Lots of sad news in the past few weeks as the world lost three Muppet-related individuals whose careers span The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, and beyond.
First, it was Lorene Yarnell, of the mime duo of Shields and Yarnell, who appeared on The Muppet Show in Season 4, who passed away two weeks ago at the age of 66. Although a moment of silence would be eerily appropriate to remember a mime, after all the laughter Yarnell brought the world, it seems even more appropriate to continue the laughter with a clip of Shields and Yarnell’s appearance on The Muppet Show.
We then lost the bandleader of The Muppet Show, Jack Parnell, this Monday at the age of 87. Parnell was the man responsible for most of the show’s iconic musical sound–be it Animal’s drums or Floyd’s bass guitar, Parnell’s leadership of his orchestra was behind all of the music on The Muppet Show. For more information on Jack Parnell’s life and career, check out this article from HitFix. Here is a fine example of Parnell’s fantastic musical conducting at work. His music will always live on!
Finally, on August 4th, Danny Epstein, former musical director for Sesame Street, passed away at the age of 84. Epstein worked for Sesame Street since 1969 in Joe Raposo’s band as a percussionist, eventually working his way up to musical director, a title he held until his retirement in 2009. Muppet Wiki has much more information on Epstein, including three interviews with the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences, and SesameStreet.org has an entire playlist dedicated to his memory featuring Danny’s favorite songs.
Thankfully the world will forever have the memory of Lorene Yarnell, Jack Parnell, and Danny Epstein available thanks to the internet and DVDs in order to allow their memories to live on. Rest In Peace.
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier