Apologies for those of you landing here thinking it will be a note about puppies. Or a thesis on the current political climate across western democracies.
Instead it’s much more important. It’s a short ode to my love for the genius of Jim Henson and his puppets. He created The Muppets back in 1955.
Little did Henson know that one of his creations would provide me with source material that gave my six year old self the ability to make adults (and parents) laugh. For a while anyway.
I found I had an inherent ability to impersonate Count Von Count, the vampire muppet with fangs too soft to scare, at the drop of a one beautiful hat, ah ah ah, two beautiful hats, ah ah ah, no three beautiful hats. You get the picture.
He popped up in Sesame Street, the educational programming vehicle that first showcased Henson’s puppet mastery.
I loved that muppet like a brother and had no hesitation in breaking out the impression whenever called upon to do so and sometimes even when not asked.
While the Count provided me with my first hit muppet impression, he wasn’t the last. I also enjoyed growling like Grover and also found I shared a love for biscuits not dissimilar to Cookie Monster. I also once got put in a dustbin (trashcan) by my school “friends” but any resemblance to Oscar the Grouch was merely an (un)happy coincidence.
An energetic and almost violent action impression of the drum playing Animal followed before a more vocally advanced mimic of the Swedish chef and Beaker became party pieces.
Special mentions should go to other Muppets from The Muppet Show including Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Rowlf the Dog and the band Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem.
And of course any of my party pieces would always end with a contribution from Statler and Waldorf, the famous elderly gentlemen who liked a heckle and a moan.
“The most sophisticated people I know – inside they are all children,” Henson said.