Sunday, July 03, 2005

Statler and Waldorf are back again!

One of my best memories of my mid-20s was watching "The Muppet Show" with my then-gf. I always identified with Kermit, although when I let my beard go too bushy without trimming it, I looked uncommonly like Animal, and the shows were, of course, hilarious. I can still remember the Swedish Chef making "Chocolate Moose" and Kermit having a fit at him about it. The episode with Mark Hamill as the guest star was probably the best for great bits:

  • Angus McGonigle (The Gargling Argyle Gargoyle), whose talent was "I garrrrgle Gerrrshwin!" (Kermit: "You do?" Angus: "Gahrrrrgeously!")

  • A shepherd and a chorus of his sheep singing "Rama Lama Ding Dong"

  • The Swedish Chef about to boil a lobster, only to have the lobster rescued at the minute by a half-dozen shrimp (with bandito hats, bandoleros, and pistols that they kept firing little tracer-like rounds into the air with)

  • Tony Randall trying to recite The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God despite numerious interruptions was also a memorable event, though perhaps more for my fondness of that poem from episodes of "The Curse of the Flying Wombat," a recurring serial that was part of "I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again" (or "ISIRTA" for manic fans) than for anything else. The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God is not a very good poem on its own merits, but it does lend itself handily to parody and overly melodramatic readings.

    It didn't get much better than that on TV in the late 70s, nor did it need to. This was great, wonderfully funny stuff {deep happy sigh of nostalgia}. Jim Henson's premature death was a great sadness to me, knowing that there'd never be quite the same level of humor.

    Happily, part of the thrill of the Muppet Show is available once again, and with a contemporary flare. Statler and Waldorf, the old guys in the balcony, are doing movie reviews now. (Well, a job's a job....) You can check out their latest comments at "From the Balcony," their web location at

    Sunday nights will be a little more fun now that part of the Muppet Show is back.


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