My sister sent me this link to the ten best Muppet Christmas moments and it was conspicuously missing my all-time favorite Muppet moment from A Muppet Family Christmas. All the Muppets turn up at Fozzie’s mom’s house for Christmas even though Doc (from Fraggle Rock) was renting it as a quiet escape. As Bert and Ernie come in this conversation happens between the three of them:
Ernie: Oh, hi there, we’re Ernie and Bert.
Doc: Well, hi there yourself, I’m Doc.
Bert: Oh, did you know that Doc starts with the letter D?
Doc: Why, yes.
Ernie: Yes! Yes, starts with the letter Y.
Ernie: And true starts with the letter T.
Doc: What is this?
Bert: Where we come from this is small talk.
That line gets me every time.
Slate offers up one of the most important advances in psychology in recent memory: Muppet typing. Essentially, the theory says that everyone is either a chaos Muppet (Cookie, Animal, etc.) or an order Muppet (Bert, Kermit, Sam the Eagle, etc.). It’s genius. An excerpt:
Think about your basic Muppet workplaces: Be it “Pigs in Space,” Oscar’s garbage can, or producing a hit Broadway show in 19 hours, it’s always crucial to get the ratio of Order-to-Chaos exactly right. One possible explanation for the blossoming dysfunctionality of the current Supreme Court is that the Order Muppets have all but taken over. With exception of Justices Breyer and Antonin Scalia, the Order Muppets are running the show completely. (The jury is still out on whether Elena Kagan may prove a Chaos Muppet.) Remember the old rule of thumb: Too many Order Muppets means no cookies for anyone.
The New Yorker breaks down the Seven Fundamentals of Great Muppet Cinema and I couldn’t agree more (though I haven’t seen the new movie yet). My favorite: “Unlike most other kiddy entertainment, the Muppets were never didactic. They’re flawed, eccentric, anarchic personalities. Miss Piggy, let’s face it, is a borderline narcissist. Gonzo is in love with a chicken. Kermit has a quiet dignity, but he’s easily aggravated. In the Muppet world, character trumps discipline—but when it comes time for morals, they’re kept simple and classy. Leave the “I love you, you love me” garbage to the singing dinosaur.”