Answers from A.B. Rogers
1. Who are your three favorite characters from The Muppet Show, Muppets Tonight, The Jim Henson Hour, the Muppet movies, etc. and why?
My number one favorite is, by and large, Kermit the Frog. I’m not just saying that because he is the most popular, I have been obsessed with “This Frog” for as long as I can remember. And now that I’m at an age where the Muppets resonate with me on a level beyond “Ooohhh, puppets,” he has new importance to me, as I see myself in him. And plus, how can you not love his songs?! My second favorite is another popular choice, Fozzie Bear. Let me put this in simple terms, “Uuuummm, He was sooo fat that everybody liked him an there was nothing funny about him at all,” enough said!! My third, I’m gonna cheat on this one, is a tie between Rowlf the Dog and Floyd Pepper. What can I say about Rowlf that hasn’t been said? Another fantastic Jim Henson creation. And Floyd, well, he’s the grooviest Muppet, man, and arguably the best singer in the Muppets.
2. Who are your three favorite characters from Sesame Street and why?
Grover, Big Bird, and Ernie. Grover is the funniest character on that show, and all I can say is Frank Oz must have had a blast performing him every single time! There is a reason Big Bird was once seen as the “mascot” of Sesame Street (and still should be, in my opinion). And Ernie, well, watch “Imagine That” on YouTube and tell me you don’t love that guy!
3. Who are your three favorite characters from Fraggle Rock and why?
In no particular order: Wembley, Boober, and Cantus. Who doesn’t love Wembley’s snorts in “Pass it On,” and who can’t relate to his willingness to try to please everybody? And plus, he’s the only Fraggle who’s nose is long enough to hang laundry on! Boober’s ridiculous pessimism makes for great comedy, and who doesn’t love his funeral dirge, later dance remixed by Gobo and Red. Cantus is probably my favorite now that think about it, as he embodies that eccentric guru quality of Jim Henson perfectly.
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?
I’m gonna be honest and start off by saying I was born long after these shows first aired (and quite a few years after Jim Henson died). But that being said, I will watch any thing with the Henson name on it! It’s a tie (I’m cheating again) between The Muppet Show and Fraggle Rock. Fraggle Rock is my guilty pleasure, and The Muppet Show is just soooo zany and beautiful and everything in between.
5. What is your favorite Muppet movie and why?
The Muppet Movie, I know everyone says that, but it’s for good reason. The Muppet team did an amazing job putting together such an amazing, zany, beautiful work of art. Great character interaction, great cameos, great running gags, great songs, I could go on and on and on! Plus, it has the best song (Rainbow Connection, if you couldn’t figure that out).
6. What is your favorite Muppet/Sesame/Fraggle song and why?
“Rainbow Connection” is my favorite song of all time, but I’m gonna give the cake to “This Frog.” Such a great, inspiring, yet totally underrated tune. Everything about that song from the three backing vocalists (courtesy of Jerry Nelson) to Kermit’s declaration of “I made myself a promise, as a young, green pollywog, I’ll be on top, nothing can stop, This Frog!” Just amazing in every way. A great masterpiece by the late greats, Jim Henson and Jerry Nelson.
7. If you could have dinner with any living Muppet performer who would you choose and why?
Carroll Spinney. To sit with the only remaining full time Sesame Street Muppeteer since the Street’s inception would be amazing. He’s seen and done so much in 40 plus years behind yellow feathers (and in a trash can). There would be tons of great stories, I’m sure.
8. If you could tell Jim Henson one thing, what would it be?
“The influence you have had on my life through your creations is insane. You have indirectly sparked my interest in many things, including music, movies, culture, and being appreciative of the wonderful life we are given. And my world is definitely better for you having been here. Thank You.”
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”?
I cannot answer that, as there are just so many great moments, but the rare moments where Henson’s three biggest creations (Sesame Street, Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock) are just something else. And the performance of “Just One Person” from Jim’s memorial service really felt so Muppety, which is a testament to the amazing performers who brings these characters to life, even though they just lost their ring-leader.
10. What’s the name of that song?
“Do-Wop, Do-Wop, HOP!!!”
11. If a judge ruled that Grover had to be your personal assistant for a month, what jobs would you have him do?
Grover would be my alarm in the morning, my personal trainer, lawyer, advice giver and all around motivator. But I wouldn’t treat him badly, as he’s a Muppet for cryin’ out loud! He’d have my utmost respect.
12. In your opinion, what is the worstMuppet production ever made?
Lots of Muppet fans have this profuse hate for Kermit’s Swamp Years, and I can’t really hate on it cause I watched it thousands of times as I was younger. Don’t remember too much about The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz to hate on it too much, but I don’t remember it being that bad. I can find light in almost any of the productions, even if it is hard to find. That being said, Im not too fond of Elmo’s World, as it was a huge part in making Sesame Street focus on one particular character.
13. Who is one celebrity you would love to see cameo in the next Muppet movie?
Frank Oz, I’m curious what it would be like to see him interact with the characters that he helped bring to life.
14. If you could take a picture with any Muppet, who would you choose and how would you pose?
I’m gonna cheat again, I’d like to pose with the cast of “Veterinarian’s Hospital”, in the patient bed, in the middle of one of Dr. Bob’s bad puns.
15. What is your favorite piece of Muppet merchandise that you own? (Feel free to include a picture!)
My favorite piece of Muppet Merchandise is probably my first Muppet tape I’ve had which I have watched countless times as a child, “Muppet Sing Along Songs: It’s Not Easy Bein Green.” Those were the days, when I couldn’t tell a difference between Steve Whitmire’s and Jim Henson’s Kermit. Not only was the program itself amazing, the opening trailers sparked my interest in Fraggle Rock (heard the theme song many many times before actually seeing the show) and The Muppet Movie. Plus, I’m pretty convinced that this tape laid the ground work for my ever growing fascination with music.
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, email@example.com