Muppetational Rating: 4 out of 5 Whoopie Cushions!
Arianne Gallagher – Hello again, Muppet fans! I’m super excited to back on the Mindset bringing you another book review. The last time I was on the Mindset I reviewed Kermit Culture, but now I am very happy to bring you a review of the new book Frogs are Funny: The Most Sensational, Inspirational, Celebrational, Muppetational, Muppets Joke Book Ever, a book that is not such a narrative of heavy duty proportion, and also, thankfully, not heavy on the wallet either (you can find it for around $10 on Amazon.com or Walmart.com).
I was very excited when I opened the box from Amazon and discovered that the book was hardcover! Based on the online photos of the book, I figured it would be a flimsy paperback, but instead I got a delightfully colorful 7″ by 7″ hardcover book that was surprisingly thick. The book jacket looks just like the picture you see online but if you remove the book jacket, you’ll see a fantastic array of Muppet eyes, and only their eyes, staring back at you. It sounds creepy but trust me, it looks pretty cute.
Inside, you’ll find 195 colorful pages full of jokes, one-liners, bits, and other Muppety content from a selection of different Muppet productions, although most are pulled from The Muppet Show. The book is full of moments, such as “At the Dance,” as well as other great one-liners from some of the Muppet movies that every fan will immediately remember. Each bit is accompanied by great Muppet photos or drawings, and at the end of each bit they even have little laughing, smiling faces, indicating, or possibly begging, for you to laugh along. Now that you got a gist of what the book is like, let me throw you some punch lines of my own of things that I love about this book, and things that I don’t love as much. I do think that despite some of the book’s minor flaws, this is a must-have for any Muppet fan!
What I love…
I love the bright colorful design of the book in general. There is a great variety of colorful backgrounds and font types to visually catch the eye. I also love the general theme you see in the book with crayon background doodles on every page; it gives the book both a very Henson-like and child-like quality that makes reading the book a lot of fun. More than anything, I love how reading through the book is a wonderful stroll down memory lane for Muppet fans. Each page will bring back a wonderful memory or feeling of watching the Muppet project the jokes came from. Each time you turn a page, it’s like reliving another great moment from either the Muppet show or movies. By the time you reach the end of the book, it will be hard to stop smiling!
Another thing I love about this book is that it can be the ultimate trivia game for die-hard Muppet fans. At first, while paging through the book, I was concerned that none of the pages contained the source of the bit or one liner. For readers who are not as die-hard as you or me, some of the jokes and bits would be confusing if you didn’t know what was happening during the production the joke came from. Thankfully there is an index at the end of the book that provides the source for everything. This works so much better, because as I read the book I would see how long it took me to guess the movie or episode of The Muppet Show it came from. In the index you can also find an official Muppetational Book Fact: a listing of how many jokes each Muppet made throughout the book. Of course, Fozzie has the most jokes, or at least the most attempts as jokes, with 35.
What I don’t love as much…
One thing I don’t like is that the book only covers jokes and bits from seven different Muppet productions (The Muppet Show, The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, Muppet Treasure Island, The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz, Muppet*Vision 3D, and The Muppets). Some productions only had one or two bits, while others, like The Muppet Show, dominated the book. It probably would have been better if they just focused on The Muppet Show. There is also only a narrow range of characters that get coverage in the book (although there are a few from Mildred Huxtetter and George the Janitor). I understand this on one level, because they are trying to focus on the core group of Muppet characters, but on the other hand, it would have been great to see some stuff from Bobo, Pepe, or Bill the Bubble Guy (ok maybe not Bill the Bubble Guy, but you get what I mean).
The final thing that irked me is that some of the bits and jokes are not 100% accurate and you lose some of the funniness. For the most part, it’s only something that a die-hard fan would notice. For example, it was awesome that they put in Sam the Eagle’s nudity bit from The Muppet Show, but they left out the line at the end where he asks for a robe–I know it’s minor but hey, Sam could get cold!
So to make a long story short, or to get to the punch line of this joke of a review for a joke book… There are a LOT of great things in Frogs are Funny for Muppet fans. Despite some of the kinks, this book is definitely worth purchasing, especially at only $10. You’ll have a great time strolling down Muppet memory lane, all the while groaning along with Statler and Waldorf and making little “wah wah wah” sound effects after many of Fozzie’s one-liners. It’s a great, fun read for any Muppet fan and it reminds us of why we love the Muppets in the first place–because they make us smile!
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org