Friday, August 31, 2007

The Muppet Newsflash 2.0

If you are a regular visitor of "The Muppet Newsflash", then you should notice things look a bit different around here. As part of the ongoing effort to make "The Muppet Newsflash" better, the site has gotten a bit of a face-lift. There are new features, new menus, a new layout, and even a new color scheme. There has also been a lot of upgrading "behind the scenes", which should allow the blog to run better and you should find things even more efficient and easy to use.

So feel free to browse around – we have several convenient links in the navigation bar located at the top of the page (right below the picture of Kermit). We also have a new "Coming Soon" listing on the side bar so you can keep up with all the upcoming merchandise. And we are running a visitor poll (and will get a new one each month) which allows you to vote on very important issues (this month is a battle of the Fraggles, as we ask you which Fraggle is your favorite). There are a lot of other goodies included in the upgrade (and more to come) so look around and be sure to keep checking back.

If you have any comments, questions, concerns, or ideas that you would like to share about the site, please let me know – I would love to hear from you. So please feel free to post a comment on this news item or just drop me an e-mail. This site is here to serve you, so let me know what you want and how I’m doing. I always love to get reader feedback. Also, if for whatever reason any aspect of new site isn’t working or appearing properly in your browser, please let us know so we can address any problems that may have been overlooked during the upgrade.

And, as always, more great Muppet news is on the way.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Muppet Appearances on DVD

A couple of Muppet guest appearances are coming to DVD.

"The Cosby Show: Season Six" will be released on November 6, 2007. The 3-disc set will include the Muppet-filled episode "Cliff's Nightmare," which originally aired on January 11, 1990. The episode features appearances by the cast of The Jim Henson Hour. The episode, which revolves around Cliff’s bizarre nightmare, includes the Muppets taking over the hospital where Cliff works. Cliff doesn’t quite understand what a Hypoctiric Oaf is, Leon swindles Cliff into purchasing an "elevator pass", Gonzo assists Cliff in a Koozbanian birthing (while being heckled by two old guys in a balcony), Digit attempts to operate on Cliff and the food in the refrigerator literally talks back.

"Saturday Night Live: The Complete Second Season" is coming to DVD as well. The first season of SNL has the regular appearance of the Muppets in the recurring Land of Gorch sketches. However by season two Jim Henson and the Muppets had moved on to bigger and better things and were no longer part of the cast - however the Muppets made one final appearance on SNL in the season two premiere. In the final Gorch appearance, the Muppets wake up to find themselves discarded in the studio’s filing cabinets. They assume that they must be in the afterlife and are surprised to find that they didn't make it to season two. Lily Tomlin joins the Muppets to sing "I Whistle a Happy Tune" (however the Muppets can't whistle); and The Muppets appear one last time to join everyone in "The Antler Dance" as the end of the show. The 8-disc set is said to include all the season two episodes complete and uncut, and will be released on December 4, 2007.

These titles might not have enough Muppet stuff for you to justify adding them to your collection (unless you are also a Cosby or SNL fan) – but you may want to consider renting these once they get out (especially if you haven’t seen these appearances before).

Sunday, August 26, 2007

New "Old School" Information

As I announced earlier, another DVD set of classic Sesame is coming out this fall. Sesame Workshop plans to release "Sesame Street: Old School - Volume 2" on November 6, 2007. The three-disc DVD box set is full of classic Sesame Street, focusing exclusively on the second five years set of show (1975-1979).

The DVD set will include five complete hour-long episodes from the series (the five season premieres) plus a collection of more than 57 additional clips from each season. There are featured appearances by Judy Collins, Henry Winkler, Paul Simon, Lily Tomlin, plus the first episode featuring Roscoe Orman as Gordon, "Telephone Rock!," "What's the Name of That Song?," "Pinball Number Count", Guy Smiley, Harvey Kneeslapper, Biff and Sully, Chris and the Alphabeats, and much more! Additional bonus features on the set include the first Sesame Street episode created (one of the many unaired pilots), a 12-page booklet full of behind-the-scenes information and phots, plus a collectible "Pinball Number Count" animation cel in every box!

The total running time for the three-disc set is over 8-hours in total (484 minutes to be exact).

The DVD is being distributed by Genius Products and is already up for pre-ordering on many sites (such as for just under $30. I'll keep you posted as soon as I hear anything else about this collection or any future Old School sets.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Muppets and Bear on 2007 MDA Telethon!

Jerry Lewis’ annual Labor Day Telethon to raise money and awareness for Muscular Dystrophy will begin on Sunday September 2 and will continue for 21.5-hours. The exact broadcast times vary, so check local listings.

MDA national chairman and telethon star Jerry Lewis will be joined by anchor Ed McMahon and co-hosts, Jann Carl, Tom Bergeron, Alison Sweeney, Tony Orlando, Billy Gilman, Norm Crosby, Bob Zany and the Muppets. This year’s on-air talent includes Celine Dion, Montgomery Gentry, Christopher Meloni, Mariska Hargitay, Tony Danza, Ivanka Trump, John Madden, Vanessa Williams, Michael Urie, Ace Young, The Commodores, George Wallace, John Tess, Lance Burton, Louie Anderson, Maureen McGovern, Ronn Lucas, the casts of Grease and Legally Blonde, Bear (from Bear in the Big Blue House), and many more.

That’s right folks, The Muppets will be co-hosting a block of the telethon! Plus Bear (from Bear in the Big Blue House) will be performing! Although this won’t be their first time on the telethon -- Kermit the Frog performed on the telethon in 2002; Bear sang a few song in 2003, Statler and Waldorf popped in throughout the 2005 telethon and Johnny Fiama and Sal co-hosted and performed in 2003 and 2005. We don’t know when the Muppets or Bear will appear during the 21-hour show, nor do we know exactly what surprises they will bring with them – you’ll just have to tune in for the whole show to see.

The telethon raises funds - just a tad more than $61 million last year - for the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s programs of research and health-care services for children and adults affected by one of more than 40 neuromuscular diseases in MDA’s program.

So get ready to stay-up late, or to set up multiple VCRs so you can catch all 21-hours, or program your TiVo to pull some overtime- simply put, just be sure to tune in to for the 2007 MDA telethon – which will feature the Muppets co-hosting, Bear performing and many other surprises. For more information on the telethon and the Muscular Dystrophy Association, visit

Friday, August 24, 2007

A Rockin' Fraggle CD Collection

Back in June I told you about the 3-disc Fraggle Rock CD set coming out from The Jim Henson Company, HIT Entertainment and Koch Records. Well, more information about the product has been released. The collection, titled "Fraggle Rockin'" will be released on October 30, 2007. The collection is said to feature "the best music from Fraggle Rock, in the best quality available". The suggested retail price on the three-disc collection is set at $23.98 (and you can already pre-order the collection from many online retailers). I will keep you updated with the cover art, track listings and any other release details as the information is released.

Disney Adventures Closes - Muppet Comic in Limbo

A while back I reported on a new Muppet comic strip would be coming to the pages of Disney Adventures magazine. The comic, written and drawn by Roger Langridge, was originally set to debut in the "August issue"; but there were some delays (due to space constraints), however Steve Behling, the editor of Disney Adventures’ comics section, said the Muppet comics would be held onto until the "December/January issue". Well there is some bad news for this Muppet comic because Disney Publishing Worldwide announced earlier this week that the "November issue" will be the publication's last. Disney said this decision will allow them to better focus resources and maximize long-term growth potential through new magazine and book initiatives.

Roger Langridge had three completed Muppet strips (a "Pigs in Space" adventure, a Fozzie Bear comedy act and an "At the Dance" scene) before the cancelation of the publication. So what will happen to these comics? Langridge stated on his personal website that there is a possibility that Disney will burn-off the already completed comics in the final issue of Disney Adventures (or possibly in another publication or medium); but if Disney doesn’t do anything with his work, then fans might want to keep an eye on Langridge’s site (as he hinted he may end up release them there). But whatever happens, I’ll be sure to keep you updated as to the fate of the Muppet comics from Roger Langridge.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

America's Got Muppets... Again!

For all of you who missed last night's appearance by the Muppets on NBC's America’s Got Talent, or for all of you who want to see it again – NBC will be re-airing the episode on Saturday.

The two-hour season finale will re-air on Saturday (August 25, 2007) at 8/7c on NBC (check local listings for details). The Muppets appear in the first hour of the show (just a little after the 20-minute mark). Contest finalist (and eventual season winner) Terry Fator (a ventriloquist/impressionist/singer) performed the classic James Taylor song "You've Got a Friend" with Kermit the Frog. Kermit even brought some of his own back-up singers - a quartet of Muppet chickens that clucked along. Afterwards the act was judged by the panel of judges; Animal, Beaker and the Swedish Chef parodied the regular judges by taking the judges’ seats to give their opinions of the act. Fator was also surprised with a special “good luck” video from the one and only Miss Piggy. The whole Muppet-filled appearance lasted just over 10-minutes and was a real highlight of the evening.

So be sure to set the VCR, or mark your calendars so you don’t miss it (again). It was nothing short of good old fashion Muppet fun. And congratulations to Terry (and all his puppet friends) on winning season 2 of America’s Got Talent!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Tribute

2007 marks the 30th Anniversary of the television special "Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas". Since no official soundtrack has ever been released, Matt Surowiec decided to produce a brilliant "tribute" to the magical music from the show. The tribute album is filled with seven beautifully stunning covers of Paul Williams’ magical songs from "Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas".

Matt faithfully performs these holiday classics. From "Ain’t No Hole in the Washtub" to "River Bottom Nightmare Band", this is a must have for any "Emmet" fan (and with a price-tag under $10, how can you say no?)

The album is currently available online (either as a physical CD or as digital downloads) from the following online retailers - iTunes, CD Baby, Snocap and Matt’s Music for Kids. You can get more information on the album (and even hear samples of the tracks) at or on Matt's MySpace page.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

America's Got Muppets!

NBC's giant talent search "America's Got Talent" is nearing the gigantic season finale. The show, from the producers of "American Idol". features a variety of acts (singers, dancers, comedians, puppeteers, acrobats, jugglers, and more) competing for fame and a million-dollar prize.

The season finale will air on Tuesday (August 21, 2007). The special 2-hour episode starts at 8/7c on NBC (check local listings for details). The final episode is said to include a buch of big-name celebrity appearances - including Kool and the Gang, Sean Kingston, Taylor Swift, UB40, and The Muppets. That's right folks, the Muppets! So be sure to set those Ti-Vos, program your VCR, and mark your calendars – because the Muppets will be appearing on the season finale of "America's Got Talent" on Tuesday.

Get Your Dark Crystal Collectible Figures

Last week I told you about the 25th anniversary Dark Crystal figures that were unveiled at Comic-Con in San Diego. These high-end collectible figures were available to collectors at Comic-Con, but now you can get your own Mystic or Landstrider figurines online.

The collectible figurine (with limited productions of only 2,500 each) are on sale at A wider and more accessible release of figures in "The Jim Henson Signature Collection" is said to be in the works, however you should snag these "limited edition" collectors items now while the supply lasts. To order the collectible UrAk the Mystic scribe figurine click here; and to check out the giant Landstrider and Jen figurine click here.

Happy shopping!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Jareth the Goblin King Talks!

Back in April NECA released a beautiful Jareth the Gobin King action figure. And last week I reported about the company's upcoming second Jareth figure (with a different wardrobe and with a Hoggle figure pack-in) that will be coming out later this fall. Well, there is a third Jareth collectible coming from NECA as well.

This fall, NECA will release another variation of the lord of the Labyrinth - and this time he talks! Jareth is getting the grand treatment with an extra large 12-inch collectable talking action figure. Jareth will come with a crystal ball accessory and an alternate hand (so you can switch his pose between an open hand or a closed fist). The talking figure says seven phrases from the classic fantasy film.

  • "Go back to your room, play with your toys and your costumes."
  • "I've brought you a gift, its a crystal, nothing more. But if you turn it this way and look into it, it'll show you your dreams."
  • "But this is not a gift for an ordinary girl."
  • "Do you want it?"
  • "Don't defy me."
  • "You have 13 hours in which to solve the labyrinth."
  • "It's further than you think, time is short."
  • You'll be able to find the talking Jareth action figure on store shelves (or in stock at online retailers) this September. I'll keep you posted with details on all the Labyrinth and Jim Henson collectibles as updates become available.

    Tuesday, August 14, 2007

    DVD Collection of Henson's Early Works is in the Works

    At this weekend's "Muppets, Music and Magic" event in New York, Henson writer and historian Craig Shemin announced that there is work going towards producing a DVD box set of Jim Henson's early TV work.

    The DVD collection will be full of Henson's early experimental shorts, crazy commercials, television appearances, other rarities from the Henson vault and other retrospective goodies for Henson fans and historians to enjoy.

    A DVD set of Henson's early shorts has been in the works for a while now (Craig started leading the project to bring Henson’s short films and commercials to a wider home audience after wrapping up his work on producing the bonus features for the 2005 "Special Edition" release of "Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas"). The team is working to compile the collection and secure all the legal clearances needed.

    There have been estimates expecting the product to roll out sometime in the next year or so; and I will be sure to keep you posted with more details on this very exciting DVD box set and it's release and contentd as soon as I get the information.

    Play with me Sesame on DVD

    "Play with Me Sesame" brings viewers on a playdate with some of their favorite Sesame Street characters. Each episode mixes classic Sesame Street footage with newly created games and activities where the Muppets invite viewers to join in. "Play With Me Sesame", which debuted on Noggin in 2002, extends Sesame Street’s time-tested educational mission through opportunities for active learning. The participatory design encourages preschoolers to express themselves creatively, while the games and activities support such cornerstone cognitive concepts as same and different. As an interactive experience, the program helps children cultivate skills and attitudes needed to succeed in the social environment of school.

    Fans of "Play with Me Sesame" can rejoice as two DVD releases of the series are planned for this fall. "Play with Me Sesame: Playtime with Grover" will be released on October 23, 2007. The 110-minute DVD will feature the lovable Grover and his friends. You'll learn how to dance the Groverelli, play a game of "Super Grover Says", and have a lot more playtime fun. The DVD will also come with an exclusive bonus CD-ROM full of more than 40-minutes of interactive Sesame Street fun.

    The second title "Play with Me Sesame: Goodnight Sesame" will also hit stores on October 23, 2007. The 110-minute DVD will show viewers just how much fun getting ready for bed can be. Viewers will join Ernie, Bert, Grover, and Prairie Dawn as they prepare to nod off for the night in Big Bird's nest. Featuring plenty of songs and laughs, this release teaches the importance of taking naps, getting plenty of rest and having a good night's sleep. Additionally, the DVD will come with an exclusive bonus CD-ROM full of even more Sesame Street fun.

    These titles are the first North American (region 1) DVD releases of "Play with Me Sesame" content (and hopefully they will not be the last). If you're a Sesame fan you want to be sure to pick up these exciting DVDs when they hit stores this fall. I'll keep you posted with more news on the future of "Play with Me Sesame", and other Sesame shows, on DVD.

    Monday, August 13, 2007

    A Muppet Replica Update

    Last year fans rejoiced when Master Replicas Inc., an industry leader in movie and television prop replicas, released a top-quality Kermit the Frog "photo puppet". Fans celebrated again when the news surfaced that Master Replicas is planning to continue their line of Muppet replicas with an Animal "photo puppet"- set for release later this fall.

    Master Replicas is planning to continue their Muppet line even further and has announced the next two "photo puppets" in their collection – the Great Gonzo and Fozzie Bear. Master Replicas will start taking pre-orders for Gonzo on September 19, 2007 –the replica is set to ship sometime this winter and will be sell for $199. Fozzie will go up for pre-ordering in the spring for the price of $399. However, this is preliminary information so it is subject to change. All four of Master Replicas' Muppets were on display at last months Comic-Con in San Diego – and we've got pictures. Kermit, Animal, Gonzo and Fozzie were all there for fans to view (however the designs of the Gonzo and Fozzie replicas on display are not the final versions and are subject to changes).

    Master Replicas is reportedly working on a more replicas as well. A replica of Rizzo the Rat is said to be high on their list, as is a Miss Piggy "photo puppet". The company is also considering the possibility of producing accessory packs for each of the "photo puppets" they have. These packs would include little props, costumes or other ad-ons to accessorize your Muppets. I will keep you posted on these releases as more information surfaces. But while you wait for more news, be sure to pre-order an Animal and/or buy a Kermit "photo puppet" (if you haven't already).

    (click to enlarge)

    Saturday, August 11, 2007

    An Exclusive Interview with Victor Yerrid

    Early last month we launched a new feature here at The Muppet Newsflash - a series of exclusive interviews with key players in the Muppet world. We kicked-off the series with three exciting interviews - Jim Lewis, Julianne Buescher and Alan Muraoka. You can read all three interviews in our article section.

    Now we are proud to present our fourth interview in our ongoing series – this time with Muppet performer Victor Yerrid. Victor is known in the Muppet world for his work on "Statler & Waldorf: From the Balcony" on where he performed Waldorf along with a large assortment of other supporting characters. He has also worked on many other projects; including "Sesame Street", "Bear in the Big Blue House", "Greg The Bunny", "Crank Yankers" and numerous other productions; additional Victor is a active member of the Jim Henson Company's "Puppet Up!- Uncensored" improv troupe. You can read our interview in the article section, or jump to it directly via the link below.

    We would like to extend a great big "thank you" to Victor for taking the time to answer our questions and share his thoughts with the community. So stay tuned for more interviews in the coming months – and be sure to keep coming back for all the latest Muppet and Henson news that you crave.

    - An interview with Victor Yerrid -

    More Stuff from Skrumpland

    Back in January, as you may remember, the Jim Henson Company released the first online-exclusive videos of The Skrumps. The Skrumps has been in active development as part of the company’s slate of animated television projects. The characters are brought to life by puppeteers using the Henson Digital Performance Studio, the Company’s proprietary animation system that allows CG characters to be performed by puppeteers in real-time. A music video (directed by Brian Henson) and additional web content was created and posted on Yahoo! Kids back in January.

    Well a few weeks ago, around the end of July, some more Skump-tastic videos crept onto the web. In addition to the "Dancing with Out Feet" music video and the three original character video-blogs, there are now four more Skrump videos on Yahoo! Kids. There is a 3-part discussion on the origins of Grumblebelly – each character has their own side of the story as to how the band's name came to be. Plus there is an exclusive "home video" that features the Skrumps showing off their "god-like moves".

    These four new videos feature the primary cast of the Skrumps that were introduced in the first four videos – Wishbone (Victor Yerrid & Tony Prince), Skrumpy (Allan Trautman & Arturo Gil) and Raisins (Julianne Buescher & Michelan Sisti).

    Plus there are new e-cards and desktop wallpapers to enjoy as well. So surf on over to The Skrumps on Yahoo! Kids and enjoy the new Skrump content - and be sure to check out the old videos too. I will keep you posted as more news develops on the future of the Skrumps and other Henson Company projects.

    Friday, August 10, 2007

    "Dark Crystal" Figures To Launch "The Jim Henson Signature Collection"

    In Celebration of the 25th anniversary of "The Dark Crystal" (along with a special edition DVD, and a new soundtrack re-release), The Jim Henson Company, in association with MINDStyle, is releasing a set of limited-edition Dark Crystal collectibles.

    Prototypes (with limited productions of only 2,500 each) of some upcoming Dark Crystal figures were on display at Comic-Con in San Diego. A vinyl figure of Jen aboard a full-figure Landstrider and a figure of uRac the Mystic scribe were both available at Comic-Con.

    MINDstyle has licensed several properties from the Jim Henson Company, including the Jim Henson's City Critters. The Dark Crystal 25th Anniversary figures are part of another new line from Henson and MINDstyle titled "The Jim Henson Signature Collection". Other figures and collectibles are in development for the line, and the products should start to become available soon. I will be sure to keep you posted as more information on these, and other pieces of Jim Henson merchandise, becomes available.

    Thursday, August 09, 2007

    Second Jareth Figure Coming this Fall

    Early this spring, NECA produced an action figure of Jareth the Goblin King from Jim Henson's fantasy film Labyrinth. The wonderful action figure hit retailers in April - and if you haven't picked up your Goblin King, be sure to order yours today!

    As reported earlier, NECA is planning to release yet another Jareth figure along with a Hoggle figure. The second Jareth figure is planned for release this fall. The figure will be sold as a stand-alone figure at select retailers in addition to being sold in a deluxe box set including the highly anticipated Hoggle figure and a collectable diorama base. An image of NECA's second Jareth figure was featured in this month's ToyFare magazine.

    I will be sure to keep you posted as more information on NECA's Labyrinth coverage as things develop.

    A very special thanks to Squigiman for providing the magazine scan.

    Wednesday, August 08, 2007

    Get Your Jim Henson City Critters!

    About 3 weeks ago I told you about the upcoming line of Jim Henson City Critter figures. Then the figures were unveiled at Comic-Con in San Diego the next week. Well now you can get the entire City Critter collection!

    All 8 figures in the City Critter collection are on sale at for the price of $59.99 (or around $7.50 per figure). Unfortinuetly these are not being sold seperatly yet, and they are currently only avalible via the ToyTokyo website. A wider release is said to be coming, however you can be an early bird here and snatch these up now (becoming the envy of the entire neighborhood). To order the City Critters (which are based on Jim Henson's designs and doodles) just click here.

    Happy shopping!

    Sunday, August 05, 2007

    Sam Plenty Comes to the Web

    The Jim Henson Company is currently developing a brand-new web-series titled "Sam Plenty". The show comes from the creative minds of creators/directors Paul Rugg (Puppet Up!, Animaniacs) and Mitch Schauer (The Angry Beavers, Freakazoid). Henson has just revealed some more information on the development of this project at last week’s Comic-Con convention in San Diego, along with giving attendees a sneak peak at the series.

    "Sam Plenty: Cavalcade of Action" is a comedic throwback to the old American Western serials of the 1930s. This web series is sure to attract a lot of fans when it hits the web, and you can be sure that I'll keep you posted with more information on this project when more information surfaces.

    Friday, August 03, 2007

    Puppet Up Every Month

    Here is a exciting update on The Jim Henson Company’s new show, "Puppet Up! – Uncensored" - you know, the 80 minute live comedy stage show for adult audiences where our puppeteers create scenes on the spot based on audience suggestions.

    After touring the Edinburgh Fringe, Sydney ’s Big Laugh Festival, The Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Aspen ’s HBO Comedy Festival and The Comedy Festival in Las Vegas , the Jim Henson Company is thrilled to have found a permanent home in Hollywood, CA. Starting August 17th, the Puppet Up! troupe will perform monthly shows at the Avalon Hollywood.

    Already announced show dates are August 17, September 22 and October 20 -- and more monthly shows will be scheduled thereafter. You can go to or for more information, show dates & times, and tickets. So if you live in the Hollywood area (or want an excuse to visits), be sure to check out the Jim Henson Company's Puppet Up! stage show, as the troupe of performers will now be performing every month at the Avalon Hollywood.