This is a special Muppet Monday, because this is the official 50th Muppet for the ongoing portrait project! I’d love to hit 60 by the end of the year. Only 400 more to go!
I was only briefly into Sesame Street as a kid. I knew the staples like Big Bird, the Count, Bert & Ernie, and others, as well as 80s role players like Sherlock Hemlock, Forgetful Jones, the Amazing Mumford and Roosevelt Franklin. Sesame Street in 2014 is a much different world.
I’ve watched a good portion of the current season, and only Grover and Cookie Monster seem to remain as mainstays. (His segments, Cookie’s Crummy Pictures – spoofs of popular films – are hilarious.) Elmo still dominates the program, but his meteoric rise to fame was already after my time, so he doesn’t count. Bird, Count, Bert and Ernie are only around once in a while, and I’ve yet to see any of the other characters I already mentioned. I guess they’re retired. Sad.
In their place are characters like Abby Cadabby, Elmo, Murray and Ovejita. And somewhere between this new Sesame world and the one I remember, there is a whole rise-and-fall-of section of Sesame Muppets, characters like Rosita and Zoe. (I’ve yet to see either of them this year.) I know next to nothing about them, but in doing some cursory research for this ongoing portrait project (www.sesameGO.com), I thought Zoe was cute, and here she is.
Believe it or not, this super rudimentary SuperState is one of my favorites.
All I know about Arkansas is that it houses the largest diamond deposit in the country. In fifth or sixth grade, we had this crazy history/geography (social studies?) quiz and I won on that question when the teacher couldn’t stump me on anything. I have no idea how I knew that random and obscure fact. Osmosis? Egdar Cayce claimed he could absorb book knowledge by sleeping on texts. Then again, he also said he was form Atlantis… How do I know who Edgar Cayce is? Another random, obscure fact I have no explanation for. Maybe I’m from Atlantis, too.
This Oklahoma in the shape of Marvel’s Nova – mark my words, he is a big screen sensation waiting to happen; I’m guessing 2018 or 2019 based on the Marvel slate – which is for my buddy Eric at The IPC, a site that has been mentioned by such esteemed film luminaries as Roger Ebert, the guy from Good Morning America and Brian from Hard Ticket to Home Video.*
My favorite feature from the site is Eric’s seasonal Shitfest invitationals, in which fellow bloggers submit movie reviews for what they believe to be the worst flick they could think of. Movie Squirrel once entered. I think she dumped all over Raging Bull. Maybe Hook. Whatever it was, it was some seminal film that is universally beloved by all.
There’s a Shitfest going on right now, and one day, maybe I’ll find the time to win the whole damn thing, because I assure you, there are few things worse than Charlie Sheen in Terminal Velocity. (I watched this six times this past week. The baby never lets me get through more than 15 minutes at a time.)
*These people may or may not have ever mentioned The IPC. Ever.
I was introduced to Fraggle Rock – and the Muppets in general – by one of my best friends growing up. Robbie passed away 10 years ago, and I still think of him a lot, never more than when I’m painting a new Muppet. I wonder what he would have thought of these portraits. I hope he’d like them, and I have a feeling he does, from wherever he’s looking at these. The Fraggles are made especially with him in mind. Wembley was his favorite. This one’s for you, bud.
Unrelated, one year ago today, I eloped with the Movie Squirrel. This one is not for you, beb, but I’m sure whatever money comes from it will end up in your pocket.