Abigail Maughan – Has it occurred to you that it is really, really amazing to be a Muppet fan? Perhaps it was the first time you noticed how much a classic Sesame Street bit stuck with you, or saw a Doozer wheeling around on its cart or even turned on the Muppet Morsels trivia feature on your Season 1 DVDs. No matter what it was, you knew you had found something special. Whether you are a newcomer to the Muppet world or count your fandom years by decades, there’s room for everyone to be a Muppet fan.
When life gets in the way, it’s easy to take being a Muppet fan for granted. So let’s take a minute to remind ourselves of how much there is to love about this niche of the entertainment world that we’ve decided to devote ourselves to. This is a list, by no means exhaustive, of some things that make being a Muppet fan so wonderful.
So Much To Choose From
As Muppet fans, we have a deep Muppet well flowing with more than 60 years (and counting) of creativity and positivity. We have hundreds of hours of productions, performers, and characters in our hands to analyze and compare and appreciate. With so much variety, so many worlds, and so much diversity and history to explore, we’re pretty lucky indeed.
Not only do we have the Muppet crew and Sesame Street folks, we have the adventures of the Fraggles, the cautionary tales of the Sinclair family, the sweetness of the Big Blue House residents, and whatever it is that the Ghost of Faffner Hall squad provides. Muppet history is the only one that includes dog noir, astronaut pigs and goblin kings all together, and for that reason alone it’s pretty astonishing. Take your pick and dive deep, or learn a little about all of them!
Muppet People Are Fascinating
Muppet fans have plenty of quality content for sure, but the people behind and below the scenes supply us with equally interesting life stories and performing histories. Because we are Muppet fans, we’re fortunate enough to know who they are and enjoy their talents. The Muppet performers are some of the most talented people on the planet, and we have several decades’ worth of documentaries to see and interviews to read, plus talk shows, biographies and tributes for many of them over the years.
From Jim Henson and Frank Oz to Steve Whitmire and Eric Jacobson, and everyone between and beyond, the talent is inspiring. There are so many puppeteers to learn about, appreciate and analyze their performances. From those first early years throughout every decade of Muppet history, we fans have plenty of people to praise. Of course, we know it’s not just all about the performers—there are also all of the writers, builders, designers, costumers, and composers who have made their mark on Muppet history and made our lives better for it.
Knowing Muppet Minutiae
Everyone likes to be an expert in something, and Muppet fans have plenty of specialized knowledge to share. Do you ever stop to think about how awesome it is that you know that? I’m talking, for example, about that satisfaction that comes from recognizing exactly who is the voice of that background pig in that one Muppet Show skit. Even better that just knowing things like this is sharing them with like-minded people, asking a question or making an observation with other Muppet fans who you know truly appreciate it.
Before we know it, we get better at identifying that one puppet from production to production, connecting that one reference, knowing trivia of our favorite character, and memorizing the cast of whichever Muppet or Henson show is our favorite. Once we start scrutinizing our first puppet TV movie or start scouring Muppet Wiki, there’s no turning back.
By Fans, For Fans
The people in charge of the Muppets not only know we exist, but they appreciate us and give us so much to look forward to. It helps that they tend to be Muppet fanatics themselves. For example, writers gave Bobby Benson’s Baby Band a role in the climax of Muppets Most Wanted, not because it was the most logical of all possible plot points, but because they knew fans would love it. We have Sesame Street performers who create an entire behind-the-scenes web series for us. And it’s far from unusual for people connected with Muppets to give exclusive interviews to The Muppet Mindset and ToughPigs. In perhaps the ultimate fan present, there’s Muppet Family Christmas. This multi-franchise fluffy holiday crossover is a production that other fandoms only dream of or write fanfiction about, but Muppet fans actually got.
There are so many examples of Easter Eggs and obscure references that make it so fun and worthwhile to be a Muppet fan. We can certainly appreciate that the forces behind all the Muppet projects are incredibly kind to the fan base.
They’re Still Going
We may not have a TV show anymore, but the Muppets are still kicking. If the YouTube videos and Hollywood Bowl news we’ve gotten recently are any indication, the people behind the Muppets are not resting any time soon. The Muppets have had something going on for decades, and whatever may be next on horizon, there will always be something to look forward to. It’s not just the Muppets, either. Don’t overlook Sesame Street, which just keeps going as strong as ever. Then there’s the Henson Company and their many projects, in comics and Creature Shop productions alike. No matter what area of interest, the future is bright for Muppet fans.
What did the world do to deserve the Muppets? Regardless, they are here, and I for one am very grateful to be a Muppet fan.