"Muppets Now" premieres on Disney+
The Muppets fifth series of all time debuted on Disney+. Make plans to watch one of the most anticipated shows of the year. New episodes premiere every Friday through September 4.
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.
50 Years and Still Sunny!
Read fan reactions and let us know your thoughts on the all-new Sesame Street documentary "50 Years and Still Sunny!" hosted by Gloria Estefan.
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, Apple, Amazon and Google. Listen to Muppet music 24/7 wherever you go with TuneIn and Apple apps and devices.
Making one of my random walk-on cameo appearances to point out that this backup Oscar with the crooked mouth, introduced in season 46, is now looking more favorable by comparison.
Just take comfort in knowing that if the stocky Oscar puppet used in the concerts will be a long-term replacement, we won't be seeing much more of it for another year or so. That, and maybe it will look better when it's aged a bit. I wasn't extremely keen on the frizzier Cookie Monster puppet first seen in s46, but now it seems to look more natural to me now. Or maybe I'm just more used to seeing it now. I dunno.
Okay, with that off me chest, the rest of the show ROCKED!!! Amazing, beautiful arrangements that satisfied the jazz cat in me (and also honestly should justify a cover album of some kind. I mean, a guy can dream, right?). I could guess they consciously chose some songs that were more jazz-oriented over others, which may explain why they picked the rather Dixieland-sounding "It's a Circle." Oscar and the Count's signature songs were notably absent, and a Cab Calloway-esque version of "The Song of the Count" would've been nice.
When I heard that a young, new performer would be taking over Hoots the Owl, something about it felt right to me; as when Hoots was first introduced, Kevin Clash was the young, new Muppeteer on the block, so the casting felt like a good way of starting anew. It was great to see and hear Hoots again, and interacting live with Elmo at that without the need for predubbing. Chris Hayes sounded recognizably like Hoots, and did a terrific job legitimately singing in that rough, gravelly voice. (Great right-handing for Ernie, too.)
Also, seeing all three shows livestreamed is as great an excuse as any to see live, raw puppetry at it's finest, warts and all. "I Don't Want to Live on the Moon" (which, again, had a fantastic, almost mysterious, jazz arrangement) had the gravy on top, re-enacting the bunraku puppetry from the original of Ernie dancing on the moon. It's something that may not have been necessary, but you're glad that they went to the effort of doing it.
His riffs during It Feels Good When you Sing a Song were so good! This might sound sacrilegious, but I think Ryan is better at singing falsetto then Kevin. There's no denying Kevin is a great singer, but I think since Ryan's voice is naturally a tenor, he's able to hit those high notes better than Kevin. Also since Chris Hayes does so well with Hoots, I wouldn't mind if he became a new Clifford, that is if Disney is willing to use anyone who isn't the core 6 performers.