Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Kevin Clash resigns from Sesame Street

Following the recent controversy surrounding Kevin Clash's personal life Sesame Street announced today that Kevin Clash has resigned from Sesame Street.

Sesame Street workshop has issued the following statement:

Sesame Workshop’s mission is to harness the educational power of media to help all children the world over reach their highest potential.  Kevin Clash has helped us achieve that mission for 28 years, and none of us, especially Kevin, want anything to divert our attention from our focus on serving as a leading educational organization.  Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Kevin’s personal life has become a distraction that none of us wants, and he has concluded that he can no longer be effective in his job and has resigned from Sesame Street.  This is a sad day forSesame Street.

What happens with Kevin's commitment in other Henson productions like the Muppets is currently unknown but it's nonetheless a sad day indeed. Kevin was mostly known for taking over the role of Elmo from Richard Hunt and made the red monster the superstar that he is today. Besides Elmo, he is also known as puppeteer of The Muppets' Clifford and Dinosaurs' Baby.

Besides puppeteer he was also senior creative advisor" at Sesame Workshop.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Accuser of Kevin Clash withdraws statement

The man that accused mr. Clash of having an underage sexual relationship earlier this week has withdrawn his statement. His lawyer has stated that the man was not underage during his relationship with Clash and that nothing happened against his will.

Earlier this week the man stated that he was 16 years old when he had an relationship with Kevin Clash which led to tge Muppeteer temporarily leaving Sesame Street.
Clash responded to the update Tuesday by stating he was glad that this painful accusation was shoved aside and wished to give no further no further comments.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Kevin Clash takes leave of absence due to accusations 

Kevin Clash, Muppeteer of a diverse group of Muppets like Clifford, Elmo and Hoots the Owl has announced that he will take a leave of abcense due to accusations that he was involved in an underage relationship.

Sesame Street Workshop has released the following statement concering this situation.

In June of this year, Sesame Workshop received a communication from a then 23 year old man who alleged that he had a relationship beginning when he was 16 years old with Kevin Clash, a Sesame Workshop puppeteer who performs as Elmo.

We took the allegation very seriously and took immediate action. We met with the accuser twice and had repeated communications with him. We met with Kevin, who denied the accusation. We also conducted a thorough investigation and found the allegation of underage conduct to be unsubstantiated. Although this was a personal relationship unrelated to the workplace, our investigation did reveal that Kevin exercised poor judgment and violated company policy regarding internet usage and he was disciplined.

Kevin insists that the allegation of underage conduct is false and defamatory and he is taking actions to protect his reputation. We have granted him a leave of absence to do so.

Elmo is bigger than any one person and will continue to be an integral part of Sesame Street to engage, educate and inspire children around the world, as it has for 40 years.

A shocking accusation, especially since it involves a man who brings life to one the most beloved children's characters around. Luckily, it seems that the accusation is unsubstantiated but I'm afraid lot's of gossip magazines and websites will use this story in order to sell magazines and give both Sesame Street and Mr. Clash a bad name.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Muppets Christmas comes early this year

The Muppets' Youtube channel has been updated with a brand new video in which the Christmas cheers come early as the Muppets' chickens sing...erm...cluck "Joy to the World" to celebrate the release of the Blu Ray version of The Muppet's Christmas Carol. Enjoy:

Great Muppet movie spoofs

One of the funniest things the Muppets have done is parodying pop culture. From songs to pop groups to movies to fairy tails, they have done it all. Let's look at some of their more entertaining movie spoofs the Muppets Studios have produced:

Saturday Night Fever

We all know our ABC's and a lot of us learned them by singing the Alfabet set to "Twinkle twinkle little star". Leave it to Sesame Street however to make the Alfabetsong sound like one the funkies songs ever. In this spoof of disco film hit Saturday Night Fever Grover's all decked out as John Travolta's Tony Manero and ready to bust some moves. Proclaimed the king of the disco, like Tony was in the original movie, Grover enters the discotheque  being adored by a group of female monsters.  Grover soon finds himself dancing to what quite possibly is the best arrangement of the Alfabet song ever but unfortunately overestimates his endurance. This skit wasn't the only spoof of SNF as the CTW released an concept album called Sesame Street fever with the cover being an replica of SNF's albu cover, with the Beegees and Travolta being replaced by the Sesame Street Muppets. Unfortunately, the ABC song didn't make it to the album.

The Three Musketeers

The Muppets go to the movies was a tv special in which the Muppets spoofed several movies like Casablanca and The Three Musketeers. The latter is one of the more entertaining spoofs. While the other spoofs in this special went for a kind of appropriate casting, this one just went straight for the laughs. With the vastly different enthousaistic Scooter, the coward
ly Link Hobthrob and the careless Gonzo playing the parts of the musketeers, there almost couldn't be a bigger contrast in relation to the original parts. The great thing about this bit is the strong writing when the Musketeers are talking amonst themselves. Great puns, a hilarious fight scene and a crashtastic ending.....all in all, it's classic Muppet fare.  

The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz is a movie that has been spoofed several times by the Muppets, most recently in the disappointing Muppets Wizard of Oz that forced the Muppets in a R'nB direction that was met with a harsh critical reaction upon release which no doubt slowed down the Muppets' return to former glory. Before that however, it was already spoofed in Muppet Babies, even appearing in the series' intro. 
Even earlier, it was spoofed in the same special as the Three Musketeers. Starring Piggy as Dorothy, Gonzo as the tin Woodsman, Fozzy as the Cowardly Bear and Scooter as the Scarecrow, the costumes bear a striking resemblance to the costumes later used in the Disney movie. This spoof was based upon the 1939 classic, originally starring Judy Garland, even beginning in sepia colors, a fact that Rowlf obliviously points out during the sketch. While it doesn't last long, it does feature a medley of the most famous songs of the MGM musical and features a lot of character, something sorely lacking from the Disney full length movie.

Indiana Jones

Picture Kermit. Now picture him with a leather jacket holding a gun. Now picture him shooting Nazis with this gun. Sounds like a Muppets parody made in bad taste. It isn't. The Muppets visit Walt Disney World which was the last Muppets production Jim Henson worked on contained a scene in which all the above happened. As the name implies the Muppets do visit Disney World in this special which was originally part of something bigger with plans of Disney buying the Muppets. Negotiatons fell through when Jim Henson died but Muppet fans at least got this special, along with the MuppetVision 3D movie, which still runs in both Disneyland Anaheim and Disney World. 

Focal point of this article however is the Indiana Jones show where one guest is picked to play the role of Dr. Jones. Kermit is picked and placed in the stage show, which also features Piggy. Conforming to the non-violent character of the Muppets Kermit constantly explains that he's in a stage show with fake weapons and stunts and how he dislikes violence, making for a more comedy oriented bit. Still, we get to see Kermit in a leather jacket, shooting at Nazis. That's pretty unique.