Ryan Dosier – It’s happened again… another year has come to an end. He were are the end of another one–a year so different from previous that it’s crazy. This year we were treated to a brand new theatrical Muppet movie, The Muppets, for the first time in a dozen years. The Muppets have never been more all over the place than they were this year, and even we had trouble keeping up with it all. Here’s our attempt to highlight all of the major Muppet-related events of 2011 in one simple swoop!
- The Muppets Shut Down Hollywood Boulevard, Jan. 13 – Our first glimpse of the incredible effort being put into The Muppets came when we saw over 100 Muppets and 200 dancers take over Hollywood Boulevard for a massive number for not one, but two nights. Even then, we still didn’t really know how big it would be.
- Uncle Deadly is Confirmed for The Muppets, Jan. 20 – And he simultaneously returns us to 1976 and makes us realize that James Bobin is fantastic.
- The Muppet Mindset Interviews Kevin Clash and Elmo, Jan. 25 – Still our only interview with a Muppet… and probably the best interview we’ve done. Thank you, Kevin!
- Cameos for The Muppets Pile Up all month long. We attempt a Great Muppet Cameo Rundown but it changes and changes almost weekly… so it doesn’t exactly work. Except now it’s finished and we know everything already.
- Toy Story Short Confirmed to Play in Front of The Muppets, Feb. 3 – That short turned out to be “Small Fry” and it did indeed play in front of The Muppets. Muppets and Pixar… a dream come true.
- Cee Lo Green, Gwyneth Paltrow Sing “Forget You” with Henson Company Puppets, Feb. 13 – Not Muppets, alright? What’s the difference… erm… do you have a lawyer? This could get complicated. Maybe this is where a paralegal certification would come in handy.
- Jason Segel and Amy Adams Visit CinemaCon to Talk About The Muppets, March 29 – They showed clips and talked about the movie and gave a million interviews afterwards… and, everywhere, Muppet fans grumbled about not being there.
- New York Times Writes Article About The Muppets, April 9 – Some of the facts aren’t right… it didn’t say much we didn’t already know… but it had some great quotes and got us more excited. Job well done.
- Muppet Vinylmation Series 2 Released, April 15 – Somewhere, a Muppet fan flipped out over being able to own a Waldo C. Graphic toy.
- Kermit the Frog Turns 56, May 9 – Funny, he doesn’t look a day over 47.
- Kermit Interviews at Pirates of the Caribbean Premiere, May 10 – How is this the first time Kermit has talked to Johnny Depp? Also… when can we sign Geoffrey Rush on for the next Muppet movie?
- Teaser Poster for The Muppets Revealed, May 14 – They were closer than we thought… and I assume they still are. They might even be closer now.
- First Trailer for The Muppets Plays Before Pirates, May 20 – Muppet fans everywhere debate whether or not to go see a fourth Pirates movie just for three minutes of Muppet glory… and most of them do.
- “Green With Envy” Parody Trailer Released Online, May 23 – This was probably the biggest day of 2011, for me. It set the stage for everything that was yet to come. It still blows me away.
- “The Fuzzy Pack” Parody Trailer Released Online, May 26 – Two parody trailers in as many days almost made our heads explode. It’s that the main scene featured here was cut from the movie… but it built the hype for the movie so well it almost didn’t need to be in it.
- “Being Green” Parody Trailer Released Online, June 16 – The third parody trailer for The Muppets was the best one yet and put Kermit and the gang in action hero roles… sort of. I still sort of wish the movie was in Swedish (but not really).
- First Full-Length Trailer for The Muppets Released Online, June 18 – Another week where two trailers came in two days–we were really spoiled this year, Muppet fans. This first trailer gave us some insight to the actual feel of the movie, and not a parody therein. Plus, we meet 80’s Robot and Miss Poogy.
- Sesame Street Spoofs DVD Released, July 5 – “Miami Mice” never looked so good! Plus, we can all Smell Like a Monster anytime we want.
- The Muppets International Posters Revealed Online, July 11 – Floyd Pepper is snubbed on the poster… a trend which will unfortunately continue. Thankfully, Zoot was in the forefront for the first time ever.
- Threadless Hosts a Muppet T-Shirt Design Contest, month long – Somehow, Jamie Carroll’s spectacular “Muppetational Mosaic” design got second… I still demand a recount!
- Sam Eagle Parodies Captain America, July 22 – And he did it both patriotically and normally.
- Official Poster and Theater Standee for The Muppets Revealed Online, July 27 – Never before had more Muppets been held up by less people. (Thanks, Photoshop!)
- The Muppet Mindset Interviews Jerry Nelson, Aug. 5 – Technically this began in 2010… but it came to a wonderful close in 2011 with Part 4 of our interview series with the legend that is Jerry Nelson.
- 100 Days Until The Muppets Countdown Begins, Aug. 14 – Lucas Ervin brought us 100 different clips from The Muppet Show in his countdown to The Muppets. Yes, “Mahna Mahna” was included.
- D23 Expo Showcases The Muppets, Jim Henson, Aug. 19-20 – Jim Henson became a Disney Legend, Kermit and Rowlf sang “Rainbow Connection,” and two clips from the movie were shown. Plus, Ryan met Steve Whitmire and Eric Jacobson… win.
- The Muppets: The Green Album Released, Aug. 22 – Who knew that “Our World” from Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas was just begging to be covered by My Morning Jacket?
- The Muppets and OK Go Make a Music Video for “The Muppet Show Theme Song,” Aug. 22 – Honestly? This single music video was better than anything between 2005 and 2007.
- Animal and OK Go Perform on The Tonight Show, Aug. 31 – Animal was more realistic than Jay Leno!
- The Muppet Mindset Interviews Matt Vogel (Again), Sept. 2 – It’s nice to know that Matt isn’t tired of us (yet).
- “The Pig With the Froggy Tattoo” Parody Trailer Released Online, Sept. 15 – It was a lot more than just a pig with body art! So many shots and screencaps, our breakdown of the trailer took two parts!
- Commercials for The Muppets Begin on TV, Sept. 18/year long – The very first television promotion aired during the Emmys broadcast, and continued with spots during Glee, Modern Family, Community, and everything else.
- The Internet Celebrates Jim Henson’s 75th Birthday, Sept. 24 – For the first time, The Muppet Mindset hits over 3,000 visitors in one day. Thank you, Jim… for everything.
- Sesame Street Season 42 Begins on PBS, Sept. 26 – 42 and still counting! Spider-Monster, “G,” a Bert and Ernie street story… a great season was had by all.
- Kermit the Frog Promotes Pistachios on TV, month long – In the first real commercial promoting The Muppets, Kermit shills (and shells) for the nuts he’s nuts for!
- Miss Piggy Guests on So Random!, Oct. 2 – It pained me to watch the Disney kids… but Miss Piggy was a saving grace–at always. (And this time she didn’t pay me to say it.) (At least not all of it.)
- The Muppet Fan-A-Thon Begins, Oct. 3 – In their effort to reach a bazillion “likes” on Facebook, the Muppets begin begging everyone and tempting them with promises they may not keep.
- The Muppets Tell You to Shut Up in AMC Theaters, Oct. 10 – In one of the many, many videos in the Muppets-advertising-things category, Kermit, Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Pepe, Animal, Swedish Chef, and Big Mean Carl take over an AMC Theater and talk to a banana, text, microwave, and drum.
- Second Full Length Trailer for The Muppets Released Online, Oct. 13 – We get our first glimpse of The Muppet Barbershop Quartet… including Link Hogthrob. Many wonder if it really is 2011 or if 1979 was happening all over again.
- Rowlf the Dog Gets Interviewed by Yamaha, Oct. 14 – And I quote, “It’s a howling good time. Don’t bother barking at this one, just read it!”
- Miss Piggy Gets a Photo Spread in InStyle Magazine, Oct. 20 – She’s never looked better! (She did pay me to say that one.)
- Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, and Rowlf Drive with Alamo, Oct. 24 – Rowlf’s tongue becomes a star in its own right–and that’s nothing to spit at!
- The Final Parody Trailer for The Muppets Released Online, Oct. 27 – “Breaking Prawn,” “Fuss in Boots,” “Abnormal Activity,” and a Muppet version of Happy Feet become more desirable than the things they’re parodying.
- The Muppets Take Over WWE Raw, Oct. 31 – Wrestling fans and Muppet fans take a moment to bond… and then someone threw a chair and it all went south.
- The Muppets Take Over Wired Magazine, November Issue – Janice gets tangled in ear buds, Sam Eagle eats spaghetti, and Jason Segel dresses like Beaker… what more do you need?
- Being Elmo Documentary Takes Over Theaters, year long – The great team at Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey put the film in numerous theaters all around the United States. Unfortunately, Elmo couldn’t be at every screening.
- WeLoveFine T-Shirts Hosts Muppet Design Contest, month long – More t-shirts, more Muppets, more money being spent!
- Kermit the Frog Graces the Cover of Entertainment Weekly, Nov. 4 – The only amphibian on the cover in 2011!
- The Cast of The Muppets Gives Interviews, Nov. 7 – Walter begs Disney for The Muppet Show Seasons 4 and 5 on DVD, name-drops Palisades Toys, and solidifies himself as a favorite of Muppet fans everywhere.
- The Electric Mayhem Gets Interviewed, Nov. 7 – In what was possibly the best-written Muppet interview of the year, Dr. Teeth and the band make their triumphant return. Just brilliant.
- Kermit, Piggy, Walter, Jason Segel, James Bobin, and Nicholas Stoller Hangout with Google +, Nov. 8 – It was cute… it was jumpy… it was Google +, which is pretty pointless. But still fun!
- Ryan Dosier Sees The Muppets Cast and Crew Screening, Nov. 10 – Ryan meets Peter Linz (the nicest guy ever), James Bobin (also painfully nice), and sees the freaking movie. He walks on air for six days afterwards.
- The Muppet Mindset Reviews The Muppets, Nov. 11 – Spoiler: It was great.
- Ryan Dosier Goes to the World Premiere, After Party of The Muppets, and Dancing With the Stars, Nov. 12 – Jason Segel says he reads The Muppet Mindset, Amy Adams is gorgeous, the Muppeteers and Muppet Wives are the greatest people on earth, and Ryan nearly passes out 40 times.
- Disney Twenty-Three Magazine Spotlights The Muppets, Nov. 15 – And you thought magazines were a dying medium…
- The Muppets Perform on Dancing With the Stars, Nov. 15 – Walter’s first TV appearance has him singing, dancing, and whistling up a storm. That little guy can do it all!
- Jason Segel Hosts Saturday Night Live, The Muppets Crash It, Nov. 19 – I have to assume that the Muppets are still upset that they didn’t get to host… but Jason did do a nice job.
- The Muppets Original Soundtrack Released, Nov. 21 – I still can’t (and don’t want to) get “Life’s a Happy Song” out of my head!
- The Muppets is Released in U.S. Theaters, Nov. 23 – Everything was great, everything was grand.
- The Muppets, Jason Segel, Amy Adams Appear Everywhere, month long – There were barely enough talk shows to contain them all!
- Disney Store Begins Selling Pepe, Walter Plush Dolls, year long – I’ve never been happier to own a doll of a shrimp and a guy in a blue suit.
- Walter Geeks Out on CNN, Dec. 7 – Walter mentions The Muppet Mindset in his interview… and becomes my best friend for life.
- The Muppets Gets Nominated for Four Critics Choice Awards, Dec. 14 – They haven’t won them yet… but they’ll probably get at least one.
- USA Today Names The Muppets the #1 People of 2011, Dec. 22 – I agree completely! Even though most of them aren’t actually “people.” (Although I guess they are below the waist.)
- Muppets Poised to Take Over Disney Fantasy Cruise Ship, Dec. 22 – A brand new interactive Muppet game available only on the cruise! Start saving now, kids.
- Kermit, Robin, and Jimmy Fallon Sing “When the River Meets the Sea,” Dec. 23 – Jimmy Fallon: A Muppet’s best friend.
And… that’s a year! Good grief, what a year it’s been for the Muppets! They’ve taken over everything and seem to have found their way back into pop culture… I sincerely hope they’ll secure that position and hold it through 2012 and beyond.
It’s also been an incredible year for me, personally (as frequent readers will know). I’ve got no words for it… other than unreal. It’s all thanks to you, the fans of The Muppet Mindset, who keep me going day after day that everything that happened to me was possible. So thank you for that, happy new year, and I hope you’ve enjoyed this look back at 2011, the Year of the Muppet!
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org