Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Random Muppet #27: The Reindeer

On the Muppet Wiki, there is a "Random Muppet" button which sends you to the page of one of the thousands of Muppets in existence. I will press the button and discuss the importance of the Muppet that comes up, no matter how obscure. No skips. No redos. This is the Random Muppet Challenge.

(This week is the special Christmas Edition. For Christmas.)

Random Muppet #27: The Reindeer

But do you recall the least famous reindeer of all?

Performers:  Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Juhl, Bob Payne

Muppet Universe of Origin:  General "Muppets"

Most Significant Appearance:  Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall, December 20, 1965

Henson and his young crew had an appearance coming up for the Perry Como Christmas special, making this Henson's first foray into Christmas-related hijinks.  Jerry Juhl came up with a skit that involved a group of five reindeer, Dasher/Charlie, Dancer, Prancer, Donner, and Blitzen.  But what would five reindeer do without Santa or Rudolph there to give them material to work with?  Why, they would attempt to make snow fall with a "snow dance."

Socks + Twigs = Reindeer Puppets

Dasher/Charlie was the leader of the group and he command his platoon like a drill sergant, insulting them with antler-related puns (while the rest sang songs and had a lot of snow wordplay).  By the end of the tomfoolery, the reindeer succeeded in bringing about... rain.

Get it?!

Oh, but don't worry.  They continued to dance harder and eventually a large pile of snow came crashing to the stage, burying them.

Dasher (1823-1965).  He is survived by that one reindeer who could fly better than Rudolph.

Why Are They the Most Important Muppets?  What Is the True Meaning of Christmas?

Everybody dreams of a perfect, white Christmas.  But few are willing to put in the effort necessary to achieve this endeavor.  Many see the reindeer as Santa's transportation, but as we see, they are also in charge of bringing about the snowfall.  And, judging by previous years, their efforts don't always work.

Christmas is associated with high expectations that often come crashing down when they aren't met.  Food, family, gifts, decorations.  It's a lot of work.  But it's all worth it to see the smiles on the faces come Christmas morn.

Every year, the reindeer sacrifice themselves to bring about our happiness.  If they succeed, they are killed, knowing they have done their duty.  If they fail, they must live with the shame.

Three years later, on The Ed Sullivan Show, another group of reindeer attempt the same feat.  They too "succeed."

Christmas is dark, people.

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