Halloween, in fact, is a time for spooky stuff. You already know what’s a spooky factor that occurred on The Muppet Present? Nicely, sure, it was spooky when Kermit changed into a vampire and bit Vincent Value, however that’s not what I imply. I’m speaking a couple of completely different factor.
Yeah, okay, it was additionally spooky when Alice Cooper tried to get the Muppets to promote their souls to Devil, however that’s not what I’m speaking about both. I’m speaking a couple of spooky Muppet Present factor that doesn’t get mentioned as a lot on-line, most likely as a result of it doesn’t straight contain any of the primary Muppet characters.
I’m speaking concerning the time Kenny Rogers sang his hit tune “The Gambler” on a practice , surrounded by gangly Muppets with human palms, and it changed into a spooky ghost story. You may watch it on YouTube right here.
I wrote concerning the Kenny Rogers episode for our “The Muppet Present: 40 Years Later” overview sequence, however I wish to single out this musical quantity right this moment, each as a result of it’s sufficiently eerie for Halloween, and since I needed to put in writing about one thing scary however we’ve already accomplished an article on Bert and Ernie within the pyramid.
This isn’t a kind of Muppet Present numbers that’s solely vaguely impressed by the tune, or weirdly unrelated to the tune. The staging of this musical quantity is a largely trustworthy retelling of the tune “The Gambler.” When Kenny Rogers sings about handing the titular Gambler his whiskey and a cigarette, we see him bodily hand over that whiskey and that cigarette. And whereas the tune just isn’t usually thought-about to be scary – not like “Thriller” or “The Monster Swim” – this model of it’s fairly eerie.
Initially, there’s the design of the three Muppets within the practice automobile. They’ve extra real looking faces than your common Whatnot. They’re previous males, like Statler, Waldorf, and Pops – however none of these guys are creepy. They’re kinda cuddly. They’ve even made plush dolls of Statler and Waldorf that your children can cuddle with. No person desires to cuddle with a Gambler doll. (If I’m unsuitable and also you do wish to cuddle with a Gambler doll, please let me know and I’ll situation a correction!)
And their palms! They’ve actual human palms! Actual palms are normally reserved for characters who’ve to stay their grubby little fingers in meals, just like the Swedish Chef and Angelo. However listed here are these three one-shot characters with 5 fleshy metacarpals on every hand. Has a chill gone down your backbone but?!
Essentially the most alarming a part of the quantity occurs later: Simply because the prophet Kenny Rogers foretold, the Gambler (who’s carried out by Jerry Nelson, wonderful as at all times) dies in the course of the tune. I’ve heard of a “useless hand” in poker, however that is ridiculous! And but, his time on Earth and on this practice just isn’t over. He instantly comes again as a ghost! After which he begins doing just a little dance, now extra energetic than he ever was when he was alive. He appears actually joyful to be useless. And he’s fairly spry for a useless man! (That’s my favourite Offspring tune.)
This doesn’t actually come throughout effectively in a screenshot, however the dancing ghost Gambler is even creepier than the sitting alive Gambler. I’m not the kind of particular person to be simply unsettled by Muppet legs, however the Gambler’s do the trick. It’s like… they’re just a little bit too lengthy? They’re simply disproportionate to the remainder of his physique to make me go “Yuhhh!”
In line with my Google Dwelling, in response to Wikipedia, in response to a 2009 research by the Pew Analysis Middle, 18% of People say they’ve seen a ghost. I’ve by no means seen a ghost, but when they’re something just like the Gambler, I hope I by no means do.
And but, I’ve to confess… he’s a reasonably good dancer. I can’t think about having strikes like his after I’m that previous, or that useless.
In lots of ghost tales, a ghost is the spirit of an individual who died and has unfinished enterprise. As soon as they end their enterprise, they will transfer on to the following world, like shifting on to the following degree of Burger Time after you’ve constructed sufficient burgers. That’s how that recreation works, proper? I believe so. HEY, GOOGLE! HOW DOES BURGER TIME – NO, NOT “BURGER RESTAURANTS NEAR ME.” I SAID “BURGER—” YOU KNOW WHAT? FORGET IT.
Anyway, the Gambler may be very clearly an individual who died. And he comes again in ghost kind a lot extra shortly than ghosts normally do in fiction, so he have to be keen to complete that enterprise. And what’s the very first thing he does? He dances! We are able to assume that, with a reputation like “the Gambler,” this fellow should have made most of his earnings by enjoying playing cards for cash. However you understand what I believe? I believe he by no means actually needed to be knowledgeable gambler. He at all times needed to make use of these lengthy legs of his to be… A DANCER!
And thus, as quickly as he dies, he does a joyful, translucent dance. And as quickly because the tune his over, he fades away, having lastly fulfilled his true function. He’s prepared to maneuver on. He is aware of when to stroll away – and when to shuffle-step away, leaving Kenny Rogers to smile awkwardly on the digital camera.
I take again all the things I mentioned. The Gambler isn’t creepy in any respect!
Nicely, possibly he’s nonetheless just a little bit creepy. However I like him extra now.
By the best way, after I instructed my spouse and Robust Pigs contributor Staci that I used to be going to put in writing concerning the Gambler as a result of he was scary, she requested if I needed to decorate because the Gambler for Halloween. That’s a good suggestion! Subsequent yr I’m going to put on a grey wig and a ratty previous go well with, carry a pretend cigarette and playing cards, and go round doing ghost dances. Ha. I can’t wait to see how freaked out individuals get after they notice I’ve human palms!
Click on right here to journey on a practice with a useless man on the Robust Pigs discussion board!
by Ryan Roe – Ryan@ToughPigs.com