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Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by ploobis, Sep 8, 2010.
Well, there's the Swedish Chef for one.
..Oh! And Dr. Honeydew;
Very simple design with him.
I see the best Muppets as having an elegant simplicity to the design and it appears they intended that for this one too. Even though I see what you're saying about Angelo, it still looks like they got it all wrong like things were lost in the translation. The colors are washed out and don't particularly compliment each other. Even the eyebrows are tiny on his doughy, jaundiced noggin. The whole thing seems a little haphazard.
To be honest, many season one Muppet Show cast members look weird and they had the time to widdle down the designs over a few years, but the Muppets don't have that luxury today and all eyes are naturally going to be on the new chef in comparison to our beloved Swede and the other brighter, better characters along side him. Introducing such a character requires the Muppets to step up their game in all areas of character design and production.
There are some Muppets that just click right out of the gate no matter what the design like Johnny, Sal, Pepe, Bobo, Carl etc. Then there are the Mr. Poodlepants and Bill the Bubble Guy who both should call us back to characters like Marvin Suggs and Lew Zeland, but for some reason fall short of the mark. It's something that can't be predicted. All the ingredients are there, but something's not done baking yet. That's how I feel about Angelo. However, the entertainment world moves much faster these days and most people will have moved on by the time the interloping chef is "ready".
I still feel that the lesson of Clifford has been ignored, and he was a good character with a stellar performer and a gorgeous design, but people didn’t take to him like they should have because he appeared to fill the space of Kermit and other beloved ensemble backstage characters like Scooter and Fozzie Bear. We have a good idea of why Clifford was asked to step-up, yet in the end it’s about the finished product and what the audience’s peepers want to see.
Most people expect to see Kermit hosting Muppet television programs and the Swedish Chef to host Muppet cooking bits. A lot of fans take it personally when they feel these icons have been bumped aside and that puts a lot more heat on the new hosts. I’m not a fan of Angelo, but I don’t fault the character or magnificent puppeteer. I personally feel that it was a weird decision that wasn’t executed well.
Hey, 99% of the Muppets are fantastic and it’s difficult for me to pick just one to be wild about. I love new Muppets too and hope they throw some more at us soon as long as Scooter, the Swedish Chef, Rowlf, the Electric Mayhem and all of my lifelong fuzzy friends are there to greet them and seniority is acknowledged.
What it comes down for me is I like Angelo because he's played by Tyler. I mean, look at the character he played in BTL, Dr. Nitwhite... a character who thinks he's brilliant and celebrates things prematurely and goes absolutely apescat when he's proven wrong, one time actually chasing his assistant with violent intentions. THAT is an exuberant character. Tyler has a way with making his characters crazy on some level (even when he's just the voice on Abby segments). I really want to see that come out of Angelo... the sandwich one was a start... you can tell he wants to have more fun with the character than they'll allow. The character needs MORE improv (you can actually tell when he does... that's when he's funny), and he needs more chances to let loose and go nuts. This may happen, but gradually.
As for the design, I think whoever said they just photo-shopped the Chef to look different because they changed direction was spot on. The character design really does seem primitive, almost out of Sesame Street style (He'd fit perfectly there... I almost wish he WAS a SS character). I actually don't hate it, but it seems like they should have made the puppet FIRST then photoshopped the stills.
Since this is a busy thread, i'll just throw out random thoughts as opposed to replying to other comments.
- Yeah, the real hands obviously draw very direct comparisons to Swedish Chef (as if there weren't a myriad of other reasons to compare them) but really it's such a given choice since he's constantly handling real food (not just prop food or "fake food" that's often used in menu photographs - cooking shows are different - even Muppet ones).
- I don't think people are giving Disney/Muppet Studios enough credit for not thinking/knowing how Angelo may be received by Muppet fans. The current team very much "gets" the Muppets, they generally know exactly what they're doing...i'm sure they thought about all of what would go into how "the new guy" would be welcomed. A lot of the evidence is actually right there in the episodes - in the first block of webisodes, Swedish Chef is there to remind people no he's not gone or forgotten and Angelo establishes his relationship to him. In the second block, Beau asks Angelo "didn't you used to be Swedish?" Great joke in itself but the writers also totally did that because they knew a lot of the audience were thinking/feeling that way too. I'll bet in each block of episodes there'll be at least one appearance or reference to Swedish Chef.
- I initially didn't like how the first episode was the birthday episode where our introduction to Angelo had him in drag and really confused everyone as to who he was. I now think that was an unintended fluke - since they're loading the new episodes "top to bottom", i think that was actually SUPPOSED to be "episode 4" but no one stopped to think about how it would end up being everyone's first view of the show.
- I think because there's been such a push by Disney to reestablish the classic characters within the Classic Muppets, it's begun to spoil people in terms of their expectations of who they should see where. Throughout their 50+ years, new characters have always been introduced - heck, even though there were a few "familiar faces", the group now known as the Classic Muppets were themselves a large group of newbies. If the internet was around in 1976, i'm sure the universal reaction on fanboards would have been "how can they call this The Muppet Show? Where are all the Muppets i know and love like Cookie Monster and Oscar?" We all know about the big group of newbies that came from Muppets Tonight but what about the Jim Henson Hour? The JHH characters seem to be huge (and dearly missed) favorite characters by a lot of people here but the ratio of new characters to "old familiar ones" on JHH was initially more jarring when JHH debuted than when MT did.
- Likewise, i'm not quite placing my bets in the same camp that everyone else is when people are constantly saying "oh well, like him or hate him, this is the only place you'll see Angelo anyway" I'm not so sure...i don't think he'll be a MAJOR character anywhere else but i betcha he'll make various cameos here and there in future projects even if it's a non-speaking role. But i'll be willing to bet somewhere down the line in the next five to ten years whether it be in a movie, tv show or other medium there'll be a scene with Angelo and The Swedish Chef working together and having to deal with some kind of catastrophe (he may for example end up being "the new Gladys" - something along those lines)
- Before this show debuted, one of the Swedish Chef's biggest fan complaints (besides that awful poser "kissing fingers" photo always appearing EVERYWHERE) has been that he's getting "too good" with his English - sometimes speaking whole sentences in English; though still heavily accented. How much you wanna bet that would be the major thing we'd all be dissecting if he was hosting this show?
- Again, going back to my earlier speculation that each block of episodes will include either an appearance of or reference to The Swedish Chef, i'm going to call it now: i bet one future episode will have someone just come out and ask Angelo, "so how come you're doing this show and not The Swedish Chef" to which Angelo will reply, "Well of course they called him first but he was so busy with his other pursuits that he reccomended me." "What other pursuits?" "Well, for one - he's been trying to branch out more as a singer" which will then lead to that episode's midscene featuring the classic trio of Beaker/Animal/Chef attempting a song.
I understand where you're coming from, but can't completely agree with all of it. I must admit that new Muppets aren't only vital; Jim himself kept introducing new characters throughout his Muppeting career. However, pre-1990 the team had much more time to cultivate a new cast. To plant the seeds of a character and gain audience support over time. These clips don't provide that opportunity. The new chef is pegged by most as "not-the-Swedish-Chef" rather than Angelo the chef.
This cooking show seems almost like a workshop to sharpen everybody's puppeteer skills between gigs. It also is good promotion geared toward families that don't know Elmo from Animal. Trust me - - that's the weird place the Muppets have been in pop culture for far too long. There's at least one generation of people living in Muppet Show character ignorance.
I still think Angelo will fall away once the new blitz of legit projects in film and television come along. I'm surprised that Polly and Clueless weren't used more. Sure, they were on MT, but only the UK spots. Talk about dynamic Muppets! Those guys were golden. I'm sure Angelo will be utilized in the background and possibly for bits in the future until the puppet falls into disrepair and Disney has to make the choice whether to pony up the petty cash to make a new one or create a new character.
Angelo's okay. I just kind of see him as Muppet created by committee like Poochy from Itchy and Scratchy. The best Muppets come from humor first.
I'd wager Polly isn't seen due to Kevin's business with his Sesame Street duties. It's the same reason we don't see much of Clifford or anyone else in Muppet projects past MT... I'd like to see him recast, but I really felt Polly was one of Kevin's best characters.
That's really one of the things I want to see. I don't see how Angelo can have any of Tyler's major wacky character portrayals if all he does is crack bad jokes and stand there. He's doing the best he can, adding a small bit of crazy here and there, blowing him up as something in the last segment. It actually seems tough to find a real voice for such a character. As I've said before, the Swedish Chef wouldn't work all that well either... he'd basically just stand their like Angelo and not doing any of his usual wacky stunts. I still think they can find a way around that and have him pop up somewhere and try to make the same stuff, only literally. Or accidentally screwing up whatever they're cooking. I say the best compromise is to have him pop up every so often to do something wacky. Still think he needs a small 1 minute segment at the end of each cooking episode.
But as for Angelo, I really think the best way he could be used is a three way tie between Gladys, Beaker, and Don Music (Wow... all Richard characters without even thinking). Something to the tune of the initially good humored bad joke telling assistant/apprentice chef to the Swede, who's also the brunt of most of the culinary catastrophes, and gets very frustrated with the Chef when it happens. Or, when he tries to get something to come out right himself, he takes it personally. I swear, if they ever wanted to reboot the character of Don Music on Sesame Street, Tyler should play him. I see a lot of that potentially in Angelo, just... it's not a real place it can be demonstrated.
Yeah i think Tyler's not doin a bad job for the position he's in. The argument about new characters is debatable. Surely now is not a time to experiment, its a time to establish the Muppet family with a new audience and having anyone other than Kermit "lead" could confuse things, but i'm sure there's all different reasons, probably some political.
I'm not sure whether we would be seeing Angelo again. It depends whether its meant to be Angelo and Cat Cora's Kitchen and the Muppets drop in, or whether it's Cat Cora's Kitchen and Angelo is amongst the Muppets visiting. I think lol.
I agree he is more of a Sesame Muppet, i thought that when i first saw him. Just doesn't look right for a Classic Muppet thing.
How is it that you manage to say what I'm thinking much better than I can? Exactly!
I always wondered why Polly and Pepe didn't have more interaction. Maybe because Bill is Clueless too. I miss them and hope they're brought back for something.
I dont agree with you there.It all comes down to how it is promoted.When the Muppet show started(and Fraggle Rock,etc) it was promoted as "from the person behind "Sesame street", so you knew it was going to be a different show and different characters. Muppets Tonight however was promoted as the Muppets making a comeback,so some of the flack there was that very little of them came back and there was so many newbies.
I think the problem with Angelo is that he wasnt given much notice that he was coming-he just showed up,so some people,like me, thought it was the Swedish Chef after a make over.
At least we are getting notice that Walter is coming.I wonder what reception he will get?
I will just disagree slightly here, because while re-establishing the family of the main Muppets is important, its also important that we are not left with a Simpsons-esque cast of about 21 characters that cannot be developed any further. Adding some new characters now while re-building leaves room to continue to add more characters in the future without it seeming jarring.
Also: BEAUREGARD! BEAUREGARD! BEAUREGARD!
The more I think about it, I actually wish Angelo was a Sesame Street character. I could see so many sketches with him and Cookie Monster... or even Mr. Johnson.
I am particularly tickled about Animal's bit of added depth in the form of his relationship with his bunny roommate. It brings out something new in an established character and I hope to see more of it.
Talk about an unfair comparison...
Sorry, Frogboy, but it's time to stop picking things apart and start enjoying things for what they are.
My last 2 posts have been positive ones so I think you're trying flame an old post even after the subject has advanced because I have a different point of view , but I won't go down that road.
Muppet Central is a place for fans of all ages and not just a promotional tool to cheerlead all projects. There's a lot about this recent project I like and have voiced. Dissecting projects and voicing opinions are what this forum is all about, but personal attacks are not okay. Constructive criticism of an idea, program or character is not criticism of you, a performer or the Muppets in general and I've gone to great lengths to make that distinction. Please use the "ignore-member" feature instead of trying to single-out or censor posts that you disagree with that do follow forum guidelines.
Some new members skip over these so please check out the forum rules here that directly address this sort of issue. I hope we're cool Thanks.
Agreed. I don't want to pick on other members, but Duke and Mupp have been taking every little thing a bit too seriously. I understand there's some troll on some general movie site that gets them angry (we should sympathies, since said troll popped up on the site and belittled everyone on 3 separate occasions, going as far as keeping multiple accounts after the member was banned... the biggest no no in internet forums).... but this is CONSTRUCTIVE criticism. We're not belittling what you guys like, we're saying what personal things seem to be awkward. Every project has one.
There are a bunch of things that just don't mesh with this project, and I do appreciate what it is, and it seems like there's been mark improvement in the last 2 episodes... possibly because they wrote and filmed all at once, so things have to evolve further over time. Look at Muppets Tonight. The writers didn't know what direction they wanted to go in until it got canceled in the second season. Sometimes you know what you're doing right off the bat, sometimes it takes a while. There are clear and obvious reasons they went with a new chef character. They probably spent a lot of time structuring this show, and trying to figure out if going with a new character or an old one would work better. Maybe that's why it took some time to get out.
But for me, there are three things that I've had problems with...
1) The Cooking with Cat angle. FIXED: She seems to be a lot looser and more open to wackiness now. I agree the acting is not a strong suit, but I actually didn't expect that. And you gotta admit, She's MUCH better than Ashanti.
2) Angelo. FIXED or in the process of fixing: When a new character is added to anything, show, movie... whatever, there is ALWAYS an awkward period. How will they fit in with the others, will he seem organically there, will it seem like he was added for a certain focus group. How long will they last if they don't last at all. And most importantly, what is the character's personality? It seems like Tyler and the writers are trying to find a voice to make him a little more than the assistant that just asks dumb questions and makes bad jokes (again, a cooking show standby. I've seen it too many times on bad cooking shows) And I think he's starting to develop. Just... this isn't a medium I think he could develop in. I'll say this... I like him better than the two little kids (forget their names) from the Play Allong videos.
3) The site itself FIXED and DOUBLE FIXED: I can actually see the second parts of the episodes now.
Of course, here's what I like and want to see more of
1) The middle cutaway segments. Frankenfurterstein? The Snooggy? This is the highest Muppety content in the show. I almost want to see 2 in every episode.
2) Catastrophy. Unfortunately, there hasn't been enough of this. Just the exploding giant sandwich. We need more Muppets to throw the food around, or even eat up all the ingredients. I'D LOVE to see a monster in an episode just eating everything up when they mention it, leading to the "we already had something prepared." Come on... can't you see Big Mean Carl doing that?
3) Beau's return. Nuff said.
Overall, the only thing I think it's really lacking is more Muppets in the main program. I like when a bunch of rats are running around in the background, and at least want to see more of that. There is chaos, but not really enough, even for an instructional video series. Though I will say I love it a LOT more than the playalong videos from the 80's. I would say don't bother with them, but I think every Muppet fan needs to track down the "Wow! You're a cartoonist!" video somewhere if nothing else to see Carol Spinney performing his OWN characters and drawing at the same time.
You're as funny as Fozzie Bear, however... don't bother.
I agree. We're privileged to have Muppety content to dissect and there's more good in it than not-so-good. There's really nothing "bad" IMHO. A lot of missed opportunities and they appear to be addressing some of them.
One thing that's a little funny to me is that Rachael Ray is listed as a Muppet movie cast member, but not Cat Cora. I guess if there can be more than one Muppet Chef there can be more than one Muppet mentor chef at a time.
If you've listened to the latest MuppetCast you'll here alot more about Muppets Kitchen then before! With the cutaway segments, we'll be getting loads more! They actually want to keep all those in there! When they were writing Muppets Kitchen they wanted to make it with TMS level of humor, that's why we have Gonzo falling into cheese, Bear on Patrol, and Frankfurterstien! This show may not be all that we hoped but we'll get some of the stuff we hoped for out of it! Sorry if that was cheesy!
I agree, the actual Classic Muppety content is absolutely fantastic. Seeing the rats in the background and the penguins.
The only problem for me is just the main character which seems to detract from the effect and craziness they are trying to create in the first place. If others don't see it that way, fine, but i honestly think it would work better with just Cat Cora and the Classic Muppets. However, its great fun just as it is anyway, but the idea of forums is to have a constructive opinion.
That's good to hear. The only thing I'm seeing now is that several of these were made at once, and it just naturally happens to any show out there. Something naturally evolve the further down the line something goes. Plus, input from others can strengthen what they have, giving it the focus it needs.
That is great to hear! The Muppety segments and Pepe cut-ins are golden! They don't even need to cook...just send out for pizza!
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