Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

I really don't like clip-shows.

There was a time – in the days before VCRs and British syndication – when the chance to rewatch material that one would never otherwise see again was something to truly look forward to.

But those 2" days are long gone, and today a clips-show has entirely the opposite effect on me, and it seems everyone else too. Getting to re-enjoy maybe an entire 10-minute set-piece has these days been reduced to little more than 10 seconds, often interrupted by today's fleeting celebs making derogatory and just plain wrong generalisations on the basis of little more than an ill-researched crib sheet and preview-tape that they've just fast-forwarded through. Again and again, this really shows.

They really should have stopped making these cheap fillers a long time ago now.

Best Ever Muppet Moments
ITV's Best Ever Muppet Moments sounds like just such a typical attempt to make another cheap new show.

What a pleasant surprise then to instead find a really well-made documentary about the creation of the muppets, and the rise of their immortal success-story, predominantly told by the people who were actually there and witnessed it.

Frank Oz, Dave Goelz, Jerry Nelson and Brian Henson have clearly spent their entire lives doing exactly what they wanted to, and the fact this show was made to celebrate an incredible 50 years of their ongoing creations is indisputable proof of their convictions.

Particularly touching is the testimony of Steve Whitmire, when recounting the awful period when he had to take over Kermit after Jim Henson's death and just couldn't deal with the little green guy's face looking at him.

Jim Henson is a hero of mine, but the archive footage of these guys working so hard on material so ridiculous cements all of them as big influences on not just my childhood, but my convictions as a creative type today.

And perhaps that's best summed up by the recollection of Alan Wicker at the outset of the show, describing what every episode of The Muppet Show had consistently been to him:

"They were always happy."


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