- Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas blooper reel ( Frank Oz and Jerry Nelson )
- Sesame Street sketch with the Tweddle bugs licking a giant George Washington Stamp ( shows signs that there might have been blue humor before the filming as I mentioned in my blog video )
- The Muppets Go To Disney World Outtakes ( The last Jim Henson project next to Muppet Vision 3D and probably one of the best and only blooper reels of existence from Jim Henson and the original Muppet performers time )
- There’s rare footage of Muppet Show bloopers which has floated around on the internet in recent years. But I would highly recommend people checking out the Emmet Otter and Muppets Go To Disney World bloopers .
Monday, August 20, 2018
The Happytime Murders directed by Brain Henson : ( Opinions regarding the trailer and promotion of the film )
As a lifetime Jim Henson fan , expert as well as an adult puppetry independent filmmaker and puppeteer . Yes I do have many opinions about Brain Henson’s new movie The Happytime Murders , intellectually and not just out of black and white reaction like most people on the internet. Still a movie is like a book , all we’ve seen is the cover. Will it be the next Brain Henson classic , is it worthy in Jim’s company’s name , will it be honored with all the other adult puppetry classics such as Dinosaurs , Meet The Feebles , Spitting Image , Les Guignols De L’info , and Puppets Who Kill ? Or would it end up as just as much of a dumb down low brow shock comedy as the trailer and tv spots present to generate box office from the masses. Well here’s the thing , when I see an adult puppet anything I expect it to be at least satirical or have some sort of structure because it’s like any literature , just with puppets for an adult audience. And when I see the name “ Brian Henson “ , yes indeed I do expect THE BEST QUALITY MOVIE EVER just like the 1990s Muppet movies he directed which has a special place in my heart and childhood. We will just have to wait and see. Either way , I wish The Jim Henson Company good luck. But telling by the trailer , looks like they are going to need it because most Muppet / Henson fans are SHOCKED and feel like this trailer is a slap across the face. Even ToughPigs thinks it’s “ desperate “. It’ll be nice to eventually see just what Frank Oz thinks of it. But in the meantime , here’s my two cents.
Watch part 2 right here
For the facebook page posts of this
And speaking of Adult Puppetry , if anyone is interested , here’s my adult puppetry and adult animation artwork and entertainment. In no means is this competition. lol Art is art , not business .
#puppetry #adultpuppetry #popculture #moviereviews
The Happytime Murders
( pre-premiere opinions )
We all know the saying to “ not judge a book by it’s cover “. But at times like The Happytime Murders , is there an exception ?
In the first trailer it mentions three titles from the film’s director “ The Muppet Christmas Carol “ , “ Muppet Treasure Island “ and “ Muppets Tonight “. Even though this was post - Jim Henson years , the 1990s was indeed my childhood. I was there when The Muppet Show reran on Nickelodeon , I was there when both The Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island was in the movie theaters and watched every United States broadcast of Muppets Tonight from ABC to The Disney Channel . In fact the only reason why I begged to get The Disney Channel was to see the rest of Muppets Tonight . And when Bear In The Big Blue House was the only Muppet thing left on The Disney Channel , I switched over to Cartoon Network to enjoy another favorite of mine which is the classic Looney Tunes and Tex Avery Golden Age of Animation Cartoons which shortly lead me to my next favorites since The Ren & Stimpy Show , Rocko’s Modern Life , Angry Beavers , and Invader Zim which would be Ed Edd N Eddy . I shook Brian Henson’s hand at age 13 when I went to MuppetFest that very year in 2001. In my lifetime I only witnessed The Muppets being “ a cult following “ but regardless of how many times I’ve been bullied in childhood for being one of their biggest fans , I proudly say with my 1990s Muppet childhood even though in my lifetime , “ I was there.”
The Muppets were sold to Disney in 2004 when I was in high school. I was the only person in my high school who was pissed off about this. Two years later , the filmed version of The Erica Crooks Show started in 2006.
My mother who I don’t speak about as much as I should ( because she can be a smothering and over protective ESFJ ) has been for the most part been a good mother to me. We crashed the O Neil’ Puppetry Conference after party which I went to the O Neil’ Puppetry Conference afterwords , ( I haven’t been there since 2009 though , it’s been awhile ) .
My mom written to Cheryl Henson which I got a free copy of Muppets Make Puppets in the mail . But when my mom meet someone at a pizza polar who knew someone who worked for The Jim Henson Company in 1998 , my mother immediately took action and begged to do something for me even though previously rejected by The Jim Henson Company previously which is totally understandable as a private company that needs to focus on projects and due dates. In 1998 , regardless of my abusive father calling me “ the f slur “ as his reaction to me being terrified seeing a urinal for the first time in my life and immediately using the toilet stall for privacy ( one of the many indicators which is proof that I am a woman who was born in the wrong body ( transgender woman ) , next to MuppetFest this private tour of Henson Townhouse and The Muppet Workshop ( next to meeting my Twin Flame face to face ) will mark as one of the top greatest memories of my lifetime always and forever.
I learned to recycle my polyurethane foam scraps and keep it in a bin instead of a laundry shoot which The Muppet Workshop used , things I observed influenced my own home office puppet workshop which I still use for The Erica Crooks Show and my film puppet projects to this very day. They were so nice , they literally let me puppeteer ( fool around with ) a foam Miss Piggy and Grouch head and test out a Doozer from Fraggle Rock using a Waldo. And I did not have plans of touching anything even though I was like 10 ish.
They were super nice ! Again one of my most loved memories of life.
How sad it truly is how many chances my father had in his lifetime to see me in my best to just go unappreciated due to his narcissistic ego. But I was never close to my abusive father even though he did spoil me rotten , he was a narcissist and only cared about himself.
And despite how my mother’s smothering and overprotectiveness and ESFJ / INFP personality clashes there is , my mother was always the good hearted parent in my life.
She might not find any of my irreverent sense of humor funny but as a visual artist she was always supportive.
I just wanted to introduce you all to the image of just how patriotic I am of my 1990s Muppet fandom. It’s my life ! In fact anyone who ever knew me in this lifetime would always remember me every single time they see something relating to puppets , but especially Jim Henson and The Muppets. That was something that always stood out in my life , even as an adult who’s interested in a variety of things , that always stood out. No wonder I was diagnosed by quacks with Asperger’s Syndrome. But that’s another blog topic all together.
Satire was something I appreciated much more as an adult then I did in childhood. Which is the very reason why my rude and silly adult puppet show “ The Erica Crooks Show “ seems to be the absolute worst idea for a family puppet comedy show because it’s really for adults with an inner child and a child at heart. I reflect upon the kinds of senses of humor which I find funny and entertaining both my inner child / child at heart aspects and the ones I find funny as an adult , basically I find both funny . So as an adult , I came to appreciate satire and adult puppetry more and more.
Anyway I know this article is suppose to be my opinions regarding The Happytime Murders ( trailer and promotional stuff ) before seeing the film and everything , but I just wanted to make a statement on just how much all of this puppet stuff means to me in my life as a huge fan as well as an artist which again , this is my life !
The Happytime Murders trailer is perceived in two ways.
Shock and Horror amongst hardcore Muppet / Henson fans and huge cheer from non-Muppet fans. Yes I would be a part of the Shock and Horror Muppet / Henson fan crowd .
But as someone who’s a HUGE fan of Adult Puppetry ( Team America : World Police , Meet The Feebles , Puppets Who Kill , Crank Yankers , Greg The Bunny , Spitting Image , Dinosaurs , Alf , Les Guignols De L’info , Apollo’s Pad , etc )
I had a similar opinion to what ToughPigs.com has said “ It’s not clever “ .
But in my version it was “ This Looks Dumb ! And this is from Brain Henson ? How can this possibly be ? The dark side of Muppets Tonight’s Johnny Fiama or what ? “
Again my shock and disappointment wasn’t so much “ Puppets doing adult problem / adult themed things ? “ because I do all that crazy crap with my puppets all the time ! I had my characters both puppetry and animation do edgy things on occasion . The way how I look at it is , it’s the same juvenile sense of humor that kids had when they took dolls and making them do something “ inappropriate “ because it was funny and cheap to make yourself and your friends laugh . Which is the very same devil may care inner child / child at heart aspect of my sense of low brow humor that I apply to toilet humor and dark humor slapstick for example .
The problem with that kind of thing is , it’s how it’s done. Just like any fart joke , the mentioning of fart isn’t the problem , it’s how it’s done. Your either creative and or clever or YOUR NOT ! That is the difference from my opinion and prospective. I appreciate cleaver and creative humor otherwise I won’t like it.
I filmed a video addressing this very topic , my opinion of The Happytime Murders before I see it. However Brain Henson did do some interviews which he mentioned that The Happytime Murders is not going to be a shock comedy but being character comedy with a socio-political message on the subject of oppression. And as a transgender lesbian woman , this is a political issues I am very well familiar with. But as an anarchist , I doubt cops and lawyers would do anything to solve all this which I have a very feeling that this film will praise because it’s mainstream , and most people trust hierarchy in some level or another . Depending on what year you read this article , this is the time period of which I write this.
Regardless of what happened to one of my all time favorite and influential heroes of puppeteering and voice acting , the firing of Steve Whitmire which the issue to me seems unclear regardless of how little is on Steve Whitmire’s side of things , that was a huge loss.
But still the other Muppet performer who had made the news headlines is finally making his puppeteering return again “ KEVIN CLASH ! “ That’s right folks , “ KEVIN CLASH “ is back !
And finally , something I wanted to see for years which was Kevin Clash NOT PERFORMING ELMO ! I always enjoyed his other characters like Clifford , Leon and Hoots the Owl much better in my opinion .
But still , I still do wish I can be excited. Perhaps I feel like my Twin Flame in the Running stage in this symbolic comparison. I want to love it but I’m scared.
Now the biggest question that’s on most , if not everyone’s mind is
“ What would Jim Henson think ? “
The second question being of course is “ WHAT WOULD FRANK OZ THINK ? “
That’s right , he’s still alive. He made his recent comeback with twitter , and upcoming blog , and the awesome documentary “ Muppet Guys Talking “. And I sure do love my signed DVD . :)
If your a hardcore Jim Henson / Muppet fan , you would know that anything Frank Oz says , Most Jim Henson / Muppet fans are going to agree with . If Frank Oz says something relating to Jim Henson / Muppets , it’s going to make news headlines FAST ! Carol Spinney , Frank Oz , Fran Brill , Steve Whitmire , Brian Meehl , Dave Golez , etc
There’s your 1970s original Muppet performers and then there’s your 1980s Muppet performers , puppeteers who actually worked for Jim Henson. There’s more of the 1980s puppeteers then there is of the original core group which is presented in Frank Oz’s “ Muppet Guys Talking “.
Jerry Nelson passed away shortly after the film was made.
But again , what would Jim Henson think ?
Would Jim Henson love this as much as Brain Henson says ?
In my opinion as a lifetime Jim Henson expert .
My opinion on what Jim Henson would think goes as follows.
( 1. There’s a rude sense of humor that you would do naturally and organically which makes yourself laugh and your friends which is the very rude and irreverent sense of humor that Brain Henson talks about off camera . And it’s not much of a mystery to cartoonists and puppeteers because in say 16 personality type terms , it’s very “ Ne / Ni “ sense of humor in my opinion.
That’s why I strongly feel as I mentioned before that not everyone can just DO This kind of humor puppets or not. Perhaps that’s intuitive bias of me but let me reprise what I mentioned earlier upon the fact of “ The way it’s done “ , it’s either creative and or clever or it’s not funny regardless of how high or low brow it is. The original Muppet performers were creative.
There ARE a few rare Muppet Blooper reels out there which you can compare to The Happytime Murders trailers and Puppet Up / Stuffed and Unstrung .
Speaking of Kevin Clash , there is one from Dinosaurs which Kevin Clash performing Baby Sinclair something like “ Dinosaur Baby outburst outtake “ which is absolutely hilarious.
My point being this kind of humor in a IMPROV FORMAT like Whose Line Is It Anyway in my opinion ruins it. It does not capture the humor very well.
Because in the craziest of moments , the original Muppet performers would throw the puppets in the air , even walk over them , have them swear , and just crack up for hours and hours which the production team had to take breaks until the original Muppet performers would struggle to calm down from laughing which is why many of these sessions ended up being “ All Nighters “ .
( 2. It’s about quality. Something Frank Oz shared with Jim Henson which was how it wasn’t about Fame and Fortune but the quality of the work itself. That’s something that all artists business or not should always remember. Especially when we live in a capitalist society.
“When I go see a film, when I leave the theater, I like a few things, I like to be happier than I was when I went in. I like a film to leave me with an ‘up’ feeling. And I like a picture to have a sense of substance. I like it to be about life, about things that matter to me. And so I think it’s what we’re trying to do with this film ( Labyrinth ) , is trying to do a film that would make a difference to you if you saw it.” _ Jim Henson ( June 27, 1986 )
( *mentioned from the Brain Jay Jones Jim Henson Biography book * )
( 3. Jim Henson didn’t like violence ! Jim mentioned this in Muppets & Men : The Making of The Muppet Show ( TV Special Documentary ) ( * But totally ok with cartoon and puppet violence. Meaning “what looks like a toy being tossed around” ( quote ) . )
He even had concerns when his Creature Shop was making the Ninja Turtles for the 1989 / 1990 film.
But if you want the best answer for the very question of “ What would ( name ) think “ if alive or passed on , my suggestion is to figure out their MBTI 16 Personality type ( Isabel Briggs Myers / Carl Jung ) as well as Numerology ( there’s calculators online out there ) and in my opinion it’s pretty accurate.
And here is where I go geeky nerdy. In the Brian Jay Jones book , Jim Henson took the Myers Briggs Personality Test and resulted as “ The Idealist “. that means INFP ! On wikipedia it also mentions that Jim Henson is an INFP . Jim Henson studied Janes Roberts’ Seth Speaks. A modern version of that is Abraham Hicks / The Secret . It’s New Age / New Thought Spirituality. Christian Science does have it’s origins.
What’s my point ? Well I got into New Thought / New Age Spirituality in 2012 , and the Jim Henson Brian Jay Jones book came out the year afterwords and I was surprised not only that but Jim Henson shares the same 16 Personality Type results that I do. I am an INFP too . No wonder I can relate and understand Jim Henson’s idealism so much.
But of course numerology and zodiac differs. As well as individuals. Still it’s interesting , whenever I read or heard a Jim Henson interview or mentions of Jim Henson’s life , I would call it the “ Henson Curse “ in an irreverent joking sort of way because I could relate to something within myself in some form or another. I may not be a huge fan of cars like Jim Henson was but there was many things almost as if I could be friends with my hero easily famous or not.
Jim Henson believed in incarnation. And incarnation doesn’t necessary mean the whole spirit but perhaps certain aspects. And with only 16 personality types in the world , and even empaths and lightworkers that are old soul.
I’m not saying I’m him , but it’s a very interesting thought . Maybe it’s an INFP thing . I don’t know . In recent years I’ve been getting into George Orwell and John Lennon more and more . I was listening to a John Lennon interview which he said at the very end something like “ People like us are rare , people like us always were. “
Again in no means am I trying to bring about some sort of self-righteous / I’m the superior Jim Henson expert or am Jim or anything on those lines . I’m just saying as a lifetime Jim Henson / Muppet fan , as someone who’s interested in New Thought / New Age Spirituality , as an INFP , I find this very interesting , especially how I can relate to all this . Again maybe it’s an INFP thing. So in other words , if an INFP went to see Happytime Murders or an INFJ which is Frank Oz’s personality type I think and guess , perhaps that’s the best answer you can predict not coming from the very men’s opinions .
Still , Frank Oz’s opinion is going to be very interesting indeed.
For people who don’t already know this , when it comes to the mainstream media industry known as Hollywood , rarely does anyone own their own copyright and trademark rights to television shows , motion pictures ( movies ) and even fictional characters .
It’s usually owned by some studio company but most of the time by a conglomerate corporation like how The Walt Disney Company owns The Muppets .
In other words , The Jim Henson Company DOES NOT OWN Happytime Murders .
The studio that bought the script and funded the film owns the movie.
Brain Henson mentioned that it was them who did the publicity , the studio was the ones who got sued by Sesame Workshop , The Jim Henson Company did not do the publicity.
However with Brain Henson mentioning how dirty the film was going to be , even mentioning a bartender with a singing penis being one of the scenes that was cut from the film ,
we can only guess what kind of a film this is going to be.
And due to the firing of Steve Whitmire , if The Happytime Murders does not go so well , this just adds more baggage to a ever growing negative perception of Brain Henson from fans which fans deep down in their hearts do not want to have in the first place. I’m not saying Steve Whitmire is innocent and the things that were said about him are not true , but the truth of the matter is , things regarding Steve Whitmire are still do this very day “ mysteriously “ up in the air and does seem to be more against Steve Whitmire since no one is on his side except his own. The Hensons are against Steve Whitmire as well as The Muppet Guys of Muppet Guys Talking . And I still think those who trolled Steve Whitmire’s blog in the past were indeed ACTUAL Muppet puppeteers , including the one who was behind the mysterious account known as “ Fleece Throat “. Just my opinion as a fan who eyeballed the whole situation daily / weekly when it happened.
One thing I also like to mention as a Muppet fan who is also a part of the LGBTQ+ . Is this family going to be LGBTQ+ friendly ? Lisa Henson had donated money to GLAAD as well as supporting gay marriage in the past.
Just the jokes in the trailer with prostitution and LGBTQ+ people. Especially that stuff that Goofer says which seems to me to be a transgender woman prostitute joke.
Ok so the actress in The Happytime Murders who’s some comedian I never heard off probably because it’s new and she didn’t appear in anything previously that is of my taste as of now , her character was originally a cisgender man cop and when she came in to be lead human role , very little was done to change her character so many the penis jokes were kept in as a result. I don’t know.
But if there’s a major LGBTQ+ backlash ( if there isn’t one already , I have no idea , I haven’t seen it in the news headlines yet. )
If any Transgender Woman get offended by the trailer or the movie , I don’t mean to shamelessly plug in ericacrooks.com and officialericcrooks.com and act like a hypocrite .
I’m just saying that not only do Trans Lives Matter but so do Trans and LGBTQ+ Muppet / Henson fans like myself ! I’m just saying in general as a Henson / Muppet fan as well as someone who is a part of the LGBTQ+ , born this way.
But perhaps why I make a big deal out of this low brow joke is probably because I had a transgender woman friend who was into was a prostitute in order to survive homelessness and committed suicide while a pimp was threatening to hurt or even kill her.
She was such a positive and spiritual role model in my life and helped me come out of the closet. Despite what I’ve heard from someone at a local pride Christmas party back in late 2015 with drinking problems , I still have a positive word for her.
She wasn’t a sociopath , I chatted with her sister a little bit after she passed away , I donated money to a local library in her name. As she told me , she will be my gardening angel.
She was into New Age spirituality. I meet my true love and Twin Flame 3 years later so I won’t be surprised if she helped out spiritually.
So in terms of Happytime Murders ( including a trans woman joke that I did see in a Puppet Up / Stuffed and Unstrung trailer online ) ,
just know that yeah sure there were Muppet fans making transphobic jokes on one of the forums commenting on the Pachalafaka sketch from The Muppet Show , just like the Lumberjack song from Monty Python’s Flying Circus , sure those are funny but please be respectful of people who are different from you.
The Muppets taught equality and diversity in a creative funny way , and as non-puppet human beings we should apply that too. :)
Hopefully that would be the message behind The Happytime Murders.
So in conclusion
Hopefully things will turn out ok and the movie will be great with a political message about anti-drugs and oppression. If not , Brain Henson’s career is sunk and Frank Oz is going to hate this film.
In truth , I want to believe what Brain Henson said in the interviews and everything.
But another observation is how The Jim Henson Company today just looks like current Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network , absolutely nothing like it was in it’s heyday.
Why The Jim Henson Company can’t make great stuff like creative stuff like in the 1990s Jim Henson Productions years like Dinosaurs and The Wubbulous World of Dr Seuss ( season 1 ) as well as Muppets Tonight and the two Muppet Movies written by the great late lifetime Muppet headwaiter Jerry Juhl , the reason why we don’t see such great things like this is an easy answer. The strange bed fellow of art and entertainment known as “ Capitalism “ .
When artists need to sell out in order to survive , can you blame them ?
That’s what happened with Muppet Babies , Jim Henson’s Play a Long Video and Preschool Collection .
That’s why Jim Henson wanted to sell to The Walt Disney Company in 1989 / 1990 .
And that’s the big differences between The Wubbulous World of Dr Suess Season 1 vs Season 2 , Dog City from The Jim Henson Hour vs the Television Series , The Muppet Show vs Muppet Babies , Fraggle Rock vs Fraggle Rock : The Animated Series , Classic Sesame Street vs the popularity of ELMO and New Sesame Street ( ok , that’s just opinion. )
And let’s go rant with fandom further
Classic Simpsons ( Seasons 3 / 4 - Season 8 / 9 ) vs Zombie Simpsons and Jerk Ass Homer
The Golden Age of Animation Looney Tunes 1940s and 1950s vs Space Jam , The Looney Tunes Show and Wabbit
The Ren & Stimpy Show vs John Kricfalusi
Original Star Wars vs oh just watch the documentry The People vs George Lucas
Spitting Image / 2DTV / vs Headcases
Online Fandom , Fan art and sharing / Comic Con ( Did I go too far cynical / skeptical with that one ? lol )
Anyway it’s just going to be one of those wait and see situations.
BUT THE RESULTS ARE GOING TO BE BLACK AND WHITE AMONGST HENSON / MUPPET FANS !
And yes , fans and artists do have lives.
We’re just passionate about this stuff because we can connect to all this on a personal level within our personality and even our soul.
Art vs Business indeed .
But in a capitalist world , sometimes you got to be a little forgiving in some situations depending on the motives of
“ Selling Out “ vs surviving in a capitalist society just like everyone else globally .
Anarchists put it best , capitalism kills .
Anyway , that’s my opinion on this.
If the movie is actually good then my opinion is changed to a positive one. If the movie is a bomb and a stinker , I’ve made my points.