The Great Muppet Survey – Justin Tonglet

Answers from Justin Tonglet

1.   Who are your three favorite characters from The Muppet Show, Muppets Tonight, The Jim Henson Hour, the Muppet movies, etc. and why?
Rowlf the Dog has always been one of my favorites. For one, there’s nothing I find more entertaining than a piano player. I also feel pretty close to Rowlf personality wise. Scooter is probably my next favorite. As far as characters go, he’s pretty underrated. He’s way more important to the Muppets than most people understand, and he’s a great character that can not only run the show backstage, but can also sing and dance. Finally, I have to give a little love to Lew Zealand. He’s such a zany character that really can’t be used for much, but he has still managed to become a bigger character. I also love him because his line in The Great Muppet Caper with paper towels is the most quoted movie line in my family, and I’m not the one to use it. Even though I’m the Muppet nut in my family, the rest of my family quotes Lew Zealand.

2.   Who are your three favorite characters from Sesame Street and why?
When it comes to Sesame Street, my first favorite character has to be Snuffy. As a child, I had a birthday party where my parents hired a Big Bird to entertain. His reason for leaving was to go hang out with Snuffy, and I’m still to this day offended that he didn’t think to bring Snuffy with him. Snuffy was my favorite growing up, and I’m still a bit sad that I do not own a Snuffy toy of any sort. My next favorite has to go to Grover. Grover has always been a great character for laughs, and there’s very little not to love about Grover. My nephew is terrified of Grover, and I’m not sure why. Finally, I have to show some love for the little red guy. I know Elmo isn’t very popular among a lot of older fans, but I’ve grown to love him. I think it was mostly Kevin’s performance, but I’ve fallen in love with Elmo, and I’m very proud that I can do his voice pretty well.

3.   Who are your three favorite characters from Fraggle Rock and why?
With Fraggle Rock, Wembley was always my favorite as a child. I’m a bit of a Wembler myself. I can’t decide much for myself. Or maybe I can. My next favorite is Boober. I really want Boober for a roommate. He’d cook and do all of my laundry. Finally, I’m going with Cotterpin Doozer. She’s such a great rebel. She challenged the norms of society and did her own thing.

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?
I love The Muppet Show the most. I like the idea of a show about characters putting on a show. And the show within the show always looked like a fun one to attend. If I ever become a millionaire, I’m building a replica of the Muppet Theater and hosting a variety show.

5.   What is your favorite Muppet movie and why?
My favorite Muppet movie is The Great Muppet Caper, because it would have made for a great movie even if the Muppets weren’t in it, and that’s what makes it so great. It could have been a serious crime mystery, and then they inserted Muppets and made it funny. That’s such a great way to make a movie.

6.   What is your favorite Muppet/Sesame/Fraggle song and why?
My favorite song is “Rainbow Connection.” It’s the Muppet version of “When You Wish Upon a Star.” It’s also the song I plan to use whenever I sing to my children one day in the future.

7.   If you could have dinner with any living Muppet performer who would you choose and why?
I’d love to have dinner with Dave Goelz. He’s the last of the original performers that’s still performing. I’d love to hear some of his stories from the early days of The Muppet Show up to now.

8.   If you could tell Jim Henson one thing, what would it be?
Thank you.

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”?
In my opinion, the greatest Muppet moment ever would have to be the finale of The Muppet Movie.  It’s a magnificent scene with a magnificent song. And the shot of all the characters is one that was etched into my mind from a young age.

10.   What’s the name of that song?
Radar Love.

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 have Grover follow me everywhere. He’d probably help me with throwing parties. I hear he has experience describing distances, which would come in handy when giving people directions to my place. He’d also get the party going when he dances to the alphabet.

12.   In your opinion, what is the worst Muppet production ever made?
The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz.

13.   Who is one celebrity you would love to see cameo in the next Muppet movie?
I would love to see David Tennant, Rowan Atkinson, or Martin Freeman appear in the next movie. I feel all three of those men would work perfectly with the Muppets.

14.   If you could take a picture with any Muppet, who would you choose and how would you pose?
I’d be leaning on Rowlf’s piano or sitting on a couch talking with Kermit.

15.   What is your favorite piece of Muppet merchandise that you own? (Feel free to include a picture!)
I have a porcelain Big Bird statuette that plays the Sesame Street theme song like a music box. I remember wanting it since I was a child, and it’s mine now. I’m very proud of it, and I’ve never seen another one like it. It belonged to all of my brothers and sisters, which means it probably dates back to around the dawning of the series.

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier,

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