Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Kermit and Bear at Disney's 2005 Christmas Parade

Kermit the Frog and Bear (from "Bear in the Big Blue House") are both planned to be part of the Walt Disney World Resort's 2005 Christmas parade! The parade is known as "a family tradition that enchants and entertains children of all ages" and has been a television tradition for over 20 years. Kermit the Frog is planned to make appearances in the 2005 television coverage of the parade. Fans may remember that Kermit, Piggy and Gonzo were all at last year’s parade. Bear will once again grace the parade and delight viewers with his regular charm and warmth - Bear (and friends) have made several appearances in the parade in past years. Information on whether or not other characters will appear along with Kermit or Bear is unavailable at this time.

The two-hour parade special will feature lots of celebrity appearances and musical performances, plus all your favorite Disney characters. This year, the show promises to be bigger and better than as it celebrates 50 years of Disney Theme Park magic. So be sure to tune in and see Kermit and Bear at the parade. The "Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade" airs on Sunday, December 25, 2005 at 10:00am (9:00am central) on ABC. Check your local listings for details.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

From the Balcony: Episode 12

A new episode of "Statler and Waldorf: From the Balcony" was posted on today. In the latest installment of the bi-weekly web-show, Statler and Waldorf talk about the films "In the Mix" and "Rent", plus two Muppet rats (Stan and Louie) drop in to take you underneath the balcony and talk about "Yours, Mine, and Ours". You can also learn the meaning of this weeks balconism, "WEAK-quel". So check out the "From the Balcony" website on and watch the latest episode (keep watching after the closing logos for some "Balcony bloopers"). And be sure to check back for the next episode on December 10th.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Wake Up with Kermit & Target

It’s that time of year again - the the post-Thanksgiving holiday shopping rush. Target stores will open at 6 a.m. on the Friday after Thanksgiving, and once again they will be offering to help their shoppers get out of bed to get to their sales with a wake-up call. Consumers can go to the Target Wake-up website and sign up for a free, prerecorded wake-up call from celebrities – this year’s list of big name callers include Kermit the Frog (Steve Whitmire), model Carolyn Murphy, and country singer Brad Paisley.

Along with signing up for a wake-up call from Kermit, you can visit the
Target Wake-up website to watch the 5 delightfully entertaining “Target wake-up call” commercials that feature Kermit the Frog eating flies, playing banjo, and singing a lullaby (look in the “Watch the Films” section). You can also download an exclusive Quicktime video featuring Kermit singing himself to sleep in the “Download free stuff” section. Be sure to check them out, they are fun, entertaining, a real treat for Kermit fans.

So surf over to the
Target website and sign up for a call from Kermit (currently Kermit has had the most wake-up calls lined-up for with over 40% of the registered calls). The wake-up calls (which you can get for the one-day sale, or the two-day sale) are free and easy to do (just pick your caller – I recommend Kermit – and then enter your phone number and call time). So if you’re planning on shopping at Target (and even if you’re not), be sure to check out the website (and if you want, sign up for a call from Kermit).

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Sesamize Your Cell Phone

Sesame Workshop, along with m-Qube, launched an awesome new web-based Sesame Street Mobile store today. The new store is a place where fans can purchase tons of Sesame Street ringtones and wallpapers.

"C is for Cookie," "Rubber Duckie," "People in Your Neighborhood," "Sesame Street Theme Song," and "Doin’ the Pigeon" are just a few of the 30+ classic songs fans can purchase to spice up their cellular telephone. The site also offers over 100 cellphone wallpapers featuring all of your favorite Sesame Street characters, classic moments from the show, your very own Letter or Number of the Day, and even characters from the international co-productions of Sesame Street. New and seasonal content will be added regularly.

"Sesame Workshop is always looking for innovative technologies to reach Sesame Street fans of all ages," said Jeffrey Fleishman, Assistant Vice President of Interactive Media Business Development for Sesame Workshop. "We think this is a great way for adults to connect with the children in their life and reconnect with their own childhood."

To get your own mobile Sesame Street content, just go and log onto the Sesame Street Mobile store. Proceeds from the ringtones and wallpaper sales help fund Sesame Workshop's ongoing educational programs for children around the world.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Kevin Clash Writing Autobiography

Kevin Clash, the Muppeteer behind Elmo (and others), just recently signed a major deal with Broadway Books to write an inspirational book for adults that is set for release in "fall 2006". The book, titled What Elmo Taught Me, will draw upon the Baltimore native’s unique experience as a parent, master puppeteer, and performer whose work has enchanted millions in America and around the world.

“Playing a three-year-old day in and day out has given me a unique perspective on adulthood,” Kevin said. “I get to stay in touch with what’s important but what we as adults take for granted. I always feel revitalized when channeling Elmo because he preaches the basics—and having the basics in the front of your mind on a daily basis keeps you focused on what’s important. It’s improved my relationships, my career, and my outlook on the future. Perhaps by sharing some of the things I’ve learned I can help adults in the same way.”

The forty-something year old puppeteer will also share the remarkable and inspiring story of his road to success, the emotional and philosophical ideals he has learned from his creation, and how these can nurture values such as love, joy, creativity, diversity, cooperation, friendship, and optimism.

Sesame Street fans may remember that Caroll Spinney (performer behind Big Bird and Oscar) wrote a similar styled inspirational-autobiography of his own back in 2003, titled The Wisdom of Big Bird (and the Dark Genius of Oscar the Grouch) -- if you haven’t read it, I suggest picking up a copy. I’ll keep you posted as the release details on Kevin’s autobiography, What Elmo Taught Me, are released. This book is sure to be a great look at the life of one a Sesame Street’s (and the Muppets) key players. – look for it later next year. I’ll keep you posted.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Pepe on "Craig Ferguson" Tonight

Sorry for the short notice, but I was just notified today... Everyone’s favorite king prawn – Pepe - will be a guest on the late night talk show: “The Late Late Show with Craig Fergusontonight (Tuesday, November 15)! That's right, tonight! Pepe the King Prawn will be a featured guest along with author John Lahr, and musical guest Patti Smith. “Craig Ferguson” airs tonight at 12:35 a.m. on CBS (ok, so it is technically very early tomorrow - but you know). Set your VCR, program you TiVo, and don’t miss it (because lately the information on a Muppet guest appearances has not gotten out until after the fact). Enjoy!

Friday, November 11, 2005

From the Balcony: Episode 11

A new episode of "Statler and Waldorf: From the Balcony" was posted on today. In the latest installment of the bi-weekly web-show, Statler and Waldorf talk about the films "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" and "Get Rich or Die Tryin'", plus Sam the Eagle stops by to talk about "Walk the Line". You can also learn the meaning of this weeks balconism, "BLOND-tourage". So check out the "From the Balcony" website on and watch the latest episode. Be sure to check back for the next episode on November 26th.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Introducing The Muppet Newsflash Forum!

Ever since I started The Muppet Newsflash people have been asking "when are you going to start a forum?", “why don’t you add a forum?”. For the past 9-months I’ve been hesitant to add one, as I felt there were already several strong fan forums on the web, and adding yet another would just detract, divide, and add unnecessary competition and separation in the communities. But I’ve always been thinking about it – this idea always in the back of my mind. Over the weekend I asked for feedback on the Muppet Newsflash from the people who matter most – the readers. And once again, many people suggested a forum (in a survey of the blog readers that ran from Friday through Tuesday; almost 60% said they were interested in a forum, and 25% were “undecided” at the time). I also got a bunch of e-mails with feedback - several of which had some persuasive “essays” on why I should add a forum.

I thought it over and felt was the right time to give the whole thing a whirl. So here it is - The Muppet Newsflash forum! Don’t worry, this will not effect the output of the blog news reporting; I will still be maintaining and updating the main news blog just as much as before. I’ve noticed that the comments section on news posts have been picking up more and more recently, and I feel that a place to discuss the issues would be useful (but still feel free to use the comments feature on any of the news posts).

The Muppet Newsflash forum is hosted by Delphi Forums, and is ready for posting. If you are a member of another fan community, feel free to remain active there (I actually encourage that). I’m not asking for (nor expecting) you to just abandon other sites (and other friends) nor do I want you to feel obligated to give total loyalty and dedication to this forum (but, hey, if you want to, that’s fine too). I’ll still stay just as active around the web too. This is a place to bring together fans, unite the community, and have discussions about the Muppets (and Jim Henson, and whatnot). It is a place to have discussions, share information and ideas, have good time, and just have fun. (Plus this might help elevate the amount of “can you help me out with this Muppet trivia question?” e-mails that I get each day). So check it out, start posting, and have fun!

- Enter the Forum -

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

"The Muppet Show - Season 1" Wins TV-DVD Award

In case you were interested, the winners of the 2005 TV-DVD Award have been announced. The award recognizes the best releases of TV shows on DVD in the past year. Studios submitted their top DVD titles for consideration in the 15 TV-DVD categories. The titles were then rated by expert judges, and their ratings were tallied. The top three TV-DVD titles in each category were then listed on an online ballot and voted upon by consumers on the Home Media Retailing website. After much calculation and deliberation, the winners were announced and the awards were presented (by Donny Osmond) at the 3rd Annual TV-DVD Conference held in Marina del Rey this week.

"The Muppet Show – Season 1" won for "Best Children’s Series" (although many Muppet fans will argue the show is not just a children’s show). Disney/Buena Vista is delighted by the honor (of which “The Muppet Show” was their only win out of the 15 categories this year). I am told that a “Season 2” set is in the works, however no solid information on the release is available yet (I’ll keep you posted as soon as I hear anything).

Also, Henson fan’s will be happy to hear that Lions Gate’s release of "Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars" on DVD won in the "Best Miniseries/Made-for-TV Movie" category. I'm sure everyone at Lions Gate and Henson are pleased with their award as well.

Congratulations to all of the 2005 TV-DVD winners! And thanks to all the fans of the set who voted for the DVD, and the producers who made these great DVD products a reality.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

More on "Sesame Beginnings"...

Sesame Workshop releases some more information on the upcoming "Sesame Beginnings" show. Sesame Workshop has just formally announced the first two DVD titles, "Beginning Together" and "Make Music Together", and has released even more information on the show on their website. The two DVDs feature fun stories, songs, and activities to teach and entertain infants (and their caregivers). The show is set to feature baby Elmo (and his Dad), baby Big Bird (and his Aunt), baby Cookie Monster (and his Grandma), and baby Prairie Dawn (and her Mom); each episode also showcases a segment featuring a celebrity guest and their child.

"Sesame Beginnings" provide parents and caregivers with fresh material, ideas, songs, and games while fostering interaction, education, and fun with their child throughout the day. The DVDs are also accompanied with a printed parents guide that offers additional tips for ways to extend the learning after viewing through activities such as feeding, bath time and playtime."Our own research showed that Sesame Street videos were among those frequently viewed by the under two set, in spite of the fact that the content and curriculum of Sesame Street is designed for ages 2-5," noted Sherrie Westin, Executive Vice President, Sesame Workshop. "With the Sesame Beginnings DVDs, we're providing parents and caregivers of children under two with content specifically designed to use media as a tool to further adult/child interaction.

The first DVD, "Beginning Together", lets parents and their baby meet the Sesame babies for the very first time! Share a "Wiggle and Giggle" with Elmo and his Dad during Elmo's bath time, watch Big Bird and his Aunt discover "Who's that Baby in the Mirror", and so much more. “Beginning Together” is filled with delightful, easy-to-sing songs and games that babies will love, and that you can sing and enjoy during everyday activities. Aside from the “Sesame Beginnings” cast, the DVD also features a special appearance by Brandy and her daughter, Sy'rai.

In the second DVD, titled "Make Music Together", viewers can explore language, rhythm, and sound with their favorite Sesame Street babies. Be there when Elmo's daddy swings and sings with baby Elmo to "Swing Baby Swing!". Shake along as baby Prairie Dawn and her mommy make music and sing to "Shake Baby Shake!" “Make Music Together” is filled with delightful, easy-to-sing songs, and great ways to share the joy of music and dance with your baby throughout the day. This DVD features a special appearance by Wayne Brady and his daughter, Maile.

The DVDs, "Beginning Together" and "Make Music Together" will be in stores on March 21, 2006. They will join the wide-ranging product line of “Sesame Beginnings” products includes apparel, books, and more. More “Sesame Beginnings” products and videos are in the works, and I’ll keep you posted as more information becomes available. If you want even more information on “Sesame Beginnings”, to view pictures from the show, order products, or download the wonderful video trailer, take some time and surf on over to the new “Sesame Beginnings” website.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Disney re-releases "Christmas Carol" Soundtrack

Along with re-releasing the classic Muppet films on DVD to celebrate Kermit’s 50th anniversary (and the Muppets now under the Disney brand), Disney plans on re-releasing classic Muppet soundtracks too. As reported back in May, the next CD planned for release is a Christmas album in time for Christmas 2005. Well, Walt Disney Records has just announced that they plan on re-releasing the complete soundtrack album to “The Muppet Christmas Carol” later this month.

The “Special Edition” soundtrack will feature the wonderful and beautiful album versions of the film’s 11 songs (written by Paul Williams) – two of which did not make it to the final film! Plus the CD holds 6 instrumental tracks from the film’s score, plus the Martina McBride version of “When Love is Gone” (heard over the closing credits). The 18 track CD (an exact re-release of the 1992 limited issue CD from Disney Records) will be in stores on November 22, 2005 (one week before the 4 classic Muppet films, including "Christmas Carol", will be re-released on DVD). The soundtrack holds a suggested retail price of just $12.98 (which brings a sigh of relief to fans who have seen the old now out-of-print release going for upwards of $70 on some sites).

Walt Disney Records says they hope to re-release more Muppet soundtracks and albums in 2006 (and beyond) as Kermit’s 50th celebration continues throughout the end of 2006. Some insiders state that a deal was established with The Muppet Holding Company for at least another two (if not more) CD releases in 2006. I’ll keep you posted as more develops on that, but be sure to pick up the masterpiece soundtrack of “
The Muppet Christmas Carol” this holiday season (after all it’s only 50 more sleeps ‘till Christmas).

Track Listing:
1. Overture (Instrumental)
2. Scrooge (The Muppets)
3. Room In Your Heart (Bunsen & Beaker)
4. Good King Wenceslas (Instrumental)
5. One More Sleep 'Til Christmas (Kermit)
6. Marley And Marley (Statler & Waldorf)
7. Christmas Past (Instrumental)
8. Chairman Of The Board (Sam Eagle)
9. Fozziwig's Party (Dr. Teeth & the Electric Mayhem)
10. When Love Is Gone (Belle)
11. It Feels Like Christmas (Ghost of Christmas Present)
12. Christmas Scat (Kermit & Robin)
13. Bless Us All (Robin, Kermit, Piggy and family)
14. Christmas Future (Instrumental)
15. Christmas Morning (Instrumenal)
16. Thankful Heart (Scrooge)
17. Finale - When Love Is Found/It Feels Like Christmas (Scrooge & the Muppets)
18. When Love Is Gone (Martina McBride)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

"Sesame Street" for Babies?

"Sesame Workshop is planning a new series of direct-to-DVD videos featuring the classic Sesame Street Muppets as babies. The all new series of DVDs, titled "Sesame Beginnings", will take a look at the baby back-stories of the beloved characters. Just picture a little rambunctious Cookie Monster, an even squeakier Elmo, a not-so-big Big Bird, and more. The program is designed to support infants, toddlers, and their parents with the building blocks of learning.

Unlike "Sesame Street", which is aimed at kids ages 3-7, this program will be aimed at a younger audience - kids under the age of 2. Each story will feature the Sesame characters at a younger age and show them learning, growing, building relationships, and having fun. Yet, just like "Sesame Street", the program will feature loveable puppet characters interacting, teaching, entertaining, and educating. Producers at Sesame Workshop hope that the "Sesame Beginnings" DVDs will not only entertain, but also help promote healthy relationships between caregivers and children. The first "Sesame Beginnings" DVDs are planned to hit stores in March 2006. Other related spin-off merchandise, such as dolls and toys, are already the works as well. I'll keep you posted as more information is available on the new production, the new products, and these new DVD releases.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Happy Halloween From The Balcony

A series of special holiday clips of "Statler and Waldorf: From the Balcony" were created featuring the two old Muppets dressed up for Haloween and discussed their favorite horror movies (Statler was a mummy, and Waldorf was a vampire). This was a special shoot, and were not made for a regular episode of the series. These clips were made for publicity, so that news stations and TV magazine shows could incorporate the special footage into their own broadcasts. You may have seen these pop-up on in a TV report, an online news video clip, or somewhere else. Be sure to check on November 12th for the next regular episode of the show.