BREAKING NEWS: A NEW MuppetsHenson Poll is now up for your votes. The latest one asks if you plan on seeing Brian Henson's R-Rated Puppet movie, "The Happytime Murders" when it is released in theatres on August 17th? Please let us know what you think. The Poll can be found near the top of the right sidebar.


Friday, June 15, 2018

The Muppet Show Reboot By Nicholas Napoli

A few months ago, I read online, something that made me very happy, The Walt Disney Company, was considering rebooting The Muppets for the launch of their new streaming service in 2019. This made me happy for many reasons, the wait between The Muppet Show and Muppets Tonight was 15 years, the wait between Muppets Tonight and The Muppets (2015) was 20 years. Luckily the wait between The Muppets (2015) and their newest show, will only be 3 years apart, can you believe it’s already been two years, since The Muppets (2015) was cancelled, where has the time gone? This move also shows how determined The Walt Disney Company are, when it comes to keeping the Muppets alive, and that I can appreciate. Fans and Non-Fans alike, are hoping, and expecting, a revival of the original The Muppet Show, when will The Muppets start listening to their fans? The Muppets (2015) was ambitious, brave and would have worked better, had it been The Muppets third season, as opposed to their first. The audience were tossed right into an ongoing storyline, we were no longer familiar with these characters, we had missed out on too much of their current lives, I for one couldn’t truly get invested. I believe, if you want to change The Muppets, not that this is necessary, but to do so, you must first give the audience something their familiar with, in our case, it’s The Muppet Show. Disney’s new streaming service, launching in 2019, promises a new Muppet reboot, I’m excited, nervous and intrigued by what we might get. 

The new Muppet Babies (2018) reboot, has proven to be a hit, for me it is clear why, clever storytelling, that is contained within Muppet continuity. The Muppets, as characters must remain true to who they are, this can’t be changed, Muppet Babies has captured these characters perfectly. Always go wild and wacky, when it comes to The Muppets, make them feel out of this world, not simply as part of our existence. Do not tone down the Muppets, to fit around their new surroundings, have their new surroundings adapt to The Muppets instead. If the Muppet Babies can be rebooted successfully after 27 years, I’m sure the same can be done, with The Muppet Show franchise. The premier season, in my opinion should continue doing, what the last series began to do, reintroducing everyone’s favourite Muppets to today’s generation, with a much larger cast of characters this time around. As in the original Muppet Show, Kermit the Frog along with his co-stars Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, The Great Gonzo, Scooter, Rowlf, Animal and the rest of the Muppets, try putting on a show every week, cutting from on stage disasters to backstage antics. Following the same concept as the original show, there should be a special guest star in every episode, even if it is against their will. Along with classic favourites including Pepe the Prawn, Rizzo the Rat, Dr Bunsen Honeydew, Beaker, Sam the Eagle, The Swedish Chef, amongst others. At the same time, I would like to meet newer Muppets, being introduced each season, on a regular basis, and let’s not forget to bring Walter back, this time around. 

Alongside new Muppets, I hope many old, familiar characters are brought back too, including Polly Lobster, Clueless Morgan, Mad Monty, Clifford and if even possible, Skeeter. What I most enjoyed about The Muppets (2015) series finale, was the arrival of so many, long, lost, favourite Muppet characters, ranging from Droop, all the way to Howard Tubman. Sadly, this happened at the end of the series, whilst at the beginning, audiences only had a select number of Muppets, in which to root for. The Muppets are not actors, one does not need to pay for their appearance, just to have them walk around in the background, that is why I believe, familiar background Muppets, should never go away. As a kid, I always enjoyed waiting for my favourite characters to show up on screen, the large selection of characters to choose from, was one of my Muppet childhood memory highlights. I hope this is considered as a follow up to The Muppets (2015), I would personally like this new Muppet reboot, to not address the big cliffhanger at the end of the last series. Kermit and Miss Piggy’s relationship, in my opinion, should be considered a mystery as the show progresses, ala their relationship status on The Muppet Show. In The original The Muppet Show, Kermit and Miss Piggy never really labelled the status of their relationship, Miss Piggy was in love with Kermit, and Kermit most of the times, just wanted to put on a show. Kermit and Miss Piggy worked together, on occasions they might have shared a moment or even a passionate kiss, but at the end of the day, they were never a couple. Both Kermit and Miss Piggy flirted with different celebrities, did their fair share of dating, yet at times still confronted their relationship status and would on occasions argue like a divorced couple. At some point, in this new series, it would be nice to see them finally tackle this ongoing storyline, but for now, I think it’s safer to take Kermit’s advice, stay away from the love drama and put on a show. 

The second season could then begin to introduce viewers to the idea, that The Muppets Show Reboot, is not just based around the Muppets trying to put on a show but rather, the Muppets trying to live their lives. The same format as the first season could continue, yet more of the backstories slowly beginning to take over, until eventually the series can reach a “Muppets From Space” style of storytelling, which also sort of replicates the good parts of their 2015 series. As a fan, that’s The Muppet Show I would like to see, I want a happy not sad Kermit, I want a crazy not sensible Gonzo, I want Penguins not Office Workers, I personally would like an updated version of The Muppet Show. Basically, I’m hoping The Muppets Hollywood Bowl Show makes it onto my TV, on a regular basis.

- Nicholas Napoli

Friday, June 01, 2018

NEW MuppetsHenson Poll is NOW UP! - Brian Henson's "The Happytime Murders"

NEW MuppetsHenson Poll is now up for your votes!

This week's question deals with Brian Henson's R-Rated Puppet movie, "The Happytime Murders".  

Here is this week's question:

Are you planning on seeing Brian Henson's R-Rated Puppet movie, "The Happytime Murders" when it is released in theatres on August 17th?

Let us know what you think. You can find the MuppetsHenson Poll near the TOP of the RIGHT SIDEBAR. 

Thanks for your participation!

MuppetsHenson Polls FINAL RESULTS: "Muppet Guys Talking" and "Muppet Babies"

How would you rate the Frank Oz documentary, "Muppet Guys Talking"?

EXCELLENT 78% (38)
VERY GOOD 14% (7)
GOOD 6% (3)
FAIR 2% (1)
POOR 0% (0)
Total votes: 49
How would you rate the NEW "Muppet Babies" series?

EXCELLENT 55% (29)
VERY GOOD 15% (8)
GOOD 21% (11)
FAIR 6% (3)
POOR 4% (2)
Total votes: 53

Sesame Workshop Loses Challenge To Brian Henson's "The Happytime Murders"

The nonprofit organization that produces the children’s TV show “Sesame Street” lost a court battle this week to block a movie trailer and tagline for the upcoming film “The Happytime Murders.”

The tagline for the adult-themed comedy crime mystery, which stars Melissa McCarthy and a crew of raunchy Muppet-like puppets, boasts: “No Sesame. All Street.”

Sesame Workshop, formerly the Children’s Television Workshop, sued Happytime producer STX last week, arguing that the trailer and tagline infringes on its trademark. Sesame Workshop also complained that the film depicted “explicit, profane, drug-using, misogynistic, violent, copulating and even ejaculating puppets” which could damage the organization’s wholesome brand, The Associated Press reported.

“Sesame seeks to enjoin Defendants’ deliberate effort to appropriate its SESAME STREET mark, and its trusted brand and goodwill, to promote their R-rated movie ... by way of a violent and sexually-explicit trailer,” the lawsuit stated.

But Manhattan federal judge Vernon Broderick ruled on Wednesday that the intention of the tagline was to differentiate “The Happytime Murders” from “Sesame Street.“ Broderick said Sesame Workshop failed to demonstrate that would-be moviegoers were confused or that parents or sponsors were offended.

Brian Henson, son of puppeteer and “The Muppets” creator Jim Henson, directed the raunchy murder mystery, People reported. Daughter Lisa Henson is the film’s executive producer. Henson died in 1990. The rights to “The Muppets” characters were acquired in 2004 by Disney.

“We fluffing love ‘Sesame Street’ and we’re obviously very pleased that the ruling reinforced what STX’s intention was from the very beginning ― to honor the heritage of The Jim Henson Company’s previous award-winning creations while drawing a clear distinction between any Muppets or ’Sesame Street’ characters and the new world Brian Henson and team created,” STX said in statement.

Although the judge denied a temporary restraining order against film’s marketing campaign, he told the parties to meet and suggest next steps for the case at a hearing next week.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

'Sesame Street' Sues STX Productions Over Movie Tagline - Lisa Henson's Reponse to Lawsuit

The makers of "Sesame Street" are suing the promoter of a new Melissa McCarthy movie, saying it's abusing the famed puppets' sterling reputation to advertise the R-rated film.

A judge Friday scheduled a hearing next week to consider a request for immediate relief by Sesame Workshop, which sued Thursday in federal court in Manhattan for unspecified damages and an order forcing the film to be marketed differently.

The film, "The Happytime Murders," is scheduled for release Aug. 17. McCarthy plays a human detective who teams with a puppet partner to investigate grisly puppet murders.

The lawsuit said the "Sesame Street" brand will be harmed by a just-released movie trailer featuring "explicit, profane, drug-using, misogynistic, violent, copulating and even ejaculating puppets" along with the tagline "NO SESAME. ALL STREET."

STX Productions LLC, in a statement issued in the name of "Fred, Esq," a lawyer puppet, said it was looking forward to introducing its "adorably unapologetic characters" to adult moviegoers this summer.

"We're incredibly pleased with the early reaction to the film and how well the trailer has been received by its intended audience," it said. "While we're disappointed that Sesame Street does not share in the fun, we are confident in our legal position."

In court papers, lawyers for Sesame Workshop asked the judge to order STX not to use any of Sesame's trademarks and intellectual property, including the phrase, "NO SESAME. ALL STREET," in marketing the film.

They said the marketing materials were confusing viewers into thinking Sesame was involved with or endorsed "this subversion of its own programming - thereby irreparably harming Sesame and its goodwill and brand."

In a release before the film was made, STX said it would be produced by The Jim Henson Company's Henson Alternative banner, On The Day Productions, and STXfilms, along with individuals including Brian Henson, Lisa Henson, Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone, among others.

In court papers, Sesame's lawyers said Lisa Henson, chief executive and president of Henson, just days ago emailed Sesame's chief executive, Jeffrey Dunn, saying it made her "terribly sad" that the marketing campaign "has devolved to this state of affairs."

Henson said Henson Alternative disagreed with the decision to reference Muppets and Sesame and argued against it, but "contractually we don't have the right to change it," according to the court papers.

She also said the Hensons did not view the film as a parody of the Muppets and "resisted creative suggestions. ...Therefore, trading off the famous Muppets to sell the film is exactly what we did not want to have happen," the court papers said.

Monday, May 21, 2018

The Muppets Create Marketing Mayhem Around Barclaycard Entertainment

Barclaycard has enlisted The Muppets to shout about the financial brand's unique entertainment perks.

The work, featuring Sgt. Floyd Pepper, Animal, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and the Great Gonzo introduces the benefits of being a Barclaycard card holder, primarily ticket offers and perks for over 3,500 live events a year.

Alex Naylor, UK managing director at Barclaycard, said: "With the experience economy booming, there is no better time to help customers get more from every gig, concert and festival. With special benefits and event perks built in, Barclaycard Entertainment will bring consumers even closer to their favourite acts.

“The Muppets are synonymous with entertainment so working with them to launch this campaign was a no-brainer – they have been putting smiles on people’s faces across the world for generations. With their star power behind our activity, we’re all set to kick-start Barclaycard Entertainment with a bang.”

The work will run on video demand services and cinemas, on select DOOH sites, and a press wrap in the Evening Standard.

Customers buying select tickets using their Barclaycard with get 5% back on the price, 10% of select presales like Download, The Isle of Wight Festival, and Reading & Leeds and 5% off food and drink at O2 Academy venues. Fans will be directed The Muppets' takeover of the Barclaycard website.