Let’s Talk-Lips

Mike Quinn already somewhat answered this for me (thanks Mike!), but I was watching Rocky Horror Picture Show the other night and I couldn’t help but remember hearing somewhere that you are a huge fan, Steve. I think it was the commentary for MTI that mentioned you spent the entire time gushing over Tim Curry (who wouldn’t?)
Do you have a particular favourite song from Rocky Horror, or are you like me and just love the entire soundtrack?…comment by Marni Hill on August 3, 2017 at 9:11 PM

Love the whole thing. Why do you think I called one of my characters “Lips”? Let’s talk Rocky Horror for a minute…this oughta’ bring Melissa Yowhan running! lol

Yes, I was “a regular Franky fan” back in my high school days. Even did the late night double feature, 12AM and again at 2AM, nearly every weekend, once in a while in costume (Frank-N-Furter), standing out on the side of the road at the old Peachtree Playhouse in Atlanta.

While we were in Los Angeles shooting The Muppet Movie, I organized a group of us to go to a late night show complete with all the props, and Jim and Frank came along. Evidently, Jim had not seen the film prior to that night. We had a blast and he loved it. I recall our talking about the audience participation, how fascinated he was that Rocky Horror had the cult following, and that it had lasted for 4 years…remember Jim was shooting his first Muppet film.

Later that year when we all headed back to London for The Muppet Show it hit me that I was smackdab in the middle of the film industry in London. So, I thought, why not set about meeting every single person who worked on “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”?…(I had a lot of spare time back in those days…)

With The Muppet Show being the hottest thing in the world, and Richard O’Brien living in London, I just extended an invitation to him, and within a day or so he responded with an enthusiastic ‘yes!’. He was staying at the Holiday Inn Swiss Cottage, the hotel I had stayed in when I first came to London, so my wife and I met him there for dinner.

Now, you have to remember I was only barely 21 and my wife was 20, and here we were having dinner with Riff Raff. That basically meant we were the intellectual equivalent of Brad and Janet….here is this seasoned show biz guy and two near teenagers from Georgia. I was in awe.

Richard was one of the nicest and (obviously) most accommodating people I’ve ever met, a true gentlemen who I can only imagine must have never figured that some guy who was working on The Muppet Show would have turned out to be such a completely geeky fan.

He came out to Elstree the next day to visit to show, and I introduced him to Jim. I remember Jim saying to Richard how amazing he thought the film was, particularly the impact it had on audiences. Richard said, “Well, it’s really just an innocent little movie…”.

Then I was invited to the set of “Shock Treatment”, which was meant to be the Rocky Horror sequel. We spent a day there with Richard, Patricia Quinn, Nell Campbell, Barry Humphries (Dame Edna), and Cliff DeYoung talking Rocky Horror and Muppets between scenes. I’ll never forget that day – I had smoked salmon for lunch in the studio canteen and got food poisoning….

Richard and I kept in touch a little, and I ran into him again a few years later in the line waiting to get into Kew Gardens. We talked for a bit and went our separate ways. Then, we reconnected briefly during Muppet Treasure Island when he visited the set, as it turned out, on a day when Tim wasn’t there.

I hear he now lives in New Zealand, and I nearly had the opportunity to connect yet again. I was set to be in New Zealand for a Jim Henson Legacy celebration this past April, but the events of October made that go away.

I may never actually connect with Richard again, but what great memories!

One more thing: In this clip from The Muppet Show I‘m doing the lead guitarist. The video is very poor, but you might be able to make out a very large Rocky Horror Usherette button on his left shoulder. He‘s covered in Rocky stuff…

Have a great weekend, everybody, and we’ll take up some for the more serious topics next time…

114 thoughts on “Let’s Talk-Lips

  1. You just made my entire year by my question-Thank you!

    You even incorporated my favourite Muppet into it! Lips is without a doubt an underrated character!

    It really wonderful to read about these great memories, no matter how strange and epic the stimulus is! I can’t say that I’m as much as a Rocky fan as you are, the Muppets are kind of my equivalent, but every interaction I have with a Muppet-related person likely feels similar to how you felt meeting Richard.

    How do I know? Because right now, all I feel is giddiness, surprise and absolute joy!

    Again, thank you!

      1. A very appropriate response….not quite sure how, but still fits!

        As a really quick afterthought, it really is incredible to consider just how many opportunities the Muppets have given you to interact with show biz greatness, even if the interactions had little or nothing to do with the Muppets at all. As much as I and so many others enjoy the ‘more serious topics’ and understand just how important it is to discuss them in depth, lighter stories like this also send a great message about how close the original Muppet team was and why it is essential that that camaraderie continues to this day.

      2. If only you’d introduced Jim to Rocky Horror a year or so earlier. It sounds like everyone on both sides – Muppets and Rocky – were really enthusiastic for each other’s work. I’m guessing that by the time of the set visits, work on The Muppet Show series was winding down and/or the remaining guest stars were all arranged. Otherwise we would likely have seen Tim Curry and Richard O’Brien on there… oh, what could have been! Imagine : a REAL The Rocky Horror Muppet Show (do a Google search if you don’t know what I mean 😉 ).

  2. Steve, is it even ok if I call you that? The more I learn about you, the more I like you. That’s saying something. You know, little off subject here but I am obsessed with Dark Crystal. when I learned about the prequel show, I was like yes, at least they can get Steve to voice sketk-Tek! I was excited… and then. I even said, well at least Steve has a job with the Hensons… who knew. One night I actually watched Dark Crystal, then Fraggle Rock… I had never realized you used almost identical voices for the two (Marlin and Skek-Tek) I actually have Aspbergers which one of the things about it, makes you want to know everything about something, and it’s really hard to even post things online or ask questions. Maybe someday you could tell us about your time making it? And I want to again say how level headed your being, in the same sutiation of loosing a dream, I would have went off in a rant, cussed at the Hensons… I wish could be more like you. Sorry about the long post.

  3. I assumed that he was called Lips because he’s a trumpet player. See? I learned something today. Never let it be said that your blog isn’t educational!

    Thanks for the fun “breather episode”; I hope you have a good weekend too. 🙂

  4. What a great story! I bet you must have been thrilled working with Tim Curry on “Muppet Treasure Island”. Now how about showing us a picture of you as Frank-n-Furter????

  5. And running I came, Steve! LOL thank you for the shout out you made my night seriously. Rough week and this cheered me up big time. What a great set of stories. How awesome that Jim was into RHPS. I’ve met many people connected with the film now but oddly not Richard yet, or Susan Sarandon. When I saw Tim Curry again this past Oct I brought pics of me and him from the Treasure Island set but unfortunately between his now health issues and the chaos of the convention photo op we saw him at it just didn’t compute. But in years after the set meeting when I brought up the Muppets or your name he always beamed said he loved you and loved working on the film.
    The movie is still near and dear to me for so many reasons to this day. I’m turning 40 this year like the movie just did recently, the first trip I took with my now husband when we were dating was to a RHPS con in Atlantic City. I knew my husband was a keeper when he enjoyed his time and was tossing toilet paper and other props during the movie. My aunt was a big fan growing up and gave me all her old stuff from back in the day. And I’ve met friends for life through the whole fan scene.
    I was also thrilled my husband got to meet Tim again at this con this past Oct. Tim now being in a wheelchair and my husband who is disabled from birth who sometimes needs to use one at big events like that they bonded over that. Tim turned to him shook his hand and there was just this mutual connection of understanding. Kind of a full circle moment for me. And thank you again always Steve for making my 17 year old self very happy with the Treasure Island set visit. Kermit and Tim Curry in one day. Didn’t get better than that for me at that point in time lol

        1. I was thinking, kind of tearing up tonight, looking back at this batty weird time period. the last four weeks, how surreal it is so many have been willing to throw Steve under the bus. Re-writing history like some sort of nightmare plot to a tv show or film. I remember seeing Great Muppet Caper, Dark Crystal and Muppets Take Manhattan in theaters as a little kid, I remember seeing Fraggle Rock and Jim Henson Hour and Muppet Family Christmas on TV when it aired. If someone from the future would have told me that the mind behind the hillariously salty and imaginative Rizzo or Wembley or Bean Bunny and the eventual inheritor of Kermit T Frog would be attacked and ran over by the Disney corporation, the Hensons and even some fans I would be sick to my stomach. I turn 40 in a few months, but to me Whitmire represents the zany torch passed from the original Jim/Frank era to the fun irreverent 80’s era. Even just reading and commenting on this blog feels surreal and everything feels up in the air. I mean I have Wembley, Rizzo Rat and Kermit plushes on my shelf behind me for goodness sake. Now more than ever we’re in such a strange time period, with a lot on the line. But I never imagined the Muppets and Jim Henson’s vision itself would be on the line. I remember intense angry debates online in the 90s over EM.TV in 1998-2000, then the Henson buyback then Disney firesale in 2004. But this new existential struggle feels like it may be the most important situation for any JH or Muppet fan since 1990, hyperbolic as it sounds

          1. I kind of feel the same way. There is so much at stake here – maybe it’s just the soundbite/sugar-rush nature of modern sensibilities, but I’ve worried for a while that if “they” (aka Disney) can’t get this right, our beloved Muppets will fade into the history books for good. And younger generations will never know the magic and genius of Jim Henson and his core group of performers. Because that is truly what’s in jeopardy. And it’s what I love the most about the Muppets.

            I really worry about those still on the front lines, like Dave Goelz. For all intents and purposes, he’s the last man standing in a very precarious position. I so wanted the recent ABC show to work – mostly for the performers. B/c to me, those characters don’t exist without the performers. Most of my favorite characters are my favorites b/c I love the performers that bring them to life. I love Jerry Nelson’s characters across the board – he was something special for sure! But I also love the Turkey from Muppet Family Christmas, and Rizzo, and Gonzo, and Fozzie Bear – not because of their voices, but b/c of the talented performers like Steve Whitmire that breathed life into them. I know Steve didn’t perform Gonzo or Fozzie, but you get where I’m going with this. Anyone can replicate a voice. It is infinitely more difficult to replicate the heart and soul of a character.

            I guess what I’m saying is, with so much quick-hit, sugar-rush types of entertainment out there that are all about the ratings or the residuals, it’s even more important to have something like the Muppets, which are pure and silly and bursting with heart and soul. Jim’s legacy was about sooooo much more than commercial success – and to think we might lose that altogether is a real gut-punch.

      1. No bother at all! I love the movie obviously for personal reasons but as a Muppet fan so many things to love about it! Music, action the appearance of many old characters and intro to new ones, etc. I just showed it to my husband for the first time recently. He laughed a lot through it

  6. Steve,

    Such an amazing story to hear from you! You learn something new everyday! Can’t wait for more entries!

    Valerie

  7. Steve … OMG, here you are, another Frank N. Furter. I and my friends devoured every part of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and being in NYC, working at the modeling agency and studying dancing, Rocky Horror appealed to me. Not being the Janet type but more of a Magenta, I often had fun dressing up as this character. I believe this affected my performances later as a dancer and my costumes. I’d show you a photo from this time, but it may mess with your site.

    The closest I ever got to Tim Curry was my friendship with Charles Strouse who wrote the music to Bye Bye Birdie, Applause and later Annie. Tim Curry was also a great Rooster in the film. Sorry you got food poisoning from the Studio Canteen. I’m assuming it put a damper on the excitement.

    This post is a great trip back in time from early days of the Muppets. I love that you introduced Jim Henson to The Rock Horror Picture Show.

    Wonderful Post
    Anne Terri

  8. So many stories. I really enjoy how connected we are via the internet.

    ……but I’ve never seen Rocky Horror.

  9. I few days ago something occurred to me, and your (Steve’s) post mentioned something that kind of touches on that thought.
    Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m sure I read somewhere that you pottered around with a generic rat puppet to fill in the background on The Muppet Show, even going so far as to make him a little outfit. Jim noticed and liked what you were doing, and the rat became Rizzo.
    In your post, you mention that you named a character you created (Lips).
    So… if you created those characters, doesn’t that give you any rights over them at all? I know the Muppets were communally created by several people (the puppet builders, the writers, the puppeteers), but surely you would retain a little control over a charactet you created from scratch?

  10. A second question, and it’s way off topic (sorry) but I don’t know where else to ask. With two guys who were involved with the Muppets/Creature Shop at the time – Steve and Mike Quinn – active on this blog, I hope that I might finally find out a little more…
    In the mid/late 1980s, a Children’s ITV show about video-games (co-presented by Andy Crane, I think) showed a very short clip from a forthcoming Creature Shop project called Vivvy The Elder. Vivvy looked a little like a Mystic from The Dark Crystal, and he/she seemed to be looking down on a valley from a cave-mouth high in a mountain-side.
    As a huge fan of The Dark Crystal, I was very excited by what looked like something very much along those lines (as you can probably tell from how vividly I remember that clip), and waited in vain for weeks, months, years to hear more.
    I wonder if either of you were involved in this project, and could tell us what it was going to be, and more to the point, what happened to it.

    1. By a weird fluke, I just found an old newspaper clipping giving some information that allows me to amend my original post. The Children’s ITV series that featured the clip was called Bad Influence, and it was shown in the early 1990s.

  11. Mr. Whitmire,

    What an interesting story – it’s such a small world. I hope you can share more of these wonderful anecdotes and stories like this with us in the future!

    Lips has always been one of the more underrated muppets to me and I’d love to hear more about your process in helping him find his voice over the years. I always find it odd how he seems to disappear and reappear with the band in some instances. Cool to find out how he got his name here.

  12. Hey Steve,

    Speaking of Lips…

    For your next post you should tell the story of what happened to the original Lips puppet while you guys were shooting the Muppet Viral video “Kodachrome”.

  13. You and Jim Henson were Rocky Horror fans!!

    YES

    Have a great weekend! I hope get to do something light hearted and fun!

    Lucy

  14. Hi Steve

    I wish we’d had more time to talk on MTI as I was a huge Rocky fan. Working so close to Tim Curry was a career highlight. One of my first professional acting gigs, not long after MTI, was playing Frank N Furter on tour. I like to think a little of Tim rubbed off on me during MTI! Had no idea that Richard O’Brien visited the set. I must have been on second unit that day. I’d have gone nuts!

    AJS

  15. Hi Steve,

    I adore hearing these anecdotes about Rocky Horror and would very much liked to have been a fly on the wall watching Jims reactions to watching Rocky Horror, in so many ways it’s just like watching the Muppet Show, larger than life characters but still familiar and a sense of not quite knowing what to expect next.

    My parents were very big Rocky Horror Fans too and so this was passed onto me – sorry for such a cliche question but how was it working with Tim Curry on Muppet Treasure Island?

    And also on the subject of Elstree, there’s an idea I have in mind but not sure of the logistics and if you’d be interested.

    Back in October 2015 there was a plaque unveiling of Jim Henson (located literally over the road from the main site and where on the other side is now a fast food restaurant – I’m sure I recall that in previous years it was a pub) in attendance were Louise Gold, Jocelyn Stevenson and Martin Baker, and afterwards I enjoyed meeting these wonderful people – especially Louise.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=z7ryN-ueR7o

    Now, I know this is one heck of a long shot and I don’t know how possible this would be for you but I know a number of Fans from all around the World, especially in the U.K. (Some could say it’s the Spiritual Home of the Muppets) would #Love to meet you, I was considering making a short documentary with you, talking about your time working over here, it would be wonderful I think.

    Also, I know that we all have our own way of being connected to Jim and when I was at his plaque on my own I felt this sense of calm and peaceful mind all about me – that in a real way he was there, I know that you like all of us have Jim in your Heart but I feel this would be wonderful if you saw this plaque in the flesh.

    This is only an idea and just feel it would be wonderful if it could happen, you coming back to Elstree? I know a few people who would be very interested in seeing this plan come to fruition.

    My very best to you Steve

    Love Richard 🙏

    1. Well we all know what Steve’s post replying to this would be called, if he agreed to it…
      “I’m Going Home”, bringing us full circle back to Rocky Horror!
      I would love there to be an (even unofficial) Muppet event in the UK. Count me in!

    2. Wow! This is the first I knew about this. (Thanks for mentioning it, London TV news… not.) Hope it’s still there so I can get to see it.

      1. Hi Kevin,

        The plaque is part of a tradition located down the high street, once you come out of Elstree and Borehamwood station there’s all kinds of nods to those ICONS that have worked at the Studios, Harrison Fords star is right by the entrance (and even the train station was used in an episode of EastEnders a few years back when Ronnie was chasing after Roxie and Charlie)

        There’s a number of plaques dotted all along the high street, for example there’s one with both Steven Spielberg and George Lucas on, each plaque is made of metal and so can survive all the elements.

        It’s also fun to walk down the high street and spot famous filming locations – for example in the Alan Partride special “Scissored Isle” there was a scene that was made out to be shot in Manchester but I recognised the front of the Tesco store AND the George Lucas stage based at Elstree in the background (there was also another shot and in the background you can see the real high rise flats that you can also notice in certain background shots of EastEnders)

        But yep, the plaque and many others will certainly be there when you go and visit 🙂

        My Best wishes

        Richard 🙂

        1. Thanks for all the extra information, Richard. I’ll plan an expedition to “Outer Space” and check the plaque out. (I did a Google search and found a big Muppet mural on a wall in the area too.)
          When I read your post the other day (about your Kermit doll) and looked at your pictures, I think I may have seen you around at a past LFCC : did you ever see a young blonde guy performing a Kermit puppet hanging around with a Dalek there once?
          I’ve always wondered why they’ve never had any Muppet performers there. Frank Oz was in London for a theatre show at the exact same time a few years ago, and I felt the organisers missed an opportunity.

          1. Hi Kevin,

            You’re more than welcome 🙂

            It’s a very beautiful plaque and would highly recommend you check it out – have heard of the Muppet mural but not quite sure where it is.

            Methinks it’s very possible we’ve seen each other at past LFCCs (for those reading this LFCC stands for London Film and Comic Convention) I’ve been attending since 2010 although last year was the only time I didn’t go, enjoyed last weeks one, there was someone there who was cosplaying as Kermit. (feel free to add me on Twitter) 🙂

            to my knowledge the last time Frank was over here was back in 2011, it was the same week that Star Wars was released on bluray, he was Directing Scott Bakula at the Menier Chocolate Factory, a very calm and pleasant friggin ICON to meet.

            As far as the plaque goes Louise, Martin and Jocelyn were the only Muppet folk

            I don’t know where Dave Barclay is currently living (he was at LFCC in 2015) Mike Edmonds lives locally and has been seen in certain supermarkets.

            🙂

            Best Wishes

            Richard 🙂

  16. Hi Steve,

    I was watching “The Great Muppet Caper” last weekend, and I noticed something I had never noticed before. At the very end when everyone was thrown out of the airplane and sang a reprise of “Hey a Movie,” and the whole “Starring everybody and me! And me! And me!” bit, I noticed Lips had a little “And me!” Was this the first time Lips ever spoke? I noticed he didn’t talk much during the run of “The Muppet Show.”

    Live long and paws-purr,
    Erin T. Aardvark

    1. GMC was second time. First time he spoke (or rather sang) was in the “Barnyard Boogie” opening number of The Muppet Show.

      1. Thank you. I never got a chance to see the entirety of the Muppet Show. Wish they’d get seasons 4 and 5 on DVD already, but I know there are a lot of issues holding them up.

        1. Issues being Disney are too stingy to cough up some of their billions of dollars to get clearance to some of the songs. Even though tbey’ve edited some of the episodes they’ve already released. Which is interesting, because TriStar didn’t have any problems when they released their sets of selected episodes previously.

          1. Not to interrupt you Erin and Kevin… but That’s awesome Disney is being held up due to song rights! I hope the musical artists don’t submit and no one ever gets to see the unedited versions due to the sell-out to a corporate Disney monopoly. To see the Muppet show in it’s entirety was to have lived during it’s time. It represents that time period… not today, even if some of it is timeless… It was a non-politically correct era that came after “Free to Be You and Me” and School House Rocky values… The Muppet show is like Woodstock or the Burning Man festival in that you can’t duplicate it and you had to be there. (ie. Sorry Joni Mitchell, but WHY did you listen to the boys who told you it wasn’t for women???? lo the bitterness) And nostalgia will never bring it back… Like punk rock was the Sex Pistols not Green Day, but how would the kids of today know? Jim was rare and there were no better puppeteers than him and everyone who comes after him is an homage to him in some respect.

          2. Yes, you’re quite right : only people who were around to see films and TV shows on their first release – and I was one who did see The Muppet Show first time around – should ever be allowed to see them the way their makers intended. So don’t ever expect to see a restored Gone With The Wind or The Wizard Of Oz if you didn’t see them when they were first released in 1939.
            You talk rubbish, and you know it because you’ve disabled the function to reply to your deranged opinions.

          3. To whom are you speaking to Kevin when you call out the “deranged”? My great Uncle did the pyro-technical work on Gone with the Wind. As for the Wizard of Oz, does anyone know what that movie is about? That the yellow brick road represented the gold standard and that the emerald city was the “green-back” dollar (illusion) of money? Do they know what the symbolism in it meant in it’s time? When Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige were used in the recent t.v. musical remake of the Wizard of OZ, they totally missed and f*cked up the original intent. No one takes about over-farming or mining and the Dust Bowl or the breathing and health problems that happened…. They missed the whole point and relationship to today. Do we take the time to discuss these things?
            If You were speaking to me, I have attempted to fill out all the boxes for return replies Steve’s blog requires and the technical issues are not my doing.
            I’m not saying younger generations of people shouldn’t get a chance to see the originals. I’m saying it’s good Disney is being blocked by musicians who deserve their say and copyrights. I’m saying it’s good if Disney doesn’t get to own all the music. And yepper, you had to be there… the rest is nostalgia.
            Next time please write specifically to whom you are addressing your comments to. This online thread is confusing. You may choose to be reactionary or helpful, righteous, indignant, and or pissy… and still have communicated NOTHING about Jim Henson but for your own agenda. So what’s yer point?

          4. hello Kevin Larkin, this is a correction ‘cuz even my “deranged gangsta” feels the need for attention to detail…
            Brownie as he was called was my Great Grandfather who worked on models and pyro technical stuff on Gone With the Wind. His name was John David Bowman. (I mistakenly said uncle.)

          5. you’ve disabled the function to reply to your deranged opinions.

            Kevin, I think WordPress has limits on how many comments are allowed to a thread. I don’t think Katherine or any other commenter has any control over whether or not replies are allowed. I think the blog owner (in this case, Steve) has options as to how many levels of replies will be allowed, but unlimited replies don’t seem to be an option. When I set my preferences, the maximum level of replies to a comment allowed was ten. I don’t think Katherine has the ability to disable the reply function on Steve’s blog.

          6. Hi Mary (thanks for the technical help) … and hello Kevin (U reactionary bastard),
            Steve can go into his wordpress dashboard and adjust how many comments he allows if he wants to. Maybe he doesn’t know how to yet.. I know it took me a while to navigate and they kept changing hands so trial and error is allowed as in however he wants to edit for his own image, is okay. Everyone does that.
            J.S. assured “us” Steve wasn’t blocking on purpose or moderating, altho J.S. has no real proof of such claims.
            *Note: Having to fill out the email field and related crap every time is entirely annoying.
            but so… peace yo
            (I say in my best gangsta rap voice ‘cuz Kevin be jelly)

  17. Mr. Whitmire;

    How much do you think your release was due to political reasons? I may be incorrect with my assumption here, but I feel like political you may lean towards the conservative or libertarian movements. I may be incorrect, and you may very well be a liberal.

    I just know how completely intolerant the fanatical, radicalized left has become in this country over the last decade. Tim Allen’s highly successful show on ABC was non-renewed primarily due to the intolerance of these liberals towards anyone who dares to have an independent thought or an opinion that differs from there own.

    Do you feel as if you were released for much of the same reason?

    I know you have told us not to, but I will be boycotting any and all new muppet material until you are reinstated.

    Thanks,

    Alan Russell

  18. you know you dont always have to talk about serious stuff. i understand you’ve got a lot on your mind but im sure you’ve got a lot of great stories that im sure we would all love to hear! perhaps you can put a fun post in between the serious stuff once in a while?

  19. I can’t say that I’m a big fan of Rocky Horror myself, although they did a production of it at my alma mater the year after I graduated, and I went back for the weekend to see the show. I liked it a lot more that way, but I don’t know if that’s because I found it to be more effective on stage, or if I was able to invest in it more when the actors were all people that I knew and (mostly) liked.

    With that said, there is one particular gag from Rocky Horror that I like so much it has since bled into my real-life mannerisms: anytime I use the word “anticipation,” I always want to put that big space in the middle like Tim Curry does, so that it becomes “antici…pation.”

    1. I think a lot of Rocky fans have that tendency – or at the very least, you can’t hear the word and NOT immediately think of Rocky (same as how Muppet Freaks can’t not think of Muppets when they hear the word “phenomenon” after Sandra Bullock episode of Muppets Tonight)

      My favorite Rocky Horror related experience: During college we had a humanities course that was taught by six different instructors (for example, one would take about history of a period, one would discuss music, one would discuss architecture, one would discuss literature, etc.) There were these extra credit projects called Interludes where interested students could work on a play/presentation based on figures from the time. Our assignment was Frederick Chopin and George Sand. Both myself and the other person who had the big acting/writing experience found we had the same wacked, obscure sense of humor and we wanted to turn it into this wild production no one had ever attempted before in the history of that class and we made it a huge thing with occasional music parodies, on of which was a “Liberated Woman” number for George done to the tune of “Sweet Transvestite” – probably my favorite (or at least tied with fave) parody i’ve ever written.

      1. Well, I used the word “anticipation” in a recent post, and I had to talk myself out of spelling it like that because I didn’t want to undermine the seriousness of the post.

  20. Reading your thoughts over these past few weeks has been incredibly inspiring for me. I grew up during the time of Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island, so I’ve always been accustomed to watching both you and Jim Henson as Kermit in equal measure. If there’s one thing that’s been affirmed for me, it’s that the enduring idea of Kermit and the Muppets is not the felt and the voices. It’s the fact that they’re basically us, all of us seen through a lens to give us better insight into ourselves. You have so much to give, as a puppeteer and, in my opinion, more as a thought-provoking philosopher. So please understand that in what I’m about to say, I mean no disrespect for you or your fellow performers or the Muppets, and that I’m always hoping you’ll get Kermit back.

    You don’t need the Muppets. You don’t even need Kermit. If the ones in charge are ever smart enough to ask you to come back, I’m sure they’ll make it worth your while. But you don’t need them because you still have what made them special in the first place. You’re smart, insightful, funny. You probably have your human faults and fears and foibles like the rest of us. Kermit has all of that because of you and Jim Henson giving him that life.

    You likened the Muppets as your children. I have a baby daughter myself. Teaching her new things, sharing with her the right ideals and seeing how she’s interpreting them for herself has been and will surely be among my greatest joys in life. The one thing I dread most of all is that someday, she will leave. She’ll be off living her own life, without need of me anymore. Despite all I’ll try to do to guide her the right way, she’ll be free to be anything, from a lawyer to a prostitute to a mother to a librarian to a drug addict. It’s downright terrifying. She could meet the wrong person. She could lose all her money in Vegas. She could crash her car into a pole or a truck or a kid. Or she could live a completely happy, carefree life. She might even call me for advice or come by to visit once in a while, maybe even ask to move back in. Or she might never look back.

    We can’t force our children, or anyone else, to stay with us forever. We can’t erase their mistakes, can’t make them divorce, can’t tell them that we know what’s best and expect them to simply comply. All we can do is make ourselves available as a resource, which is what you yourself have valiantly been doing up to now. You’ve shouldered responsibility for caring for and building up the Muppets and their performers. You’ll keep doing so if given the chance, and you’ll never forsake them if they ever have need of you. That’s your portion of responsibility. The rest falls on to Disney to take you up on it. If they don’t, the Muppets will be all the worse off for it, but they are out of your hands now.

    Kermit is only part of you and Jim Henson. He had so much to give, and Kermit and the Muppets are such a small, practically minuscule part of that. The same goes for you. Kermit is great. Rizzo and Wembley and all the rest are great. But you yourself, Mr. Steve Whitmire, are beyond measure.

    1. Joshua, I can’t even!

      This is one of THE most beautiful things I’ve ever read and on so many levels rings true.

      Best Wishes

      Richard

  21. Thanks for sharing the “Rocky Horror” stories. I suddenly have the urge to attend the next midnight showing. It’s fantastic that you brought Jim along to a performance, and I am glad to know he enjoyed it. I attended Heather Henson’s “Sing Along with ‘The Muppet Movie'” at the Center for Puppetry Arts a few years ago. It was so enjoyable seeing “The Muppet Movie” in a “Rocky Horror”-esque environment with (much tamer) audience participation. I knew you were a big fan, but I had never made the connection to Lips. It seems so obvious now.

  22. After reading this blog post it reminded me of something I’ve wanted for a long time: a feature-length commentary on The Muppet Movie by the muppeteers themselves! Steve, any chance of you sitting down and recording your memories/comments/thoughts while re-watching the movie and posting on it youtube?

  23. Hi Steve…absolutely awesome post as always.

    One topic I was always curious about…what happened with Ernie?

    In my opinion, your magnificent channeling of Jim came out most in Kermit, but equally in Ernie. It was beautiful to watch you perform his 2nd most recognizable character while carrying on his legacy and keeping the spirit of the character alive.

    But I do need to know…what happened with Ernie? It was CRUSHING to watch what happened to him after that “recast”…he means so much to so many people and would love to hear your take on what actually happened there. In my opinion, he’s right behind Kermit as far as Jim’s character legacy.

    I read that stupid online piece that said you were “fired’ for wanting too much money…

    https://io9.gizmodo.com/no-one-looks-good-in-the-ugly-drama-surrounding-kermit-1797013930

    Typical of the “one source” that “told Gizmodo over Skype” to not give their name. I am SO happy you hinted at that cowardly accuser in your private jet post. Reminds me a lot of “Fraggle Fan” that posts on here with an agenda against the purity of the Muppets.

    Did anyone on both sides of the Muppet Studios and Sesame ball have anything to do with this? Do you feel like people such as Rick Lyon are leading an agenda out of bitterness? Did the new-age performers trying to make a name for themselves try to form sort of alliance? Sad!

    Would love to hear your side of the story on what happened with Ernie, and how the non-Jim era crew at SW has ruined him just as Disney is about to ruin Kermit.

    All the best,

    #TeamSteve

    1. “Billy Barkhust” as Ernie is the exact JOKE that Steve touched on his Understudies post. Dont you get it? Other than Bill Barretta’s performances as Rowlf, Dr. Teeth and the Swedish Chef aside, the people running the original characters now have zero respect for Jim…it shows in the quality of what’s been out there since 2012. I mention that year because I believe it’s the last year that you performed Ernie according to Muppet Wiki? Would love to hear more stories like the one above about how another one of Jim’s prime characters got butchered. No wonder Frank hasn’t performed any of his characters since that very year.

      PS- I find it to be no coincidence that Joey Mazzarino and Fran Brill left Sesame shortly after that loser in that link said you were “fired”…

      1. In spirit of your post, I laughed at the SAD! remark. If anything, whoever gave that quote to Gizmodo loves “FAKE NEWS!!!” LOL

        On a serious note, how do we know if it’s actually credible? I wouldn’t say that the post Jim era puppeteers zero respect for Jim, but obviously most of them just don’t get it. After watching Steve’s Today Show interview, it makes total sense that Steve had a fear of making these roles some sort of troupe that could be “auditioned for and cast”…Jim didn’t want that, and fortunately never had to address it thanks to the reliability of his core performers while he was alive. They never had to worry about an idea that takes all of the individuality out of the characters.

        Obviously that’s about to happen with Kermit, but happened years ago with Ernie when Sesame apparently replaced Steve. The Post-Jim Ernie really did thrive from the early 90’s on…I think he and Elmo together helped bring the brand back as an empire, as Steve and Kevin were the closest things to having Jim on the set with Frank’s absence. Caroll and Jerry carried the torch for a bit but there would be no talks of a 50th season today if not for the master-apprentices like Kevin and Steve. Props to them for keeping the show relevant. It’s just a shame that the relevance is no more with Steve’s recast.

        Would love to know the reasons why they made such a decision, because their content with Ernie has obviously suffered terribly in the last couple of years. I also find it percuilar that so many of the iconic human cast members and puppeteers tapped out at the same time. This agenda theory makes sense. It really does have some substance, and I’d love to hear Steve’s take on that. In retrospect, it all adds up to part of the reason why I haven’t watched much of their content since Jerry Nelson passed.

        Anyway Steve, I too would love to hear your take on why Sesame went sour just before MS did. In the meantime…”Time to shuffle off to dreamland got a date to keep…” *Flashing back to a post Jim with Frank as Bert and Steve as Ernie 🙂 *

    2. That’s actually an interesting point. What exactly went down at Sesame, Steve?

      I’ve always assumed that you reluctantly left the role of Ernie due to how increasingly busy it was getting over at Disney at that point in time. That and the fact that you are permanently situated in Atlanta.

    3. This is a slight tangent, but I find it interesting that those posters with an axe to grind (one of which you mentioned above, but there are others) seem to engage only on the “serious” posts. They’re totally absent from the lighter ones, which only further proves in my mind that they are not true Muppets fans and are only intent on stirring the pot and causing controversy…

  24. Apologies for commenting twice in a row, but I was just watching this video and it seems to be fitting to share here on Pundit.

    About halfway through, Dave Goelz provides his perspective on Steve initially taking over Kermit.

    1. ‘He kinda became Jim for about five years,’ *Audible gasp* ‘I cannot imagine anybody doing a better Kermit than Steve does.’ 🙂

  25. Steve, once again I totally commend you for standing your ground. You are not the only one. It happened to Jon Stone, the original Sesame Street director for so many years. He got fed up of new management butchering it’s classic feel and look what happened. He was fired. I read about this in Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street. Wonderful book. Speaking of which, like some of the posts above, I too would love to hear about all those years you’ve worked on Sesame Street from your perspective. What was it like to work with the human cast and some of the other puppeteers? Was it fun to work with Frank when you guys did Bert and Ernie? I read rumors that the Henson children apparently did not want Sesame Workshop to create new Kermit skits after Jim died. Is that true?

    1. Street Gang is an awesome read! Michael Davis really knocked it out of the park with that one.

      I’m also interested in hearing more about your time on Sesame, Steve! One of my favorite holiday memories as a kid was watching you play Ernie in the Macy’s Parade singing Rubber Duckie from Big Bird’s nest. And of course there was Elmopalooza where Kermit and Ernie were at their absolute best in both song and humor.

      Have always wondered why your time as Ernie came to an abrupt stop, as I was really disappointed when it happened. Is there any insight you can give us as to how and why it ended there?

      Thanks and have a great rest of the weekend!

  26. And of course there was Elmopalooza where Kermit and Ernie were at their absolute best in both song and humor.

    Could not agree more! I didn’t have high hopes for the special before it aired. I took a very cynical, angsty teenage, latter-day Gen X-er sort of attitude towards it, “*grumble grumble* Elmo hogs all the spotlight…Sesame Street was so much better when I was a kid…*grumble grumble*…” and so on.

    Boy, was I wrong! The whole special is so great, but when Ernie and Shawn Colvin sang “I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon” (my favorite song!…or one of them), it was a transcendent, almost spiritual experience. I remember talking to my sister about it afterwards; she gushed about it, and my sister doesn’t gush very often. She also went right out and acquired the sheet music for it.

    When my oldest nephew was two years old, I got him the DVD of “Elmopalooza” specifically so he would get to see that particular performance of that song.

    1. Such a touching story, Mary…I love it!

      Steve- Ernie really was at his BEST in that. Both in the Colvin song and the control room scenes with Frank as Bert. I’m very grateful that you were able to help make the Sesame 30th anniversary special one for the time capusle. I had totally forgot about that ’97 Thanksgiving Day Parade til reading Nick’s post. That was SO good. On a day to be thankful, I can certainly say that’s one of your many Ernie performances that I’m extra thankful for. Come to think of it, I remember how excited I got ten years later when you did the verse in “It Feels Good When You Sing a Song”! I remember it being so unexpected and just incredible since it had been so long since we heard you as Ernie in the parade. Looking forward to your upcoming posts and hope a Sesame-centered one makes it’s way up!

      1. Thank you, Alex. 🙂

        So Steve, I’d like to address a comment to you about how much I love that particular performance of “I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon,” which is truly is one of my very favorite songs of all time. I think maybe it’s not as obvious sometimes when you sing in characters’ voices, but you really have a beautiful singing voice, and clearly a lot of musical knowledge and understanding, and it’s really showcased well in that performance.

        The harmonies are so beautiful too. I can’t find any data on who arranged that particular version; can you tell me who arranged it?

        1. Ok, I need to go find this special – “I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon” is my favorite Sesame Street song, followed closely by “Imagine That” – both of which are Ernie showpieces 🙂 Like you, I’ve approached the Elmo-era Sesame Street with the same grumbly, angsty Gen-X nostalgic attitude lol. I’m glad I’m not the only one! But I will definitely seek this special out b/c it sounds like something remarkable!

          1. Okay Mary… yeah I like and agree that Ernie singing about the moon and sea is awesome… thanks.
            And I also like the recent kid who is 9 years old that applied to NASA for a job… to be an “alien protector” and I like Nasa’s response… how they explained the science of contamination and hoped to see the kid working at NASA soon.
            What’s your point sweetheart?

          2. Thanks for sharing that one Mary! Love that one…don’t let the Elmo-centric title fool anyone…that’s one of your best Steve…I’m not just saying this because of a huge fan of yours, but that may be one of the best things Sesame’s given us since Jim passed…I am MOVED.

            Not to mention I really do miss you as Ernie on top of it. Do you miss performing him too? I wish you still performed him. I guess in hindsight, this vid was a very appropriate one to watch today…What a song…and what a performance…

  27. Hi Steve,

    i really enjoyed your blog posts , its very interesting and insightful and i hope you feeling better than the last couple of months.

    I really enjoyed The Muppets Christmas Carol and The Muppets (2011) aswell, Muppets Most wanted especially. Can i ask what was it like working on the recent muppet movies and was it true in the original ending of The Muppets 2011 film that kermit was Tex Richman in costume all this time to get the Muppets back together and you said if the ending actually happened you refused to put your name in the credits.

    All the best ,Giorgio

  28. Steve,

    I have a quick question. I noticed that when you perform with Kermit live on a talk show, or as you did when Kermit spoke directly to the child who was in the video above, you are as a ventriloquist. I found this interesting. Do all the central performers of the Muppets have this ability?

  29. Steve, I am so sorry if this is getting annoying, but I took what your words to heart when you said, “I hope you and the others here who have realized that this is about Kermit and the whole gang can help me explain that bigger issue to those fans and executives, alike, who have not yet had their epiphany.”

    I’ve attempted to do just that by writing an article about what could be the best for the Muppets moving forward. A few of the ideas are my own, but I certainly integrated what you’ve said here into it as well.

    justforthehalibutblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/07/whats-best-for-the-muppets/

    1. Yes… Marni… you and Steve are BOTH so annoying. Disney is putting aps in toys okay honey? They are making the kids who love the muppets PRODUCTS unless they figure out the technology to opt out. Ya’ll lost the friggin’ frog.
      It’s not yer fault(s).
      Kermit will be remembered with or without Marni Hill’s love or Steve’s voice… we will remember JIM. *promise*
      your real hero is bullet proof.
      Who do YOU think you ARE
      believing you could defend JIM?
      Only Jim can do that. And he did… on his death bed dying of AIDS saying please keep the frog alive…
      you tried.
      but Only Jim gave me what Jim gave me in all it’s perfection and flaws.
      (I lied Steve Whitmire…
      I am bugging u again.)
      ‘Cuz you don’t allow people’s voices on yer blog who cared about the muppets and learned from them as much as young Marni Hill and who didn’t become the robots. You wanna rope people in to worship, not evolving… It’s all about YOU and your support group. NOT protecting Kermit. What a sham.
      so take your blog and boo hoo hoo.
      Kermit lives. Viva Kermit.
      What U made come alive, I cannot do… (i’ agree with yer fan Julia) but I CAN do a great Grover and Yoda impersonation. Dime a dozen baby. Dime a dozen.
      Have fun being a fan grrrl Marni! (if Steve allows this comment I’ll be surprised)
      I do not want yer version of Kermie to live forever without an obstructing voice. But here in this space…May you live in a bubble!

      1. This post is so offensive in every respect. And you certainly aren’t respecting Jim Henson’s memory by getting your facts wrong. Go and troll a blog nobody cares about.

        1. Hi Kevin… I adored the Muppets and Sesame Street. I’m so sorry I hurt your feelings.
          I am a real person. I don’t mean to make you feel bad just because I grew up as a girl into a woman and had to deal with sexism and homophobia and then no matter what we did…Trump world happened. I worked for a congress woman and we made dolphins safe and that’s why your Tuna cans have that label. I helped protect the spotted owl habitat and we got a sustainable forest rather than clear cut forestry in WA-OR area.
          I make puppets and helped raise money for schools in Chicago selling them…
          I designed, directed, and taught at a day camp for preschool kids mostly based on art and puppets were a big part of that…
          I have been a care provider for the elderly and disabled…
          I worked for the Pollock Krasner foundation which gives grants to working artists (international)
          I was a painter for Jeff Koons who is a conceptual artist whose work is in Guggenheim and SF art museum…
          So… NO I am not a troll.
          but thanks for your comment.
          How about asking me why I care or what the muppets meant to me and why? Instead of being a rat.
          no offense to Rizzo.

          1. Hi Kathryn,

            I’ve read your reply a few times now and you had me at “Sexism, homophobia.” then trump world. And so I can understand partly where you’re coming from.

            Can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like to live in America under the current administration so I won’t even comment.

            I’ve read what else you’ve written and it’s very impressive, being a care provider for the elderly and disabled, that’s something I know not many could do it shows a lot.

            I can sense that deep down you do mean well and am hoping if you do reply to this it will be pleasant.

            With what’s currently going on there’s a lot of hurt and upset between fans and the overall community and this has shaken many to their very core – I’m glad that Steve has reached out to us within this way and whatever happens here on in I will always hold him in high esteem, as I will Jim Henson and of course Kermit.

            The Muppets have a way of bringing many people from all walks of life together in a myriad of different ways and one friend of mine I’ve made because of Jims legacy is Marni.

            She’s a nice girl and I don’t like to see anyone arguing with others – especially not with all the current happenings, in the grander scheme of things there’s more to fear, the fact that trump has been in office since January and he’s not yet impeached – I don’t even watch the news anymore cos it’s incredulous what he’s getting away with, Korea launching missiles etc.

            We shouldn’t be fighting amongst ourselves, there’s enough of that elsewhere – Marni is a nice girl, I’m sure she may indulge you if you were to speak in a civilised fashion about your favourite Muppet moments. 🙂

            What do the Muppets mean to you and why?

            Best Wishes

            Richard

          2. You worked so hard to protect all these things, but you never protect people that disagrees with you, they are just trump lovers, with no rights.

          3. Interesting how when you’re defending yourself you present yourself as some kind of Mother Theresa figure, but when you’re sleighting everyone else’s opinions you come across like a drugged up gangsta. It seems to me you have some serious psychological issues.
            And do your research – preferably when the Mother Theresa aspect of your split personality is in control – before trolling : Jim Henson didn’t die from AIDS.

            Please, Steve, you’ve got to start moderating this blog to prevent cranks like this ruining everyone else’s pleasure.

        2. Hey Marni,

          Just wanted you to know that I think your love, compassion and concern for Steve and the Muppets is a beautiful thing.
          You speak from the heart. Most of us can see that.

          Cheers,
          Mary

      1. A friend needs to hear the truth sometimes Mary… and sometimes the truth hurts…
        what do U really wanna say here?
        Because truly ALL people love the muppets. Who wouldn’t? And everyone here is being either “altruistic” tripe… or way too real and so sounding off.
        What the two judges of the muppet show did was: heckle…
        allow that for the sake of democracy…
        let’s heckle! Let’s Judge! Let’s laugh!
        Lets make Steve wake up and get spine if he wants to do this. Kermit got angry. How come I can’t without making YOU all freak out?
        do not weep about Steve or his friends. He has them and he has talent and he will make proverbial music again if he so chooses. Be it industry or small theatre or teaching kids the magic, how about don’t retire on Jim’s legacy…????
        but…Right now this is a support group for dead things that didn’t die. Kermit lives. Jim is dead (R.I.P.).
        Steve is alive.
        So tell him to live… not cling…
        do not grieve him because he died as Kermit. Steve is not Jim. Steve is not Kermit. Steve doesn’t gotta be Disney. I hope he doesn’t want Disney to boss him around and make Ya’ll feel beholden and friendly… to some “idea” of Kermit.
        What’s awesome is that Steve gets to make something new. But does he want to?
        He was courteous or perhaps took my dare to actually allow this message or any of my previous ones (‘cuz sum times he didn’t) and Marni talked about obstruction and everyone had some kind of freedom of speech without wanting it from anyone else, so good luck everyone.
        Talk is cheap and action is louder.
        A friend is honest.
        So… what is needed?

        1. First of all, thank you for placing me and Steve side-by-side on the same soapbox! Steve, it’s an honour to be in tandem with you….

          Secondly, who the actual hell are you are tell either of us what we can and cannot say in this public space? I have never claimed to be speaking for Jim, I am simply speaking out in favour of his vision as I understand it. Huge difference!

          I can’t even respond to half of what are you are saying because your writing is atrocious! It’s that awful and incoherent that no one can reasonably understand what you seem to think are plausible arguments.

          If you insist on being the Pest of Muppet Pundit, at the very least, don’t be illiterate while you do so! Go write out your mess of opinions on Word and fix it. Perhaps you’ll far less of an literary klutz than you do now.

          I’m not going to waste my vocabulary on nonsense. Don’t expect a reply from me again unless you actually have something valid to add to the conversation.

          1. *Perhaps you’ll be seen as far less of a literary klutz than you do now*

            Serves me right for trying to argue without grammar mistakes first thing in the morning…..

          2. Don’t take it personally. It figures some idiot with an axe to grind would come on here after I made the comment earlier about the “lighter” posts being troll free. Doesn’t know the facts and can’t write worth a dime. Nothing to see here, move along…

          3. To Whom are you speaking to Marni? You need to put a name in the reply box…
            I (personally) get all comments (now) if I check that box. Are you speaking to me? I am Katherine Jean Legry…
            I did tell you, you are Steve’s equal… But what is your problem?
            Is someone belittling you?
            Is making fun of Kermit really a problem for U?

          4. Heheh Marni, I enjoyed that…. but it was beneath you. I mean this gently: remember not all the friendlies are writers either and it’s not a prerequisite for having valid ideas.

            I get worked up sometimes when I see hate or obtuseness being smeared around the place, but I try to remind myself that it’s worth letting go through if it can already be recognised clearly for what it is. Things like anger, hate or irrationality become more conspicuous when only one person is making those sounds, and they echo in an empty space…

        2. You talk about freedom of speech but because you don’t agree with Marni you attack her. Doesn’t she have the freedom of speech to say what she wants? If she wants to support Steve that’s her right. You are obviously only for freedom of speech when it fits your agenda.

  30. Hi Seve Whitmire… you don’t gotta post this in yer thread… but honestly… the Muppets and Sesame Street could not truly survive the grunge area. Jim Henson was among our hippy parents. We all knew Zut the sax player was high after we grew up… The thing is, when Kermit first came out and thru the 70’s and 80’s we had to be subjected to our parents freedom movements and those were true but also selfish. The mupeets were always sexist… Miss Piggy was a beauty queen with an exercise book after Raquel Welch and Jane Fonda and Vanna White… competing for a man’s attention.
    What is it YOU are trying to preserve?
    Anyhow… I got scrappy on yer site… and now I make NO apologies. You need to face sum stuff. Not just pure validation. No offense… truly.
    And no matter if Marni or Julia needs come to yer defense, I am too your equal, with a real voice and it’s up to you to be your own voice and not just Kermit’s or a reflection of Jim.
    I won’t bug ya again.
    good luck.

  31. OMG! please Steve Whitmire never post my comments again!!!! Yer fans are gross and if you want them to uplift u… Yuck!!!!!!!! But do that thing if u gotta…
    Yikes on the
    Mary and Marni…
    wanna talk about PUPPETS? There are two right now.
    daaang. I feel so sorry for this blog space.
    The attack of the Muppets. It’s funny and sad… like Trump world.
    Don’t let it get ugly now… yer fans R fragile and can’t handle the content.
    It’s all about form now.
    No substance. Marni said so.

    1. Hi Katherine I’m Dwayne and I must say that I love your passion and pure honestly! I don’t agree with anything you have said, but I admire that your confident enough to lay it all out there. I wonder though where do you get your information on Jim Henson Steve and the Muppets? Because from everything I know, and what you are saying just don’t add up. So if you would to be so kind as to share where you have gotten all of this info it would be great!

      Also why do you have to give people like Marni and Mary A hard time? If anything they are just as passionate about Steve and the Muppets.

  32. I did not comment on this Steven`s post previously. But my name was mentioned twice in two of Katherine’s comments regarding my support for Steve Whitmire. I just want to say that i choose not to comment on what Katherine said, and i sincerely wish her all the very best in life.
    Besides that, this blog belongs to Steve and has a much higher purpose, that`s why i`m here.
    I prefer to leave here a thought from Jim Henson with which i am in complete agreement:

    “Watch out for each other. Love everyone and forgive everyone, including yourself. Forgive your anger. Forgive your guilt. Your shame. Your sadness. Embrace and open up your love, your joy, your truth, and most especially your heart.” – Jim Henson

    1. Hi Julia,

      This is such a beautiful and highly evocative quote from Jim and considering everything that’s currently happening – especially in the World etc these wise words from Jim have such meaning right now 🙏

      Best Wishes

      Richard

  33. Quick question for everyone:

    IF you were a Muppet, which one would you be and why?

    For me? It would be Gonzo- why? He’s so quirky and loveable with it.

    1. Kermit always, for every reason. Rizzo the funniest and elegant rat i´ve ever met. I loved when Rizzo married Yolanda. Also Gonzo i will never forget all the great trumpet openings of the classic Muppet Show.

      1. Oh my gosh, I LOVE the “Windmills of Your Mind” sketch! I wanted to integrate it into my whole “frog Quixote” idiom, but I haven’t quite figured out how yet.

          1. Yep. Although I seem to remember reading somewhere that Jim ended up doing the puppetry to Jerry’s vocal. Don’t quote me on that…

  34. Folks, a bit of off-topic,
    just to remind ourselves why we love Muppets, and what we may be losing,
    I just found a simple example, related to last ABC Muppets series.

    Compare and see which one makes you smile:

    Muppets performing ABC Muppets:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yz20_5J7WOg

    or Muppets being themselves:

  35. Hi, Steve,

    I wasn’t sure where to address this, but a bit off topic, and I think it’s a topic worth making people aware of, because I know you and I have discussed it a bit in our correspondence in the past:

    How did you get involved with the organization Shambala? As I currently started to help volunteer over the past few months at a local dog rescue, and always had a love for animals and helping them, I was wondering what started you down that path and your work with them. I think it’s a wonderful organization from what I’ve heard and read, a former coworker of mine even did a tour of the facilities when he was in California several years back, and becoming a fan of actress Dakota Johnson in recent years and of course Tippi Hedren who’s grandmother founding the org, would just love to know more. And have you met Dakota? 🙂

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