Thursday, October 28, 2004

The Muppet Show vs. Sesame Street

When we were growing up, television wasn't a bad word. Everyone had their homework done and their baths taken by 6:30 p.m. so we could all sit or lay in front of the television and watch whatever was on one of the three channels that night. We had two televisions in a house of six people but the second television was mostly so dad could go in the den and watch the news while we watched Leave It To Beaver reruns or so he could watch the fights while we were watching Bewitched or The Partridge Family. For the most part, we all watched the same programs together every night.

My point is not that we were a close family. My point is that our heads are all filled with useless pop culture trivia. If I could clean out just half of the sitcom theme songs that are rambling around in the cluttered attic of my brain, I could probably remember my cell phone number or the security code on the door at work.

To give you an example of the kinds of intellectual debates we have when my brother and sisters and I are together, I present you with the "Great Muppet Show/Sesame Street Debate." One evening we were casually discussing the different Muppet Show and Sesame Street characters when a dispute arose. My brother insisted that the two shows were interchangeable and that all the characters appeared on both shows. I argued that the two shows were completely separate entities and that the only thing they had in common was Jim Henson. Somewhere in the middle were Bonnie and Terry who really didn't give a damn one way or the other. They were flip-floppers.

Stuart and I argued, we debated, we "remembered" this and we "saw" that and we absolutely with all certainty knew we were right. Finally, Bonnie went to the computer and actually found a website that listed all the characters who appeared in each Muppet Show and each Sesame Street episode. There are people out there with way too much time on their hands.

The outcome of the debate you ask? Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy have appeared on Sesame Street and Big Bird has appeared on the Muppet Show but that was the limit of the crossover. It wasn't your Petticoat Junction/Green Acres/Beverly Hillbillies type of relationship that Stuart imagined.

So, in the end, we were both right. But, I was more right. Nana nana boo boo.

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