The Muppies are back, and their time in the spotlight is finally here.
From their hit TV series to their hit movie franchises, they have been the butt of many jokes and fans’ jokes, but as much as they’ve earned our adoration, they’ve also been a source of constant criticism, with some fans saying the series has been “too lazy” and “too expensive” to stay on the air for as long as they did.
Now, EW is here to break down some of the reasons why they’ve been so controversial and why it hasn’t been easy to keep them on the network, even though the series still gets a loyal following.
Read moreRead full reviewThe Muppet Show is one of the most beloved shows of all time, but its biggest fans are not only its loyal fans, but also those who feel it has failed to live up to the high standards set by its predecessors.
The show’s long run is well-documented, as are its many awards, but critics have always questioned the show’s overall quality, saying the show was more focused on slapstick and jokes than it was on anything serious.
However, this was not always the case, as the show debuted in 1987, when it was a lot more serious.
“We’re still trying to figure out why we keep saying that the Muppet Show is too serious,” says producer and writer Bob Kushell.
“Why do we think that it is?
Why do we keep coming back to the idea that it’s too serious?
I think it’s just a matter of trying to get the most people to see the most stuff.”
As the show evolved, it became increasingly more comedic and darker.
The show was one of several to pick up the “Gingerbread Man” formula from the 1970s, and while the Muggles weren’t as overtly funny as the other characters, the show did make use of its many comedic tropes to create an enjoyable and entertaining environment.
“In the mid-’80s, it was about trying to do what was the funniest,” says Kushell, who worked on the show from 1986 to 1998.
“It was about the idea of how you make a show, and you do that in a certain way.
And that was very much what we were doing.
We were not trying to be funny.
We weren’t trying to make jokes.
We just wanted to make people laugh.”
For the most part, the Muffs stayed away from the more serious tones that had become a hallmark of the show.
While they did occasionally have a bit of humor, the writers were also more interested in making the Muff characters feel like they were the center of the story than they were in making them funny.
“There was no sense of humor,” Kushell says.
“I think that was part of the reason why we were more interested.
We really liked the idea, and that was a fun way to play with the tone of the characters, because it was just really fun to get laughs out of that.
That was a big part of what made it so fun to make the show.”
During the show, the main character of Muff Muff, a very overweight but extremely friendly Muppet, has to deal with a group of people who believe he’s a real man.
One of them is Muff the Magician, a puppet who is very well-known throughout the Muggle world.
“You could have Muff with his puppet show,” says the writer.
“But you don’t want Muff to be Muff.
You want him to be someone else.”
Muff the Magical Mystery Tour, Muff’s nemesis, is the main antagonist of the Munchies, and the show often makes him the center piece of the series.
“We wanted to get Muff down to a level where we could have him be funny,” Kushel says.
“I think it was always about that,” says Bob Kushel.
“When I was a kid, I was always very, very bad at making Muppeteers, and it was an important part of making me feel like I was doing the show as well as it could be done.
When Muff goes down, we’ve got a problem.”
Munchies: The Show is a show that is, by design, meant to be as serious as possible, and Kushell and his writers knew this.
But in the late ’90s, the network realized it had a problem with Munchys’ humor.
“The whole premise of the character was, in a way, to be very serious, and then be so silly that you can laugh, and there’s not really a point where the audience knows it’s going to be a serious show,” Kushe says.
In 1995, the cast and crew of the TV show were still in their 20s and had a lot to prove.
“So I think a lot of times