The Genius Pitch To Get The Original Muppet Show On The Air

Below is the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, muppetational pitch to executives you will ever see. It was used to get Jim Henson’s glorious muppet show on TV. It can be found (in a longer version involving Kermit at the end) on the DVD for the first season of the show. Man, I love the muppets.

(via Boing Boing.)

If you’re anything like me, after watching that, this is running through your head:

Relatedly, my mom bought me The Muppets (which was awesome) for Easter. So I should probably re-mention that I love my mom too.

Let me close with a troubling conversation I had the other night which impressed upon me the need to talk about the muppets more on my blog. It began when some 17 year olds overheard the muppets while I was watching them on the bus home from New Jersey the other night. It speaks for itself.

17 year old girl: What are you watching?
Me: The Muppets.
17 year old girl: What’s that?
Me: ?!?!?!
Other 17 year old to her: Are you an American?!?!
Other 17 year old to her: Are you a communist?!?!

Your Thoughts? (Do you think she’s a communist? If not, then WTF?)

Finally, the song I want played at my funeral:

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • peterh

    The Muppets – one of America’s few true contributions to the world stage (both literal and figurative).

  • Aliasalpha

    Best pitch evaaar!

    Gotta love the muppets, sarcastic, subversive, intelligent and almost completely unsuitable for children. It was one of the strongest influences on my childhood

  • Cuttlefish

    Ok, I don’t know what this says about me, but… I love nearly everything about the Muppets, and have since I was a child, but I can’t stand that “Man or Muppet” song. I’ve heard people sing its praises, I know it won the Oscar, but it is a pale shadow compared with, say, “it’s not easy being green” or “rainbow connection”. Music is one of the things the Muppets have consistently done incredibly well, and this just doesn’t seem Muppetly. It feels forced (to me) and stilted; it doesn’t have the clever wordplay, subtle charm, or open emotion of my favorite Muppet music.

    Or maybe I’m missing something. What is it about that song that makes (other) people like it?

    • Daniel Fincke

      This is probably a generational thing, Cuttlefish, since I take it you’re maybe a decade or two older than people like me who grew up on the muppets and who live in the so-called “extended adolescence” of modern young adult life. For people my age and younger we live in a time where it is (I think) way more common to unabashedly “cling to childish things” in our twenties and thirties, we marry later, we often get out from our parents’ houses later, and we are freer than past generations to indulge our passions with less social stigma to be married with children and a stable job by 22. Given all of this, we sometimes feel like we’re not “Full Grown Ups”. And this movie tapped into our geeky nostalgia of being kids and then the song connected Jason Segal’s character’s struggles to take steps into adult commitment to this feeling of being a muppet, not really a man. It was funny and resonant for emotional reasons for me, not because of clever turns of phrase. Being a muppet represents being the goofiest version of yourself. And those of us in arrested development sometimes wonder if that’s what we’ll be forever.

    • Daniel Fincke

      Whoops, you said you’ve loved the muppets since you were a child, so apparently you did grow up on them. But having a college aged daughter, you apparently didn’t have much of an extended adolescence stretching into your twenties and thirties then, did you?

    • ‘Tis Himself

      I thought “Man or Muppet” was a pretty good song. It was relevant to the plot and even moved the plot forward. It wasn’t on the same level as “Rainbow Connection” but few movie songs are.

      I liked The Muppets. It was true to the Muppet ethos (I had no trouble seeing Miss Piggy as the plus-size editor for Vogue Paris) and I particularly liked the kidnapping of Jack Black to be the guest host. When the movie comes out on DVD I’ll get it (or more likely my daughter will).

    • Echidna

      Cuttlefish, it’s dull rhythmically, so I don’t expect it to work for you. I find it a bit leaden and schmaltzy for my taste. But the idea, man or muppet, is cute.

  • reasonbeing

    The Muppets are great.I did not see the movie that came out a year or so ago, but I recall them from my childhood and still like to catch some of those old clips and movies.

  • Francisco Bacopa

    I loved the reference to Turn On in the pitch video.

  • Cor (formerly evil)

    For the first nine years of my life, my room had Muppett wallpaper.

    That is all.

  • anthonyallen

    The Dark Crystal was the first full-length film my daughter ever watched.

    Though I don’t think she got too much out of it, considering she was only 3 months old at the time. ;)
    My older daughter (who was 11) loved it, and we went on to watch all of the Muppet and Muppet-related films (yes, even Caper)

    Funny story: She took me to see Muppets from Space for my birthday. Halfway through it, she wanted the money back so she could get me something nice.

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