Your Thoughts: Muppet Central's 26th Birthday

Phillip

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Happy birthday! Muppet Central is now 26 years old. The site and our original forum debuted 26 years ago on January 28, 1998. Muppet Central Radio began two years later on January 28, 2000.

Back when the site first started the Jim Henson Company still owned all of their original properties including the Muppets and Sesame Street. Two new feature films were in development simultaneously, "Muppets from Space" and "Elmo in Grouchland". The Children's Television Workshop was gearing up for its upcoming 30th anniversary and the Jim Henson Company was developing an ambitious sci-fi series that would eventually become Farscape. Even though many changes have occurred throughout the EM.TV and Disney years, we’ve been honored to be a small part of it and to provide a place for fan discussion and interaction.

We want to thank all of the staff, past, and present who have given so much of their time and giftings to make Muppet Central a great place. Every member here is a vital part of what makes Muppet Central special. Thanks for doing your part in keeping Jim Henson’s vision of the Muppets alive. We believe great days are ahead.

While we’re celebrating 26 years, we are also looking toward the future. Read the below questions and let us know your predictions for 2024.

(1) What do you think the future holds for the Muppets, especially with the cancellation of "The Muppets Mayhem" series? On February 17, it will have been 20 years since Disney bought the Muppet characters and Bear in the Big Blue House. Hopefully "Muppets Tonight" will finally make its debut on Disney+ in 2024 and the Jim Henson biopic "Muppet Man" will continue to progress in development.

(2) What would you like to see Sesame Workshop produce or release in 2024? Sesame Workshop will continue to produce new episodes exclusively for Max through Season 55 with debuts on PBS approximately nine months later. We'll see if the new Sesame Street movie in development since 2012 finally enters production this year. The film was originally planned for a theatrical release before the pandemic, and may now be produced exclusively for Max.

(3) What are your hopes for new productions from the Jim Henson Company in 2024? With the new Fraggle Rock series "Back to the Rock" returning for a second season on March 29 the company has truly returned to its roots. We're hopeful that "Back to the Rock" will remain in production for years and will lead to more classic projects like the upcoming Emmet Otter film and the new Storyteller series.

(4) What are some of your favorite Muppet Central memories or traditions from the past 26 years?

Happy birthday everyone!

 

Skekayuk

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1) I'm not sure, because so many people seem to want different things from them.

2) Again not sure. Only to say Sesame street has always developed and reinvented itself and it has to do so to remain relevant. But for the fans, I'd hope the make their classic clips and songs available on their youtube channel.

3) I think developing stuff with new characters is important, and I would hope they can gradually wind down the classic characters. Yes the classic characters are important. But those characters were extensions of particular people, and yes other performers can take them over but its not quite the same. I think developing newer characters is important (long at Gonger as an example).

4) My favourite memory is the original Muppet Central/Tibby's Bowl interviews, mostly done by Ken Plume, back in 1999. I think it was the first many of those performers had been asked in depth questions about the whole of their careers (not just one individual Muppet project and indeed not just the Muppet and Henson aspects of their careers but all sorts of other things as well). And remember this was back in the days before widespread video conferencing etc, so things were done in more primitive ways. Ken Plume had to personally interview some of them. While at least one interview was conducted by snail mail letter and fax! (although at least it was sent using the Fax software on a computer rather than a fax machine). This was way back before video conferencing and podcasts etc. It was the performers being interviewed for the Muppet fans, not for some mass market TV programme or magazine, or to promote film. It was just them interviewed for Muppet fans on the internet to read, and anyone could read it because it was on the internet (you didn't need to be subscribed to a fanzine). And those interviews are still up on Muppet Central for all to read.
 
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