Note from Josh: I’m having horrible tics and can’t type much. I’m going to run guest posts this week while I recover. Please give Christa Avampato from Christa In New York your laser-like attention. But I’m not sure you should agree with her today. She writes some pretty witty blogs, but–well, over to you, Christa.
Some of my fondest childhood memories involve sitting around the TV with my family watching the Muppet Show. That show spurred my interest in theatre, a career I pursued for five and half years right after I graduated from college.
I write about the characters of the Muppet Show, Sesame Street, and all of their spin-offs with great regularity on my blog and have read numerous books, blogs, and websites about these fabulously funny and furry creatures and their creators.
Josh as Muppet (forgive me Josh)
Through his writing, Josh has brought together a community of intelligent, quick-witted, good-hearted followers who read and comment often on WSL because he is unabashedly himself at every moment. It’s quite something really, and conveniently great fodder for Muppet comparisons!
With these characteristics o’ Josh in mind, I filtered through Muppet comparisons. Fozzy Bear, Scooter, Dr. Teeth, Bert, and the Swedish Chef were all in the running. In the end, 4 other Muppet comparisons emerged as the clear winners. In addition to Animal, I just had to feature Kermit, Gonzo, and Grover. Their striking similarities to Josh and the questions that came to mind when I thought of these 4 personalities gathered around him are too rich to ignore. I imagined them all having dinner together, sharing some conversation, and as with any good set of pals, their commonalities were undeniable.
You’ll remember this crazed drummer as the most notable character of the band the Electric Mayhem, and for good reason; a personality like Animal’s is tough to overlook, primarily because he just won’t let you forget him. When he likes someone, he REALLY likes someone. And despite his wild and crazy ways, his beat holds the band together. The drummer of a band keeps musicians on track. Without him, the music descends into cacophony. With him, everyone grooves along to a driving beat. Sound like anyone you know?
Animal was known to be a bit of a skirt-chaser; his escapades of chasing young, attractive women down the street screaming “Wooooo-man” is well documented. His pursuit terrified Kathy Griffin, who in an unlikely turn of events became obsessed with him, and he was charming enough to seduce Michelle Pfeiffer. He’s also been known to chase cars in heavy traffic. The comparison to Josh may end here, but I’m leaving the door open to the possibility that in his younger years, Josh may have chased down a car or two himself.
The great director. Our frog on the street, capturing the day’s news and events in his irresistibly cute reporter’s outfit. Like Animal, Kermit is an orchestrator as well, just on a grander scale. He believes in his own dreams and the dreams of his friends. He’d give you the collar off his neck if you needed it, and his eloquent speeches are always the most touching moments in Muppet history. He’s an every-frog if ever there was one. It’s no wonder he’s Jim Henson’s most recognized and longest enduring creation: we all find a bit of ourselves in his green-ness.
I’m not sure if Josh started his life in a lush green swamp, nor do I know if he’s ever been known to cast an unbreakable love spell over a daring, vivacious blonde pig-turned-starlet. I do know that his support of those he respects is unwavering, and I bet he could play a mean banjo if we asked him to. I’m certain he’s fostered more than his fair share of (rainbow) connections through WSL.
Gonzo was my first love. His ability to revel in and celebrate his own weirdness made me feel comfortable in my own skin. He takes risks like there’s no tomorrow – it takes a lot of guts to allow yourself to be projected out of a cannon! He cares very little if an idea would works as long as he has fun and learns something in the process. He is the great experimenter of the Muppet brigade. Like Josh, Gonzo never fails to put himself out there into the world, wearing his heart on his sleeve and exhibiting empathy for everyone he meets.
Whenever I need a really good belly laugh I load up a Sesame Street clip that features Grover. Some of his most famous clips show him trying out different professions. At one time or another, he has been a taxi cab driver, a waiter, a detective, a flying super hero, a flight attendant, and a singing telegram performer. Variety is the spice of his furry blue life, just as variety makes Josh’s writing so interesting.
Josh isn’t afraid to break out of stereotypes and defies any efforts to be put in a box. How many people do you know who are weight-lifting librarians who successfully built a tremendously happy life while overcoming Tourettes, and then have the courage to write about it with a dry wit and great honesty? Like Grover, Josh rarely uses contractions and is never afraid to ask for or offer help, a highly under-rated, beautiful quality.
This may be the most fun I’ve ever had writing a blog post. The genius of those Muppets is that we can all find something of ourselves in each of them. They are entirely relatable, and so they feel like close friends and family to us. Thanks to Josh for allowing me to take a walk down Muppet Lane, visiting my old colorful friends who taught me so much.
These characters taught me about friendship and kindness and making the very best of hard times. They celebrate their victories and band together to bear their losses. I owe a great debt to Jim Henson – these are important lessons to learn. And I’m grateful to Josh for continuing to shine a light on these same virtues through his writing.
About The Author: Christa Avampato makes her living in the field of innovation and product development. She makes a life as a freelance writer. She writes about creativity and hope at Christa In New York and about entrepreneurship at Examiner.com.
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