A Sort of Muppet Show Tonight

On Saturday night, Hayden and I laughed nearly non-stop for two hours, so much so that my cheeks literally hurt. The cause of our merriment was “Muppets 101,” which featured clips from early (1950s–1970s) Muppet appearances that were introduced by David Rudman, a Muppets puppeteer. The event kicked off the Gene Siskel Film Center’s month-long retrospective “Muppets, Music, & Magic: Jim Henson’s Legacy.”

Here are some of the things we saw:

  • Sam and Friends, a 5-minute show that aired daily in Washington D.C. after the news and featured a primitive non-frog Kermit and other Muppets
  • Commercials for products like sausage and coffee, all of which involved a Muppet being hit over the head or blown up
  • Muppets hamming it up with people on television shows including The Jimmy Dean Show and Saturday Night Live
  • Pitches made by Muppets for Sesame Street and The Muppet Show

Although many of these segments are available on YouTube, there were definitely benefits of watching these clips in a theater instead of at home. We got to laugh along with a hundred other people reliving their childhoods. We got to see some things that you can’t find online (like Fozzie Bear wearing a finger puppet made of a tiny Gonzo head). And most importantly, we got to see live performances by and meet two of David Rudman’s characters: Baby Bear from Sesame Street and the amazing monster below.


Jealous much, Jennifer F, Caroline, and Steph? Seriously, I so wish that you could have been there!

7 Responses to “A Sort of Muppet Show Tonight”

  1. brian b. says:

    that sounds so cool. you guys are so lucky to be in chicago. & you can go see Derrick rose whenever you want!

  2. Stephanie says:

    I am so jealous! Did you give the cookie monster a cookie from me?!

  3. Nancy-Marmee says:

    I’m also jealous- I still watch Sesame Street sometimes.

  4. Stephanie says:

    Maybe it will come on Thanksgiving morning, and we can all watch it together. Or I could pull out Muppet Classic Theater!

  5. caroline says:

    UM…YES! Why do I live here?

  6. Apryl says:

    Brian, I am sure that Hayden would go see Derrick Rose play with you if you came to visit.

    Steph, I didn’t bring Cookie Monster any cookies, even though I told Hayden that he should before we went. One girl actually did bring him a baggie of cookies. I wonder if the puppeteer gets sick of strangers bringing him cookies. And I would totally be up for watching Sesame Street on Thanksgiving morning. Mom apparently would be too…as long as it didn’t interfere too much with the Macy’s parade. Oh, and the Siskel Film Center is actually going to show some of Muppet Classic Theater!

    Caroline, you live in Memphis because it’s cheap…and because you are addicted to getting degrees from the U of M’s English department.

  7. Jennifer F says:

    i know you posted this a WHILE ago… but i just went back and checked out this Muppet history from the links you provided. WOW. it’s so crazy to see them back as far as the 50s and 60s!

    I AM SOOOO J! i can just hear Fozzy playing with a miniature Gonzo finger puppet- his little Fozzy voice.

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