew Leal (talk) 04:49, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

I just started looking at the Farscape episodes. The episode list posted above is the same order as tv.com, but that's production order. Airdate order is a bit different (imagine my surprise). Before I or anyone else creates any of these pages (and luckily only one has ever been created previously), shouldn't we re-order by airdate?? I'll take a stab at modifying the list itself as a start as that is easily reverted if not wanted. -- Wendy (talk) 02:04, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, good catch! They should definitely be in airdate order. I'm glad you realized that! -- Danny (talk) 02:16, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
Dinosaurs is done... Now there's just The Animal Show and most of Farscape left! -- Danny (talk) 12:51, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
I wouldn't mind doing Animal Show if I had a list of writer, director and airdate. Anyone? -- Scott (talk) 13:25, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
It doesn't look like that info is on the web anywhere... Maybe we should just forget about Animal Show for now, and leave the episode pages as they are. -- Danny (talk) 13:47, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
I added boxes for the Animal Show pages that we currently have, so the structure is there whenever somebody gets around to adding more pages. I'm going to take that off the list now. So the only show we have left to do is Farscape! -- Danny (talk) 14:25, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
Farscape has all the director/writer info at tv.com, but it's tedious to click each episode to get it. I also found a big list on one page here; some random checking made it seem like the two were in good agreement and it is much faster. Just thougth I'd share in case anybody else wants to work on it. -- Wendy (talk) 16:17, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
We're done! Yay! All of those shows have episode and ep-nav boxes now. I'm really glad it's finally done -- it was a big job, and now that it's done, it sets up a good structure that people can build on. HUGE thanks to Wendy, Andrew, Peter, Brad and Martha for working on this project! -- Danny (talk) 03:32, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

Quotes category

I hate the Quotes category. I created it when we first started, and I've grown to hate it.

Lists of quotes aren't really of encyclopedic value; that's really more of a fan-site thing to do. Those pages are inherently POV, because they're somebody's idea of the funniest things that a particular character said. They're also something of a magnet for anonymous contributors, who alter the quotes in minor ways -- and then those changes are really hard for anybody to check, without going to watch the tape yourself. Also, I bet a lot of the quotes are done from memory, and aren't accurate transcriptions of the show -- especially for something like Muppet*Vision 3-D, which isn't available on video. We also haven't been able to come up with a decent format for those pages, and they look awful.

Would anyone object if I delete the whole category? -- Danny (talk) 16:58, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

I mostly agree. Although the Backstage Quotes would be worth keeping IMO. -- Scott (talk) 17:34, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
I also mostly agree, but might it be worthwhile to look through the individual quote pages and see if any might be worth integrating back into character pages or show pages, as examples but not as a full list? A few other pages have one or two brief quotes (the Fraggle Rock guide has one per episode, which I like), and Tony's been adding a lot to the photo captions (though one or two of these need to be checked for strict accuracy). In other words, do we want to get rid of all quotes, or just quote pages, and then set certain boundaries for how quotes might be used in a more limited, useful, and representative way? Andrew Leal (talk) 17:42, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
I just want to get rid of the quote pages. I think quotes in an article or in a photo caption work great -- they can illustrate a point, or just make things more lively. When we were discussing transcripts a week or so ago, we talked about how transcripts are okay if they illustrate something important, but they're not okay if they're just there for their own sake. (I still need to write that policy, it's on my To-Do List!) I think quotes work the same way. The quote pages don't illustrate anything in particular.
Scott, I agree that the Backstage Quotes have more inherent value. We might want to look at moving those quotes to the relevant articles, though. -- Danny (talk) 18:41, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
I just moved it to Sandbox to make way for the deletion of the Quotes category. -- Scott (talk) 18:52, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
I deleted the stuff... Man, it really was a mess of a category. I actually wrote this sentence as one of the category descriptions: "This is a collection of people's favorite Muppet quotes." People's favorites! I was young and foolish then. -- Danny (talk) 12:48, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Unknown Performer

Thanks to Peter, there's now an Unknown Performer category. Some of the characters listed were subject of disputes and speculation, and are there until an authoritative source can be found. Others are from international shows, where likely the performers are known and credited but just not easily accessible by those of us in the states or working from English-language texts. Still others, the person creating the page just didn't know at the time. Feel free to take a look and help out, but as part of the continuing effort to improve the Wiki and source information, it's recommended that users cite their source for their information, either in edit summary or on the talk pages, particularly if working by ear, to limit disputes or questions later on. Andrew Leal (talk) 23:34, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Episode page formatting

We've been talking a bunch about how to format episode pages over the last couple days, and I think we're actually missing a big piece in that conversation. For about a month now, I've been adding episode info boxes and navigation boxes to the episode guide pages for Fraggle Rock and Bear in the Big Blue House, and about half of the Muppet Babies episodes.

Adding those boxes is very easy -- it's just cutting and pasting. Most of the information for the episode boxes is already on the page. If the information isn't there, it's usually easy to find on TV.com, or you could just leave it out. The navigation boxes are just cutting and pasting, and plugging in the episode numbers and titles.

The problem is, it's not the most fascinating thing in the world to do, or the most rewarding. It's just good, basic wiki formatting work, and it makes the wiki better.

I've already done Fraggle Rock, Bear and half of Muppet Babies. Martha and Peter have done the Muppet Show episodes, and Andrew did Dog City. I'd like to ask the other active folks here to please pitch in and help with some of the other shows. It's a big job for one person to do alone, but if a bunch of people do it, we can get through it pretty quickly.

The following shows still need infoboxes and navigation boxes:

Aliens in the Family
The Animal Show (episode list)
Bear in the Big Blue House
Dinosaurs (season 1 and 2 done)
Dog City
Farscape (episode list)
Fraggle Rock
Fraggle Rock Animated
Ghost of Faffner Hall
Jim Henson Hour
Muppet Babies
The Muppet Show
Muppets Tonight
Secret Life of Toys
The StoryTeller
The StoryTeller: Greek Myths
Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss

Here's the templates:

{{episode|show=|airdate=|writer=|director=}}

{{Ep-nav|prev=|next=}}

You need to put in brackets to make links. If you don't know the airdate, writer or director, you can just leave the field blank. For the episode navigation, the episode titles should look like this: [[Episode 102: Let the Water Run|Let the Water Run]], or [[Episode 102: Garth Brooks|Garth Brooks]].

If you can help out, that would be amazing. Post on this thread when you've done some, so we can keep track of what's been done and what hasn't. You don't have to do a whole show's worth of episodes; just do as much as you feel like, and then post how far you've gotten. Also, please post here if you have any questions about how to use the boxes.

Thanks, guys! If we each do a piece of this, we can finish it up very easily, and I think it'll improve our episode pages tremendously. -- Danny (talk) 16:47, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

I've done Dinosaurs episodes here and there, and I'll try to do more, but I'd like to ask that folks stay away from the third season, unless someone has access to TV Guides. I have reason to believe the air dates for one episode, which my print sources suggest aired earlier in the season, is incorrect, effectively pushing all of the episodes back and causing a serious misnumbering problem. I don't want to change anything until I've double checked (the episode "Dirty Dancin'" is the one in question, and it's been raised at Category talk: Dinosaurs Episodes), but it would be more work than its worth to add episode navigation for that season and then have to completely change all the links. The fourth season is fine, though. Also, we're missing a lot of Animal Show and The Ghost of Faffner Hall episodes, so episode navigation is something to just keep in mind while filling those pages in general, for anyone who was a fan or has VHS tapes of those shows and would care to pitch in. Right now, Faffner has only one episode page, period. Andrew Leal (talk) 17:24, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
Oh, and nothing can really be done with StoryTeller Greek Myths Episodes until someone has a chance to check the airdates. Right now, we have no order for the episodes, save alphabetical. On the other hand, there's only four episodes, so theoretically it could be easier to switch than Dinosaurs', but still seems like wasted effort. I'll try to look into the matter myself (they debuted on HBO in the late 90s along with the unseen "The Three Ravens" from The StoryTeller), but if anyone can supply those dates before then, it would be a great help. Andrew Leal (talk) 17:29, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
There's lists up on the wiki of Animal Show, Faffner Hall and Farscape episodes; I just added those links to the list above, for easy reference. I've got the original UK airdates for Greek Myths, I'll add those too. I'll look into the Dinosaurs question and see what I can do. -- Danny (talk) 17:51, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
I just finished all the episode navigation boxes on The Muppet Show. THe information boxes haven't been done yet, though. -- Peter (talk) 17:59, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
I don't know if we need info boxes for The Muppet Show. There aren't real air dates for the episodes, and the writing was all done by a writing team, which only changed from season to season. The only thing to put in the box is the director, and we could just put that in Notes, if we wanted to. I just did the Greek Myths episodes, so I'll cross that out... -- Danny (talk) 18:12, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
I just did season 1 of "Muppets Tonight", but don't have time for more right now. -- Wendy (talk) 18:19, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
Dinosaurs season 1 is completely done, navigation and info boxes. I've done most of season 2, but the Wiki is giving me hiccups with previewing and such, so there may be some coding errors to fix. I'm quitting for now, but the main gaps are from 205 to 208, and 220 onward. Andrew Leal (talk) 18:30, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
Excellent! You guys are awesome. I added notes to the list saying that those seasons are finished... -- Danny (talk) 19:02, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
"The StoryTeller" and "Aliens in the Family" are all set up now. (missing air dates for some of The StoryTeller episodes) -- Brad D. (talk) 19:38, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
Great! I just added the missing StoryTeller dates. Thanks for doing those! That's two more down... -- Danny (talk) 00:31, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
The rest of "Muppets Tonight" and season 1 of "Wubbulous World" are done. Muppets Tonight is missing the director info on the last two eps (211,212). There are no directors or writers listed for Wubbulous at all. -- Wendy (talk) 02:58, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Sweet! I just added directors for Andie McDowell and Daryl Hannah. -- Scott (talk) 03:05, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
I went ahead and finished off Wubbulous season 2. Now I'm going to bed for real. -- Wendy (talk) 03:41, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

I fixed the Wubbulous World epnavs, so that's all done. -- Danny (talk) 12:54, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

The Muppet Show is done. -- Scott (talk) 18:18, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
I just did the Fraggle Rock (Animated) episodes, but there's a problem with the episode numbering there too... We only have two airdates, but the two that we have indicate that the episode numbers aren't in airdate order. I can't find airdates for those -- does anybody have them? -- Danny (talk) 21:25, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
I'll double check where those original airdates came from (I may have added one), but like most Saturday morning cartoons, there would be no record in TV Guide or anything of episode titles. In fact, the standard source for those, which every website has borrowed from, seems to be Jeff Lenburg's Encyclopedia of Animated Cartooons, the 1991 edition, which had episode titles but no air dates. Lenburg's not the most reliable source, but for his episode listings, he generally used information supplied by the networks or production companies, so they usually went by production order. We might be better off dispensing with the dates alltogether on that one until we can access something more authoritative. I'll try to look into it. Andrew Leal (talk) 21:55, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Oh, and speaking of airdates, Dinosaurs season 2 is done, and I'll start on 4 later on, but I'm still waiting to start on the third season until someone can check "Dirty Dancin." Bill Cotter (whose authorized book on Disney TV used official airdates) and a few online sites liek Paszaz suggest it was Episode 302, but ever fallible IMDb (whose guest listing for the whole series is off, so I'm not sure if the dates can be trusted), TV.com, and a few others have it as 318. Brad made the numbering system using those air dates since the Henson list just had production code numbers. Andrew Leal (talk) 22:03, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
I added one of the animated Fraggle airdates, and I know it's accurate -- it's from the Museum of TV & Radio. -- Danny (talk) 22:06, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Hey, y'know what? I just remembered that I gave Bill Cotter those airdates. I'd forgotten all about that. I was doing MuppetZine when he was working on his book, and he contacted me for Dinosaurs information. I know I gave him airdates, maybe some other stuff too. This was years ago, so I don't remember the whole thing, but I definitely remember the airdates were from me. He sent me a free copy of the book when it came out, although I was a little disappointed that I didn't get mentioned in the acknowledgements. So trust Bill's info; it comes from an impeccable source. :) -- Danny (talk) 22:10, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Ha! I'll go ahead and renumber later, then. At least you got a free book. Funny how acknowledgments work. I got a mention in a book on Paul Frees and I have no idea what info I contributed to the author, while on the other hand a book analyzing animated features just copied credits straight from my Toonjunkies website, in that order, for Charlotte's Web, and then tacking on Charles Nelson Reilly from an out of date Leonard Maltin guide, who wasn't even in the movie. If you're going to borrow, borrow accurately. :) Andrew Leal (talk) 23:07, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
I just did "The Jim Henson Hour". Most of them are missing writers/directors, except the two I pulled from ToughPigs... I wasn't sure what else would be considered a reliable source. Also, I didn't put any of the episode stuff on the "Sesame Street: 20 and Still Counting" page because I wasn't really sure if it counted as an episode. -- Wendy (talk) 04:24, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
JHH had a writing team -- it's the same six writers credited on all the episodes -- so we'll put that on the JHH page, and not in the infoboxes. I put in the directors that I knew. So that's done, yay. -- Danny (talk) 11:37, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
I just finished Muppet Babies, phew! -- Danny (talk) 13:07, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
I did Ghost of Faffner Hall... -- Danny (talk) 21:19, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Muppet Show Airdates

I have air dates for The Muppet Show from Henson. We should have those on there. A friend of mine looked at the Lynda Carter episode the other day and had to email me to find out what year it ran. -- Scott (talk) 19:07, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Oh, yeah, I guess we need to have the year that it aired. Good point! What kind of air dates do you have? They aired in a different order in different cities. -- Danny (talk) 19:09, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
The TMS airdates I have are the earliest airings of each episode. -- Scott (talk) 19:49, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure if that information is useful unless we choose one market, i.e. New York, Chicago, Los Angeles. Otherwise, two episodes can have an earliest air date on the same date, and that's just going to be more confusing than helpful. Since The Muppet Show is organized via production dates, I feel like that would be more helpful. -- Peter (talk) 19:54, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
No, they're all different: The Muppet Show Air Dates. As I said, this list comes from a good source. Only three of them have question marks. -- Scott (talk) 20:08, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
I've got production dates, too. But they're not from as reliable a source. -- Scott (talk) 20:16, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
Those look like the New York air dates that you have there Scott (which are the most wide spread "standard" used by fans and other listings). The season 1 Muppet Morsels have air dates and production dates too (I think the NY air dates - maybe others?). Muppet Central's episode guides (for seasons 1 & 2) have both the NY and LA air dates along with production dates. Kermitage's episode guides has the NY air dates and production dates too. I'm not sure about the reliability of these sources, but at a glance they all seem to match up and align with what you have there. -- Brad D. (talk) 20:28, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
What I have are the air dates that The Jim Henson Company keeps on file as the earliest known air dates. They may correspond to some cities fans are familiar with. If we don't use the actual dates, we should at least open it up to the month. Something like this: Earliest known airdate: May 1978 -- Scott (talk) 20:32, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
Also, production dates aren't entirely correct as they're somewhat misleading. For example, Lynda Carter's episode was taped the week after Christopher Reeve's; but any number of inserts could have been done at any time due to the nature of the show. So it's hard to pin that down. If we do include them, a note along those lines should also be included. Same goes for airdates. -- Scott (talk) 20:35, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
My feeling is that there's so much ambiguity with the air dates that I'm not comfortable saying "April 3, 1978" -- but I'd be comfortable with "April 1978". That leaves some more wiggle room, which I think in this case is justifiable. That way, we won't feel like we have to specify whether it's New York or Los Angeles, or whatever. I have a list of the Philadelphia airdates, I can check that against this list just to make sure they're in the same general ballpark. Scott, does giving a month work for you? -- Danny (talk) 00:23, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
That works for me. Will we be doing an info box for The Muppet Show with airdates and production dates and leaving out the writers? -- Scott (talk) 00:26, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
I thought you were iffy on production dates. I'd rather put production dates in Notes or something. Plus, I think two dates in an infobox is confusing and hard to process. So my preference is to have an episode infobox with the show title, guest star, air date and director. -- Danny (talk) 00:30, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
We have production dates for the relevant taping times for each guest star. I think an infobox with both would be helpful. Especially the juxtaposition of say, the Gene Kelly episode. I'll make up an infobox for TMS modelled after the ones already in use. -- Scott (talk) 00:49, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Do we want to include director on these? They were just as regular as the writers. -- Scott (talk) 00:54, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

TMS episodes: new format

see below for the beginning of this conversation

Okay, I just messed with Episode 409: Beverly Sills. I left a little thumbnail plot summary at the top of the page, and then turned the "highlights" section into a description of all of the sketches, songs and backstage scenes. What do you guys think? -- Danny (talk) 23:04, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

I like the list format better with the descriptions on the sketch pages when one exists. This format leaves itself open for contributors to editorialize and lots of POV. -- Scott (talk) 23:39, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Looks good to me. --Minor muppetz 23:44, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
It doesn't make sense to me to have a list, and then descriptions on all those different pages. That seems like it would be essentially the same text (POV and all), but split up and harder to read. I'd rather have one page with ten paragraphs, rather than ten pages with one paragraph each. -- Danny (talk) 00:00, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
I think the new style is harder to read. It's nice and all, but I think the way we're documenting things it's easier to see a list. If I'm looking for something specific, it's much more difficult to skim a paragraph than it is to look at a list. If I'm out-voted on this, I propose separate pages for each episode with just a list of sketches. People don't want to read, I think they're mostly looking for information. -- Scott (talk) 00:49, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Okay, I just added an "on-stage" heading with a list of the on-stage sketches and songs. Does that help? -- Danny (talk) 01:50, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
What if you renamed the heading for your summary of the show to Summary and On Stage became Highlights? -- Scott (talk) 02:07, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
I changed the summary to "Summary", but I like "On Stage" better than "Highlights". -- Danny (talk) 02:24, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
What about when Danny Kaye performs "Inchworm" backstage, or when Mac Davis performs "It's Hard to Be Humble" backstage, or when Liza Minnelli sings to Kermit in her dressing room, or when Bernadette Peters performs "Just One Person" in her dressing room, or Paul Simon performs "It's Been a Long, Long Day" or Miss Piggy and Alice Cooper sing to each other, or Janice and Linda Ronstadt sing "It's In His Kiss"? -- Scott (talk) 02:33, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
I propose Sketches -- Scott (talk) 02:37, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
What does everyone else think of calling the list of sketches, Sketches so as to also include things that don't happen on stage? -- Scott (talk) 21:33, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
I get your point, but I still think "On Stage" is a more elegant heading than "Sketches". I think it works for "off-stage" songs too -- it fits the spirit of the section, if not the letter. -- Danny (talk) 21:41, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
I would tend to agree, but it's confusing for someone not as cool as we are. Can you think of a better word? We're already using the term "sketches" for Muppet Show Sketches, as well as Ernie and Bert Sketches and other such lists. "On Stage" sounds nice, but it's misleading. -- Scott (talk) 21:45, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

I have a hard time thinking in terms of not being as cool as me. How do the uncool people do it? I don't really like "Sketches", cause a lot of them are songs, and our categories make distinctions between songs and sketches. "Acts" is more like it, but that doesn't sound quite right. -- Danny (talk) 21:48, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Well, this is everyone's wiki, after all. We've been using "Sketches" for both songs and skits. I think the term works better than "Acts" or "Numbers." And I suppose "Segments" is just as good. -- Scott (talk) 22:00, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
What I meant was, we have "Muppet Show Songs" and "Muppet Show Sketches" as different categories. Maybe "Songs/Sketches"? -- Danny (talk) 22:08, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
That works for me. -- Scott (talk) 22:14, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
"Sketches" or "Songs/Sketches" is better than "On Stage". And the list needs slightly more info. Mark the songs as songs, and for recurring sketches give a short description. -- Erik (talk) 23:35, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand about needing more info. That's what the summary is for. Yeah, I know the complaint about reading paragraphs has already been raised (I've never fully understood that, unless no spacing or headers were used at all and it was just one huge block), but outside of performers/characters and titles, what more would be needed for a thumbnail list? For recurring sketches, like Pigs in Space, the summaries are usually on the page anyway. For shows where the main storyline intersects with the sketches, like the Star Wars episode, to me, it works better to integrate the sketch info into an overall narrative structure. Andrew Leal (talk) 23:38, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
I think Erik just means a brief description. The full description would be in the Summary and/or on the separate song/sketch article. -- Scott (talk) 23:50, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Also, the way I see the format now (Episode 409: Beverly Sills, the bulleted list serves as a "Highlights," if you will, of what is more thoroughly covered in the Summary. Like a brief tabel of contents so you can see a quick list of all the songs and sketches done in the episode without having to read the big, long editorial. -- Scott (talk) 23:53, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm for having both the bulleted list and the summary, as they each have their own separate uses. Songs/Sketches is a fine heading in my book. -- Peter (talk) 15:18, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
You're a beautiful person. -- Danny (talk) 15:25, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Muppet Show episode pages

Looking at the various pages on individual episodes of The Muppet Show, it looks like many of the notes listed come from both the episode guides at Kermitage and Muppet Central, copied almost word-for-word. I am not sure if the individuals who originally wrote the copied information are the ones copying the info or if others have copied it, nor do I know if the information was copied without permission. Also, it seems like some of the notes from the Muppet Central guides are either opinionated or written from the writers point of view. I don't know if copying this info word for word is a violation of the Wiki's policy on not copying from other pages, but I thought I would note it. Also, some of the epsiode pages at Muppet Central have information on certain characters, usually in regards to the epsiodes beign their first appearance or some point of sgnificance. For example, the page for Episode 102 has some info about The Newsman being called "Muppet Reporter" in the first season scripts. While this is fine for Muppet Central, which does not have a character guide, here at the wiki this info could easily just be put in the page for The Newsman.

Also, many of the epsiode pages have a list of highlights from the individual episodes, which is written exactly as written in the Kermitage episode guides. Also, I feel like "highlights" is another word for "the best", which is mostly what the author considers to be the best, regardless of what others think. Some of the Sesame Street episode pages have a listing of highlights as well. --Minor muppetz 02:25, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

By the way, regarding The Newsman and Episode 102 of The Muppet Show, I deleted the info on him in the Episode 102 page and put that info on The Newsman's page. --Minor muppetz 02:58, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
I've always been distressed by the "Highlights" section. It makes more sense to have the skits and musical numbers all listed for a given episode rather than just 1 or 2, but there's nowhere to put them except in the highlights section, which then makes the heading wrong. -- Merrystar (talk) 03:02, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
You could list the skits under a "Segments" headline. --Minor muppetz 03:05, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
I originally wrote the text for the Muppet Show episode guide in MuppetZine. I gave Mar and Michael permission to use my text on Kermitage. I don't need to get their permission to add it to the wiki, since I wrote it. I can't speak for the Muppet Central stuff, cause I didn't add any of that.
I personally think that "Highlights" can be useful. I think a straight list of every single thing that happens on a show is difficult to read -- I have a hard time looking through one of the Sesame Street episode listings. At some point when I have time, I'm going to figure out a better way to format all that information, because right now, it may be comprehensive, but it's unreadable.
I agree that "Highlights" can be POV. I'd be interested in coming up with some kind of balance, where we can be as comprehensive as possible, while still keeping the page readable. -- Danny (talk) 03:21, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Look at Episode 409: Beverly Sills -- it's fairly comprehensive at this point and is a good example though of what happens when everything is included. I think at the least we should have all of the major performance numbers (skits/songs) listed in a section. That would avoid subjectivity about which were the best. I'm not sure how to handle the connecting material/framing scenes; I guess I personally like having some information on them available because it makes me smile to think about them, but they are harder to itemize and definitely make the list much messier. -- Merrystar (talk) 04:12, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, that looks okay. I'm in favor of listing everything if it can be done in complete sentences like that. What I object to is the Kermitage style, just a list of song titles and characters. I find that baffling and hard to process. If somebody wants to describe the acts, then yeah, that's fantastic. -- Danny (talk) 04:15, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
See, I prefer having a one-line listing of the sketches/songs and who performed in them under Highlights (or whatever we decide to call it), with further information on the sketch/song pages. Also, I think the backstage plot should be bundled together in the synopsis section at the top of the page whenever possible. -- Peter (talk) 14:32, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Oh, I didn't know that you wrote the guides in Muppetzine. Did you write any episode guides for any other Henson shows in Muppetzine? --Minor muppetz 14:41, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, the stuff that's on the Fraggle Rock Episodes pages is also from MuppetZine. -- Danny (talk) 15:40, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
As for the Highlights and plot -- I actually think it would be nice to have a full description of the episode, from start to finish. I'll try doing one later today to show you what I mean. -- Danny (talk) 15:41, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Upgrade shortly

Just to let you know, there is likely to be a short database lock today to allow for a MediaWiki upgrade. The time isn't set yet, I'll let you know if and when I get more information -- sannse (talk) 08:10, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

This is now scheduled for around 19:00 (UTC) today (world clock). The whole process should take less than an hour - all subject to the whole thing going smoothly of course! -- sannse (talk) 11:19, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Okay, thanks for letting us know! -- Danny (talk) 11:46, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

There was an unexpected conflict that took some time to cure, so the latest estimate is now 06:00 UTC tomorrow (world clock) -- sannse (talk) 21:24, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Sesame Street episodes

I just came across this list, which looks pretty useful. -- Scott (talk) 05:47, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki