1. Who are your three favorite characters from The Muppet Show, Muppets Tonight, The Jim Henson Hour, the Muppet movies, etc. and why?
Kermit has always been number one for me. Do I really need to say why? He’s the leader and everyman that we all want to be friends with, enough said. He’s also very suave with the way he plays that banjo! Second, I love Miss Piggy. She always brings a huge smile to my face whenever I see her. Not only is she funny, but her unconventional beauty, self confidence and unstoppable perseverance has made her a great role model for girls. Finally, Bobo the Bear. No matter what movie/show/special he’s been in, he’s just hysterical. He’s really innocent and likable, and I can’t help but laugh whenever he’s on. Also, his love for Cindy Crawford completely made the Muppets Tonight show.
2. Who are your three favorite characters from Sesame Street and why?
First, Big Bird, because of his unconditional love and appreciation for everyone around him. He has a very innocent and curious nature about him, and he also taught me the alphabet when I was a child, so how can he not be my favorite? Second, Bert, because I love how uptight and square he is, and how proud he is to just be himself. His qualities are both funny and inspiring. Finally, Grover. You can’t not have a good time when Grover is around. You just clap your hands with glee when he’s on. He’s funny, full of optimism, and in a way, Super Grover represents that inner superhero we all wanted to be as a child.
3. Who are your three favorite characters from Fraggle Rock and why?
My favorite is Wembley. Despite not being the sharpest or bravest of the Fraggles, he’s an incredibly loyal friend. I also find him very relatable because of his indecisive nature. Second, Red. I love her bold and adventurous personality. She has great pride in who she is, and her energy always seems to keep everyone’s spirits up. Third, I have to say I love Sprocket. He’s adorable, really handy, and a great watchdog. He’s the perfect image of man’s best friend. We all need a pet/friend like Sprocket.
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 watching The Muppet Show. It appeals to both my inner child as well as my adult self. I watched it with my family when I was young, so it’s not only nostalgic for me, but its also a great show to watch even today. The humor is clever enough to appeal to us adults, but not so over the top that it’s inappropriate for kids. It’s a great sketch show, has a lot of clever song setups, and it’s FUNNY!!
5. What is your favorite Muppet movie and why?
It’s always really hard to pick a favorite, but at the end of the day it’s The Muppet Christmas Carol. It was one of the first Muppet related medias I saw, and I’ve watched it at least once a year since it came out. Even if it’s not the same formula of traditional Muppet films, and even if the characters aren’t playing themselves and there aren’t any celebrity cameos (besides Michael Caine), to me it always brings out that wonderful, Christmas spirit in me that we should feel at every time of the year. I love the humor, I love the atmosphere, I love how well the characters are cast, I love everything about it. Plus, Michael Caine is phenomenal! Best Scrooge ever!!
6. What is your favorite Muppet/Sesame/Fraggle song and why?
Without a doubt, “Rainbow Connection.” Its not only my favorite Henson related song, it’s also my favorite song ever. It’s like the “Wish Upon a Star” song for the Muppets, and it stands great even on it’s own. I always get a little teary when I hear it, no matter who’s singing it.
7. If you could have dinner with any living Muppet performer who would you choose and why?
Steve Whitmire. He’s been with the Muppets almost since the beginning of The Muppet Show, and I want to hear his stories and experiences of working with these characters through the years. I would love to ask him everything I’ve ever wanted to know about working behind the scenes, too. I also love his reinvented Kermit, so I hope he’d bring him as well.
8. If you could tell Jim Henson one thing, what would it be?
Thank you for everything, Mr. Henson.
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”?
I think the final moment of The Muppet Movie, when they sing the the reprise of “Rainbow Connection” after the roof breaks, that is the best moment. The lyrics “Life’s like a movie, write your own ending. Keep believing, keep pretending,” it’s very touching and hopeful. As haunting as it sounds, I feel like Jim Henson is also trying to tell us something from the beyond. Plus, all the Jim Henson characters singing that part of the song together, it’s just the perfect end for a Muppet film.
10. What’s the name of that song?
Um… I don’t understand that reference so I shamefully have to move on…
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 him be my workout buddy. Someone with that much energy would definitely help me loose three times the calories I normally do on my morning workouts.
12. In your opinion, what is the worst Muppet production ever made?
It’s really sad that there are quite a few productions that I don’t care for. While most of them are at least watchable, the one I really can’t ever bring myself to watch is Kermit’s Swamp Years. I won’t go into a long rant as to why, but I will say that it’s always felt like the most out of character (as a production), and the least Muppety. And the most poorly structured.
13. Who is one celebrity you would love to see cameo in the next Muppet movie?
I can imagine Kristen Wiig being pretty hilarious with the Muppets, since she’s one of the most famous female comedians out there right now. As a big fan of Zooey Deschanel, I’d love to see her with the Muppets as well. Also, even though Katy Perry technically already had a segment with Elmo, I still think it’s time she appeared with the Muppet gang.
14. If you could take a picture with any Muppet, who would you choose and how would you pose?
Well… I’ve already taken pictures with Kermit, Miss Piggy, and Walter, so it’s really hard to top all that off. I suppose next it would have to be Super Grover! I go to conventions a lot in different costumes so I’d love for us to pose with me wearing a Super Girl outfit!
15. What is your favorite piece of Muppet merchandise that you own? (Feel free to include a picture!)
That would be my copy of Imagination Illustrated, The Jim Henson Journal, and here’s why. I was really lucky to visit the set when they were filming Muppets Most Wanted this year. While there, I got all of the Muppeteers on set to sign my book, including Steve Whitmire, Dave Goelz, Matt Vogel, Eric Jacobson, David Rudman, Bill Barretta, Peter Linz, and my friend Kevin Carlson. You can see pictures bellow. That was one of the best days of my life, and now I have proof that it happened.
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org