Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Random Muppet #31: Clarice Lemons

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.

Random Muppet #31: Clarice Lemons

A trusty companion.

Performer:  Unknown

Muppet Universe of Origin:  Sesame Street

Most Significant Appearance:  Sesame Street, May 3, 1988, "Episode 2477"

Sesame Street parodied the Boss's "Born to Run," with the similarly named "Born to Add."

This song was also the hit single for the Born to Add album, whose cover mocked the famous pose in which Springsteen leaned on the legendary Clarence Clemons, his saxophone player.


But, as we can see, Bert and Cookie don't appear in the video.  Instead, we get Bruce Stringbean and Clarice Lemons.  Now, the Springsteen parody is pretty spot on, but it seems as if someone made a fact checking error when they went to make a Muppet version of Clemons.


Why Is She the Most Important Muppet?

Eventually, every celebrity will find themselves Muppetized. But some go through a bit of a historical tweaking as they make the transition from human to puppet. Why did Clarence become Clarice?

Well, let's look at the songs.

"Born to Run" takes the perspective of a young adult talking to his girlfriend Wendy, attempting to get out of the horrid life they have found themselves in, living on the streets, moving from place to place.  The aimless spirit of these unprepared individuals is supposed to clash with the notion that America is a magical land that will instantly provide better lives for everyone.  The singer only has Wendy's company to find solace in, because he needs something permanent in his life to hold on to.  Because tramps like them, baby they were born to run.

"Born to Add" is about two kids who like adding, a toddler's greatest fear.

They live on the edge of society.  Mathematical society.

Clarice fulfills the Wendy role of the original. Bruce pleads with her to join him, adding all day long. Apparently, addition is as much of a societal issue as homelessness, because these tramps also have their run-ins with the law.

Addition?!  Not on our street!

Clarice/Clarence are the rocks that the Bruces rely on. Whether during a performance or in the context of the songs, these individuals support each other. Without that connection, the two would be lost, without direction. So yes, Clarence and Wendy had to merge into "Clarice," to become that single pillar of support that you can always...

...COUNT ON!  

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