Children's Programme "Fake" Band Smackdown, Final Winner!!!
(Revisit Round 1, Round 2 Round 3A, the Intermission, Round 3B, and Round 4)
Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem!
What a band, aye? =D I am always in awe of what Jim Henson and his colleagues were able to create on The Muppet Show and their other projects. Of all the "fake" bands in this smackdown, they are the realest because they were so from the beginning. The Monkees may have surprised everyone by becoming real after their first season, but The Electric Mayhem and all the other Muppets topped them by being real in their very first show.
There's also the winner of the June/July Giveaway to announce. But first, the conclusion to my thoughts on Fred Rogers's belief that it is wrong to blur the lines between fantasy and reality when dealing with children, which I didn't include at the end of last week's post for reasons that I hope will be obvious in a few seconds . . .
Jim Henson was not directly responsible for the Muppet Show tribute to him, but he was definitely there in spirit--and in such a real way that it hurts me to use that cliche to describe it. But also in a wonderfully fantastic way, as you will see if you watch the entire clip to the end.
One behind-the-scenes tidbit about The Muppet Show that has always fascinated me is Henson's rule that the children who visited the studio should never be allowed to see puppets lying lifeless in their boxes. They could be shown everything else . . . every last detail of the puppetry that is supposed to be concealed from the camera . . . as long as all the puppets--who weren't just any puppets, but Muppets, which means friends--were also always alive. Henson was willing to be "truthful" (Rogers's word!) around children, but not at the expense of what had created a connection between them in the first place. He understood that showing them a "dead" Muppet would be as bad as revealing that a kind and trusted TV host was actually a jerk off camera. Now, Rogers happened to be as wonderful in real life as he was on TV, so there was no danger of that in his case. But the point is that Henson, in keeping up the fantasy, had as much integrity as Rogers. This was never "either-or."
I'm sure Caroll Spinney got this--whether he had been able to learn it from Henson or had always understood it in his own bones, having been a puppeteer himself long before they met. And I'm also sure that it was part of what he said to Rogers, when they had their disagreement over Big Bird's appearance on Mr. Rogers's Neighbourhood. But I'm surprised that Rogers, who had also created some memorable puppet characters, wanted Spinney to be so blunt about Big Bird not being "real." For crying out loud, Big Bird is real.
Speaking of crying, we see a little more of Henson's legacy in footage from his memorial, when his fellow puppeteers sang his favourite songs as themselves and in their Muppet voices.
This post is very different from what I imagined it would be when I started typing it up! LOL! I just wanted to share some of the thoughts that came to me as I was putting this smackdown together. And the last of those thoughts is that I really should have created a puppet . . . or a persona . . . and performed another song for you all. But nobody wants to hear that, right?
So let's get to what you've all been waiting for. The winner of this year's Philippine Literature giveaway . . .
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I'll be tweeting you as soon as I publish this, you lucky little pig! ;-)