Jarrod Fairclough – Last week we debuted The ALL NEW Great Muppet Survey, updating one of this sites earliest staples. With a bunch of brand new questions, we thought it was only fair that we (and by we I mean me) take the first plunge and answer the questions ourselves. So enjoy! (By the way, some of these questions are HARD! Sorry about that!)
- What is your favorite Sesame Street sketch, and why?
Without a doubt, it’s Ernie and Bert fishing, or as I call it, the ‘HERE FISHY FISHY FISHY’ sketch. Frank and Jim are in fine form in this one, and to this day my ringtone when I get a text message is Ernie calling ‘Here fishy fishy fishy!’, and I laugh every single time.
- What is your favorite Muppet Show sketch, and why?
In Season 1 they did a sketch called Hugga Wugga, with a giant smoke nosed purple monster played by Frank Oz, harassing other alien creatures who didn’t sing the same song as he did. Of course, it ends with an explosion, as all great Muppet sketches should.
- Who is your favorite character (from any franchise) and why?
After tossing up between Kermit and Ernie, I decided to settle on the latter. Ernie is one of the best utilized characters on Sesame Street, because depending on who he’s paired with, he can be the clown or the straight guy, both to great effect. In fact, some of my favorite Ernie sketches aren’t with Bert, they’re with Elmo, or Cookie Monster.
- Who is your least favorite character (from any franchise) and why?
When I started writing these questions, this was the one that I knew I’d have the hardest time answering. After a lot of thought, my answer is Ma Gorg. Over the various seasons of Fraggle Rock, I found that Ma Gorg was probably the most unnecessary character on the series. Her voice is fairly grating (as I’m sure it’s supposed to be) and her design is unappealing in an otherwise gorgeous show.
- What is your least favorite production (from any franchise) and why?
Muppets Wizard of Oz, definitely. While I can appreciate what Kirk Thatcher and Henson were going for, I’m just not sure the film pulled it off. Ashanti was not a great choice for Dorothy, but the production is buoyed by great performances from David Alan Grier and Jeffrey Tambor. It was also made in a weird time of Muppet recasting, with no Matt Vogel yet in the fold.
- What’s your favorite song from any Muppet movie, and why?
Rainbow Connection. NEXT!
- Who is your favorite Muppet performer, and why?
While I should say Jim Henson for kicking all this off, I’ll have to go with Frank Oz. With just a single line (often improvised), Frank could elevate a scene from good to great. I’ve written before about how the Muppets are poorer for him having gone, but if he had never been there in the first place I’m sure they would never have been anywhere near the success they became.
- What is your favorite post-1990 Muppet production, and why?
With so many great productions (5 movies, 2 TV shows, countless viral videos, a live performance) I’ll answer Muppet Treasure Island. It was the first Muppet film I saw in theatres at age 8, and it kicked off a life long love and passion. It’s hilarious, it’s heart warming, and it introduced us to the best Muppet that’s ever been created – Angel Marie.
- What is your favorite bit of Muppet merchandise (you don’t necessarily have to own it)?
In 2011 I found online a genuine Jim Henson signature, certificate of authenticity and everything. It’s the closest I’m ever going to come to meeting the guy, and I look at it every day, thankful for him.
- You get to spend a day on Sesame Street. What do you do?
My morning is spent in Hoopers Store, eating porridge with Baby Bear, likely singing the ABC’s while we wait. Afterwards, I head out to the arbour, where Abby Cadabby and my old friend Elmo are learning about science. Somehow, we also sing our ABC’s. Lunch is spent at Maria and Luis’, joined by Gina, Chris, Alan, Susan, Gordon and Bob, where we debrief on who has to go out there and sing their ABC’s next. As the new guy, I’m chosen. I pop my head in to Oscar’s place, thankful that he doesn’t want to sing his ABC’s. Big Bird and Snuffy ask for my help, unsurprisingly they can’t remember what comes after Q, so we sing our ABC’s. Dinner is at Hoopers Store again, joined by my new friends, where we sing our ABC’s. I am then taken away by the insane asylum because I can’t stop singing my ABC’s…
- Which is better – The Muppets (2011) or Muppets Most Wanted (2014) and why?
While I love the former for reintroducing the franchise to fans, I think Muppets Most Wanted is a better Muppet movie overall. Muppets are meant to be zany and wacky and odd, and I felt the 2011 film spent too much time on Jason Segal and Amy Adams. There is only one Muppet movie where it was necessary to have a human be the main focus, and that was Muppet Christmas Carol, and even that took me until fairly recently to properly appreciate. Plus, the film introduced us to Constantine, one of the best Muppet creations of all time!
- Pitch a Muppet movie in no more than 140 characters.
The gang are stranded on an island where the inhabitants mistake Fozzie for the reincarnation of their beloved god.
(Fun fact – I’ve actually written most of this movie!)
- What’s the name of that song?
‘Why Does It Always Rain On Me’ by Travis.
- Be honest: How many times have you had to tell your friends he isn’t the Veggie Monster now.
My relatives bring this up every single Christmas, and every single time I tell them he definitely is not. Then I drink a whole heap of wine and demand everyone watch the video of that time I gave Cookie Monster a cookie. They do not enjoy it the 80th time.
- If you got to interview one Muppet/Sesame Street character, who would you pick, and what would you ask?
I’ve been fortunate enough to do some great interviews with Cookie Monster and Elmo, and coming up with questions is way harder than it seems. You see, I don’t want to ask questions that everyone asks them, which is one of the main reasons I ask them to do impressions of their friends. But if I got to pick someone else, I’d pick Grover, only because I think our manic personas would make for a great 5 minutes of footage. Plus, Eric Jacobson is one of the finest gentlemen I’ve ever met, so any excuse to see him again!
There we have it! Thanks to everyone who has submitted so far, and if you want to do your own survey, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and remember that we will not accept any survey with ‘non-answers’ like ‘I can’t choose’ or ‘I love them all’ etc.