The Great Muppet Survey – Steven Brandon

Answers from Steven Brandon

1.   Who are your three favorite characters from The Muppet Show, Muppets Tonight, The Jim Henson Hour, the Muppet movies, etc. and why?
1. Rowlf – The everydog. He’s the original and still the best. He’s the laid back cheeky one who let’s the madness go on around him but brings great humor and pathos especially behind the piano.
2. Miss Piggy – The grand dame of them all. Who doesn’t love her attitude and variety of hairstyles. The Frank Oz era of Miss Piggy was unbeatable.
3.  Baby Fozzie – I love Fozzie but as an adult he’s a second banana always struggling. But as a baby he was much more sympathetic and so cute.

2.   Who are your three favorite characters from Sesame Street and why?
Grover is always the most fun and had some great songs. How can you not love Ernie too? He’s the fun one with the cheeky laugh and the most positive attitude. Third place goes to old school Cookie Monster for his unbridled enthusiasm for cookies!

3.   Who are your three favorite characters from Fraggle Rock and why?
I always love Uncle Traveling Matt because he got to go outdoors and hang with the silly people. I especially loved when he went to my home country of Australia. My favorite of the five was Red. Loved her hair and her tenacity. Also loved Junior Gorg. Something about his childlike behavior and lisp which was so fun. Special shout out to the often forgotten Marjorie the Trash Heap!

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. This is really what started it all. The songs, the guest stars and the great reoccurring sketches: Pigs in Space, Veterinarian’s Hospital, Swedish Chef, Newsman etc… You could turn on any episode and anytime and just enjoy the craziness.

5.   What is your favorite Muppet movie and why?
The Great Muppet Caper. I watched this over and over as a kid. It’s so silly and fun with Happiness Hotel, “That man stole my jewels”, the scene with John Cleese, the big finale. Ludicrous story telling at its best. Runner up goes to The Muppets Take Manhattan This was the first Muppet movie I saw in cinemas and was so excited when I saw the trailer. The storyline is more typical and makes way too much sense for a Muppet movie but it was great. Plus it also introduced the Muppet Babies.

6.   What is your favorite Muppet/Sesame/Fraggle song and why?
“Man or Muppet.” Given how much I love old school Muppets, this song is so good that I love it even though it has no original Muppets in it! The greatest duet ever, I can’t wait to get this song on the karaoke turntable. Profound and funny. The longest notes held in a Muppet song ever. It won the Oscar for a very good reason.

7.   If you could have dinner with any living Muppet performer who would you choose and why?
Frank Oz. He’s so elusive and doesn’t really like to talk about The Muppets. I want to get him totally drunk and dig for gossip and great stories about the Muppets in their heyday.

8.   If you could tell Jim Henson one thing, what would it be?
Jim – go to the FRONT door of the hospital! Let the driver take you there!

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 Fantastic Miss Piggy Show. Frank Oz was a powerhouse. Plus great musical numbers (Lulu of a Luau), John Ritter (as Miss Piggy!) George Hamilton and Tony Clifton! The greatest hour of The Muppets – Mr. President – get this special on DVD! (Plus while you’re at it check out The Frog Prince and Hey, Cinderella! Two more classics.)

10.   What’s the name of that song?
Java. (Or Coconut)

11.   If a judge ruled that Grover had to be your personal assistant for a month, what jobs would you have him do?
Teach me which way was over and under.

12.   In your opinion, what is the worst Muppet production ever made?
After the first five minutes, Muppets from Space is basically unwatchable.

13.   Who is one celebrity you would love to see cameo in the next Muppet movie?
I’d like to see Paul Williams back with gang. Or Robin Williams. Pick a Williams any Williams.

14.   If you could take a picture with any Muppet, who would you choose and how would you pose?
Probably a dolled up Miss Piggy.

15.   What is your favorite piece of Muppet merchandise that you own? (Feel free to include a picture!)
I love when the Muppets parody pop culture and so I love the old school Miss Piggy calendars and late 90’s parody calendars!

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier,

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