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I had a different poll ready to go... but after two weeks of semi-controversial programming topics, I figured things were getting a bit heavy. Hence the current topic, the closest thing to pure merriment I could think of.
The selection is large, but inevitably inadequate; there are too many Muppets that speak particularly to different people to attempt to list. And it's a slightly idiocyncratic selection. Rather than categorically offer the major characters, a guess at likely favorites seemed apropos. Elmo, though far and away the leading Muppet today, seemed a much less likely favorite for a programmer than the slightly obscure Crazy Harry and his explosives.
Major characters like Rolf the Dog, Dr Teeth, and Big Bird are missing. The lesser-known Lew Zealand, boomerang fish thrower, only just missed the cut, as did the estimable Dr. Julius Strangepork. The Fraggles were just too many to go into... I could find no reason to put Mokey on the list and leave Red off, or to choose between Wembley, Boober, and Traveling Matt. And having decided to offer a single Fraggle option meant dropping Cotterpin Doozer. *sob*
And this doesn't even touch upon the truly obscure characters, like the Vend-a-Face machine, the very hip Roosevelt Franklin, or H. Ross Parrot. Nor upon the characters of The Dark Crystal, nor those of Labyrinth... except for Sir Didymus. There's a certain amount of license in creating a poll, and I spent it on Sir Didymus.
On the subject of those listed... it is as interesting to note that the now-visible Mr. Snuffleupagus' first name is Aloysius as to find that Sgt. Pepper's first name was apparently Floyd. Three guesses as to who Janice's namesake was. The names Bert and Ernie were, of course, taken from "It's a Wonderful Life". If the name Gonzo was taken from "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas", I don't know of it... but it doesn't seem unlikely. He's as demented as Dr. Gonzo, and if he weren't disturbing and unnatural enough, his relationship with Camellia the Chicken certainly would be. And it's an interesting bit of trivia that Count von Count had two, two vonderful girlfriends on Sesame Street, Countess von Backwards, and Countess Dahling von Dahling. What else can you say? Count++
It seems odd that Jim Henson died in 1990... twelve years, already! Doubtless it seems much less odd to the younger monks. I sometimes wonder whether my nephew's generation will understand their significance at all. Sesame Street is pretty much The Elmo Show these days, and not much more the sort of thing adults want to watch with kids than Barney is. The Muppet productions of the '90s tried hard, but made it more clear than ever that the whole thing was truly Jim Henson's baby. It's hard to sense the energy that made the Muppet Show the best thing on television in the late '70s.
Oh, well... all things must pass. As Animal would say, "Poll over! Go Home! Go Home!"
update: Yes, Statler and Waldorf are the two crusty old hecklers in the balcony... jc would have had a fit if I'd left them off the poll. :-)