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Archive of Today on Muppet Wiki, March - April 2008.

April 2008

  • April 30Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a romantic comedy written by Jason Segel. Jim Henson's Creature Shop built several puppets for a Dracula musical that takes place in the film's finale. Several Henson veterans appear on-screen as puppeteers and the film is riddled with additional references to the Muppets.
  • April 29Belleregard is Beauregard's mop as featured in The Muppet Show On Tour. She was featured dancing with Beau in the "Cheek to Cheek" number. No cast listing for her voice is listed, and it is believed she did not speak. The program for the tour also lists her appearance as being on video and not live on stage.
  • April 28 • In Sesame Street Episode 3870, Big Bird and Snuffy welcome the viewer to Sesame Street, and find the arbor full of animals, who are gathered for the Animal Film Festival. Big Bird and Snuffy want to say the alphabet, but before they can, the festival's master of ceremonies, the elephant, introduces a series of elephant films. He sees if there are any questions; Snuffy asks how long the show will last, and they find out that it's happening all day long, which means they have to find something else to do besides say the alphabet.
  • April 22The Future is Counting on You: In the 1990 Muppet Babies episode "Muppet Babies: The Next Generation", Baby Rowlf meets his future grandson, Lieutenant Woof of the Starship Boobyprize. The Earth of the future is clean and bright, and Woof explains that the previous generations took good care of the Earth. He sings "The Future is Counting on You", and we see the Muppet Babies erasing polluters and smog-creating factories from the world. Today is Earth Day -- please celebrate the day by learning more about preserving the environment.
  • April 21Hero Guy is Baby Bear's imaginary superhero friend. In a series of sketches on Sesame Street Baby Bear brings Hero Guy to life by drawing a picture of him and singing his theme song. When Hero Guy, who is also a bear, springs to life as an animated character, he and Baby Bear embark on adventures together. Although they often face unexpected challenges, Hero Guy never fails to save the day.
  • April 20Jack Be Nimble is a nursery rhyme character, famed for his prowess at leaping over candlesticks. He appears in a Sesame Street News Flash sketch, where he is portrayed as a hippie who does not know what "over" means, instead going under and around the candlestick.
  • April 19The Simpsons are the stars of a long-running prime-time animated series of the same name. The series has spoofed the Muppets and Sesame Street in more than a dozen episodes. The yellow-skinned family also appeared with Grover in the celebrity version of "Monster in the Mirror," coming to life on a painting.
  • April 18 • Did you know that there are 13 Kermits on this wiki? Check them all out!
  • April 17Fantasia is a 1940 animated film produced by Walt Disney. The film is made up of several vignettes which are set to pieces of classical music. The most popular of these segments is a symphonic poem, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" by Paul Dukas. "Big Bird's Sesame Street Dictionary" Volume 5 features Ernie in the role of the sorcerer's apprentice
  • April 16Anthony Minghella was credited for the final scripts on each episode of Jim Henson's The StoryTeller. He also wrote Living with Dinosaurs and created The StoryTeller: Greek Myths. When Minghella directed The English Patient, he turned to Jim Henson's Creature Shop for special makeup effects.
  • April 15Stan Freberg is a satirist, voice actor, puppeteer, and advertising man. Freberg began his career as a voice actor for Warner Bros., playing Baby Bear, Pete Puma, and other characters in Looney Tunes cartoons. He made a string of successful comedy records spoofing recent music trends in the 1950s. Freberg has often been cited as an influence on Jim Henson's work, and Sam and Friends frequently used his recordings.
  • April 14Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog Dream Date Colorforms Colorforms produced a Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog set in 1981. It featured a Disco background, and included not only Kermit and Piggy, but also Gonzo, Camilla, Fozzie Bear, Zoot, Janice, Floyd, Dr. Teeth, and Animal.
  • April 13Handmade Video is an experimental project produced by Jim Henson Productions on May 7, 1990. Jim Henson introduces a demonstration of what he calls a "whole new and different kind of television" that he expects will evolve in the coming years. He recalls his own beginnings in television and the cumbersome weight and size of using studio cameras.
  • April 12Insects are the most diverse group of animals on our planet, and the Muppet Workshop has recreated their fair share. Take a look at the insects that have appeared in Henson productions.
  • April 11Leave It to Beaver is a sitcom that ran from 1957 until 1963. The family sitcom focused on Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver, and became a cultural touchstone for its supposedly idyllic depiction of suburban life. The Muppets have referenced the series on Muppet Babies, and Kermit mentions the characters in his 2006 autobiography Before You Leap.
  • April 10Muppets Ahoy! was a shipboard stage show incorporating live puppetry of Muppet characters, which debuted on the Disney Cruise Lines in July 2006. The production debuted aboard the ship Disney Wonder. Performers included John Kennedy, Victor Yerrid, Drew Massey, and Brett O'Quinn.
  • April 9Don't Be a Bully is a Sesame Street song sung by Narf, one of the Monster Clubhouse characters. The song's tune is a take-off of "Wooly Bully", a blues song made famous in 1965 by Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs. Narf and his two monster friends are playing at the playground when another monster, Pino, comes along and grabs the ball. He refuses to give it back, and Narf tells him that he's being a bully. Pino doesn't understand the concept, so the others sing him a song.
  • April 8The Pebble Pox is a disease that afflicts Fraggles and Doozers, which figures in the Fraggle Rock episode "Pebble Pox Blues." Gobo contracts the disease, which Red and Mokey have already had. Wembley and Boober later catch the disease, as do some Doozers.
  • April 7Sesame Street cake pans: Wilton has produced a series of cake pans in the shape of Sesame Street characters, beginning in the late 1970's and continuing through to the present. Each pan comes with detailed instructions on how to decorate the finished cake. The most recent example is a 2007 pan in the shape of Abby Cadabby.
  • April 6Charlton Heston was an Academy Award-winning American film actor who starred in such films as the 1956 version of The Ten Commandments (as Moses), Ben-Hur (1959), and Planet of the Apes (1968). He also played Cardinal Richelieu in The Three Musketeers (1973) and The Four Musketeers (1974). In 2001, he supplied the voice of The Mastiff in the Creature Shop effects film Cats & Dogs.
  • April 5Deadline was a TV drama created by Dick Wolf which ran on NBC for a single season, from 2000 until 2001. The ninth episode, "Somebody's Fool," features a subplot about a celebrity safety voice-over campaign for New York taxi cabs. Kevin Clash appears as himself (and receives guest star billing in the opening credits), recording a safety message as Elmo, minus the puppet: "Elmo loves riding in taxi cabs, and he always buckles his seatbelt for safety. Thank you, Seatbelt! Ha ha ha, hee hee!"
  • April 4Spiders are classified as arachnids and not insects (or bugs). They have eight legs, two body segments, and a non chewing mouth. Despite the inability to chew, they are able to open their mouths to speak, at least when created by the Muppet Workshop.
  • April 3Barkley is a full-bodied Muppet dog who appears on Sesame Street. Barkley was originally called Woof-Woof when he first appeared in Season 9. In the 10th season premiere, Episode 1186, the cast voted to rename him Barkley. Barkley is energetic and playful, but is not anthropomorphized in the way that Rowlf and other characters are. While he may exhibit human-like emotions, he communicates only through barks, yelps, and physical contact, just like a real dog.
  • April 2Angel is a television series which was spun off from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, running from 1999 until 2004. The fifth season episode "Smile Time" features a plot in which the title character is turned into a live-hand puppet and battles the forces of evil in felt form. The episode spawned a sequel of sorts for a comic book mini-series written by Brian Lynch. Titled Spike: Shadow Puppets it was littered with a plethora of in-jokes to the Muppets and Sesame Street.
  • April 1Fraggles Look for Jobs was the Fraggle Rock wrap video taped in 1987. When the show wrapped production after its fifth season, this 15-minute video was made as a goodbye-gift for the cast and crew. The five main Fraggle characters try to find new jobs after the last episode has been taped.

March 2008

  • March 31Richard Dawson is an actor and an Emmy Award-winning game show host best known as the original host of Family Feud. He also had a memorable role on Hogan's Heroes, and was a regular panelist on the game show Match Game. Dawson appeared on Sesame Street in 1981 in "Family Food", a Sesame spoof of his popular show.
  • March 30Bert's books is a list of books that Bert has read on Sesame Street. The list includes The Secret Life of Pigeons, Cooking with Oatmeal, Feathered Fairy Tales and Bonfire of the Oatmeal.
  • March 29Gerry Parkes is an actor who originated the role of Doc for the North American versions of Fraggle Rock. When he was cast in Fraggle Rock, Parkes was just finishing a regular role as another type of "doc," playing Dr. Edmund Lowe on the Canadian TV series Home Fires. After Fraggle Rock, in addition to returning as Doc in A Muppet Family Christmas, Parkes continued to work in children's television and in such films as The Boondock Saints.
  • March 28Oscar's trash can is the private domain of Oscar the Grouch and is situated between 123 Sesame Street stoop and Big Bird's Nest. Like Doctor Who's TARDIS, the classic clown cars or Snoopy's doghouse, Oscar's can is considerably deeper than one would initially suspect. The seemingly bottomless domain houses a variety of diverse grouch amenities and luxuries.
  • March 27Green Earth Blue Skies is a Sesame Street View-Master reel released in 1991. Oscar the Grouch takes his Sesame Street friends to "Grouch Camp", but everyone is appalled by how messy the camp is. Big Bird, Ernie, Bert, Grover, Prairie Dawn, Betty Lou, Elmo, and Cookie Monster help Oscar to clean up the camp, and then enjoy the natural beauty of the forest. Finally, the group celebrates Earth Day in the open air.
  • March 26Push Button Sesame Street is a playset produced in 1974 by Child Guidance. Five large buttons at the front of the set show pictures of Ernie, Bert, Big Bird, Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch. Pushing the buttons reveals the hiding places of the corresponding finger puppet. The buttons can also be removed to serve as stands for the characters.
  • March 22Wander McMooch is a toad-like villain on Fraggle Rock, who lives in the realm of the Gorgs. A greedy real estate developer, McMooch cons Junior Gorg into selling the Gorgs' Castle and surrounding lands. Junior signs over the property in exchange for what McMooch claims are the mythical Peas of Power. Mokey and Red aide Junior in outwitting the con man. The plan only succeeds when McMooch discovers that Fraggles are on the property, as he lives in fear of the "cute" creatures. McMooch is a unique Fraggle Rock character, in that he is a totally evil character, with no redeeming features. Conflicts involving McMooch stemmed not from differences in perspective (as was usual for the series) but from his own inherent badness.
  • March 21Annie DeLoo is a little girl who played a Klink in the Wubbulous World Jingle Day Pageant. She confided in Mrs. Zabarelli that she had stage fright, but Mrs. Zabarelli sang her an encouraging song, "We Don't Know What We Can Do Until We Try." From then on, that phrase became Annie's words of wisdom. As she grew up, Mrs. Zabarelli passed the holiday baton to Annie, and she became the teacher.
  • March 20The Cast of Fame: Travel back with us to 1983: Muppet Magazine was on newsstands, and the TV show Fame was in its second season, so naturally the two collided in a lengthy photo interview with the show's cast. Rowlf jammed with pianist Lee Curreri, Fozzie traded jokes with Carlo Imperato, and Kermit danced with Gene Anthony Ray. Muppets are gonna live forever!
  • March 18Fierce Creatures is a 1997 comedy follow-up to A Fish Called Wanda, starring John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Kevin Kline. The plot revolves around a zoo facing financial difficulties. As one ploy to bring money into the establishment, Kline's character decides to use celebrity sponsors (without telling them), and naturally Miss Piggy is among those honored, hovering over the zebras like the star she is. (No doubt pairing her with warthogs would have been offensive).
  • March 17Sesame Tree: For more luck of the Irish, Northern Ireland will finally receive its own Sesame Street co-production next month. The project has been in various stages of development since 2004. Sesame Tree will star such Irish Muppets as fuzzy inventor Potto, Hilda the Irish Hare, and an array of others, all sharing a tree in harmony, untouched by sectarian divides.
  • March 15Supreme: No, it's not a pop group or a Taco Bell meal. Supreme is a clothing chain catering to skateboarders, and they've just put out a new line of t-shirts and poster starring Kermit the Frog: himself, not a poser, as captured by photographer Terry Richardson. Holding all those cool skating positions must have been tiring
  • March 13Sam Plenty, sometimes called The Sam Plenty Cavalcade of Action! Show Plus Singing! is a new web series by the Jim Henson Company. A spoof of the old Gene Autry serials which blended cowboy elements with singing and sci-fi thrills, Drew Massey stars as singing cowboy Sam Plenty. The site went live on Sunday, and new episodes are coming soon. Watch as Sam Plenty sings about cow poop and battles invisible invaders, if you dare.
  • March 10The Lord of the Rings is a three-volume fantasy epic by J.R.R. Tolkien. The books inspired a successful film trilogy directed by Peter Jackson, which used digital motion-capture of actor Andy Serkis to create Gollum, starting with The Two Towers. As a digital stand-in for Gollum in the dailies, the WETA animators occasionally used a CG Kermit the Frog. Isn't that preciousssss?
  • March 9Beat the Time is a recurring game show on Sesame Street. Spoofing Beat the Clock, this Guy Smiley extravaganza gathered such diverse contestants as Grover, Count von Count, and Elmo to find certain items before time runs out. The Count is more interested in enumerating seconds on the clock than actually playing, but he wins anyway.
  • March 8Polaroid: Back in 1981, the Muppets appeared in several commercials for Polaroid cameras. The spots emphasized how Polaroid instant cameras help capture cherished moments such as Miss Piggy's birthday or the Muppets' Christmas gathering. Polaroid went bankrupt a few years ago, and stopped making the cameras in 2007, but these commercials are a reminder that at one time, Polaroid meant fun. Say cheese!
  • March 4Kermit Think Green: With Earth Day approaching next month, what better way to be environmentally aware than by wearing a t-shirt endorsed by Kermit himself? Tote bags, pins, and pants are also available, though not all are actually green in color.

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