Jarrod Fairclough – Something’s seemed off this year. I couldn’t tell if it was the feeling of anxiety that came with a new job, or if it was weird feelings about turning 30. Maybe it wasn’t related to me at all, and instead the world felt off its axis just a little. Could it be the impending doom of climate change? Could it be the already overwhelming news cycle getting in to the 2020 American Election? Was it a bad sandwich I ate?
Then it hit me. I realised what’s been wrong recently.
Where the hell are The Muppets?
Seriously, think about it. Besides the stuff on social media, when’s the last time you saw Kermit, or Piggy, or Fozzie, or Gonzo, or any of those guys? Their YouTube page hasn’t been touched for 6 months, since they released the music video for ‘Can You Picture That?’. There’s been no new Muppet Thought of the Week, no appearances all year, nothing.
So, where are they?
It’s entirely possible that Sesame Street has stolen their thunder in 2019. With the 50th anniversary in full swing, Matt Vogel, Peter Linz, David Rudman and Eric Jacobson are all busy with their characters, whether it be filming special videos, or the upcoming road trip across America. So perhaps they don’t have the time to pick up their froggy and piggy pals, but couldn’t Bill Barretta and Dave Goelz have a go at something while we wait?
It’s also possible that Disney just aren’t 100% sure what to do with the characters at the moment. I’m told by a source that the Josh Gad series isn’t confirmed, and the last big thing The Muppets did was the live show at the O2 in London last year. Could Disney want to do more of that? Or are they still trying to figure out what’s next?
Personally, I’d argue it’s a mix of the two theories. It’s possible Disney have some ideas they can’t put forward until the performers are done on the Street, and when Sesame’s anniversary celebrations wrap up perhaps we’ll get some sort of idea of what’s next. Thankfully the tremendous Muppet Babies can hold us over until then. But still, it’d be nice to see our old friends in the felt, just to check in and assure us they’re still around.