As a life long Muppets fan, I am most definitely of the opinion that there is very little on this planet that can’t be improved by their presence.
Among these many and varied things, are superhero and apocalyptic road movies, two themes that a very talented artist called Justin Ponsor (who goes by the name JoopaDoops on Deviant Art), also armed with some serious Muppets appreciation, has addressed with some seriously good artwork I discovered via Laughing Squid.
Apart from being beautifully drawn – he nails the look and personality of every single Muppet he features from Sesame Street stalwarts like Big Bird, Oscar and Ernie and Bert to The Muppet Show gang including Animal, Kermit, Miss Piggy and Fozzy Bear – they evoke the pop culture properties they are lovingly paying homage to in ways I doubt even their creators contemplated.
His Muppets-infused pop culture tributes so far include Mad Max: Fury Road, The Avengers and DC’s Justice League and they are without exception, perfectly executed.
You can check out more of his marvellous work at Deviant Art.
In the lead up to the release of the new Muppets movie (a major event to eclipse all others for a guy like me who grew up watching the Muppets, on both TV and at the movies) in November, a number of musicians including Rachel Yamagata, OK Go and Weezer have recorded covers of Muppets songs, which is being released as, what else, The Green Album.
In this case, I think being green will be easy indeed for once, with even Kermit no doubt thrilled to be back front and centre in the pop culture firmament, as he and all the others so rightly should be! Miss Piggy naturally would expect nothing less.
This clip for the OK Go cover of The Muppet Show theme is fabulous – it captures the fun and irreverence of The Muppets so perfectly that I instantly felt like I was back in the, ahem, 1970s, watching the Muppets doing their thing, which if nothing else, is testament to their timeless appeal.
It is no secret that I adore in almost equal measure both The Muppets and the sitcom Community (well if you’re inside my head anyway which thankfull for you, you’re not).
So imagine my utter pop culture-loving, nerdy joy when these two culture treasures combined recently with the appearance of Joel McHale (Jeff Winger) and Ken Jeong (Chang) on Sesame Street, with Elmo and an attitude-laden spiky cactus respectively.
The “squeee” factor was high and my inner child was doing cartwheels so happy was I.
From the age of 5, when Sesame Street’s Big Bird (so sad they couldn’t see his friend Snuffalapagus at first), Bert & Ernie, Grover (my absolute favourite Muppet still, with the possible exception of Animal or Fozzy bear), to The Muppet Show (1976-1981)with its silly banter, music hall setting, and pop culture send ups (the fact that the Star Wars cast went on the show gives you some idea how popular it was in its day, and for me, still is) to the movies like The Muppet Movie (1979)and Great Muppet Caper (1981), they were both cute, and irreverent, silly and heartfelt, and a delight to watch. The fact that their heyday was largely when I was growing up was one of the bright spots of a childhood spent absorbing much of the pop culture highlights of the day.
Now they’re back! Well, they never truly went away really thanks to the creative geniuses at Sesame Street, but hopefully this new movie will bring them back to the true prominence they deserve. It’s rare that any creation can speak to so many people at once – the lovers of all things cute and sentimental love the sweet underbelly of the Muppets while those of us who value sedition and irreverence are equally as rewarded.
I cannot wait to see this movie! Bring on January 1, 2012!