I Am a 'Walter'

Convincing John

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Hey everyone,

Like everyone else 'round these parts and other major Muppet websites, I thought of an old thread that asked the question "What do Muppet fans call ourselves?" Y'know, some nickname. People who love to read are bookworms, Star Trek fans are "Trekkers", but what about us?

Well, I brought up a suggestion to Ryan Dosier of the Muppet Mindset that a good nickname for us Muppet fans would be "Walters". I saw the movie for the first time last night and (aside from loving it), I want to thank Peter Linz for his stellar performance. When I saw the opening title crawl to "Star Wars: A New Hope" in theaters I felt the goosebumps rise on my arms. That never happened with any other film...until I saw the introduction to "The Muppets".

Walter watching the Muppets on TV, Walter with his collection of Muppet stuff in his room, Walter mentioning that the Muppets gave him hope...that they were his heroes...

It was like seeing my own childhood, my own experiences, even the collectibles I still have projected on the big screen and played out in this character. Mr. Linz, you nailed it, man. You and Mr. Segel, the prop department, the people who decided to upload that footage of the original Muppet Show, you guys GET what being a true Muppet fan is all about. I watched the Walter performances half the time looking like Christopher Lloyd as "Doc", eyes bugged out and my jaw dropping with amazement.

And so, it's up to whether or not it catches on, but I think that the nickname "Walter" would well suit anyone who is a Muppet fan. Fans who watched Walter in this movie would have that same "This movie is for YOU, Muppet fans!" feeling. That statement from Walter himself pointing at the screen Uncle Sam style is not spoken, but wow, is it ever conveyed!!!

How many of us would have a 'Walter reaction' if we saw Kermit in person and got to meet Steve Whitmire too? Show of hands, please. I visited the set of Sesame Street recently with my fiancee and saw THE Big Bird. I talked with THE Abby Cadabby and she gave me a hug, too. Seeing THE Mr. Snuffle-upagus shuffling around the corner to the arbor for a scene...there is no feeling to describe the amazement and awe I felt. I was just like Walter, meeting my heroes, the Muppets.

But Walter seems to pull the performance off perfectly of the "Muppet fan". I know where that character comes from. Like others who talk about Walter...Walter is me.

Here's how much of a 'Walter' I am. Before even seeing the movie, I took my fiancee for a drive and said 'I've got an idea.' Next thing you know, I stopped for a chili dog at a local fast food place. (we were hungry anyway). Besides, those chili dogs in the clip always look good.

Even if the term goes out of style, or never even catches on after this thread, I'm a "Walter' and proud of it!

(whistles 'Life's A Happy Song'...)

Josh Hankemeier
 

D'Snowth

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Muppet fans are generally refered to as "Muppet Freaks"... and e used to have a thread about the subject, but Kevin locked it for whatever reason.

If we're Walters, tat's going to throw me off, because there's so many other "Walters" out there besides THIS Walter, that it's going to cause a lot of confusion... heck, when I hear the name "Walter", the first thing that's going to come to my mind isn't any of us, or the character from the new movie, but rather, a cartoon character I created a long time ago.
 

Puckrox

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I wrote a line in my Muppet slam poem a couple weeks ago that is akin to this topic:

"A world in which I am known solely as a Walter
Because I see the beauty, the hilarity, the gentility and grace
That each and every Muppet has managed to create"

While I can't say I could relate 100% to Walter's opening (only because I didn't fall into this profound love of Muppets until I was already in college, so I didn't have to deal with being teased as a child), I do think I can relate to Walter as a whole. I think we all can. If we met Kermit we'd flip out, we'd do anything to save the Muppets, we'd put our whole hearts out there just to help. Watching Walter fall in love with The Muppet Show made me reflect on this last year of my life. It's been a long year, and the only truly positive thing that really came out of it was... well, this. All of this. My love of Muppets, my love of Jim Henson, my love for TMS, my love for all of you, all of it.

I like being known as a Walter. We Walters need to stick together. :smile:
 

beaker

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I too have gotten to literally meet and talk to real life Muppets. At Muppetfest I had a rather interesting conversation with Sweetums, and got to meet and talk to all of the performers who had their signature characters. I especially had a very nice talk with Jerry Nelson and Bill Baretta. I also got to meet/talk to Oscar the Grouch with Carol Spinney. Sadly missed out on Goelz with Gonzo in 1997(tickets sold out when I got a ride to san francisco) You literally forget theres a hand in there(or person inside)
All the parents in the audience at muppetfest were in awe.

Indeed, that opening prologue is insane...it makes you feel like youre the only one in the theater...its such a purely surreal experience. Special barely begins to describe it.

Muppet fandom has always been underground to me. Unlike Dr Who, Trekkies, Star Wars/Lucasfans, Browncoats, etc. actual Muppet fans seem like a very niche thing. And when you do meet a fan, theyre usually primarily only into TMS and are unaware of too many post JH projects. And of course most people "love Fonzie and those two old guys...whats their names?" Hopefully this movie will help change all that....they even lampoon how kids barely know who Kermit is.

We are indeed ALL Walters...I guess thats a fitting inside joke type thing. I used to just call myself a Henson fan, or Muppet nut. Star Wars fans dont have a name either tho
 

robodog

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I've never met an actual muppet. The closest I've come is seeing a Kermit poser behind glass at the Jim Henson museum in Leland, Mississippi. I used to live right down the road from it.
I can easily imagine forgetting there's a hand inside the characters. That's the beauty of things like Puppetry and animatronics. You breathe life into a creature or character that exists in the real world and that can be interacted with. If a Puppeteer is good enough the audience forgets he's even there. And as for animatronics, it is now entirely possible to create a stand alone, lifelike creature that people can actually own and interact with. It's not just the stuff of special effects houses anymore.
This kind of thing fascinates me. I can appreciate things like animation, but my heart will always belong to the idea of creating a real world creature. Something that doesn't just exist on a piece of paper or a computer screen. I'll never be a puppeteer. I'm fairly good ( I've fooled people into thinking I was holding a real creature before ) but I'll never be able to perform in front of an audience. I do however still hold out hope that I'll learn to build animatronics someday.
 

redBoobergurl

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I've been teasing that I'd like to run away and marry Walter (kind of tongue and cheek here) but I'd proudly declare myself a "Walter" Because I definitely could relate to him quite a bit in the opening montage. Although I was made fun of more for loving Sesame Street into my "past Sesame age" I can still relate.
 

Gonzo's Hobbit

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I like the idea of calling muppet fans "Walters" though I do agree with D'Snowth in that it might take some clarification as it's not very straight forward unless you're a muppet fan (which is kinda what makes it great, it's like a Muppet codename). I myself have started refering to my fan freakouts as "Walter Moments"
 

newsmanfan

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Yes...that prologue was magical. I did sit right in front of the TV (hey, my eyes have ALWAYS been bad, it's not like there was much to lose) as a kid, munching dinner or a snack, completely enraptured by TMS...and same thing years before as a bitty creature with the 'Street. Agreed: ALL of us would jump right in if we knew our Muppets needed help in any way!

And I'm glad we have this community, where at least we can offer that kind of unrelenting, unjudgemental support to one another. Walter Lives!
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Gonzo's Hobbit

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You guys think Walter would get a kick out of reading this thread? I mean, imagine it, you're a lifelong fan of a group, you join the group and then you suddenly have a fan following of your own :smile:...and they're nameing themselves after you.
 

CensoredAlso

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You guys think Walter would get a kick out of reading this thread? I mean, imagine it, you're a lifelong fan of a group, you join the group and then you suddenly have a fan following of your own :smile:...and they're nameing themselves after you.
Yeah it's too bad the movie couldn't fit in a mention of the Muppets fans' Internet presence, lol.

Btw in my Blog entry about the new movie, I ended up talking about a lot about Walter, hehe:

http://herald7.wordpress.com/2011/12/04/go-see-the-muppets-2011/
 
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