Joe DeMartino is a Connecticut-based writer who grew up wanting to be Ted Williams, but you would not BELIEVE how hard it is to hit a baseball, so he gave that up because he writes words OK. He talks about exploding suns, video games, karaoke, and other cool shit at his blog. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org and tweeted at @thetoycannon. He writes about sports elsewhere. The sports sells better.
TODAY IN NETWORK AWESOME MAGAZINE
A frog, a bear, a pig, and a whatever make for a strange mix of characters to serve as the core group of a popular prime-time series; yet this group -- Kermit, Fozzie, Miss Piggy, and Gonzo -- along with their felt, fur, and feather-covered cohorts brought a mix of workplace and vaudevillian comedy to television screens from 1976 to 1981. Thirty years later fans still watch the old shows, buy DVD compilations, and eagerly await another big screen appearance by the Muppets. What is it about the Muppets that keeps fans coming back for more? The answer is as diverse as the Muppets themselves, and it begins with one man’s fascination with television.
Jim Henson’s fascination with television has been chronicled in a number of books including Christopher Finch’s Jim Henson: The Works - The Art, the Magic, the Imagination and Of Muppets and Men: The Making of the Muppet Show. These books explore Henson's early forays into the possibilities of using puppets on television. In 1955 Henson produced and performed in a 5-minute series called Sam and Friends. The series became a way for him to work out skits and perfect puppets as well as explore the new medium of television...
Right off the bat here, I’d like to make a confession: I’m not what you’d call a foodie. I could try to bamboozle you into thinking otherwise, by throwing in fancy words like apéritif or gastronomy or some hoity-toity nonsense, but this is a safe space and I’d rather give it to you straight. It’s not that I don’t like good food -- good food is good – but dining out costs money, which I don’t have, and at home I’m such a lousy cook it’s a fire hazard for me to attempt anything beyond boiling water (and even then…). Plus I just don’t care that much; if you put some Duck a l’Orange in front of me, I’ll gladly tuck in, but a frozen pizza would do the trick just as nicely. What then, you may reasonably ask, qualifies someone who takes his culinary cues from hobos and people trapped in bomb-shelters to write anything about legendary gourmet Julia Child? Well, while I may not know much about food, I know far, far too much about TV, and though she remains synonymous with French Cuisine in America, it’s doubtful that’d be so if she didn’t become an unlikely television star first.
Believe it or not, Child, born Julia McWilliams on August 15, 1912 in Pasadena, California, didn’t display an innate flair for cooking at first either. She was very good at eating, impressing people with the voracious appetite that her husband later described as an effort “to eat all she could hold at every meal”, but in the kitchen she seemed hopelessly clumsy, and indeed she didn’t pursue any sort of education or employment in that field until later in life. She was a goddamn spy though, or at least kind of; during WWII, after being deemed unfit for Navy service, she was hired by the Office of Strategic Services, the predecessor of today’s CIA, established by Franklin Roosevelt. There probably wasn’t a whole lot of cloak-and-dagger involved in her tenure with the OSS (even if it’s fun to...
Kristen Bialik works in public relations in Milwaukee, WI. When she’s not doing that, she’s trying to learn Korean, trying to write short stories, or trying to scheme up ways she can work for Conan O’Brien in Burbank. They’re works in progress.