Kermit Imposters + Tutorial!

A brief history of Kermit doppelgangers and a bonus tutorial!

I finally get to take the wife to see The Muppets: Most Wanted tonight. I got to see it a couple of weeks before it opened (I know a guy) and I’m stoked to see it again. I enjoyed The Muppets, but it felt like a reboot, and more of a vehicle for Jason Segal than a MUPPET movie. I’m not complaining! Kudos to Segal for doing the damned near impossible (judging from recent history, i.e. Muppets in Space): making a GOOD Muppet movie!

The Muppets Most Wanted puts the Muppets front and center. And it introduces us to a new Kermit imposter, Constantine, The World’s Most Dangerous Frog!

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Image snatched from the Muppet Wiki: http://www.muppet.wikia.com

But this isn’t the first time Kermit has been replaced …

Kermit the Pig

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Image snatched from Muppet Wiki

In a second season episode of The Muppet Show, the pigs takeover the show. Performed by Dave Goelz, this is probably the most frightening of the Kermitgangers. At least it was to me as a little kid!

Robot Kermit

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Image snatched from Muppet Wiki

Season one of the Muppet Show gave us this guy, who seemed like an explosion of Kermit id — up to no end of mischief. We also get  a Kermit take on the old Marx-bros mirror gag! (A gag that is revisited by Kermit and Constantine.)

Lenny the Lizard

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Image snatched from Muppet Wiki

The Steve Martin episode of The Muppet Show is my all-time favorite. Martin shows up to host only to discover that it’s open audition night at The Benny Vandergast Memorial Theater (better known as The Muppet Theater nowadays). The only show to air without an added laugh track, the laughing and applause you hear is coming from the crew and performers watching the performances. Great stuff.

Baskerville the Dog (in Fozzie Bear-esque polka dotted tie and brown porkpie) kills in his audition as comic. Fozzie gives him the ol’ vaudeville hook and yells, “Next!”

Says Kermit, “C’mon, Fozzie, you’re taking all this too personally!”

Next up is Lenny the Lizard (Richard Hunt) auditioning to be the emcee.

“NEXT!” yells Kermit.

Kermit the Forg, Kermit the Gorf, Kermit the Grof (Honorable Mentions)

Not really Kermitgangers per se, but this bit from Sesame Street stands out in memory:

BONUS! Make Your Own Constantine PEZ Dispenser Tutorial!

And now, because the internet is fueled by DIY and lists (and cats, but the wife is allergic, so I’ve got nothing), it is with almost patriotic pride that I present to you the Make Your Own Constantine PEZ Dispenser Tutorial!

STEP 1: Obtain a Kermit PEZ dispenser:

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STEP 2: Using a fine point Sharpie, draw a mole:

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STEP 3: You’re all done! “Hi-lo! I yam Kyermeet the Frerg …”

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What did YOU think of The Muppets: Most Wanted? What sort of pointless tutorial would you like to see next? Let me know!

Squeaky Wheels, Too Many Irons in the Fire, and Bilbo Baggins

How I Spent My Monday Night: The Muppet of Burlsque Show at Monday Night Tease!


“I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.” – Bilbo Baggins

Boy howdy, do I know the feeling. It’s a good feeling — I’m not complaining. I’m happy to have the problems I have because they are the problems of a creative individual. Problems like “I need to finish the costume I’m wearing next Monday Night” (as Brand from The Goonies) or “I need more jokes for the show I’m hosting Friday night” or “Seeing as how puppetry-type stuff is on my radar again, I should probably refresh my puppetry page on the website.” Stuff like that.

Starting with St. Patrick’s Day and culminating in next Monday night, I figure I will have exercised my full range of artistic skills. Making music, dancing, comedy, puppetry, etc. It’s all been on full display this month. That’s why I’ve been a little quiet here, at Mad Theatrics, and on Twitter. I’m busy doing stuff.

How does the creative multi-tasker get it all done? Red could probably give a better answer, because she is easily the most industrious person I know. But since she’s way too busy, I’ll give it a shot.

1. TO-DO LISTS. Seems obvious, eh? Well, this lackadaisical, lazy ass has learned the hard way to figure out what he needs to do before he starts doing. That way he doesn’t forget things. A bonus is, writing your to-dos down helps you do the next thing, which is …

2. PRIORITIZE. Some steps must be done before you can begin other steps. Sometimes you have to paint a prop first thing in the morning so it will be dry in time for the performance that evening. Hand washing a garment won’t wait until two hours before curtain. Blogging about having a lot on your plate will wait until midnight on a Wednesday.

3. EAT AND SLEEP. You will forget. You will get busy and totally blow past exhaustion and hunger. Then you’ll get cranky, make mistakes, etc. Take the time to eat and sleep.

4. SQUEAKY WHEELS. Put out the fires. This should probably go under “Prioritize,” but it’s late, and I’m tired and hungry. Seriously, sometimes you just have to prioritize based on what’s screaming at you the loudest.

5. LIMIT DISTRACTIONS. I still haven’t watched the last episode of Cosmos. At the rate I’m going, I might be able to squeeze it in on Saturday. I also tend to not drink much of the demon liquor when I’m in the midst of a whole lotta stuff.

6. MAKE A LITTLE TIME FOR BACK BURNER PROJECTS. As projects complete and come out of the queue, you’ll have more stuff entering the queue. Another way to put this might be INVEST IN YOUR FUTURE PRODUCTIVITY.

7. STEP AWAY BEFORE YOU BREAK SOMETHING. If you’re like me, you live about an eighth of an inch away from stack-blowing frustration. If you’re like me, you’ll have to learn to moderate yourself, and put the project down before you hurl it across the room. Letting frustration get the better of you only results in more work later. Go work on another of the dozen or so irons you have in the fire.

8. FINISH THINGS. Poke it with a fork, wrap it in a bow, put the cherry on top, and get it out of the queue. Don’t keep fussing with something you know is done. “How do I know it’s done?” Please, don’t bullshit a bullshitter. You know when you’re just fussing with something that’s done.

Having too much to do is a good thing. I’d much rather be exhausted from wrapping a show at 2 am after a week’s worth of writing and prop building and performing and and and than sitting on my ass watching the calendar pass me by. I’d rather be butter scraped over too much toast than butter sitting on a tray in the fridge.

The Creation of Kirk

Creation of Kirk

The Creation of Kirk is now on a t-shirt. Be the first on your block to own the magic!

A Ukulele Ode to My Dog

From the Monday Night Tease, Chocolate Box Burlesque show on February 10th, 2014. Here’s a little ditty I wrote about my dog, Buster.

Dissecting Discouragement

NOTE: I posted the following on Mad Theatrics today, my live theater review and commentary site. If you’re interested in this sort of thing, there’s a lot of groovy stuff over there.

Wiki_Heart_Antomy_Ties_van_Brussel

There’s nothing like the sudden crash of discouragement that follows a period of solid, positive action. You’ve been doing all the right things, making great progress, and then suddenly find yourself in a blue funk, utterly depressed by the seeming futility of your actions. It’s an emotional sinkhole.

I find that increasing my understanding often gives me a feeling of control over situations that otherwise leave me feeling helpless. I’m going to start by defining the word, “discouragement”:

dis·cour·age·ment

noun \-mənt\

: the act of making something less likely to happen or of making people less likely to do something

: a feeling of having lost hope or confidence

: something (such as a failure or difficulty) that discourages someone
- Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2014.

The derivation is fascinating. It literally means “to lose heart.” Kind of an ironic thing to be writing about on Valentines Day.

This is ridiculous, of course. You can’t lose your heart. You still have it. It’s still there.

We forget sometimes just how alive we are. Setbacks, failures, reality adjustments — these remind us that we are not superhumans. They are a kick to the ego-crotch. Of course we feel less alive and less vital. Of course we “lose heart.”

The solution to discouragement, as near as I can tell, is to increase a personal feeling of vitality. Learn something new. Listen to exciting music. Get out and do something physical. Hell, just washing the dishes, accomplishing something as mundane as that can make you feel that much more vital.

The important thing is to remain active. To keep pushing, keep moving, keep on keeping on. And just like popping the clutch* on a car with a dead battery, you’ll be fired up and racing off in no time.

*I realize this metaphor will be lost on most people. You know what? Google it sometime when you’re feeling discouraged. Learn something new!

Up Your Game!

It’s a new year, and time to learn new skills.

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Sign up here.

Constantly Doing Stuff I Don’t Know How To Do

Buster Applique

In addition to hosting a show on Friday and co-hosting another on the following Monday, I’m helping my lovely wife with a costume she’s finishing up.

The costume is a poodle skirt and sweater. Instead of a poodle, she’s going to sport felt appliques of our two dogs, Doodle and Buster. Yes indeed, it will be a Doodle skirt.

I sketched out the appliques (that’s Buster, above) and I’m currently cutting out the felt pieces. Everything will be glued together, a little fabric paint will be used for detail work, and the final appliques will be zig-zag stitched in place.

I’ve never done this before. In fact, I’m constantly doing stuff I don’t know how to do. Oftentimes, I’m delightfully surprised with how things turn out. Other times, I wind up starting all over again, armed with the knowledge failure has provided. Regardless of the outcome, I try not to let “I’ve never done it before” be an excuse not to try.