The Great Muppet Survey – Michael Wermuth, Jr.

 Answers from Michael Wermuth, Jr.

1. Who are your three favorite characters from The Muppet Show, Muppets Tonight, The Jim Henson Hour, the Muppet movies, etc. and why?
This is a very difficult choice to make. There are so many great characters. I’ve narrowed my three choices down to one major character, one minor character, and one whose popularity is in-between.
Kermit the Frog – He’s the most iconic Muppet character, the only one to be a regular part of both The Muppet Show and Sesame Street, and he is very likable.
Lips – He has a great design, he’s very skilled at playing the trumpet, and is a very interesting character to watch.
Lew Zealand – He’s a very funny, very wacky character, his boomerang fish is a very funny idea, and even though he’s not a main character, he has stuck around for many productions.

2. Who are your three favorite characters from Sesame Street and why?
Again, there are so many great characters to choose from, but I’ve decided to settle for…
Grover – He’s such a hilarious and varried character. Whether he’s a waiter, supermonster, salesman, marshall, professor, or anything else, his material is always funny.
Oscar the Grouch – Oscar’s grouchiness and love of trash are very funny. He’s a nice contrast to all the generally happy characters on the show.
Don Music – I can identify with his frustration. His head-banging is funny and his piano playing is good.

3. Who are your three favorite characters from Fraggle Rock and why?
Boober Fraggle – His constant worrying and odd interests are very funny and perhaps even relatable.
Red Fraggle – She is such a fun character.
Convincing John – I like his showbiz quality.

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, because it’s the production that the Muppets are best associated with. Second place goes to Sesame Street, because… Well, all of us have grown up with Sesame Street, right?

5. What is your favorite Muppet movie and why?
I wanted to list The Muppet Movie or The Great Muppet Caper, but I think I’ll go with The Muppets instead. It brought the Muppets back into the public eye, it brought back many obscure characters who hadn’t been seen in years, the humor is very funny, the songs are great, and much of it takes place at the Muppet Theater.

6. What is your favorite Muppet/Sesame/Fraggle song and why?
This is perhaps the hardest choice I had to make in this survey. For this choice I’ve thought of several songs that were my favorites when I was a child which are still among my favorites now (including “The Rainbow Connection”, “Together Again”, “Mahna Mahna”, “Rubber Duckie”, “Fuzzy and Blue”, and “Yes We Can”), and I’ve decided to go with “Bein’ Green”. It is both a Muppet AND a Sesame song, Kermit has sung it so many times, and it has been sung by other Muppet characters, including Big Bird and Rowlf, as well as a variation sung by Oscar. Also, green is my favorite color

7. If you could have dinner with any living Muppet performer who would you choose and why?
I think I would choose Dave Goelz. If I were to make a list of my 20 favorite Muppets I’d probably list most of his characters, including Gonzo, Bunsen, Zoot, Beauregard, Digit, Boober, Traveling Matt, and Bill the Bubble Guy. Something about all those characters is really great and special.

8. If you could tell Jim Henson one thing, what would it be?
I would tell him that The Jim Henson Hour was a great show and should have been more successful.

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”?
This is a difficult question to answer, but for now I’ll say the “Rainbow Connection” finale from The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years. It’s a great performance of the song, featuring characters from every Henson production up to 1985 (you could say the same for the whole special), and it’s just so amazing.

10. What’s the name of that song?
It’s called “What’s the Name of That Song?”

11. If a judge ruled that Grover had to be your personal assistant for a month, what jobs would you have him do?
I would have him do favors for my enemies, rivals, and other people I dislike, because he would surely get their favors wrong.

12. In your opinion, what is the worst Muppet production ever made?
Do video games count as productions? If so, then “Jim Henson’s Muppets” for Game Boy Color. That game is very hard, the design isn’t that good,  I don’t know of any Muppet fans who have beaten the game, and I doubt any hardcore gamers (who aren’t big Muppet fans) are aware of the game.

13. Who is one celebrity you would love to see cameo in the next Muppet movie?Jim Carrey

14. If you could take a picture with any Muppet, who would you choose and how would you pose?
Walter. I’d have us posed reading non-fiction Muppet books.

15. What is your favorite piece of Muppet merchandise that you own?
I’ll have to say my collection of Muppet action figures from Palisades Toys. All of the ones I have are great, incredibly detailed, and have an amazing assortment of accessories. How cool is it that they made figures of such characters as Lips, Crazy Harry, and Beauregard? Plus, they put out the first Pepe toy, and while there had been toys before it was great to have toys of Bunsen and Beaker, plus the whole Electric Mayhem (not just Lips but all of the original 5).

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier,

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