The Great Muppet Survey – Adam Dickstein

Answers from Adam Dickstein

1.   Who are your three favorite characters from The Muppet Show, Muppets Tonight, The Jim Henson Hour, the Muppet movies, etc. and why?

My first favorite Muppets character and probably second favorite Muppet of all time is Gonzo. I love everything about this guy… thing… whatever. From his unique appearance among the lead characters to his distinct voice to his only-Gonzo-truly-understands-Gonzo view of what consists art, I see a lot of myself in his character.

Next would have to be Floyd. Floyd Pepper is the dude I wish I was. Cool, collected, talented, and voiced to perfection for all those years by the amazing Jerry Nelson. This cat is the hippest of the chronically hip.

Last, and certainly not least, I have to give it up for one of the B-list Muppet characters who has been a favorite of mine since I first saw him on The Muppet Show… Uncle Deadly. I love Uncle Deadly. I was so happy he had a major part in The Muppets. A big part of it is his design but the idea of a Shakespearean Actor who looks like a draconic gargoyle is too awesome not to love.

2.   Who are your three favorite characters from Sesame Street and why?

I love the Muppet Show but it is actually Sesame Street that got me started on the road to Muppet fandom. Long after the ages where the show would be helpful for teaching me my A-B-Cs and 1-2-3s, I would check back to see new developments, characters and enjoy the brilliant humor and charm of the program.

My favorite Sesame Street Muppet, and truthfully my favorite Muppet of all, is Grover. I love everything about him. His voice, his look and his unceasing attempt to understand the world a little bit better than he did the day before. He is a Muppet of many talents, many guises and yet he is always Grover. Plus he can turn into Super Grover and as a comic book fanatic as well, that just bumps his status up higher.

Next would probably be the Count. There is a sublime genius in his design and concept that comes through pretty much every time you see him. He is a vampire or vampire-like entity, complete with Transylvanian accent, no reflection in mirrors and bats as companions, but he is made friendly, helpful and to me always seemed more like an adult than the other Sesame Street Muppets (a trait I feel he shares with Kermit and Oscar). Of course, the amazing voice talent of Jerry Nelson didn’t hurt.

If I had to pick a third favorite, and that isn’t easy as there are many characters I love on Sesame Street, I think I might have to go with Oscar. Carroll Spinney is an incredible actor, especially if you view his skill through the character of Oscar the Grouch. Cranky, argumentative and generally unpleasant, Oscar is still interesting, accomplished and genuinely likeable.That takes a certain kind of magic and Oscar, as well as Mr. Spinney, have magic is spades.

3.   Who are your three favorite characters from Fraggle Rock and why?

Boober for sure. It’s the very fact that he so very different in outlook from all the other Fraggles that has always made him my favorite. That and his eyeless appearance cracks me up. He looks like a Boober.

Next would be Wembley. So happy, yet so insecure. So helpful and yet so indecisive. All of these elements give the little fellow such depth. Plus, he’s yellow and green and wear’s a banana shirt. Got to like that.

Finally, there is Mokey. I would almost put Mokey second but I didn’t really appreciate how cool a character she is until I got older. She is an artistic and spiritual character in a way that always gave her an air of mystery to me. I find her fascinating and her singing voice amazing.

4.   What is your favorite television program starring any of Jim Henson’s creations (e.g. The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, Dinosaurs, etc.) and why?

The Muppet Show. There really hasn’t been anything quite like it since, Muppet-inclusive or not. We need this show back on TV. Not something like it, not a version of it but simply further seasons of The Muppet Show. We, the world’s television watching community, need a show that is not just entertaining and creative but smart. This was a show of intelligent zaniness. Intellectual, pun-filled, visually stunning television of The Muppet Show‘s caliber hasn’t been seen in far too long.

5.   What is your favorite Muppet movie and why?

The Muppet Movie, the first Muppet movie, is my favorite Muppet movie. I have watched it forty-three times. I am not joking. I saw it over three times in the theatres when it first came out. I was ten years old and my grandfather was a movie theatre manager. I simply love that film. It is perfect. The music, the humor, the cameos, the plot and acting… everything perfect! I’m going to go watch it again…

6.   What is your favorite Muppet/Sesame/Fraggle song and why?

This is hard. Really hard. I have so many favorites. I think one of my all-time favorites however is, oddly, from the new Muppets film. “Life’s A Happy Song” is a fantastic piece of music. Great sound and great lyrics. My classic favorite is “Rainbow Connection.” I often find myself signing that one.

7.   If you could tell Jim Henson one thing, what would it be?

I wouldn’t know where to begin. The best I could probably muster would be, “Thanks.”

8.   If the President called you and asked to discuss Muppet projects, what would you tell him was the “Greatest Muppet Moment of All Time”?

Another nearly impossible question to answer. I can think of only thousands of “Greatest Muppet Moments.” If I had to pick up it would probably be the Death of Mister Hooper and how it was explained to Big Bird. I saw that episode and can’t ever forget it. More than educational, far beyond entertainment, it made Sesame Street a real place for me.

9.   If a judge ruled that Grover had to be your personal assistant for a month, what jobs would you have him do?

Grover is my all time favorite Muppet. I would have him do a different job each day because gosh darn it, he’s Grover and he can! Fridays would be reserved for Super Grover people and monster helping activities and I’d give the guy the rest of the weekend off so it could go Global Grover, visit other countries and have great stories to tell me when he got back to the office on Monday.

10.   In your opinion, what is the worst Muppet production ever made?

This too is a hard question. There have been Muppet productions I have liked less than others but I do not recall ever seeing one so bad I would deem it the worst. This may be in part because if I get a hunch it might not be worth watching I don’t watch it. For example, I never saw the Kermit’s Swamp Years direct-to-video film as I just didn’t think it was going to wow me.

11.   Who is one celebrity you would love to see cameo in the next Muppet movie?

William Shatner. If I can’t have William Shatner team up with the Muppets and see my two biggest loves (Star Trek and The Muppets) combine, than I would settle for Simon Pegg. Which in a way still works.

12.   If you could take a picture with any Muppet, who would you choose and how would you pose?

Easy, no need to even think about this. It would be with Grover, preferably in his Super Grover or Super Grover 2.0 costume. We would both be standing with our fists on our hips, arms bent, in classic superhero poses. We would be looking off to the left, our heads titled slightly upwards. Yeah!

13.   What is your favorite piece of Muppet merchandise that you own? (Feel free to include a picture!)

I have all of the Palisades Muppet Action Figures with the exception of a few of the very rare, limited edition ones but my favorite by far is the Super Grover figure with box art by comic book legend Alex Ross.

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier,

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