Monday, February 22, 2010
Strange things happen to people who don't obey Muppets...
For a soft spoken guy who played with puppets, Jim Henson sure had a dark side. For all that cutesy stuff with Elmo and Rainbow Connections and whatnot, a lot of muppetry has revolved around characters getting, shot, blown up or eaten. This was especially true in the early days of scrounging for commercial gigs. Back before they were busy covering Queen songs the muppets were the kings of the hard sell...the VERY hard sell, as in "Things will get very hard for you if you don't use our product!"
Consider the classic ads for the regional coffee brand Wilkins. In each spot, a Kermit/fetus creature (Also named Wilkins.) quizzes a gruff voiced gumdrop thing named "Wontkins" about his coffee preferences. Wontkin's failure to make a Wilkins approved response results in any number of terrible retributions worthy of the Old Testament.
Dangling from a window? Considering calling for help? If you didn't think to bring a loaf of Claussens Bread you're screwed.
Now you'd imagine that the worst thing that would happen if you dialed a long distance number in Virginia without dialing 1 first is that your call wouldn't go through properly. You would of course be making a fatal mistake underestimating the harsh justice meted out by Muppet Law.
Here the potential consumers come off relatively unscathed (But terrified), likely because A) They're actual human beings and therefore it would be a lot more gruesome to see them slaughtered and B) They immediately give in to the demands of the noodle pimping dragon. (The supermarket, on the other hand, takes a beating.)
So do what the Muppets tell you! And the same goes for me, as I'm often told that I look like a Muppet...