50 Years and Counting
Read our review and discuss with fans the highly anticipated
Sesame Street "50 Years and Counting" DVD set from Shout Factory featuring over five hours of beloved moments.
50th Anniversary Celebration
Read fan reactions and let us know your thoughts on Sesame Street's 50th anniversary special. An official DVD is on the way.
"Muppets Now" announced for Disney+
It's finally official. A new, unscripted short-form series, “Muppets Now”, is coming to Disney+ in 2020. Let us know your thoughts on the Muppets big announcement.
The Dark Crystal: "Age of Resistance"
After a 36 year wait, return to the great conjunction. The Dark Crystal "Age of Resistance" is a mesmerizing and beautiful prequel series now on Netflix. Renew your essence today.
Music is Everywhere
Muppet Central Radio is now on TorontoCast, TuneIn and Apple Music. Listen to Muppet music 24/7 wherever you go with TuneIn and Apple apps and devices.
Citiesville Mayor: Let me tell you some words. At what point did it seem like a good idea to blow up the Cityville Bridge?
Citiesville Mayor: No! Do you realize the two crooks that you caught stole approximately four hundred dollars? Do you realize that you did over three MILLION DOLLARS IN PROPERTY DAMAGE TO THAT BRIDGE?! IT'S NOT REPLACEABLE! Also, that bridge is — or was — a historical landmark. I mean, it's on our flag, for Pete's sakes! It's also the main thoroughfare into the city! Nobody actually lives in Citiesville! They commute!
Cam Garrity: There's something wonderful that's happened as you've gone to all these conventions, you've been able to spend time with Caroll Spinney, who was one of the first people who you interacted with from the Muppets. Can you talk about what that experience has been like of getting to know him better and spending time around him?
Steve Whitmire: Caroll is the person I owe the whole career to. He recruited me into the Muppets by making the introduction back in 1978, and though we've known each other all these years, we never got the opportunity to work together very much, because he was pretty much strictly Sesame Street. And I was doing everything else Jim did except SS, so if there was a slight silver lining of having to do Ernie, unfortunately, I wish Jim was still doing it, it was that I got to work with Caroll once in awhile and see him and have a dinner with him and Debi. And having the opportunity to be around him more recently going to some of the conventions and appearances is a golden opportunity. Caroll's still there, he's moving slowly, and I think he's officially retiring from doing conventions as of this year. He wants to enjoy the rest of his life and take it easy, I understand that, and it's hard for him to travel and all that stuff. Part of the issue frankly is I think people think he's in far worse shape when they see him than he is, he has a condition called dystonia which simply means he has some muscle weakness. So he can't move a lot, his voice is not as strong as it used to be, and everybody says "OMG, how dare he be here? You people are exploiting this poor old man and propping him up." Nope, he wants to come do these things. He could stop whenever he wanted and he wanted to do these conventions. So it's given me the opportunity to spend a lot of time with him having dinners and things when he's up to it and to see him and Debi, so that's a blessing.
JD Hansel: Have you seen the trailer for the new Dark Crystal show?
Steve Swanson: I've watched all 3 of them, (disappointed sigh), yeah.
JD: See, my problem is I look at thinking "darn it, that actually looks good."
Steve: OK, it looks interesting, but it's the Dark Crystal, it doesn't look good to me. I don't know if this is gonna be better, I'm not worried about it, I don't give a **** cause I'm not gonna watch it if it's not any good, but you had all this time and research and legacy and history and you still couldn't make this work. How many times do we have to go through this with Henson now before we understand that it's just different now?
JD: I liked the Julie Andrews show.
Steve: Wait, you're not talking about Julie's Greenroom, are you?
JD: Yeah, Julie's Greenroom for Netflix.
Steve: Okay you liked it. You know what, I didn't watch that, so I'll give you that. Let's talk about Christine McConell. It was much lauded by some of the Muppet community and it just wasn't good. We were told about Happytime Murders for many years, and what we saw didn't exist in the trailer that we saw.
JD: What do you mean? The main trailer made it look like garbage, made it look worse than it really was. Oh, now I remember there was a teaser before that years ago with Brian Henson's wife in it showing off the effects. That was on YT for awhile and then it got pulled.
Steve: We keep talking about how "This thing is coming out from Henson, it's gonna be great." I still get my hopes up because there's a part of me that still wants to believe. I know Jim's not around anymore, so these projects aren't gonna be what they were, but there are all these people who worked with Jim, and it's like "Why do these projects not live up?" Maybe it's because my expectations were set too high, maybe they're just not well-written. IDK, I'm an old man and I've seen a lot in my life, and I'm starting to get to the point where maybe all this stuff with Henson is they're just riding on what they used to do.
Steve Whitmire: One of the things that impressed me the most about Jim when I was 17 or 18 years old meeting him was what he considered to be the audition process. We put on puppets and stood in front of a mirror for 20 minutes, and that afternoon he called Frank in and we did another 15 minutes and they said a couple things between them and Frank nodded yes and I had a job. But Jim already said to me on the phone 3 or 4 months before that, he was gonna give me a job before he ever saw me puppeteer in person. He said "You might be working in the workshop building puppets or you might be puppeteering." So we spent the next 2 or 3 days after that never working with puppets again, all we did was sit around and talk. What that told me was it was far more important to Jim to find someone who he knew was gonna fit into his group dynamic and to his core group than it was to find a great puppeteer. That impressed me that Jim was far more interested in who I was as a person than whether or not I was a reasonably good puppeteer, which is how I would have approached looking for a successor had I had the chance to do it. It wouldn't have been an audition process, it would have been choosing that person, the lineage, you choose the person who's going to succeed you.