Wednesday, October 22, 2014

O is for Ohreally

There aren't a lot of "O" Muppets, but I thought I could cheat a little here. Just a short post, but one of my favorite Muppet pieces.

This is a sketch called "Birds in the Trees" from The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence, one of the pilots that aired when Jim Henson was unsuccessfully trying to sell ABC on The Muppet Show. This aired in 1975.

I love this one. It reminds me of the jazzy conceptual pieces that Jim Henson especially liked to do on Sam and Friends or his novelty record "Tick-Tock Sick." The idea of puppeteers in all black against a black background manipulating flying birds was something he came up with for his Lincoln Center show that was ultimately never produced.

The bird Muppets seem to still be around. They all appeared in one form or another on The Muppet Show, and in that amazing crowd shot in The Muppet Movie. Whaddayasay Bird was performed by Jerry Nelson, and even made it onto Muppets Tonight. Ohboy Bird was performed by Richard Hunt. Forcryingoutloud Bird was Frank Oz. Righton Bird was Dave Goelz.

As for the two females, both voices are Fran Brill, though she was only the voice for Youknow Bird. I don't know who did the physical performance. Jim? Jane Henson? There were three other Muppet performers besides Jane who worked on the show (John Lovelady, Caroly Wilcox and Rollin Krewson), so I'm not sure. The Youknow Bird was repurposed as a Snark on The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss. I don't know who performed her there.

The Ohreally Bird made it onto an episode of The Ghost of Faffner Hall, an HBO series that ran for 13 episodes in 1989 and which is probably Jim Henson's least-seen project (at least in my experience).

Sorry for the infodump there. The point is the video, which is wonderful. Hope you enjoyed it.

ABC Wednesday


Roger Owen Green said...

REALLY lives on the bass line!

Trubes said...

Another happy reminder of days gone by with our kids, I just loved the Muppets, so clever,

Thanks for the memory,

Best wishes.
ABCW Team.