These 10 facts about the Muppets Show set come from a visit with Producers Randall Einhorn and Bill Barretta.
10 facts about the Muppets Show set
Have you ever wondered how The Muppets actually – work? I mean, aside from someone stuffing their hand in a puppets backside, there are a ton of puppets on real location, outside, walking down the street, moving their arms and legs and blinking their eyes, seeming to interact just like humans do, but they’re not?
We met Producers Randall Einhorn and Bill Barretta
Both Einhorn and Barretta were extremely welcoming, they did a great job explaining the workings of The Muppets set, how the puppets and the humans get around, and so much more. We had a few questions, as they answered, they seemed to be so passionate about their work, a true love for The Muppets franchise! Here are some cool facts we learned…
10 facts about the Muppets Show set on ABC
1. There are holes in the floors under the entire set so the puppeteers can walk through and push the Muppets up above their heads to make it look like they’re standing up on set.
2. Both Randall and Bill serve as Executive Producers on the show, Bill is the “captain of the Muppets” because he’s performed many of the characters for years and is most knowledgeable about each one. Randall says that he comes in for the logistics. Once he hears the script and the idea, it’s his job to work with Bill and figure out how they’ll make it all happen. Bill says “it’s Randall who kind of has the raw vision as a Director of how these pieces are ultimately all gonna come together.”
3. All of the Muppets are controlled differently. Kermit is actually one of the most malleable puppets in that you can manipulate his facial expressions. He also has rods in his arms, hence the name “rod puppet”. Fozzie is a different kind of puppet that requires two people to operate: one for his head and another for his body! then, there are Muppets that require 6 people!
4. Some of these scenes are extremely time-consuming, requiring multiple takes. The puppeteers control many different characters, if Miss Piggy and Fozzie are in the same scene, they’ll have to do it twice because they share the same puppeteer.
5. One episode of The Muppets takes 5 days of prep, and 6 days of shooting. Moving around the floors, fixing the monitors to watch what they’re filming, and getting everything set up for each scene takes lots of work!
6. Randall says that on The Muppets show, it takes relatively an hour to prepare for each scene; 15 minutes to prep and discuss it, and 45 minutes to get the camera rehearsals and lighting down.
7. Since there is so much Muppet history to look back on, the Producers created a “character bible” that they can reference when they need to get some background on a specific character.
8. They chose to set the scene as a late-night talk show, “Up With Miss Piggy“, so that the Muppets were placed into the real world, and Miss Piggy has her own place to be a diva! It’s also a great platform for their guest stars that they have come on the show.
9. Mindy Kaling, David Grohl, Reese Witherspoon, Kristen Chenowith, and so many other guest stars show up on The Muppets show!
10. Bill says that they are choosing to run the show in a similar ways that it has been in the past. They don’t want to gear the show to any specific audience but instead have something that everyone will love. The kids will enjoy the puppets, the stories, and the silliness, while the adults can catch a few of the jokes and feel a little nostalgic while watching. Kids are gonna laugh, adults will laugh and that’s what it’s all about people!
I am so thankful to have been able to visit the set of the show and hear all about the making of it! Thank you so much for having us, ABC.
Don’t miss The Muppets Show on ABC, Tuesdays at 8pm/7pm! Tonight’s episode “Going Going Gonzo” is absolutely hilarious! Joseph Gordon-Levitt serenades Miss Piggy and Gonzo attempts to perform his stunt of a lifetime!
Travel, lodging and consideration for the Muppets Show set provided by Disney.