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Muppet Wiki:Today on Muppet Wiki Archive 07

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Archive of Today on Muppet Wiki, May - June 2007.

June 2007

  • June 30Big Bird Record Player was produced by Fisher-Price in 1983. The battery-operated toy was adorned with Big Bird's likeness and functioned as a fully working children's phonograph, capable of playing 33 1/3 and 45 rpm records.
  • June 25For Our Children was a two-hour television special which aired on the Disney Channel in 1993, a televised benefit concert to raise funds for the Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Rotating hosts for the evening included Baby Sinclair, who sat atop a crate esconced in a large jungle gym set. Baby waved and grooved along to several songs, and introduced several performers.
  • June 23Alexis Cruz appeared on Sesame Street for one year, playing Alex in Season 22. Alex was part of the teenage cohort that included Gina, Mike and Jelani. After his year on Sesame, Cruz played Skaara in Stargate and Rafael on Touched By an Angel.
  • June 22Episode 0847: Margaret Hamilton appeared in a 1976 Sesame Street episode, reprising her role as the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz. The Witch loses her broom, and tries to get it back from David, who refuses to give it up. Frustrated, the Witch makes it rain inside Hooper's Store, and threatens to turn Big Bird into a feather duster. Meanwhile, Oscar the Grouch develops a crush on the Witch. The episode garnered an unusual amount of negative mail from worried parents, who reported that their children were terrified of the Witch's frightening demeanor. Children's Television Workshop also received one letter from a disappointed Wiccan, who complained that the episode promoted unfair stereotypes of witches.
  • June 18Winona Beamer is a teacher, composer, folk chanter, and leading proponent of the study of Hawaiian culture, establishing the first such department at Kamehameha Schools and coining the term "Hawaiiana." She was also crucial in reintroducing the standing hula for women. Beamer was one of several Hawaiian residents who guest starred on Sesame Street during the Hawaii story arc, beginning in Episode 1091, playing Aunty Nona.
  • June 16Muppets Puzzle Party is a rhythm-based matching game staring the Muppets. The game was released by Disney Mobile in 2006 and is available on mobile phones. Statler and Waldorf have turned the Muppet Theater into a dance club, operating as DJs Wally-D and StatCat. The main Muppet characters dance to block the old codgers' musical beats, and blow them out of the club. This game proudly continues the long history of embarrassing Muppet video games.
  • June 14This Way to Sesame Street was a promotional special that aired on NBC stations on Saturday, November 8, 1969 at 5pm. The thirty-minute show, sponsored by Xerox, gave a special preview of the new National Educational Television series, Sesame Street, which was set to debut two days later. This is a rare and exciting look at the history of Sesame Street, and we've got a complete guide.
  • June 13Molière was a 17th century French theatre writer, director, and actor, and is considered to be a significant figure and master of satire and farce. His works generally satirized all layers of French society and focused on ridiculous figures, undone by vanity, greed, or ignorance, and the farcical complications and miscommunications which surround them. Some of his best known plays include The Imaginary Invalid, Tartuffe, The Mischievous Machinations of Scapin, and The Doctor in Spite of Himself.
  • June 10Captain Impressive is the superhero persona of Earl Sinclair. In the fourth season Dinosaurs episode "Earl, Don't Be a Hero," Earl leaps into a lake filled with toxic waste. When he resurfaces, he has a strange glow which brings out the color of his eyes. The glow fades, but Earl finds that he can fly through the air. Roy Hess uses his knowledge of comic books to surmise that Earl has gained a vast arsenal of superpowers: flight, heat vision, and the ability to guess the weight of anything within a single pound.
  • June 9Professor Albert Einslime is a worm scientist who leads the team of WASA experts during Slimey's trip to the Moon. Headquartered at mission control on Sesame Street, Dr. Einslime's first call to action was during a crisis on board the Wiggleprise in episode 3713. With Oscar's help, Einslime oversaw a recovery assignment to get the ship back on course after the crew became stir crazy and fought over a pink bowling ball. He again played an integral part during the moon landing in Episode 3740, often relaying information to Oscar, who would translate for special Sesame Street News correspondent Robert MacNeil.
  • June 8The Giant Man-Eating Chicken terrorizes John Denver and the Muppets in Rocky Mountain Holiday. She lives in the valley where the group is camping, walking the woods looking to exact revenge on an old prospector who once stole a handful of her feathers to keep warm. When John warns the gang that she comes around looking for campers who have chicken feathers in their sleeping bags, Gonzo figures on tracking down the beauty for a date. He reasons that she's a man-eating chicken; she doesn't eat whatever he is.
  • June 7Sesame Street Test Show 1: In July 1969, the Children's Television Workshop produced five pilot episodes for Sesame Street, to test the educational value and child appeal of the new show. The episodes were broadcast on a Philadelphia public broadcasting station over five days, and children in the area were tested before and after the broadcast. There are some striking differences between the test shows and the first broadcast episode -- the most obvious being the absence of Muppets. Ernie and Bert are the only Muppet characters in the test shows, and they only appear in inserts -- but they tested so well with children that Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch soon joined the humans out on the Street. We've got a full episode breakdown of the first show, with pictures and everything.
  • June 5Jean-Honoré Fragonard was a French painter and printmaker whose late Rococo manner was distinguished by remarkable facility, exuberance, and hedonism. One of the most prolific artists active in the last decades of the ancien régime, Fragonard produced more than 550 paintings. One of Fragonard's most famous paintings, The Swing, was spoofed by Miss Piggy in The Miss Piggy Calendar 1980.
  • June 4Mold: Gonzo owns what he claims is the world's biggest mold garden, made up of fungus, truffles and spores. He explains to John Denver in episode 401 of The Muppet Show that he'd gone away on vacation, forgetting to clean out his refrigerator. When he returned, the food was all green and fuzzy: too cute to throw out.
  • June 3The Log Bird appeared in the Sesame Street "Monsterpiece Theater" presentation of "Twin Beaks". The Log Bird is the resident expert in the town of Twin Beaks, who gathers information by consulting with his Log. The Bird is very protective of his log, and turns angrily on Agent Cookie when he feels his lumber has been insulted.
  • June 2Beasty and the Beaut: Lesley Ann Warren and Doglion performed the ballet "Beasty and the Beaut" as the opening number of episode 315 of The Muppet Show. The ballet is a parody of the classic fairytale Beauty and the Beast. At the climax, Lesley and Doglion kiss, and Lesley is transformed into a creature with a Doglion-esque head. The happy couple finish with a joyful dance.
  • June 1Surfin' USA: It's the beginning of June, so it's a good time to start thinking summer thoughts. "Surfin' USA" is a Beach Boys song, performed performed on The Muppet Show in episode 518. Kermit the Frog, as Sinbad the Sailor, is trying to steal the treasure from a cave guarded by Sweetums. The ogre is on the lookout for Sinbad the Sailor, so Kermit explains that he's Sinbad the Surfer. To prove it, he and his gang sing "Surfin' USA". Sweetums is convinced, and joins in.

May 2007

  • May 31Big Bird (animated): Big Bird, as one of the most well-known residents of Sesame Street, has frequently been adapted for animation on the series and in related productions. He was the subject of an early 70s "Mystery Drawing" segment -- saying "It's me, you sillies!" when he's revealed -- and he appeared in the animated insert "The Noble Ostrich". Big Bird's most prominent appearance as an animated character was in two sequences in Follow That Bird -- blowing up a balloon to reveal the Warner Bros. logo at the start of the film, and in a dream sequence with his ideal Bird Family.
  • May 29Jackie Robinson was the first African-American Major League Baseball player. He played with the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1947 to 1956, and he was named the National League's Most Valuable Player in 1949. Robinson recorded an insert for the first season of Sesame Street, saying the alphabet. Robinson's insert was included in a number of episodes, beginning with episode 0054.
  • May 28Animal photo puppet replica: Master Replicas plans to release a replica of a photo puppet of Animal in 2007, using the patterns and similar materials that the Muppet Workshop uses to produce the official photo puppets. The replica will be fully poseable with mouth expression, and moveable eyelids and full articulation at the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, ankles and fingers.
  • May 27Dane Cook is a stand-up comedian and actor who had a bit part in the 1997 Creature Shop film Buddy, as a cop at the World's Fair. A year later, he began appearing on Comedy Central and gradually gained increasing exposure on talk shows as well as the stand-up circuit. More films followed, and in 2006, he played his first leading role in Employee of the Month.
  • May 26Muppet mugs (Kiln Craft): Kiln Craft, an English pottery firm, produced three sets of Muppet Show mugs, featuring all the Muppet celebrities. This was in the late 70s, so it was perfectly acceptable to produce a mug with Beauregard's face on it. Ah, those were the days.
  • May 25The Daily Show is a comedy news program that airs on the Comedy Central network, currently hosted by Jon Stewart. Miss Piggy flirted with Stewart on the show in 1999 to promote Muppets from Space, while Kermit the Frog tested how far his late night demeanor would take him through an interview in 2001. The show has also made several references to the Muppets over the course of its run.
  • May 22Episode 4090: Cookie Monster is convinced that the Moon is a giant cookie, and he's desperate to travel there. Gordon tries to convince Cookie Monster that the Moon isn't a cookie -- and anyway, you can't get there by standing on a ladder. Cookie Monster consults with Slimey the Worm, who's visited the Moon, but Slimey says that he doesn't know if it's a cookie or not -- he didn't taste it when he was there. Finally, Gordon introduces Cookie Monster to guest Buzz Aldrin, who describes what the Moon is really like.
  • May 21Hase Spielhaus is a rabbit director who appeared on Sesamstrasse in March, 2007. Hase (literally "Hare") directs Samson in a commercial for green lemonade, but is frustrated by his star's clear dislike for the beverage. Finally, Rumpel, who loves the lemonade, substitutes for Samson as the star.
  • May 19Slinky Pets Kermit: In 1999, Nanco released a Kermit hanging toy as part of their "Slinky Pets" line. He has a plush head, shoulders, arms, and legs. His torso is a "slinky" covered in fabric. He's just as cute as could be.
  • May 18Peter Falk is an actor best known for playing the eponymous detective Lt. Columbo on the TV series Columbo and in numerous TV movies. In 1979, Falk appeared as himself in the TV special The Muppets Go Hollywood, trading jests about the food with Fozzie Bear. Two years later, he made an unbilled cameo in The Great Muppet Caper as the bum on the park bench, valiantly attempting to predict what Kermit's life story is. Falk's gravelly voiced portrayal of Columbo was also the inspiration of the Sesame Street character Colambo.
  • May 17Smokey the Salmon takes a moment out of his anadromous lifestyle to provide Grover and his friends with a turgescent supply of litter that his lake has accumulated via an amalgamation of negligence and aggressive despoilment of nature's habitat in Sing-Along Earth Songs.
  • May 15Happy Birthday, Bob: Every once in a while, something completely new turns up. This time, it's a 1978 primetime special that aired on NBC, celebrating Bob Hope's 75th birthday. The special featured the usual array of guest stars, including Pearl Bailey, George Burns, and Miss Piggy and Kermit. Nobody on the wiki had ever heard of this appearance, until someone posted a set of 1978 NBC commercials on Youtube, and there it was. Hooray for the internet!
  • May 12Zuzu Fitzwaller is a Hungarian water juggler in The Muppet Show episode 406. Zuzu was booked as the opening act of the episode, but Miss Piggy tells him to go home, to make way for her salute to Kermit's birthday. A tearful Zuzu pours out his sorrows to the frog, pointing out that his act involves juggling an entire bucket of water, and that his girlfriend Gloria came all the way from Pittsburgh for the occasion.
  • May 11Aesop's Fables are a collection of stories credited to Aesop, a slave and story-teller who lived in Ancient Greece. Aesop's Fables have become a blanket term for collections of brief fables, usually involving anthropomorphic animals. The fables remain popular in children's moral education and entertainment. The Muppets have performed many versions of Aesop's stories, including "The Country Mouse and the City Mouse," "The Tortoise and the Hare," and "The Boy Who Cried Wolf."
  • May 10Monica DeVertebrae is the brontosaurus who lives next door to Earl and Fran on Dinosaurs. Introduced in the second season episode "Unmarried ... With Children," Monica is a career woman, a real estate agent selling the house next door. Monica also holds the distinction of being the first dinosaur to divorce her husband, deciding not to renew her marriage license. As a four-legged dinosaur (only her neck and head are ever shown), she often encounters racial prejudice. Earl generally thinks of her as a radical, filling Fran's mind with wild ideas about independence.
  • May 9Muppet comics: A new series of Muppet comics is scheduled to begin appearing in the pages of Disney Adventures beginning in August of 2007. Roger Langridge will be writing and drawing the comics which are intended as one or two-page stories to run in the regular edition of the magazine with larger stories (ten to twelve pages) in the ComicZone specials. This series marks the return of the Muppets to comic form, previously seen in The Muppets comic strip and the pages of Muppet Magazine.
  • May 8Episode 4127: Grungetta is playing with her pet Rottendoodle, Itchy -- a flea-ridden grouch dog that does absolutely nothing she asks it to do. Oscar the Grouch is inspired to adopt his own Rottendoodle, Cranky -- but there's something wrong with his new pet. She obeys his commands, finds lost items, and gives everyone kisses! Worried, Oscar takes his pet to Gina, the veterinarian...
  • May 7Sesame Street Beans is a set of Sesame Street plush toys produced by Tyco in 1997. The set was the Sesame version of the Beanie Babies fad, which was at its height at the time. The "collectible" aspect of the Beanie Baby fad depended on having a large number of items in the set, with some more common than others. To fill out the set to include 24 different Beans, a number of minor characters were produced as plush toys for the first time, including Barkley, Benny Rabbit, Guy Smiley, the Amazing Mumford and Telly Monster. In 2000, Kellogg's cereals packaged a set of 24 "mini-beans" in cereal boxes.
  • May 6The Best of the Jimmy Dean Show is a new DVD compilation of The Jimmy Dean Show, the 1960s variety show starring country singer Jimmy Dean. Rowlf the Dog was a regular part of the show, appearing in a comedy sketch with Jimmy in every episode. This DVD is the first commercial release of these vintage Rowlf sketches, and they're fantastic. The hour-long compilation includes two Rowlf sketches from 1963, "Song and Dance Man" and "Swinging on a Star". In both sketches, Rowlf begs Jimmy to invite canine star Lassie on the program. Lassie did appear later that year, so maybe that'll show up in a future DVD release...
  • May 3Big Bird Marionette: Friends Industries produced a kit in 1977 for a styrofoam marionette of Big Bird. The kit included separate pieces for his head, neck, body, chin ruffle, neck ruffle, wing feathers, feet, top feathers and legs. When assembled, Big Bird stood just over a foot tall, and it looks just as great as it sounds.

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