In recent weeks there have been a lot of celebrity breakups. Ben and Jen, Gavin and Gwen, Will and Jada. It's remarkable, and kind of funny, and kind of sad that the one getting the most attention is the breakup of Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy. To be fair, they've been a couple off and on for nearly 40 years, so they've got some history. It was a trending topic on Twitter, on Facebook, it's been fodder for late night comics and early morning news shows. Hell, even NPR did a short story on it. Here's the statement from the frog's Twitter account:
Now, this is far from the first time they've broken up. Muppet fans know that. I'm pretty sure even casual Muppet fans know that. It's fortuitous timing to get something in the press the month before their new series starts, and with the amount of attention it's received, it seems like it's been a good strategy.
In addition to that, they're on the cover of TV Guide this week:
And Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem dropped a new video, covering "Jungle Boogie."
We also found out the names of some of the guest stars who will be on the new series; on the original "Muppet Show," it was one guest star per episode, who would interact with the characters in songs, skits, etc...this series is formatted more like a late night talk show (in front of the scenes) and behind the scenes we have more of the personal lives of the characters. So each episode may have several different guests. Topher Grace and Elizabeth Banks were both in the ten minute pilot presentation (which you should watch if you haven't), and the first few episodes guest star Nathan Fillion, Reese Witherspoon, and the band Imagine Dragons.
...in addition to all that official stuff, this week we also got an "Epic Rap Battle of History: Jim Henson vs Stan Lee"...which is funny, offensive (but surprisingly family friendly as these rap battles go)(mostly family friendly), and ends with an incisive commentary on who the real winner is. I liked it, even though some of my Muppet friends had their feelings hurt by it. Again, getting four million views on YouTube in the weeks leading up to a new Muppet series--I'm okay with that.
Last, but not least--not for any true Muppet fan at least, the week before "The Muppets" premieres on ABC, there will be a special "In Their Own Words - Jim Henson" documentary airing on PBS. Here come the waterworks.
...wow. That was more Muppet news than I expected. It helps that Disney is boosting the frog these days, it helps that social media's around for this go-round with the Muppets. For fans like me, I just hope it's good. Looking at things like "Jungle Boogie" and the ten minute pilot presentation -- I'm getting my hopes up.