Yesterday in my blog about holiday music, my top pick was A Christmas Together with John Denver and The Muppets. Today I can't resist writing a bit more about those lovable characters who were a big part of my childhood.
Most people probably know The Muppets from Sesame Street. Sesame Street debuted on November 10, 1969, and by it's 10th anniversary it had a viewership of 9 million American children under the age of 6. Most interesting to me is that in 1979, 90% of children from low-income inner-city homes regularly viewed the show. By 2006, Sesame Street had expanded to 20 international independent versions, and broadcasts in over 120 countries. To me, one of the most outstanding things about Sesame Street is that is crosses cultural and socio-economic borders, and has managed to stay current and entertaining.
While Big Bird, Bert and Ernie, Oscar the Grouch and others from Sesame Street are great old friends, my true favorites are Kermit the Frog and gang, featured in The Muppet Show, which ran from 1976-1981. I was too little to watch it on its first run, but I remember catching it as a kid in reruns. This was a great vaudeville style show, and you can watch it today on DVD. Kermit was always my absolute favorite and my stuffed Kermit now lives in Little Dude's bed. I also always loved the Muppet movies, such as The Great Muppet Caper and The Muppets Take Manhattan. Imagine my happiness at discovering Little Dude's love for the Muppets. I put The Muppets Take Manhattan on yesterday in an act of desperation, and 3 viewings later, I can safely say he loves "that frog" and "that pig".
I'm not sure what it is about The Muppets that I love so much. I just do. Maybe it's the fond memories of watching them as a child. Maybe it's the adult appreciation of how imaginative and outstanding a creator Jim Henson was. Maybe it's the fact that The Muppets are just so cool, plain and simple. I couldn't say for sure which it is. But I know that I am so excited to share one of my great childhood loves with my own child, and I am equally excited to see that he loves them too.