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Posts Tagged ‘Muppets’

A little Christmas cheer for your Thursday – because I love those Muppets, and because I thought you could use a smile:

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‘Tis the season for apple cider, cups of cocoa, twinkle lights, and – yes – the Christmas movies I pull out every year. Here, in no particular order except for #1, are my very favorite Christmas films:

1. A Charlie Brown Christmas. I get chills when Linus walks onstage, and I’m sniffling by the end of his little speech every.single.time. And oh, how I love Snoopy – the ice-skating scene and the dance scenes crack me up – and the end where they all sing “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and well, just the whole thing.

2. White Christmas.  I wrote last year about how much I LOVE this movie, though it’s a recent discovery for me. Love, love, love it – the music, the colors, the lights, the dancing, and the love and respect shown the General by his whole division of soldiers. And Danny Kaye’s jokes. And, well, just everything about it.

3. The Muppet Christmas Carol. I’ve always loved the Muppets, and Kermit is my favorite – so what’s not to love about this one? Rizzo and Gonzo crack me up with their narration; the songs are so clever; Kermit makes such a fabulous Bob Cratchit; and Michael Caine is brilliant. And when Scrooge donates an untold amount of money and Beaker gives him his red scarf, I always get teary-eyed.

4. The Holiday. Oh, how I love this little film – it makes me cry and laugh and feel all starry-eyed inside.

5. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the original one, dang it). Such fun, colorful animation and a truly heartwarming story – and I love Max, the little dog/reindeer, so much.

6. Miracle on 34th Street – the original, with Natalie Wood and Maureen O’Hara. Such a classic, and I love watching the cynicism melt away as everyone comes to believe that there just might be a Santa Claus.

7. Rudolph, the Claymation version – with Hermey the Elf and Yukon Cornelius. So fun. (“Fog as thick as peanut butter!” “You mean pea soup!” “You eat what you like and I’ll eat what I like!”)

8. Christmas Eve on Sesame Street, mostly for the nostalgic value. We still have the old taped-off-TV VHS – now, most years, we just fast-forward to the scenes of Cookie Monster trying to write to Santa, but eating the pencil, the typewriter and the telephone, and Grover pretending to be Santa and trying to figure out how to get down the chimney. Hilarious and heartwarming, in true Muppet fashion.

What are your favorite Christmas movies?

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Since toddlerhood, I’ve been a Sesame Street girl. According to both my mother and my own memories, I loved watching Bert and Ernie, Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, Mr. Hooper, Gordon, Maria and all the rest. (Grover remains my dad’s favorite, while Jeremiah has a soft spot for Cookie Monster.) We watched lots of Sesame Street at my house, and we still watch parts of the Christmas Eve special every year.

But I never watched The Muppet Show, which went off the air the year I was born, and wasn’t really a kids’ show, anyway. However, this fall, J and I have been checking out the DVDs from the library and howling with laughter over the antics of Kermit and friends. Kermit has always been my favorite, and it’s such fun to watch him trying to keep everything together (we have that in common) while his wacky friends seem intent, at times, on spoiling or at least sending the show careening wildly off-balance.

Apparently there’s a new Muppet movie in the works (we love the movies too, especially The Muppet Christmas Carol). But for now, we’re having fun watching Kermit dodging Miss Piggy and Fozzie telling terrible jokes and Statler and Waldorf heckling him, and Gonzo performing death-defying acts of, well, we’re not exactly sure what. We love Animal’s mad drumming and the Swedish Chef’s attempts at cooking and Beaker’s mishaps in Muppet Labs, and Rowlf’s piano solos and his jokes on Veterinarian’s Hospital.

This is vintage stuff, so I’m sure we’ve missed a few cultural references, and some of the guest stars are unknown to us – but it’s pure, happy hilarity from the time the curtain goes up till Zoot blows the last note on the saxophone. And after a long day or a hectic week, or just after a cozy dinner at home, it’s often exactly what we need.

Won’t you join us for the Muppet Show tonight?

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For the days when I need some serious silliness (and what better day than a Friday?), I turn to my old friends the Muppets. Their YouTube channel is a gold mine of videos old and new. Jeremiah and I have our favorites; my Oxford housemates and I also have our favorites. And if you haven’t seen the one below, you should really jump on the bandwagon (it has more than 14 MILLION views):

Here are our other Muppet faves (I won’t torture you by embedding 12 videos, so click on the links):

1. Beaker, Animal and the Swedish Chef sing “Danny Boy.”
2. Beaker sings “Feelings” (in a green velvet tux!)
3. Sam Eagle and the crew sing “Stars and Stripes Forever!”
4. Telly and James Blunt sing “My Triangle” (to the tune of “You’re Beautiful”). (This is why I call Lizzie “my triangle.”)
5 . Norah Jones and Elmo don’t know why the letter “Y” didn’t come.
6. Andrea Bocelli sings Elmo to sleep. (Elmo does get annoying, but my friend Jo loves this one.)
7. Beaker plays ALL the instruments in “Ode to Joy.”
8. REM joins the Muppets for “Furry Happy Monsters.”
9. The beloved Marvin Suggs plays the Muppaphones.
10. Beaker, Animal and the Swedish Chef ring the bells.
11. Gonzo and the chickens get classical.

Any other Muppet greatness I’ve missed? (If you’re not smiling yet, click the links, for goodness’ sake!)

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Stars and Stripes Forever

No matter how you voted yesterday, this will make you smile – and be proud to be part of the country that has brought us the Muppets. Enjoy. 🙂

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