The Muppet Show: It's time to put on make-up! It's time to dress up right!

me: *glares in pandemic*
me: So now let's get things started!

my brain: Why don't you get things started?

me: It's time to get things started!

my brain: How about no.
Early Gonzo calling the audience yokels and rubes is me internally every time I make a joke tweet that gets eight likes and no retweets.
Thinking about @guysmiley22 tweets about Muppet evolution and different versions of each Muppet being the same character: Gonzo's journey from a fragile artiste with iffy self-esteem to a resplendently self-assured daredevil whatever is a great example.

I'm not a huge fan of Muppets From Space for diverting from Gonzo's satisfaction with being unique, but on the other hand there is value in showing that you can be happy with yourself and with found family and still long for community and greater self-understanding.
And Gonzo searching for his roots has precedence in Muppet Babies.

(No, Muppet Babies is not "canonical" to Gonzo's story, any more or less than Muppets From Space is. But it's canonical to his character.)
Gonzo's backstage storyline in the Charles Aznavour episode is another great aspect of the experimentation that led to the character's evolution.

There's only so much you can do with a character when his whole bit is that his bit doesn't work.
I've contrasted Gonzo with Wayne & Wanda before, as both having the same basic bit of an act that invariably ends early in disaster. Gonzo became a main cast Muppet (and in the first batch of post-Jim movies was more of a leading man than Kermit), but W&W remained bit players.
As I've observed in this space before, the thing that distinguishes characters who broke out of the ensemble and became main cast Muppets through the Muppet Show is that they had personalities that caused problems for Kermit backstage.

Wayne & Wanda mainly caused headaches for Sam by frustrating his attempt to raise the tone of the show by turning relatively highbrow musical standards into lowbrow slapstick.
So they serve only to reinforce Sam's personality of the show's moral guardian/standards & practice, and he went on to Muppet immortality while they largely remain relics of the Muppet Show.
But ironically, because their one-note act at least has a different punchline each time, it got repeated more times in season 1 than Gonzo's avant-garde absurdist schtick. But rather than abandoning Gonzo, they decided to acknowledge in-universe that Kermit stopped putting him on
So we get this meta episode in Gonzo's career where the a-plot, such as it is, of the backstage segments is that he's trying to reinvent his act. And it doesn't directly lead into daredevil/masochist personality but it shows that the creators knew he needed something else...
...and that they saw the potential in trying new things with him, and found him entertaining and engaging in his weirdness.

(That they gave him a "chalkboard gag" style bit in the opening credits was a clue in that direction, too.)
I think that fight would be shorter than a Wayne & Wanda sketch.

Anyway, though. Gonzo's character went through a few different vocal choices, physical designs, and directions even in the Muppet Show itself, which is very fitting for a character whose original concept was "experimental artist".
I think I've said this before, but I think Gonzo is probably the Muppet most representative of Jim Henson himself, even though he didn't perform him or create his characterization. I think they're kindred spirits.

To repeat myself again: I wish Jim Henson could have lived to see the episode of the Dark Crystal Netflix show where puppets put on an elaborate puppet show using multiple forms of puppetry, because that was exactly the kind of thing he loved.

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More from @AlexandraErin

21 Feb
Hello, creative mania my old friend. I'm here to write 16,000 words of an epistolary novel in 24 hours once again.
Not that I have ever to my recollection specifically done this with an epistolary novel in particular, but the feeling is very familiar even if the form is new.
I haven't even spent all day doing this. I was watching Muppets for a lot of it. I chopped vegetables. I had dinner and watched @dropout with my family. I napped. I dinked around and played video games. I had a video chat with a friend.
Read 12 tweets
20 Feb
The sheer raw power...

Theme Song: This person is definitely responsible for every bad thing you've seen so far.

Character: Also I murdered this dog. *laughs*

audience: This character is a perfect angel who never did anything wrong in their life and that is why we love them.
That said, I won't be surprised if the situation with that character winds up being more nuanced than the introductory song implied, not just because of comics canon but because Wanda's powers are still running the show.
So it's possible that in learning that someone else has been pulling strings, Wanda immediately mentally cast that person as a card-carrying, metaphorical mustache-twirling villain before learning anything else.
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20 Feb
I understand people thinking the book seen in Wandavision is the Darkhold but I don't understand people thinking it's going to tie in Agents of SHIELD and Runaways into the canon. Those shows used a completely different design, so I'd say if it is the Darkhold it's severing them.
The Darkhold seen in previous Marvel Television shows had a cover with its title printed as an ambigram (a usually unsatisfying lexicographical trick where a word is supposed to read the same if mirrored, famously used in Angels and Demons). An image of an old-looking ...
If Hmm-mmm-mmm's grimoire IS the Darkhold, I'd say it's a superior design, especially since fans immediately identified it as the Darkhold on sight whereas the one with "Darkhold" stamped on it is... hard to identify as the Darkhold, because of the weird orthography.
Read 8 tweets
19 Feb
I was with my mother one time when her oxygen concentrator failed, and her portable unit was out of power. She had a limited supply of liquid oxygen. It was the scariest day of my life, but we were not in a disaster and she could have called for an ambulance if things got worse.
I mean, I would have called for the ambulance, but she could afford it, and have a reasonable assurance that sufficient resources existed on the ground to send one to her promptly.
Having watched someone I love struggling to breathe and trying to deal with the cascading crisis bringing it on... has made this last year the worst kind of trip. And now seeing these kinds of utterly preventable travesties out of Texas, on top of that?
Read 4 tweets
19 Feb
I'm very confused by the episode order of The Muppet Show on Disney+, but I haven't hit any uncaptioned songs yet and they appear to be leaving in the UK spots and the missing DVD numbers.
A lot of the dialogue captioning appears to be taken from closed captioning that took a "close enough is good enough" approach, leaving out words here and there without much altering the meaning.
The captioning on the Swedish chef is very uneven, with whole streams of dialogue captioned only as "[speaking gibberish]" in some cases and other sketches fully transcribed.
Read 7 tweets
19 Feb
I started playing Hades again after a bit of a break, as it's a decent way of waking up my brain when I have moderate fatigue fog.

The shield was my favorite weapon when I was learning, but I'm finding I favor the sword now more.
Similarly, I started off basically always using the Cerberus token for the extra health to the point that the other mementos felt like a waste. I think it was when I unlocked the Arthur sword (which also gives +HP) that I felt safe experimenting with the other trinkets.
Once I did, I started using the Olympian-summoning tokens to fish for particular boons, either to get a specific-ish build or to check off a prophecy/achievement.
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