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Jerry Juhl and MTM

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by D'Snowth, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I've noticed that of the original (theatrical) Muppet movies, MTM is the only one that didn't have Jerry Juhl as a writer, and I'm curious as to why? I never really thought about it before, but it does kind of show: while still a good one, MTM seems to be in a league of it's own, it doesn't quite have the same feeling as the other Muppet movies... even MFS.

    So yeah, I mean, Jerry Juhl just about wrote or co-wrote everything for the Muppets, so why wasn't he involved with MTM?
  2. MissMusical12

    MissMusical12 Well-Known Member

    What a coincidence. I actually was just watching MTM for the past few days...and trying to learn a few of the songs from it on my keyboard. Kinda random, I know. Anyways I'm not really sure. Maybe Frank Oz as director had something to do with it....
  3. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Maybe he was busy with Fraggle Rock.
  4. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    And Jim, or Jerry (Nelson), or Richard wouldn't be?
  5. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Well, we all know that Jim wasn't as involved with Fraggle Rock as other productions, and during the 1980s Jim was busy with many projects at the same time (I think the red book site has mentioned a few times that Jim would spend weekends flying from his new york office to toronto and then to england). Also, Richard was more involved with Sesame Street (also made in new york) than Fraggle Rock. And I've seen some people on toughpigs speculate that part of the reason the characters split up for a good chunk of the movie could have been to allow them to work more on Fraggle Rock and/or Sesame Street. Richard and Jerry hardly get any original characters in this movie (then again, with the exception of Jerry Nelson most of the movie's new characters were performed by the main performers from Fraggle Rock).
  6. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    I agree; it does have a different feel. I think that's usually credited to Frank Oz having a more wry sense of humor.
  7. Hubert

    Hubert Well-Known Member

    Adding on to the FR thing, we have to remember that writing these productions are much more time consuming than performing. The performers may have been able to do both, but Jerry may only have had time for the show, where he had a large writing job. Movies take a while to write, edit, and perfect.
  8. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    I was thinking that also. Though this reminds me, how come Jerry Juhl wasn't involved with Muppets Tonight? Was that around his retirement? I remember hearing something about him retiring before he passed away.
  9. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    He talked about it in the Muppet Central interview. It's been a long time since I last read it (maybe I should have read before replying :)), but at the time he had moved somewhere and wanted to be at his new home as much as possible, as opposed to spending a great deal of time away to write for a TV series.
  10. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    I wish Jerry Juhl wrote for Muppets Tonight. I loved Muppets Tonight, so well written. I remember I had to order Disney Channel just to watch the Season 2 episodes because ABC forgot all about it and it was on their shelf for about a year from what I remember the newspapers saying at the time.
  11. Muppet Master

    Muppet Master Well-Known Member

    I always wonder if MTM would be better if Jerry Juhl would have written for the film.
  12. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Better as in even better? ;)
    Muppet Master likes this.
  13. Muppet Master

    Muppet Master Well-Known Member

    Yes of course, I am not hating on MTM, though ranking wise of the theatrical films it is 5th out of 8, I feel with Jerry Juhl he would have made the film more muppety, I mean there is this whole portion of the film where we only see Kermit, Miss Piggy, and Rizzo and the rats, while I love MTM, I think Jerry Juhl would have made it even better, and higher on my list.
  14. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Yeah I think they always struggled with the size of the cast in the first three Muppet films. It was easier on TV when characters had multiple chances to shine. TMM had the best balance, everyone got their moment. GMC, love it, but it had way too many Muppet crowd scenes with most of the characters not really doing anything. MTM's solution was to make arguably the most heart felt Kermit and Piggy story of all time (with some Rizzo thrown in, yes, lol), but that did mean the other characters got the short end. Still, I personally don't mind because it makes their parting and reunion that much more touching. Those moments early on are genuinely upsetting because they made that bold choice to literally separate the characters. A lot of other films would have been too scared to go there. And one of my favorite parts of the whole movie is actually Scooter's letter, the way the "Together Again" theme plays as you hear him saying, "Have you sold the show yet? Have you heard from the gang?"

    Pretty much sums up the entire MTM experience. You're crying a lot, but there's always someone holding your hand going, "It's gonna be OK, it'll be OK." Lol :cry:;)
    FletchySRF3088 likes this.
  15. Muppet Master

    Muppet Master Well-Known Member

    Actually, both TMM and GMC did it best by having a bunch of muppets towards the beginning and end, and in the middle there were at least three to four muppets around, in MTM there was next to no muppets in a good portion of the film besides a few making the film feel empty in a way, sure the letters helped, but I kind of wish at least Kermit and Fozzie could have been together, it would have made the film reach a higher position in my muppet movie ranking.
  16. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Well that's the point they're making in MTM, life is empty without your friends. And it wouldn't have come off nearly as well if they hadn't separated the characters. I felt the characters' affection for each other more precisely because they'd been forced apart. A lot of franchises make friendships a little too perfect where nothing ever goes wrong. That's only inspirational up to a point. Eventually you just start to feel bad that your real life and friendships arent so perfect, lol. But what happens to the Muppets in MTM is something anyone who graduates school and goes out into the world can relate to.

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