Why I Love the Muppets

MuppetsMost of us who grew up in the late 1970s and early 80s have been fans of the Muppets for decades. I was only alive for the last two seasons of the original Muppet Show, but watched them in reruns for years and wait not so patiently for the remaining seasons to be released. I still love watching the first three seasons, Pigs in Space will never grow old, and Harry Belafonte singing the Banana Boat Song (Day-O) is inextricably linked to the Muppets from my childhood.

I love that now a whole new generation is becoming fans of the Muppets through the 2011 film and the soon to be released Muppets Most Wanted coming out in a couple weeks. Stemming from their introduction on Sesame Street, I have a greater fondness for the Muppets than many of the original Sesame Street characters (despite having met Maria and getting to sing with her on stage in a mall tour in the early 80s – showing my age, I know). Part of why I think the Muppets still resonate with kids and adults today is they don’t pander just to kids. They treat kids like small people. This sort of humor allows for some material that goes over the kids’ heads, but for the most part it is accessible without being dumbed down.

The Muppets have been a part of my life for 30 plus years now and I hope that they stay relevant for decades to come. Sure, kids these days may not recognize some of the stars from the 70s who were on the Muppet Show, but I challenge you to stick your kid in front of the tv for an episode and see if they laugh. The pop culture zeitgeist may change a million times in the next year, but I love that the Muppets seem to be standing the test of time. From their show, to their movies (of which there are still a couple in their repertoire I need to see), and even tv specials, the Muppets are here to stay.

Their lovable form of satire makes them fun, but more intelligent humor than most other “kid’s” shows and movies. I have a fondness for the Muppets Take Manhattan, A Muppet Family Christmas (watch out for the icy patch!!!) and Rainbow Connection still tugs at my heartstrings. Miss Piggy will always be my favorite, with her fun catch phrases like “moi” and a well placed “hi-ya!” If you don’t follow her, or any of the Muppets accounts on Twitter, Instagram or YouTube, you are missing out on a ton of fun. I guarantee I’ll be in the theater opening weekend to catch the shenanigans of Muppets Most Wanted. What is your favorite Muppet movie, special or episode of their show? Who is your favorite Muppet character?  Let me know in the comments.

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