About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Muppets and Me

During the past week I have put up a pair of posts reviewing Jim Henson by Brian Jay Jones. While reading the book I thought of how the Muppets became and remain a part of my life.

I was in university in the early 1970’s when classmates in law school started missing the occasional class as they were entranced by Sesame Street. I wondered what children’s show could so captivate university students.

When I got a chance to watch Sesame Street it was a revelation, especially the Muppets. It was the first time I could remember seeing puppets with real contemporary character. They were funny and memorable. Big Bird became an icon of the 1970’s.

In the book there is a wonderful introduction about Henson playing Kermit and a magical interaction with a 6 year old girl singing the ABC song. She loved Kermit who was completely real to her. One of the special aspects to the story is that it was unrehearsed. It was Kermit and the young girl having fun and learning together.

When the Muppet Show was broadcast my appreciation of the Muppets grew. They were crazy as they beat and blew each other up, all with great joy. I wonder in our current age if we could accept such antics or have we become so hyper-sensitized that they would be judged violent.

Waldorf and Statler, the two old codgers up in the balcony, heckling away were adopted for Legal Follies, the annual variety show of the College of Law at the University of Saskatchewan. Two students would make acerbic comments from up in the second balcony of the theatre where the show was held.

When I think of the show I instantly recall the theme music. It penetrated completely. I still hear the tune running through my head when someone mentions the Muppet Show.

I liked the subsequent movies but loved the Muppet Show.

Fraggle Rock was alright but it never captured me.

In the late 1980’s when my children started watching Sesame Street they equally fell in love with the Muppets. Every generation loves them.

Bert and Ernie were probably their favourite characters though the Cookie Monster was almost as important to them.

When my youngest son was in kindergarten I went to class one day with a drawing for them to colour. It had Michael surrounded by his favourite Muppet characters. There was no need to explain the picture. Every kid knew every Muppet.

As I read the book I decided to look up some videos on YouTube of the Muppet show. I was a touch hesitant, worried they might not have the same appeal, but I need not have fretted. I was captured again.

Watching Rita Moreno perform with Animal, the drummer, and Harry Belafonte sing with a group of African Muppets was amazing.

I think the song, Rainbow Connection, will be sung for generations to come.

I am glad I read the book for it brought back so many good memories of the Muppets.


  1. Thanks for your post series Bill. Maybe you might be interested to know there is a Muppet character based on a famous Spaniard, Dr Ruster and Dr Fuster http://www.mountsinai.org/about-us/newsroom/press-releases/meet-dr-valentin-ruster-barrio-sesamos-resident-muppet-doctor

    1. Jose Ignacio: Thank you for forwarding the link. The photo of the Muppet, Dr. Ruster, with the cardiologist, Dr. Fuster, is remarkable in how the Muppet captures the character of the real doctor with the hair. I expect alot of Spanish kids are now pushing their parents for fruits and vegetables like the doctor told them.

  2. Bill - Oh, I loved the Muppets too! And I just adored Statler and Waldorf! My favourite Muppet was Kermit, mostly because of his optimism about life I think. And I still love singing The Rainbow Connection. My daughter loved the Muppets too. I remember spending time watching them with her when she was young and now, her daughter watches them. Two of my personal best Muppet performances are when Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Paul Simon did the ABC's on Sesame Street, and when Billy Joel paid a visit.

    There's an attraction called Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. One of the highlights I remember from my daughter's youth is taking her and a friend there and getting to see some of the Muppets. They even show people how the shows and films are made, green screen and all.

    1. Margot: Thanks for the comment. I hope some day you will post a clip of yourself singing The Rainbow Connection.

      There are so many memories for people of performances of the Muppets with real people.

      In the book it is just as interesting to read how the Muppets performed and the innovations Henson came up with to deal with technical challenges.