By Jim Fanning
Just in time for Halloween, here come the Muppet monsters! Right from the start, the Muppets have meant a multitude of multi-hued monsters. Jim Henson’s soft spot for lovable outsize ogres is reflected in the opening of his first official pitch in 1969 for what would become The Muppet Show: “The time is right for a variety show hosted by dogs, frogs, and monsters.”
The monsters were given pride of place in the iconic title sequence of The Muppet Show, starting in the second season in 1977, in which Muppet favorite Sweetums, Timmy Monster, big blue Thog, and the Mutations strut on stage to kick off the show’s theme song. The Muppet Show naturally offered some memorably monstrous moments, such as Julie Andrews singing “I Whistle a Happy Tune” while pursued by the monsters (who, it turns out, only want her autograph), and towering Thog stomping over a landscape during the song, “I Feel the Earth Move (Under My Feet).”
These cuddly if oversize creatures were truly spotlighted in the 1979 TV special The Muppets Go Hollywood. In the special’s opening number, Doglion, Timmy Monster, Mean Mama (wearing a fetching purple gown), and the Mutations create a monster hit singing and dancing “Hooray for Hollywood.” So this October 31, do the old soft-shoe as a Halloween homage to the Muppet monsters—they’re each just as sweet as Sweetums himself.