For Pretty Much Pop’s annual holiday episode, your hosts Mark Linsenmayer, Lawrence Ware, Sarahlyn Bruck, and Al Baker talk all things Muppets, but in particular the 1992 film The Muppet Christmas Carol, wherein Michael Caine gives us just as strong and serious a Scrooge as you might find. What’s the appeal of this puppet act? Is the humor actually supposed to be good, or post-funny ironic? How do Muppets change the way we experience music?
Even though Jim Henson had died by the time of Christmas Carol, nearly all the rest of the creative team from The Muppet Movie (1979) was still in place, including scriptwriter Jerry Juhl and songwriter by Paul Williams. Should the property still exist now that a new generation has largely taken over, and can it ever recapture that old magic? We consider recent iterations including the current Muppet Mayhem, the classic movies and various revivals, past Christmas specials (John Denver! Emmet Otter!), pre-Muppet-Show iterations of Henson’s act, the Dark Crystal and Labyrinth films, the role of humans in Muppet media, the ideology of Dickens’ story, and much more. Which Muppet personality type are you?
For some more Partially Examined Life network holiday antics, watch Mark and Bill’s video chit-chat for Philosophy vs. Improv. The ghost of Pretty Much Pop Christmas past brings you episodes about Xmas songs and holiday viewing. We also mention our Peanuts episode.
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