Friday, October 14, 2005

A year of the Cheap.


By complete coincidence, not only was yesterday the tenth birthday of The Mudhouse in Charlottesville (one of my fave hangouts in the ol' small town)... It was also the first anniversary of Cheap Shots, my dive bar of choice here in New York.

Ideaspace works in mysterious ways. Anyway. To Katie and Steven and Tim and the rest of my pals at th' Cheap... Glad to have you around. Here's to you kids.


A decade of Mud.


Today, October 13th, The Mudhouse turned ten years old.

So, to John and Lynelle, and all the employees who've passed thru their doors- Thanks. You make Charlottesville (and the world) rock just a bit more.


Sunday, October 02, 2005

Jerry Juhl.


I'm gonna break here from my normal style of posting here. Normally this space is just pictures of my life and whatever words I throw together, but I'm pausing that for a moment. Because I feel the need to note that Jerry Juhl passed away on Monday.

Now that's probably not a name that many of you are familiar with, but Jerry Juhl was the man who, along with Jim Henson and Frank Oz, was primarily responsible for The Muppets as we know them. Starting in the early 60s, and continuing through Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas, Fraggle Rock, and plenty of other film and TV projects and appearances, he was the #1 writer for all things Muppet. And, as absurd as it seems, he made you believe that these characters were real breathing beings. Actual people with emotions and feelings and personality quirks, unpredicable, sometimes absurd, occasionally even inspirational.

I was lucky enough to meet the man last fall, for all of about five minutes (at the BAM Henson Retrospective), and he was everything you'd hope someone whose work you'd grown up on could be. Charming, funny, and possessed of an innate sense of positivity. Someone you speak to, and immediately think "this is a really great person". In fact, that was true of all the Henson people I met there.

Glad I got to meet him, thank him, and speak to him for a few seconds. I'd always suspected that the Muppets were as real and charming as they were because they mirrored the humans behind them. And in meeting Jerry Juhl, Jerry Nelson, Jane Henson, and others in attendance there, that was confirmed. And then some. They're all good, nice, truly wonderful people. They all believe they've somehow made the world better by manipulating these bits of felt and foam.

And they have.

So, to Jerry Juhl, the man who helped to create all those exchanges, those routines, those characters... Thanks. Again.