The question of whether or not The Muppets are suitable for family viewing has crossed many people’s minds for decades. The Muppets, created by Jim Henson in 1955, are a cast of puppet characters known for their one-liners, slapstick humor and inappropriate parodies. Perhaps they have been able to appeal to both because they are colorful puppets.
The Muppets started their career in the short-form television series Sam and Friends, which aired from 1955 to 1961. Following appearances on late-night talk shows and advertisements, The Muppets began appearing on Sesame Street in 1969, had starred in 11 movies, and attained celebrity status. In addition, The Muppets gained international recognition through one of my favorites, The Muppet Show, which aired from 1976–1981. The Muppet Show received four Primetime Emmy Award wins and twenty-one nominations during its five-year run. If you haven’t watched The Muppet Show, the main characters are:
- Kermit the Frog & Miss Piggy
- Fozzie Bear & Gonzo
- Rowlf the Dog & Scooter
- Rizzo the Rat
- Pepe the King Prawn
- Dr. Bunsen Honeydew & Beaker
- Statler and Waldorf
- The Swedish Chef
- Sam Eagle
The Electric Mayhem fronted by Dr. Teeth (lead vocals, keyboards) and consisting of Animal (drums), Floyd Pepper (bass, background vocals), Janice (guitar, background vocals), Zoot (saxophone), and occasionally Lips (trumpet).
In their six-decade career, the Muppets have been regarded as a staple of the entertainment industry and popular culture in the United States and many English-speaking countries around the world. The Muppets were recognized by various cultural institutions and organizations, including the American Film Institute, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Library of Congress, and even a collective star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; with Kermit having been previously inducted in 2002. But with all their success, many parents have tried boycotting The Muppets, saying the shows were filled with adult humor and themes. One scene that comes to mind is when Charles Grodin tried to seduce Miss Piggy in The Great Muppet Caper.
According to Brian Henson, the son of Jim Henson, The Muppet Show “was really all targeted to adults.” Presently, The Muppet Show is on Disney +, but with a content warning. A new(er) show that is catered to kids on Disney + is Muppets Now, which showcases multiple segments that include a game show, a cooking show and a talk show. I have personally watched a couple of episodes and believe it’s kid-friendly, but then again, it’s subjective. So if you’d like to introduce your children to a funny, modernized version of the show, Muppets Now episodes are the way to go. (And. the Swedish Chef will be the highlight, I promise.)