Saturday, March 19, 2011

Muppets, Myth and Magic

"I'll end my genre-by-genre take on the Muppets RPG with the inevitable reference to that 800 pound gorilla in the room..."

"Tony? He works here. Here's my cousin."

"No, no Sal...I'm talking about Medieval Fantasy."

"Oh, like Dungeons and Dragons and stuff."

"Yeah...Sal, you know Dungeons and Dragons? You don't strike me as a gamer."

"In college. So what's the problem?"

"I'm not a big Medieval Fantasy fan. Add to that the fact that the Muppets don't really have a major sketch or element connected directly to the genre. I mean, the Muppet Show had Pigs in Space for Sci-Fi, Bear on Patrol for Cop Shows, Veterinarian's Hospital for Soap Opera/Medical Shows but no 'Newts of the Round Table' or Lord of the Rings parodies to speak of. As I've mentioned on my blog before, the lack of virtually any sword and sorcery oriented TV shows when I was young is one of the reasons its always been tough for me to get into the feel of D&D. I'm not really sure what to say about this. I mean, there's magic all over this place and I'm going to address Jim Henson's other productions at some point but right now I'm at a loss."

"Are you kidding? Leave it to me. I'm the King of the Advertising Jungle! The Notion in Motion of Idea Promotion. That's how I put Johnny Fiama on the map."


"Will ya just let me do this?!"

"Take it away Sal."



So, the main idea here is definitely one of parody. Ya gotta play up the modern meets medieval issues. I can see breaking the 4th wall pretty regularly. The regular cast could work easily, like say, Kermit and Piggy as a King and Queen, Fozzie as the Court Jester, Gonzo as a mysterious Knight, Bunsen and Beaker as a Wizard and his apprentice, etc. Oh and Johnny Fiama as a Bard or Minstrel type guy. Yeah. Gotta plug my boy whenever I can ya'know.

Ya also need some new characters. Ya gotta have Monsters like Goblins or Orcs, a Dragon, a rival Wizard, Witch or Evil King or something. Ya'know, the usual. Say...take some of the Whatnot Pigs, dye'em green or light blue and call'em Orcs. It's genius!

Now ya got no end of resources. Ya got all your regular stuff from all those D&D games you've played right? Riiight. Heck, half the monsters in the original Monster Manual and Fiend Folio look like Muppets anyway. The Flumph and the Sesame Street Martians? Separated at birth if ya ask me."


Spellcasting would simply be a Shtick, possibly identified as such or with a Shtick name like 'Weird Warlock', 'Sorcerer' or 'Merlin Fan Club President'. Costumes would be 'Knight Armor', 'Jester Costume' or 'Wizard's Robes'. Props as magic items are perfect for this game.

Maybe the Kingdom could be treated like the Land of Gorch in that it is barely holding together. The castle has leaky battlements, the toilet won't flush because it's beyond their level of advancement to have such things (but they would still be aware they want and need such things) and invading armies call every day wanted to know if we're happy with our current monarchy provider or would we like to be conquered and try someone else. Pitching in to keep the nation together has elements of Meikyuu Kingdom mixed in which can't be a bad thing.

Anyway, a later post will deal with a more thorough and slightly different approach to this subject in relation to some of Henson's works that fit in with my preferred style of fantasy, namely The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth and The Storyteller.

Until then. Oh and thanks Sal.

"Don't mention it. No wait, mention it. A lot."

"Sal, what's this I hear about you booking me to play the Palace? The Palace! That's great Sal!"

"Heya Johnny! Er...not The Palace. A palace. The Troll King's palace. But it's a great gig! We're paid in gold pieces, free food and lodging, and this particular Troll King has a very low record of beheading performers he's displeased with."

"I see. I just died a little inside Sal. Just a little."

Good luck gentlemen,

Barking Alien

Muppet Quotes

"Oh, my froggy friend, we need to work on today's slang. When I said that I wanted to get into something heavy, Sir Knight of the Iron was not what I had in mind."
Floyd Pepper, Closing Scene from Camelot on The Muppet Show.

Here's A Muppet News Flash!

Sometime in the 1990's Muppets in Camelot had been mentioned by the Jim Henson Company many times and was "kicked around" for several years as a potential concept for a feature film. A script outline was produced but the film never moved forward into production.

I know I said I wanted to stick to focusing on non-Sesame Street Muppets for now but I couldn't pass up that image of the Martians and the Flumph. I mean seriously? Next time a D&D fan says a Muppets RPG is silly I will say, "Flumph. FLUMPH!"

Sal Minella is the sidekick and best friend of Johnny Fiama, a Muppet lounge singer/crooner who, frankly, I could take or leave. I'm not such a big fan of Fiama, which is unfortunate since not only do I think they could've made him a lot deeper and funnier but I really, really like Sal.

When Palisades Toys did their unbelievably great series of Muppet Action Figures we got Johnny Fiama but the line was cancelled before Sal came out. That's a pity. I would've loved to have a Sal. The prototype looked amazing when I saw it at Toy Fair.

On a related note, if I haven't said it already, PLEASE make new Muppet Action Figures. At least for the new film. PLEASE!
That is all.


  1. I recall a Muppet sketch of "Jabberwocky". That's D&D right there, as it has a Vorpal Sword!

  2. And damn good it was. Some of the pre-sketch banter between Kermit and Scooter is hilarious.

    Kermit: At least you're in the sketch so you know what it is.
    Scooter: Have you seen the sketch?
    (Kermit shakes his head.)
    Scooter: Even when you know what it is you don't know what it is.

    The sketch wasn't reoccurring though, it was a one time thing. In the late 70's the genre of fantasy wasn't popular enough to a TV viewing public to lampoon the way Pigs in Space lampoons Star Trek for example.