Some Strings Attached: Puppets In Music Videos
The Muppets had a successful and profitable opening yesterday, proving that after 30 years of television and movies, Kermit still has his acting chops.
Jim Henson's premiere Muppets motion picture, The Muppets Movie, came out in June of 1979. The film was the first to feature a leading cast of puppets with a few guest stars like James Coburn and Dom Deluise serving as supporting actors in minor roles. Henson turned the Swedish Chef, Kermit, and Fozzie and friends into movie stars.
Although many movie critics doubted Henson's ability to turn a 30-minute puppet show into a film, the Muppets succeeded, grossing $65.2 million. Henson died in 1990, but his foundation and Jim Henson's Creature Shop continue to fund and build puppets for films and television series.
Puppetry has moved from television to cinema to music videos, which we've explored in depth. Be warned, however: in our list of puppet music videos, the stars aren't as lovable or personable as Kermit and Miss Piggy. In fact, a few of them are actually kind of scary. We've been having some strange dreams for a couple of days now.
Herman Dune "Tell Me Something I Don't Know"
Jon Hamm and an adorable blue hitchhiking puppet become friends in this music video, shot in Austin. The only way this could get any cuter would be if Hamm was a puppet himself.
Weezer "Keep Fishin"
The introduction to this video totally captures the essence of our favorite Muppets characters, from high-strung Kermit to the misunderstood, artistic Gonzo. Also, seeing the stoic Rivers Cuomo smile while Kermit gives him a hug is pretty endearing.
Lily Allen "Alfie"
Alfie probably never made the cut during Muppets auditions. He's a pothead puppet who gets high, drinks beer, and masturbates to pictures of topless Barbies.
Mr. Oizo "Flat Beat"
French house artist Mr. Oizo used "Flat Eric" in this music video from 1999. Jim Henson created the yellow dog, who was used in Levi's commercials as a criminal on the run. Eric later made an appearance in the original BBC version of The Office.
Saves The Day "Freakish"
Our cheeks turn a slight pinkish hue when we have to admit that 2001's Stay What You Are played a huge part in our musical development in 8th grade. We were freakish, our friends were freakish, and all we knew was "awkward silence." Also, make sure to look at the description of the video from the director. He wants you to know that this puppet video was filmed months before Weezer's.
Here's a good example of when using a puppet for dramatic effect goes wrong. Not only does the puppet look too real...they can't even drive.
Eminem "Ass Like That"
This video is just as bad as the song. It was probably inspired after Eminem did a few cameos on the prank phone call show, Crank Yankers. Let it be known that this video was released shortly after Em's altercation with Triumph The Insult Comic Dog on the MTV Awards.
Genesis "Land Of Confusion"
This creepy video from 1986, was meant to be a political or artistic statement or something. There are well over 40 references to celebrities, political figures, and media personalities including Walter Cronkite, Richard Branson, Prince, and Tammy Faye Baker.
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