The Great Muppet Survey – John Papovitch

Answers from John Papovitch

1.   Who are your three favorite characters from The Muppet Show, Muppets Tonight, The Jim Henson Hour, the Muppet movies, etc. and why? 

Kermit the Frog because, well, what is there not to like about Kermit? Fozzie Bear because he’s simply so likeable to me with his “never give up” attitude and that he’s always there for anyone who needs him – and his bad jokes are just too perfect. Then finally Gonzo for similar reasons as Fozzie but that of all the Muppets, Gonzo knows no limits and even as Dave Goelz gets older and is beginning to slow down a bit, he still manages to gain so much gusto when he performs him. Who would turn down that type of enthusiasm?

2.   Who are your three favorite characters from Sesame Street and why?
My favorite Muppet on the Street is Grover, that goes without saying. His enthusiasm and positive outlook, even if things don’t exactly work, is hilarious and charming to watch. Then we have Oscar the Grouch, who gets by simply by being the Id of the Street. To have a character on a children’s show with such an attitude, again, is hilarious. Finally, we have Big Bird, who best represents what Sesame Street is as a whole. He tends to be the first Muppet who comes to mind when one thinks Sesame and it’s hard to imagine the show without him.
3.   Who are your three favorite characters from Fraggle Rock and why?
My favorite Fraggle is Wembley because that combination of wembling and being a voice of reason but still being a goof made him entertaining to watch and evolve throughout the series. Boober on the other hand, didn’t evolve much as a character, he really stayed the same but that’s A-OK because he’s easily the funniest Fraggle in the Rock. I’ve met many people in my life who have Boober-like qualities to them, which makes him even more entertaining to watch. Uncle Traveling Matt is also just as brilliantly funny. His boasting and takes on the stories of his travels can make any episode of Fraggle Rock worth while. 

4.   What is your favorite television program starring any of Jim Henson’s creations (e.g. The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, Dinosaurs, etc.) and why?
The Muppet Show at it’s peak represents everything Jim Henson’s legacy is. It combines everything the Muppets are known for. Music, humor, situational humor and random humor, character development, anarchy. It was lightning in a bottle with nary a dull moment.
5.   What is your favorite Muppet movie and why?
The Muppet Movie is one of my top 10 movies of all-time, so this one will be easy. The Muppet Movie works because it’s not only a story of Kermit and how he brought the Muppets together, it’s a story of Jim Henson and how he brought his team together. That parallel gives the film a whole new meaning and shows just how much the work meant to everyone involved.
6.   What is your favorite Muppet/Sesame/Fraggle song and why?
“The Rainbow Connection” is simply the definitive Muppet song because it’s well-written and defines the Muppets in a nutshell and stands on it’s own even if you are unaware of it’s origins.
7.   If you could have dinner with any living Muppet performer who would you choose and why?
Caroll Spinney simply because I could easily spend a whole night listening to him tell stories about his career.
8.   If you could tell Jim Henson one thing, what would it be? 
It’d be an easy answer to tell him to go to a hospital, but I’ll take the different route and what I would say to Jim is simply “Thanks.”

9.   If the President called you and asked to discuss Muppet projects, what would you tell him was the “Greatest Muppet Moment of All Time”?
“The Rainbow Connection” sequence from The Muppet Movie.
10.   What’s the name of that song?

“Call Me Maybe”

11.   If a judge ruled that Grover had to be your personal assistant for a month, what jobs would you have him do?
I’d probably have him do my schoolwork for me, go to the ATM and cash my checks, maybe clean my room a little bit. But I wouldn’t trust him behind the wheel of my car.

12.   In your opinion, what is the worst Muppet production ever made?
A Special Sesame Street Christmas, if it can even count as a Muppet production, it’s lazy, grating, doesn’t even feel like Sesame Street and serves no purpose to it’s target audience, whoever that is.

13.   Who is one celebrity you would love to see cameo in the next Muppet movie?
After seeing Argo, I’d say John Goodman returning to work with the Muppets for a cameo would take the cake for me.

14.   If you could take a picture with any Muppet, who would you choose and how would you pose?
I need a picture with Kermit the Frog, like we all do, preferably shaking his hand.

15.   What is your favorite piece of Muppet merchandise that you own? (Feel free to include a picture!) 
My copy of Jim Henson: The Works. It took bringing it to three Henson Legacy events, but at the Jerry Nelson memorial back in October getting the likes of Steve Whitmire, Dave Goelz and Bill Barretta among many others to sign the book have made it one of my favorite items now it’s basically like looking at a Henson yearbook.

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier,

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