I was invited by Disney on an all expenses paid trip for my coverage of the #GoodDinoEvent, #ABCTVEvent, & #LionGuardEvent. All opinions are my own.
Have you been watching The Muppets on ABC? It is hilarious! I like that it is a show the whole family can watch together and enjoy. My kids like it because they love the Muppets. My husband and I laugh so much during each episode, the humor for adults is so funny. So when I had the chance to visit the set of “Up Late with Miss Piggy” from The Muppets show on ABC, I was super excited to say the least!
We arrived and it was so much fun being able to see the set in person. We then had the chance to sit in the audience on the Up Late with Miss Piggy set and watch an upcoming episode.
The episode we watched was actually the episode that is airing tonight “Going, Going, Gonzo”.
“After a show-stopping duet with Miss Piggy on “Up Late with Miss Piggy,” Joseph Gordon-Levitt joins Scooter, Pepe and the gang for poker night; The Great Gonzo gears up to perform his dream stunt; and Dave Grohl challenges Animal to a drum-off.”-ABC
Be sure to tune into ABC tonight at 8/7 c to watch it. As usual, the episode does not disappoint and had me laughing the whole time.
After watching the episode we had the chance to talk with Executive Producer and Director Randall Einhorn and Executive Producer and Actor Bill Barretta (who voices “Pepe,” “Dr. Teeth,” “Rowlf,” “Bobo the Bear,” “Swedish Chef,” etc…). They were very nice, and funny, and it was so great to talk with them. Here are some Fun Facts I learned from them about ABC’s The Muppets
- Different Characters operate in different ways. Kermit is a very malleable Puppet, he has arm rods that go into his wrists so he is a Rod Puppet. Characters like Fozzie, require a collaboration between Puppeteers. It is one person that’s doing the head, body, and behavior of the Character. With help from another puppeteer to do the other arm.
- Most of the Characters are performed by 6 people.
- If two Characters are voiced and operated by the same actor/puppeteer, they will have to shoot each scene twice with a stand in actor playing the part of the other Muppet. Then switch in order to get a scene that is genuine to each character. But this is very time consuming. So sometimes when they are pressed for time they will have someone who is very familiar with the characters and their movements act the Muppets and then add in the voice from the actor afterwards.
- All of the Puppeteers are standing as they perform their Muppets. This is done by removing parts of the floor in sections with a room below that the puppeteers stand in.
- It takes a lot of preparation to shoot an episode of The Muppets. They prep an episode for 5 days, and then they shoot for 6 days. Right now they are doing four 10 hour days and two twelve hour days or two 14 hour days depending on if they go on location.
- Directing a TV Show takes 15 minutes at least to rehearse a scene, talk about it, and block it. It takes 45 minutes to light that scene and do camera rehearsals. So if an episode has 28 scenes, that means 28 hours in normal conditions of not shooting. But with the Muppets it takes double. So with 28 scenes. That’s 56 hours of non shooting prep time.
- The Puppeteers have television monitors in front of them so that they can see what the camera sees. The monitors are placed in very specific places, depending on what the action is in the scene. That brings another level of logistics to filming each scene.
- The rehearsal time is usually at the same time as the filming because that is when the actors/puppeteers can see how everything looks in the frame.
- The Muppets have never been geared towards any certain age demographic. ie: it was never just for kids like Sesame Street is. It is about making people of ALL AGES laugh. It has been that way from the beginning and continues to do so.
- The performers created a “character bible” to give to the writers so they could get a sense of each character. It has the background, history, and possibilities of where each character could go in the future.
- Without giving anything away, they said that there has been some talk of bringing some of The Muppets old acts into this new show.
- Some of the guest star actors on the show asked to be on The Muppets. Reese Witherspoon being one of them. For others the scripts were written with them specifically in mind. Also we will be seeing Mindy Kaling in an upcoming episode.
- This show on ABC is a new type of experience for The Muppets. They have never been filmed in a documentary style like this. Director & Executive Producer Randall Einhorn leads this style and has the vision of how each scene will all come together to make an episode.
Well he is doing an excellent job if you ask me! I love The Muppets on ABC and look forward to laughing and enjoying each episode weekly. It was so nice to have the chance to talk with Randall and Bill and hear about the behind the scenes aspects of the show.
Be sure to tune into ABC tonight and on Tuesdays at 8/7c for The Muppets!
After the Q&A we were able to walk around the set of Up Late with Miss Piggy and take photos. I love all the fun photos I got!
Here is our group photo in front of The Up Late with Miss Piggy Poster.
It was such a fun experience visiting the set, and one that I won’t soon forget!
Watch The Muppets Tuesday’s on ABC at 8/7c!