Answers from Scott Modrzynski
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 already an impossibly hard survey. I love the weird, quirky bit players like Lew Zealand and his boomerang fish™ and Crazy Harry, but I’ve got to go with some more obvious classics like Animal, Rowlf, and Gonzo. Everything Animal does is hilarious, whether its dropping the phone when he realizes its Miss Piggy on the other end (A Muppet Family Christmas), going off the rails with Bohemian Rhapsody or hamming it up with Jack Black in anger management (The Muppets). Ditto for Gonzo. His bits from the original series were usually the funniest, a tradition kept through all the movies. (Who else would own a toilet factory, and blow it up… just because?) Finally, for Rowlf, I’ve always loved his voice, going back to the Muppet Christmas records I listened to as a kid.
2. Who are your three favorite characters from Sesame Street and why?
Cookie Monster, the Two-Headed Monste,r and the Amazing Mumford are all colorful, fun characters that weren’t too sweet and gooey (Grover, Elmo, ugh). With Cookie and Mumford, they were featured fairly prominently in the Sesame Street Treasury books, and I loved those stories. As for the Two-Headed Monster, I always thought he/they had so much potential to be bigger characters.
3. Who are your three favorite characters from Fraggle Rock and why?
Gobo was a cool leader, Wembley was off his rocker, and the Doozers were so awesomely designed. Who doesn’t want to eat their buildings?
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?
Sesame Street may have gotten the ball rolling, but the original Muppet Show is where its at. Some of the musical numbers and guest stars are incredibly dated, but Statler and Waldorf are STILL funny, over 30 years later, and in a lot of ways, the Muppet designs were better/more intricate than they today. (Walter? Seriously?)
5. What is your favorite Muppet movie and why?
I love Muppet Family Christmas, because it was a real geek-out moment to have each of the Big Three franchises intersect and have the characters hang out together.
6. What is your favorite Muppet/Sesame/Fraggle song and why?
I sometimes sing “You Can’t No for an Answer” through the streets of Manhattan on my way to work. So catchy.
8. If you could tell Jim Henson one thing, what would it be?
We need a Muppet with a ten gallon hat that has a Muppet fish living in 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 return in 2011. An entire generation had gone without a Muppet feature film, and there were arguments that there was no place for the Muppets anymore (outside of Sesame Street). The hilarious movie proved otherwise.
10. What’s the name of that song?
I’d like to sing right along.
11. If a judge ruled that Grover had to be your personal assistant for a month, what jobs would you have him do?
Every menial miserable task I can think of pushing on him, until I give him the final act of hurling himself form a cliff. He is to me what Bean Bunny is to everyone else.
12. In your opinion, what is the worst Muppet production ever made?
Muppets from Space was so-so. It just tried too hard to be a good Muppets movie, so it wasn’t. I also don’t think we should have ever learned what Gonzo was. It’s like revealing Wolverine’s origin. Terrible.
13. Who is one celebrity you would love to see cameo in the next Muppet movie?
Roosevelt Franklin. A Muppet movie with Daniel Craig reprising his role as Bond would be great, too, though.
14. If you could take a picture with any Muppet, who would you choose and how would you pose?
Me and Sweetums, hands up on the Great American Scream Machine at Six Flags Great Adventure.
15. What is your favorite piece of Muppet merchandise that you own? (Feel free to include a picture!)
I’ve got an Animal tumbler. It’s the only cup I drink from. Sometimes, my daughter tries to take it from me, but she’s only one, so I can easily overpower her tiny, weakling arms.
Scott is a hugely talented painter who has painted dozens of Muppets in gorgeous style. You’ve gotta check them out!
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, email@example.com