Muppet Maestros: Paul Williams

Hilarie Mukavitz – For Muppet fans, December is the time of year when our lives seem to have a Paul Williams soundtrack. He is one writer and performer that I have long suspected has Muppet DNA, he understands them so well: the humor, the idealism, the longing to fit in. His body of work his…

Muppet Maestros: James Taylor

Hilarie Mukavitz – Of the large number of singer-songwriters that have appeared on Sesame Street over the years, one of the most memorable is James Taylor. For those of us watching Sesame Street in the late 1970s and early 1980s, our first introduction to James Taylor was on the Sesame Street set, serenading Oscar and…

Muppet Maestros: Madeline Kahn

Hilarie Mukavitz – As a child, I had an experience of déjà vu as I watched Mel Brooks movies with my father. I knew I had seen the woman who played Lili von Shtupp somewhere before. Eventually I made the connection. “Oh yeah, Grover’s friend!” Madeline Kahn is remembered mostly as a comedic actress, but…

Great Muppet Song Covers

Hilarie Mukavitz – One of the signs that a musician is truly talented is when they perform a song written by somebody else, and their version is either better than the original or takes the song in a surprising direction that shows it in a completely different light. For example, the Jimi Hendrix version of…

Muppet Maestros: The Beatles

Hilarie Mukavitz – A lot of the artists featured in this series have been lesser known. You might have heard of their work, but odds are you hadn’t heard of them. I’m guessing unless you’re reading this blog from Planet Koozebane, you’ve heard of the Beatles. What you may not know is while the Muppets…

Muppet Maestroes: Harry Nilsson

Hilarie Mukavitz – Sometimes being an armchair historian is like going to a party hosted by people in the same group of friends. You start to notice some of the same people showing up over and over again and wonder: “Hey, who’s THAT guy? I want to go over and talk to him!” If you…

Muppet Maestros: The Monkees

Hilarie Mukavitz – My very first rock concert was the Monkees in 1987. My very tolerant father took my best friend and I. My most vivid memory, besides jumping up and down all night and screaming my little 9 year old head off, is Davy Jones shouting out “This is 1987!!” It doesn’t seem like…

Muppet Maestros: Shel Silverstein

Hilarie Mukavitz – If you went to elementary school in the United States, you probably think you know Shel Silverstein. Go to any elementary school library and you will see multiple well-used copies of “Falling Up” and “Where the Sidewalk Ends” in the poetry section. You probably had someone read “The Giving Tree” to you…

Great Straight Men in Muppet Comedy Duos

Great Straight Me in Muppet Comedy Duos Hilarie Mukavitz – With all the great comedy duos, it is usually the “funny man” that we remember. We remember Lou Costello saying “Hey Abbooooott!” but not Bud Abbott’s delivery that led up to that point.  The comic in the duo often gets most of the credit. Today,…

Muppet Maestros: John Denver

Hilarie Mukavitz – Once, when I was a teenager, my friend Ben was giving me a ride somewhere.  As I got in the car he didn’t say a word, and just turned on the tape. The song was John Denver’s “Grandma’s Feather Bed.” As soon as it got to the refrain I joined in: “It…