Was Born in Tiger Bay #13

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A baker’s dozen of little-known facts about those giants of light entertainment The Muppets.

1: The original names for Statler and Waldorf were Heckler and Cock

2: The word “Muppet” has a Victorian origin. It was coined to refer to “musical pets” such as singing canaries, piano-playing dogs, and catskull maracas.

3: The gobbledygook-spouting, weird-looking cook Jamie Oliver is based on the Muppets’ Swedish Chef character.

4: The only celebrities to have turned down a chance to appear as guests on the show are Danny Blanchflower, Flipper (the dolphin), Lenin, Flipper (the band), and Julie Andrews.

5: Pirate episodes were broadcast in North Korea in the mid-1990s under the title The Jesus of Nazareth Show.

6: A Florida court found that when the theme tune was played backwards, the words “Satan wants you to put on make-up” were clearly audible.

7: Later series of the show were filmed in London due to the casting of Roman Polanski as Gonzo.

8: The failure of the Columbia space shuttle is believed to be down to NASA using “Pigs in Space” as a blueprint for the mission.

9: The exorbitant price of Kermit puppets during the run-up to Xmas 1976 led to the nationwide vandalism of several thousand snooker tables.

10: The release of sword & sandals epic Troy in 2006 meant the shelving of the already-in-the-can Muppets: The Iliad (Book V)

11: Jim Henson suffered from multiple allergies, including foam, ping-pong balls, and sticks.

12: Frank Oz lost half his fortune when the Elephant Football World Cup he set up was cancelled due to logistical problems.

13: Fozzie Bear wrote all his own jokes.

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One Response

  1. William Wall

    May 20, 2010 10:34 pm

    These are things I’ve always wondered about. An absolute public service. Thank you. Re. Pigs In Space, the ‘voice’ was done by Dr. Christian Bernard by telephone from South Africa.