Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Most Dangerous Game

Muppet monsters eat.  That's all they are good for.  It's a simple notion, yet countless Muppet monsters have been created, all for the same purpose.  Consuming and destroying.

Muppets Tonight had to continue the tradition and a new Muppet monster joined the cloth.  And while he eventually appeared in the American episodes, he originated in the recurring U.K. Spot "Swift Wits."  This was a brand new game show, similar to Password or Pyramid, where the host would try to get the contestant to guess a secret word.  If the contestant failed, then a small, cute, innocent animal would be eaten by "Carl the Big Mean Bunny."

My, what big ears you have.

Big Mean Carl was the giant Muppet monster du jour.  What set him apart from the crowd was his various "personas" and his pleasant demeanor.  He wasn't a lumbering beast.  He thought rationally and was pleasant to converse with.  He just happened to eat without remorse.

Did I mention that he ate harmless, tiny mammals?  Victims like poor, little Buffy the puppy.

This is the cutest Muppet ever made.

Yes, each episode a different baby animal would be devoured all because the stupid humans would fail to say the correct word.  Each contestant was so self-absorbed that they would fail to recognize the carnage they would be responsible for.  They were moronic, big-headed, and oblivious.

Well, some of them were just scared.

It eventually got to the point that the host of "Swift Wits" Snookie Blyer would do all in his power to rig the game and keep the animals alive.  Sometimes he would purposely give the contestants the answer.  Other times he would play the game himself.  But no matter how hard he tried, the defenseless animals were always the ones to suffer.

Our noble hero...

But why does this game even exist in the first place?  Couldn't the animals just be put out of harm's way by...not putting them in harm's way?!  The simple solution would be yes, but, as 10,000 years of human development has proven, putting people into a competitive situation will eventually result in bloodshed. The animals are just innocent bystanders who have no say in the destruction and pain we are inflicting upon them.  Even when a few people try to help, there are dozens more standing in their way, causing more harm.

In these brief skits, we get a biting commentary on the human condition and its relationship to the natural world.  We created Big Mean Carl.  Now we have to live with the mess we made.  And so does the rest of the world.

Won't somebody please think of the beavers?!

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