The opinions expressed in this blog are mine alone, and in no way represent Record Archive, Disney+, or the Children’s Television Network.

“Cancel Culture Comes For The Muppet Show!”

That was the headline splashed on my television screen. Talking heads employed by a network best known for reporting faux news were discussing the state of the entertainment industry with righteous indignation.

“Cancel Culture Comes For The Muppet Show!”

Yup, that’s what it said, but they couldn’t outfox me with their misleading sentence. Let me explain the story as I see it…

The Muppet Show is 45 years old, having debuted in 1976 and ran for five seasons. Every week the biggest stars in movies, music, TV, and comedy joined Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, etc… for one of the most delightful variety shows in the history of television. Over the years there have been many incarnations of the characters, but the original series has gone largely unseen (unless you own the DVD sets of the first three seasons).

All 120 episodes are now available on the Disney+ streaming service. Disney realized there are a few sketches with stereotypes and images that were considered acceptable back in the 70’s and early 80’s that aren’t now.

Instead of editing the episodes they left were left whole and intact. Disney+ decided to add a warning at the beginning of the shows that feature problematic segments. Here is that disclaimer…

“This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures,” it reads.

“These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now.”

“Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together.”

Nice.

I personally think that the situation couldn’t have been handled better. Maybe I don’t understand the term “Cancel Culture”. It seems to me like the exact opposite happened here. NOTHING GOT CANCELLED! You’ll even see Johnny Cash sing in front of a Confederate Flag.

It’s a weird story to come from a news network that has to keep firing people and canceling shows because their hosts say awful things.

If you don’t want to subscribe to Disney+ but still want to watch The Muppet Show I’m pretty sure those DVDs I mentioned earlier are available at Record Archive. I almost bought them a few times last year. Give them a call at 585-244-1210 to see if there are some used box sets floating around for sale.

Will it shock anyone that I’m listening to the Original Soundtrack for The Muppet Movie (1979) as I write? “The Rainbow Connection” might be the most perfect ballad ever, and songs like “Movin’ Right Along” are super fun sing-a-longs. That for sure is available at The Archive. Click HERE.

Sorry to get all political with my hot Muppet take this week. Just be glad I didn’t subject you to me trying to work out my conflicted feelings about Lynyrd Skynyrd. That’s trouble I don’t want to touch right now, although I will say one thing…

If we ever get to go to live music again don’t yell “Freebird!!!!”. It’s not funny, and it’s never been funny. You don’t even have to yell it at a Skynyrd show. They’re gonna play it for sure. It’d be like screaming for “American Pie” at a Don McClean concert.

Come to think about it, I’ve actually seen that. I swear.

One last question. How come my spellcheck doesn’t like Lynyrd, but is fine with Skynyrd? It also doesn’t seem to like spellcheck.

That’s it for this week. Find me on Facebook (Billy D’Ettorre), Twitter (@RadioFreeBillyD), or via email (RadioBillyD@gmail.com). Stay safe, stay warm, stay healthy, wear a mask, and get vaccinated.

-Billy

P.S. This is being added a couple hours after what I wrote above because I came across some additional information.

I was wrong about a couple things.

First, some of the episodes aren’t whole and intact as I thought. Some needed small edits because of music rights that couldn’t be cleared.

Second, two of the episodes aren’t included on Disney+ at all. That means 118 of 120 programs are available for streaming.

Only 18 of those 118 have the disclaimer I wrote about above.

Read more about the disclaimer, edits, and missing episodes HERE.

That is all.

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