The Great Muppet Survey: John Anthony


Answers from John Anthony

1.   Who are your three favorite characters from The Muppet Show, Muppets Tonight, The Jim Henson Hour, the Muppet movies, etc. and why?
This a very tough one. The number three spot goes to Walter, because although he is a recently new character and not a creation of Henson, he is the pure definition of any franchise’s biggest fan. I loved his character in The Muppets (2011), I love how excited he gets when he is able to fulfill his dream and meeting the people who inspired him. The number two spot goes to Gonzo. He is just weird in his own unique way and he even knows it. He can be very random at times (ex. “I’m going to Bombay, India to become a movie star,” from The Muppet Movie–that line gets me every time). I find it very weird how he’s in love with a chicken, which I will never understand. The number one spot (I know this a very cliche answer) goes to Kermit the Frog. He is a good leader. He knows what’s what and how to help out his friends. I think anyone can relate to him. He’s just that much of a likable character. The songs he sings are wonderful as well.

2.   Who are your three favorite characters from Sesame Street and why?
I haven’t watched a full episode of Sesame Street since I was 5, but I frequently look up clips on YouTube sometimes for nostalgia. The number three spot belongs to Oscar the Grouch because he just loves to acknowledge every negative thing in the world in a positive manner. He teaches kids to appreciate the little things in life, but does it in an unbelievable way. The number two spot goes to Bert because he is a simple man. I love it whenever he starts getting into whatever Ernie was trying to get him to do then Ernie loses interests, making Bert feel all confused and angry. The number one spot goes to Ernie because he is just very active. As I stated before, he loves to play mind games with Bert and his laugh is just hysterical. Actually one of my college professors from my freshman year had a laugh similar to his.

3.   Who are your three favorite characters from Fraggle Rock and why?
I haven’t really watched that much of Fraggle Rock, nor did I grow up watching it, however I did watch the first few seasons on Netflix and a few episodes on the Hub and I would have to say the number three spot goes to Sprocket. I feel bad because he is always trying to catch Gobo whenever he’s trying to retrieve his mail. I like his emotions as well, not something from a typical dog. I love in A Muppet Family Christmas when he meets Rowlf, that part cracks me up. The number two spot goes to Traveling Matt, because he enjoys traveling the world, something everyone should want to do. I like his curiosity and the way he describes the simple things that are well known with us humans. Number one goes to Wembley because he just goes along with everyone else and goes as he pleases. His scatting at the end of each episode is great.

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?
My favorite television show from Henson would have to be The Muppet Show. I remember the reruns on the Odyssey Channel. It has everything a variety show can offer. The backstage skits are great, the celebrity appearances are wonderful, and I like the comedy that’s put in it. It even has it’s moments of silence as well making it more than just comedy.

5.   What is your favorite Muppet movie and why?
My favorite Muppet movie would have to be The Muppet Christmas Carol. I know it’s a post-Henson production but I really think it takes the original Dickens story and makes it something wonderful to see. It also brings out the spirit of the holiday season in a very musical and joyful fashion. Gonzo and Rizzo are great narrators and Michael Caine is the best Scrooge I have ever seen. The finale is definitely something as well.

6.   What is your favorite Muppet/Sesame/Fraggle song and why?
This was a very tough decision for me because the Muppets have always had great music. My favorite song would have to be “Rainbow Connection.” I like it because it defines the term “Muppet.” It defines these fictional characters that are created and brought to life by these wonderful people, making them look more than real. It also tells a great message saying to stick with your dreams and to do the impossible no matter how much it takes. Kermit sings it wonderfully in The Muppet Movie, in both the beginning and the end. Even in The Muppets, all the Muppets come together and sing it, showing that each cast member still has it in them.

7.   If you could have dinner with any living Muppet performer who would you choose and why?
I would have to say Noel MacNeal. A personal friend of mine knows him and has told me all about how much of a great guy he is. I remember watching Bear in the Big Blue House on Playhouse Disney when it was brand new. From what I have heard, his personality is much similar to Bear’s and that is how Bear is brought to life. The friend of mine that knows him would also join us as well when eating dinner.

8.   If you could tell Jim Henson one thing, what would it be?
Although you left us before I was even born, I have had the pleasure of appreciating your fine work all my life. From the Muppets to Sesame Street to those Holiday specials. I love them all.

9.   If the President called you and asked to discuss Muppet projects, what would you tell him was the “Greatest Muppet Moment of All Time”?
My personal favorites (I know someone else said this as well) would have to be the crossovers of all of Henson’s characters, particularly A Muppet Family Christmas.

10.   What’s the name of that song?
“I’m the Baby, Gotta Love Me” Sorry, I had to make a Dinosaurs reference. I love that show too.

11.   If a judge ruled that Grover had to be your personal assistant for a month, what jobs would you have him do?
I would probably ask Grover to perform at my town’s annual 4th of July fireworks. He can do whatever he wants and he would be allowed to bring two friends of his from Sesame Street.

12.   In your opinion, what is the worst Muppet production ever made?
I try not to dislike anything from the Muppets, but I would have to say A Special Sesame Street Christmas (1978). A couple friends of mine showed it to me and I was appalled. Is this really Sesame Street? Only three Muppet characters (Big Bird, Oscar, and Barkley), the human characters (Bob, David, Maria, Mr. Hooper, etc.) and they aren’t their usual selves, and Leslie Uggums is just annoying. Why won’t she accept the fact that Oscar hates Christmas and move on with her life? The songs are either public domain well known songs or originals that are just unforgettable. Watch Christmas Eve on Sesame Street, which was made the same year. That one is ten times better.

13.   Who is one celebrity you would love to see cameo in the next Muppet movie?
It would be cool to see Jeff Dunham. If Edgar Bergen can make a cameo in The Muppet Movie then Dunham would probably fit right in. Even though his style is more adult-like, I’m sure he could make Peanut or Bubba J pull something both family friendly and hilarious at the same time.

14.   If you could take a picture with any Muppet, who would you choose and how would you pose?
Probably Kermit. Enough said. He would pose with his banjo.

15.   What is your favorite piece of Muppet merchandise that you own? (Feel free to include a picture!)
I don’t have that much Muppet merchandise because I try not to spend too much money, but I do have Kermit the Frog plush sitting on my shelf. Sadly, I am in a college dorm as I write this and he is all the way back at my house so no picture, but look it up on the website.

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier,

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