New York Comedian Con was again in full swing this yr after a pandemic-related canceled occasion in 2020, after which a closely diminished conference in 2021. With the crowds and the celebs and the distributors and the cosplayers all again, we additionally noticed a a lot appreciated return from the world of Muppet fandom to the Con.
Sure, there was a LOT of Muppet stuff to see at NYCC this yr, together with panels (from the entire Huge Three: Muppets, Sesame, and Henson), unique art work, merch, and cosplay. Whether or not you have been capable of attend or not, I’m positive you’re itching to listen to what the Con needed to provide. Properly, prepare for that itch to be scratched as a result of we’ve received a New York Comedian Con roundup prepared for ya proper now!
Panel: JIM HENSON: THE EARLY YEARS
At the beginning, we gotta toot our personal horn. ToughPigs offered a panel all about Jim Henson’s early works together with Sam and Associates and Jim’s early commercials. ToughPigs’ personal Joe Hennes moderated, and the panelists included “Sam and Associates: The Story of Jim Henson’s First Tv Present” writer Craig Shemin, Muppet performer Ryan Dillon, Henson Firm Archivist Susie Tofte, and “Sam and Associates” guide cowl artist Dave Hulteen. (Oh, and Sam was there too. Not less than, a stuffed duplicate constructed by Emily Engel.) The occasion was an enormous hit, with a sold-out room with over 300 attendees!
We shared video footage from Jim’s early work, together with the basic “Visible Considering” and a few Wilkins commercials, which had the viewers in stitches. Craig shared some tales about Jane Henson’s contributions to Sam and Associates, and extra in regards to the growth of his new guide. Ryan introduced alongside a Henson Workshop rehearsal puppet and showcased among the improvements in tv puppetry that Jim Henson created, that are nonetheless in use at the moment. Susie gave us a peek into the world of the Archives, and the enjoyment of discovering and restoring seemingly misplaced supplies. And Dave was overjoyed to share his course of in creating the guide artwork and graduating from “unofficial Muppet artist” to “official”.
We’re engaged on acquiring the official video of the occasion, so we’ll hopefully have extra to share very quickly.
All in all, we have been all extraordinarily happy with the success of our panel, and we hope we impressed a couple of individuals in attendance with Jim’s story. And right here’s hoping we get to do one other one subsequent yr!
Panel: THE MUPPETS MAYHEM
The Electrical Mayhem have a brand new sequence coming subsequent yr: The Muppets Mayhem. To get us pumped for it, Comedian Con introduced in 4 of the human actors (Lily Singh, Saara Chaudry, Tahj Mowry, and Anders Holm) and three producers (Muppet performer Invoice Barretta, Adam Goldberg, and Jeff Yorkes). Sadly, there have been no Muppets in attendance (although I can’t say the identical for sure in regards to the viewers).
However earlier than the panel started, we received to see an unique clip of Floyd and Animal (pre-taped) apologizing for not being at NYCC, however excited to share the world’s very first take a look at Muppets Mayhem. Within the scene, the Electrical Mayhem arrives at Nora’s (Lily Singh) home for the primary time, assuming that they’d be crashing along with her. We presume that this clip will likely be accessible for everybody to see quickly, so learn our transient description at your personal danger for spoilers:
Nora will get a knock on her door and outdoors is Animal, holding an providing of flowers ripped from the bottom (with a mound of soil hanging onto the roots). The remainder of the Mayhem band barges in with their private impacts – Lips mumbles “Lucy, I’m residence!”, Zoot snaps a Polaroid, Janice asks the place she will be able to do some pantsless yoga. Zoot and Lips then wander into Hannah’s room whereas she’s livestreaming a make-up tutorial to her horror; Nora ushers her out of the home whereas she offers with the band. Animal factors to an ornamental neon “H” on the wall and calls it a “W,” Floyd says he’s simply studying the alphabet. Dr. Tooth seems to be lacking, and Janice says a sentence that makes use of the phrases “sizzling tub” rather a lot. We then see Dr. Tooth chilling within the sizzling tub.
For the remainder of the panel, we have been handled to some insights on every of the actors’ characters, and light-weight teases for what may or may not occur within the present. There have been talks of albums being recorded, unusual issues occurring on social media, and a doable romance for a number of of the Mayhem members.
The spotlight for me was listening to from Government Producers Adam Goldberg and Jeff Yorkes, who each spoke about being huge Muppet followers and their pleasure in attending to play within the Muppet sandbox. We may inform that they’re honest of their love for the model, and very receptive to taking the lead from the Muppet performers who’ve been working with the characters for many years. We additionally discovered after the panel that each Adam and Jeff are ToughPigs readers, which is actually the best honor we may’ve gotten. (And in the event that they’re studying this: Hello guys!)
Due to the great people at Laughing Place, you’re capable of watch the complete panel on YouTube should you so want:
Goldberg and Yorkes additionally revealed a couple of new particulars to us after the panel: The present will function at the very least one track per episode. The sequence will lead to an precise album being launched, which could have new recordings by the present Electrical Mayhem performers and a mixture of unique and canopy songs. And there will likely be many deep-cut Easter eggs for followers like us to get pleasure from, together with one from Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas! How’s THAT for an unique???
Panel: SESAME STREET: THE MUSICAL
The identical afternoon, Playbill offered a panel on Sesame Avenue: The Musical, at the moment enjoying Off-Broadway at Theater Row in New York (see our assessment right here!) The panel consisted of director/author Jonathan Rockefeller, Sesame Workshop curriculum maven Rosemarie Truglio, puppet coordinator Tyler Bunch, and music director Nate Edmondson, moderated by Sarah Jane Arnegger from iHeartRadio’s Broadway channel. Every panelist talked in regards to the present from their specific departments, with some pro-shot clips of the present performed between remarks.
In accordance with Rockefeller, the present actually took place within the midst of the pandemic the place social interactions have been just about gone. Thus, the present was conceived as a approach to get children to work together and join with the Muppet characters.
Edmonson spoke at size in regards to the music, which is smart as it’s a musical. He talked about taking the basic songs and giving them new preparations and spins. He additionally performed some snippets of the prevailing songs from the present carried out within the musical, adopted by demos and full audio of the variations heard within the present to check how they have been modified. He additionally talked in regards to the new songs written only for the present – they’d some back-ups simply in case the individuals they requested (Tom Kitt and Helen Park) weren’t capable of compose them.
Tyler Bunch was very specific when speaking in regards to the puppetry side, as children have been fairly current within the crowd. Reasonably than crack their view on actuality the place Elmo is their actual good friend who lives of their TV, he claimed that the characters all have lives exterior the theater – however once they get to the theater, they’re very drained so that they want “helpers” to remind them the right way to transfer and act as themselves. Oh, and he broke out a Christopher Walken impression at one level.
The panel additionally featured the one dwell Muppet on the con – a Honker! These guys are enjoyable to see! Clearly, they’re the one ones allowed to seem to advertise the present since they don’t have to speak in any respect. The Honker hung round by means of the tip of the panel, the place after a quick Q&A with the general public, individuals have been capable of get photos with him. One lovely lady the road saved calling him “Mister Muppet,” which is what his canonical identify needs to be any longer.
As at all times, Artists Alley is a hotspot for locating unique and distinctive Muppet art work. Listed here are just some of our favourite items that we noticed:
Do you know you’ll be able to purchase stuff at Comedian Con??? It’s true! We discovered fairly a couple of Muppet gadgets on the market (or on the market… quickly?). For instance:
All the time a spotlight, the Muppet cosplayers have been out and about at NYCC. Along with those you’ll see beneath, we additionally noticed some intelligent mashups (together with an Over the Backyard Wall costume holding a Kermit-as-Greg’s-pet-frog) and a Nanny with Muppet Infants plush masking her face, however with the crowds being what they have been, we couldn’t cease them for pictures in time.
And that’s it for this yr’s New York Comedian Con! As unhappy as we’re to see it come to an finish, the excellent news is that there’ll be one other one subsequent yr, with all new Muppet stuff to identify! We’re already counting the times!
Click on right here to average a panel all in regards to the Powerful Pigs discussion board!
by Joe Hennes, Shane Keating, and Matthew Soberman