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Tuesday, February 16, 2021

The Muppet Show+ by Nicholas Napoli

So I’ve never been interested until now, but can someone tell me how do I subscribe to Disney+ ? All five seasons of The Muppet Show arrive on February 19 th and I think this might be one of the best things to have happened to The Muppets in a very long time. We all know the drama with the Season 1-3 Boxsets, thirteen years we’ve waited, even Walter voiced his concerns over this but we never received Seasons 4 and 5. After so many years, my OCD for physical copies has disappeared and I’m fine with Seasons 4 and 5 making their way to Disney Plus, in fact I actually prefer it. As I write this, I realize, I do want my The Muppet Show Season 4 & 5 DVD Box Sets at some point. They could even do a Diamond Select on us and release all five seasons in one boxset and I’d buy it twice. The Muppet Show on DVD is not the point here, The Muppet Show on streaming is, and as much as the DVD’s would have excited me, streaming excites me even more for The Muppets and all the new fans they are about to reach.

First of all, let me congratulate Dinosaurs for not only trending on Disney Plus, but reaching so high up on the list, very well deserved. The Muppet Show I hope will join that list too very soon, it has a lot going for it. The world (or at least Disney Plus subscribers) are both going to be reintroduced and newly introduced to the talents of Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Dave Goelz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, Steve Whitmire, Jerry Juhl and the whole talented crew that got The Muppets started to where they are today. The Muppet Show doesn’t just reintroduce a newer generation to older looking designed Muppets, it introduces them to the talents of Jim Henson and all his collaborators who once helmed The Muppets. As much as I enjoy everything the Muppets have ever done, the movies, the shows, the specials, The Muppet Show is still what originally started it all and there is never anything like the original. For the first time, since it’s premier, The Muppet Show is going to reach a large audience, at the exact same time, with the advantage of binge watching, YAYYYY!!!!!!!


The newer generation, most of them have heard of The Muppet Show, they know that’s where Kermit hosted in front of the red curtains, the two old men heckled in the balcony box but have they ever watched an episode before? The Muppet Show has so much to offer, first there’s the nostalgic aspect of The Muppets, which people don’t even realize they crave, seeing as The Muppets (unlike other properties) have never taken a break. Being a nostalgic fan of The Muppets is very different to just being a Muppet Fan, and I think many people are going to be in for a very pleasant surprise. A causal Muppet viewer might be able to get their Muppet nostalgia fix on Disney Plus by watching either The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, The Muppets Christmas Carol or Muppet Treasure Island but for the average fan and especially newer generations of Muppet viewers, this is something they didn’t know they needed until they are presented with it. It’s not just the characters, it’s the sketches too, Muppet Labs, Pigs in Space, Vets Hospital, Swedish Chef’s Kitchen, Muppet Newsflash, At The Dance, Planet Koozbane and all other sketches, Muppets at their best.

The Muppet Show doesn’t just have The Muppets nostalgic factor to rely on, it also has the legendary stars from the past, the nostalgia isn’t just with The Muppets, it’s with each and every celebrity too. This is going to be such a good move for everyone involved, I can’t wait for The Muppet Show to start trending. With The Mandalorian and Luke Skywalker being so popular at the moment, especially also on Disney Plus, I can’t wait for millions of people to sit down and watch the Mark Hammill episode for the first time. Julie Andrews, Harry Belafonte, Vincent Price, Lynda Carter, Big Bird, Alice Cooper, John Denver, Elton John, Paul Williams, John Cleese, Sylvester Stallone, Brooke Shields, Peter Sellers, Steve Martin as well as over 105 legendary celebrities from their time. The Muppet Show has a lot to offer for everyone, so many people with different tastes in entertainment, will be drawn to The Muppet Show. Best part was that growing up, I had no idea who any of these celebrities were, for the most part, other than seeing them on this show, I was never really familiar with most of the celebrities. However, this never took away from my enjoyment of the show, so although many faces might be unfamiliar to many younger viewers, it will not affect their entertainment of the show. For the older viewers, the celebrities will simply be an extra icing on top of their Muppet nostalgic cake. 

Apart from the older character designs, most of the guest stars from the distant past, the music, Uncle Deadly’s fashion sense, the show is not dated, it can still hold up with today’s audience. The corny humour from the past might not hold up with other properties, but it does with The Muppets, corny and edgy, that’s what their known for. I’m also excited for all the casual Muppet viewers to realize Uncle Deadly is not a new character from 2011 and that he had actually been around since The Muppet Show days. People have been locked down for months, watching so much drama unfold throughout our world, people need a rest, people need pure entertainment. They need something they can use to switch off, unwind and feel that warmth nostalgic feeling that takes them back to their childhoods, The Muppet Show is coming to Disney Plus just in time. The world needs The Muppets now more than ever, they don’t need Kermit and Miss Piggy going through a separation, they need the feel-good energy of The Muppet Show. Will The Muppet Show revive the variety style format? Is a backstage narrative, holding together various short sketches, exactly what today’s TikTok generation will watch? Is The Muppet Show streaming going to be the thing that brings everyone back together in 2021? If not, at least I hope it’s popular enough, that we get a spin-off show out of it.


What makes the timing of The Muppet Show debuting on Disney Plus even better now, is not just that everyone is nostalgic these days, locked at home, looking for something to binge watch but also Muppet Babies plays a big part too. Muppet Babies has reintroduced The Muppets to a whole generation of young kids for three years, the show has developed the characters so well, that these kids are more invested in the Muppets, than many other kids who came before them. Children ages three and up are now willing and ready to watch the classic The Muppet Show in all it’s glory because they’re invested in the characters from their animated series, this was exactly how I got hooked on Muppets, but with the classic 1984 show, not the 2018 show, in case that wasn’t clear for some reason. This is going to be exactly what family entertainment consists off, during lockdown, during high tensions, family members ages 1-100 can sit down together and enjoy the same form of entertainment.

Disney Plus is such a great home for The Muppet Show, it a good place for The Muppets in general and I’m so glad The Muppet Show will finally be arriving soon. If The Muppet Show trends well enough, then hopefully we might see other productions from The Muppets library makes their way onto Disney Plus in the future. Content for the nostalgic Muppet Fans, Animated Muppet Babies, Muppets Tonight, Hey Cinderella, The Frog Prince, The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson, The Muppets A Celebration of 30 Years and most obviously in my mind, The Muppets At World Disney World. The Muppet Show Sex and Violence, The Muppets Valentine Show, The Muppets Go To The Movies, The Muppets Go Hollywood, The Fantastic Miss Piggy Show and if possible A Muppet Family Christmas, that would blow all their subscribers away. Let’s not forget Muppet Classic Theatre or Muppet Fairy Tales, depending from where you’re from. This special contains six classic Muppet fairy tales, first production I can recall without any human cast members. I think this would surprise everyone at how popular it would be with kids, especially those now watching the new Muppet Babies. Some Muppet productions are easier to grow new fandoms with, by allowing them to watch more childish (Puppet) Muppets first, being children and fans of Muppet Babies, then allowing them to grow up and discover edgier Muppet content. Content for Muppet Fans and newer younger fans such as Muppet Studios DC, The Tale of The Bunny Picnic, The Muppet Sing Along Videos, The Muppet Playhouse Series, The Muppets PlayAlong videos, Kermit’s Swamp Years, The Muppets Wizard of Oz and Muppets Letters To Santa.

In fact, an annual Muppet Christmas special on Disney Plus would make for a great family tradition, that makes you feel obliged to keep Disney Plus all year round, if the tradition sticks. I’d certainly make it a family tradition; all I need is a Disney Plus subscription and my own family. Just like the “Pixar Shorts” The Muppets should have their own category of “Muppet Shorts”, I’m sure there is more than enough existent material to keep updating that category for years. Also I’m not a fan of how many Muppet Babies categories they have available, they should all be under one category. To satisfy my OCD, if I can’t organize my physical collection, I want my digital one organized instead. The John Denver Muppet Specials, The Great Santa Clause Switch, Classic Muppet Live Appearances, Little Muppet Monsters, The Muppets Take Manhattan, Muppets From Space, It’s A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, I want it all in one place, but I understand why not, though no excuse for not including Bear In The Big Blue House yet. Between The Muppet Show, Dinosaurs, Earth To Ned and the excitement of what’s to come next, Disney Plus you finally hooked me.


by Nicholas Napoli@NicholasNapoli3
Author of:
Politics, Bullies & You:
A True Story By Nicholas Napoli

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