Archive for the TeeVee Category

TAKE THE….Dadgum Elephant?!: The Godawful DARKMAN Television Pilot

Posted in Crazy Shit, Movies, My Heroes, Nothing That Should Concern You, TeeVee, Videos with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2015 by Robert Morgan

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When Sam Raimi came to Hollywood in the early 1980’s following the release of the original The Evil Dead, one of his dream feature film projects was a big screen version of the classic pulp magazine/radio/comic book crime fighter, the Shadow. Unfortunately for Raimi, the rights had been purchased by powerhouse producer Martin Bregman (Scarface), who would ultimately oversee the production of a Shadow film for Universal Pictures under the direction of Russell Mulcahy (Highlander) that was released in the summer of 1994 to middling reviews and box office and failed to spawn a new franchise.

After making Evil Dead II in 1986 for the legendary Dino De Laurentiis, Raimi signed on with Universal to develop a film project based on a superhero idea of his own – a tale of a scientist who develops a revolutionary formula that can repair damaged skin for only for a maximum of 99 minutes and must use that formula in a complicated revenge plot against the gangsters that destroyed his laboratory and left him burned beyond recognition and for dead. Incorporating elements of the Batman comics, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and The Phantom of the Opera among many other influences, Raimi teamed up with four other screenwriters – including his own brother Ivan Raimi (with whom Sam wrote Army of Darkness and Spider-Man 3) and Chuck Pfarrer (Red Planet) – to flesh out his amalgam of ideas into the story he titled Darkman.

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Raimi initially cast Bill Paxton, the future star of his celebrated adaptation of A Simple Plan, in the title role of Dr. Peyton Westlake, the disfigured scientist hellbent on brutal vengeance, and a young up-and-coming actress by the name of Julie Roberts as the girlfriend he inadvertently places in harm’s way as a result of his actions. Due to scheduling conflicts the roles had to be recast hastily; Roberts went on to star in the movie that kicked her career into overdrive, Pretty Woman, but in the process Raimi gained two future Hollywood heavyweights in the form of Liam Neeson (replacing Paxton as Westlake) and his old friend and former roommate Frances McDormand as Westlake’s besieged lady love.

Darkman was not the first time Raimi and McDormand had worked together; after playing the female lead in the Coen Brothers’ classic film noir debut Blood Simple, she popped up briefly as a nun in the opening sequence of Raimi’s post-Evil Dead stab for Tinseltown legitimacy, the frenzied, failed screwball comedy Crimewave.

Released in the final days of the summer of 1990, Darkman wasn’t an instant smash hit as Universal and Raimi had hoped. However it did manage to dethrone the season’s reigning box office champ, the supernatural romance Ghost, and with a final domestic gross of $33 million it earned a tidy little profit since it only cost $16 million to make. Five years after Darkman‘s theatrical release, excellent video rentals and sales and the film’s status as a modest ratings success on network television convinced Universal execs to green-light a pair of sequels to be produced for the studio’s home video division.

Since they weren’t going to have but a fraction of the budget Raimi had at his disposal the first time, Neeson was replaced in the role of Westlake by South African actor Arnold Vosloo. Vosloo had previously appeared as a secondary villain in John Woo’s first American action feature, the Raimi-produced, Pfarrer-scripted Jean-Claude Van Damme vehicle Hard Target. Bradford May, a veteran cinematographer who worked mostly in television but also shot the 1987 kid-friendly horror-comedy The Monster Squad, was drafted to direct the sequels which were released on VHS and laserdisc in 1995 and 1996 and enjoyed a fair amount of success with critics and fans of the original.

After Darkman III: Die Darkman Die the franchise ceased to exist. A remake/reboot has been hinted at over the years, and it may likely happen, but there hasn’t been any movement for quite some time. Let’s hope it stays that way. The original was released on Blu-ray by Scream Factory in February 2014 in a jam-packed special edition package. You can order that disc HERE.

In between the release of Darkman and the two direct-to-video sequels, Universal commissioned a pilot for a half-hour television series loosely based on the original in 1992. Raimi and his producing partner Robert Tapert lent their names and credibility to the questionable endeavor, while Christopher Bowen (Tomorrow Never Dies) took over for Neeson as Dr. Westlake and Kathleen York (Crash) was drafted to play a new character named Jenny. For some odd reason, the only actor from the movie to appear in the pilot was Larry Drake, so memorable in Darkman as the odious villain Robert G. Durant, the exact same role he was playing in the much cheaper TV version.

The pilot cannibalized the movie for stock action footage, and even a shot from the opening scene of Ridley Scott’s sci-fi masterpiece Blade Runner makes a jaw-dropping appearance in the beginning. The movie footage looks terribly out of place when you consider the lower-budgeted scenes shot for the pilot. Everything is barely held together by Bowen’s ponderous narration. For that part we can place the blame on Robert Eisele, who wrote the pilot script and served as an executive producer alongside Raimi and Tapert, and the direction was handled by ace music video helmer Brian Grant. The 22-minute final product never made it to air.

I have included two separate embeds from Dailymotion and YouTube for your viewing displeasure. Enjoy….or don’t.

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Satellite of Loathe: Hollywood Couldn’t Kill MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000: THE MOVIE

Posted in Crazy Shit, Hilarity, Movies, My Heroes, Nothing That Should Concern You, TeeVee, Videos on November 10, 2013 by Robert Morgan

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True lovers of cinema will unfortunately always be trapped in an abusive relationship with that drunken brute of a cocksucker called Hollywood. We allow it to take our hand, whisper sweet nothings in our ear, instill our souls with the hopes and promises of wonderful things to come, and then act surprised when we end up with a face full of bruises and a broken lamp post inserted halfway into our rectum. Such was the case with 1996’s Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie.

Quite possibly my favorite television show of all time, MST3K had been a beloved cult classic practically since its humble origins as a locally-produced program in Eden Prairie, Minnesota in 1988. Influenced by the 1972 sci-fi drama Silent Running and the 60’s children’s show Beany and Cecil, each episode of MST3K was based around the wholesale mockery of some of the worse films to ever be produced in history of the moving image. Series creator Joel Hodgson was the original host of the show with the assistance of his robot pals Crow T. Robot – voiced and puppeteered by Trace Beaulieu, who also played the show’s chief antagonist Dr. Clayton Forrester – and Tom Servo (performed first by J. Elvis Weinstein, and later by Kevin Murphy).

The show got off to a slow start, but with some casting changes and additions – including Frank Conniff as Forrester’s haplessly sweet assistant “TV’s Frank” – it quickly gained prominence and was picked up for national broadcast by a young Comedy Central. Long before the days of South Park, The Daily Show, and Tosh 2.0, MST3K was one of Comedy Central’s most popular shows and the show’s annual Turkey Day marathons were a beloved Thanksgiving institution in many a carb-famished geek’s holiday household.

After seven seasons and the release of the movie the show left Comedy Central for the Sci-Fi Channel (now called SyFy), where it ran in a slightly compromised form for two more seasons before airing its final episode – Mario Bava’s swingin’ 60’s comic strip romp Danger: Diabolik – on August 8, 1999. A month later MST3K took its official last gasp when the utterly terrible family feature Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders was broadcast a month later. Sci-Fi would continue to air reruns for the next five years, and a growing library of VHS and DVD box sets released by Rhino Video and later by Shout! Factory have only served to enhance the show’s enduring popularity.

Hollywood heard the hype surrounding MST3K and decided to check the show out for itself one lonely evening while bathing in Wild Turkey and prying cheese doodle dust from its greasy mustache. As sweat poured down its face Hollywood couldn’t help but breathe heavily at the antics of Joel and the Bots and realized it must have the show for its own diseased pleasure. MST3K‘s production company Best Brains entertained the prospect of a full-length movie and made pitches to several studios in Tinseltown, including Paramount and Universal. The latter jumped at the chance to make MST3K: The Movie a reality. With Mike Nelson, a staff writer and performer who had replaced Hodgson successfully as host of the show halfway through the fifth season, on board to star and co-write and pretty much every member of their core creative team in place, the movie entered production in 1995.

It was filmed at Energy Park Studios in St. Paul, Minnesota with a bigger budget to build more expansive sets that would allow fans of the show and newcomers to see the show’s primary location the Satellite of Love in greater detail for the first time. TV’s Frank was no longer on the payroll at Gizmonic Institute, so the heinous Dr. Forrester was left to menace Mike and the Bots all by his lonesome from the comfortable confines of Deep 13. Director Jim Mallon and the Best Brains posse were allowed to select a movie they would be ripping into on screen from the Universal library, and though they had pondered the possibility of one of the studio’s many cheeseball made-for-TV flicks they finally settled on the 1955 sci-fi classic This Island Earth.

Island contained its fair share of wooden acting and inane dialogue but it also featured some impressive (for its day) visual effects and an iconic movie monster in the silent, murderous Metaluna Mutant. At the time of its release This Island Earth garnered positive reviews from respectable publications like the New York Times and Variety and today is still held in high regard by fans of 1950’s science-fiction cinema. It wasn’t a perfect movie but it was also hardly on the level of Red Zone Cuba, Mitchell, Puma Man, Manos – The Hands of Fate, or any number of atrocious Z-grade exploitation flicks the show had mercilessly mocked during its celebrated existence. Island was chosen mainly for its name value and suitable-for-the-big-screen scope and had twenty minutes edited out in order to accommodate the various host segments being written and filmed by Mallon, Nelson, and the rest of the good folks at Best Brains.

Though the movie had been financed by Universal the studio pawned the releasing responsibilities of MST3K: The Movie off on its indie distribution arm Grammercy Pictures. Grammercy’s limited funds for marketing forced them to make a Sophie’s choice between giving Mike and the Bots’ feature film debut the grand-scale nationwide theatrical roll-out it richly deserved or wasting it all away to promote the futuristic adventure Barb Wire, based on a forgettable Dark Horse Comics title and starring Pamela Anderson’s breasts, Jango Fett, and Steve Railsback as Evil Villain Dude. Barb Wire won out in the end but flopped harder than a shrinking Tommy Lee erection.

On the other hand, MST3K: The Movie received a limited theatrical release beginning on April 19, 1996 in certain markets around the country and grossed a little over a million dollars at the box office despite not once cracking the box office top 20 during its 11-week engagement. The fruits of Best Brains’ labor earned better reviews from critics than Barb Wire, including two upturned thumbs from the late Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert and raves printed in Time, Entertainment Weekly, and Details to name but a few. MST3K: The Movie started amassing its own cult of devoted fans when it hit home video the following October. In the years since it has received several VHS and DVD releases that have all subsequently gone out of print.

One of MST3K: The Movie‘s major flaws is its truncated running time. At a microwavable Hungryman dinner shy of the 80-minute mark MST3K: The Movie is the only big screen adaptation of a popular television series that’s actually shorter than the average episode, which were often over 90 minutes in length excluding commercials. The film had originally been longer but the studio ordered several minutes’ worth of integral footage be removed after test audiences were less than enthused by an earlier cut. Among the scenes that hit the cutting room floor were the infamous “meteor shower sequence” and an alternate ending that was much funnier and more satisfying than what was ultimately used. These scenes and a few more were included as bonus features on the recent Blu-ray/DVD combo release of MST3K: The Movie from Shout! Factory.

In the MST3K pantheon the movie doesn’t attain the instant classic status of some of the show’s best episodes, but I would still consider it as funny as one of their average good episodes. The host segments are a little weak at times and yet I laughed a lot. This Island Earth, despite its reputation as a genre classic, makes a hilariously ripe target for Mike and the Bots’ rapid-fire riffing, though they tend to lean heavily on running jokes more than they usually did on the show. It’s also the only part of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 legacy that will likely ever be deemed worth of an upgrade to Blu-ray, and as a consistently funny film I enjoy owning it a great deal.

You can pick up that MST3K: The Movie Blu-ray/DVD combo pack HERE.

The Corner of Bedlam and Squalor: Tom Waits on FERNWOOD 2 NIGHT

Posted in Crazy Shit, Hilarity, My Heroes, Nothing That Should Concern You, TeeVee, Videos on August 27, 2013 by Robert Morgan

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Fernwood 2 Night was a short-lived television comedy series that aired in first-run syndication from July to September 1977. The show was a Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman spin-off created by Norman Lear and starring the inimitable Martin Mull and Fred Willard as Barth Gimble (the twin brother of a character Mull played on Mary Hartman) and Jerry Hubbard, the hosts of a low-rent talk show in the fictional town of Fernwood, Ohio where Mary Hartman was set. The following year the show was renamed America 2-Night and the location shifted from dumpy Fernwood to the fictional “Tri-City” area of Alta Coma (“the unfinished furniture capital of the world!”), Petaluma, and the City of Merchandise in scenic California. America aired from April to July 1978 in syndication.

Although the complete runs of Fernwood and America consisting of 130 episodes total have never been released on DVD the shows have garnered a cult following through rerun broadcasts on Nick at Nite and TV Land and bootleg videos. They served as an early showcase for the comedic talents of Robin Williams and Jim Varney and featured recurring characters played by Dabney Coleman and Kenneth Mars. Occasionally on the shows minor celebrities stopped by as guests but not because they went out of their way to be there. One of the funniest moments in Fernwood‘s three month history occurred during the twenty-first episode that first aired on August 1, 1977. That was the night the show hosted Tom Waits as a guest.

Having been stranded in Fernwood by a broken-down tour bus Waits makes the best of a bad situation in his own unique way by appearing on the show to perform his non sequitur-laced barroom hymn “The Piano Has Been Drinking” and talk about his experiences in the little Ohio burg. The song is plenty strange, especially when Waits is belting it out with his raspy pipes through eyes wide shut, but the real comedy from the bit comes from the cutaways to Mull’s priceless double takes. He doesn’t say anything during the song but his reactions are pretty easy to decipher and their evolution from “….THE HELL?!” to “This guy must have problems” to finally “Jesus Christ, I want to die” is typical of the Waits newbie.

I’m not sure if the post-performance banter between the hosts and Waits was scripted or improvised because it always seems more the latter than the former. Waits looks like he’s throwing out whatever absurd homely comes into his mind and Mull and Willard awkwardly play along and keep the discussion light and bemused, which is exactly what two hosts of a local talk show would do in a similar situation if they were any good at all.

This features one of the greatest quotes I’ve ever heard in my entire life, and it makes so much sense: “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.”

Weakened Update: William S. Burroughs Reads ‘Twilight’s Last Gleaming’ on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE

Posted in Books n' Stuff, Crazy Shit, My Heroes, Personal, TeeVee, Videos on August 26, 2013 by Robert Morgan

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Saturday Night Live, once a weekly must-see television event from coast to coast, had fallen on hard times following the transfer of executive producing power from series masthead Lorne Michaels (who would return to the show in 1985 and has been there ever since) to Jean Doumanian, a longtime associate producer for the show. Doumanian attempted to remake SNL to her personal specifications, including completely rebuilding the cast and altering the main stage sets, but the show suffered from a near-fatal lack of actual humor in lieu of taking constant jabs at topical jokes and skits that often came off as juvenile and offensive. Ratings fell, sponsors vanished, and NBC execs howled with rage. After twelve episodes Doumanian was let go from her executive producing post and replaced by Dick Ebersol, a young vice-president at the network who had initially conceived of SNL‘s creation with Michaels back in 1975.

Unaware of what direction to take the show now that it was under his control, Ebersol set out to repair the damage caused by Doumanian’s radical alterations – though she did do the show a great service when she cast up-and-coming comedian Eddie Murphy as a “featured player”; he later became the most popular member of the ensemble – by reestablishing connections to Saturday Night Live as it was when Michaels was in charge. One of the first things he did was rehire former head writer Michael O’Donoghue, whose pitch black “slash n’ burn” comedic styling had come to define SNL in its earlier years, in his old position but this time with greater creative control than ever before. O’Donoghue had long been convinced that the show was beyond saving and wanted to come back only to give it a “Viking funeral”. His reign began with the last episode of the sixth season on April 11, 1981 and would continue when SNL returned the following autumn.

O’Donoghue brought with him to the show two writers with cultural and humorous sensibilities very similar to his own whose presence at a network comedy-variety series could never have been thought possible in any alternate universe: Terry Southern, an acclaimed screenwriter (Dr. Strangelove, Easy Rider, Barbarella) and novelist (Blue Movie, Candy), and writer-director Nelson Lyon (The Telephone Book). Neither Southern or Lyon made much of an impact during their tenure on the writing staff, but it wasn’t like they needed the work or exposure.

Now fully-installed in his post by the beginning of the seventh season, O’Donoghue took it upon himself to steer the show into offbeat territory but was always at odds with Ebersol, who wanted SNL to be a solid comedy performer that wasn’t a lightning rod for controversy. It was O’Donoghue’s idea to bring in the punk rock band Fear to perform on the show’s Halloween special hosted by actor Donald Pleasance and reportedly allow a large group of their fans into the audience to form a mosh pit at the stage where Fear would be performing. Though the rowdy crowd got out of hand during Fear’s set the resulting damage was nowhere near as bad as the inevitable media blow-up made it out to be the next morning, but it was enough to tarnish O’Donoghue’s already shaky reputation with Ebersol and the NBC honchos.

The next week – November 7, 1981 – actress and supermodel Lauren Hutton was the host and Rick James was the musical guest. O’Donoghue wanted to bring in iconoclastic Beat Generation novelist William S. Burroughs for a show-ending spoken word performance of selections from his novels Naked Lunch and Nova Express that featured his character Dr. Benway. Ebersol approved Burroughs’ performance but was less than impressed when the reading, which was scheduled for four minutes of air time, ran two minutes over. He ordered O’Donoghue to cut those two minutes out when the show went live and the head writer appeared to acquiesce to Ebersol’s edict at first. When Burroughs took the stage for his reading he performed the full six minutes; as he recalled later O’Donoghue never told him to cut a thing because “once you are on live, what are they going to do? Cut in the middle?”

Though O’Donoghue’s latest refusal to abide by his decision rankled Ebersol Burroughs’ segment was warmly received by the studio audience. The writer lasted three more episodes before his continued clashes with the network for putting the kibosh on several ambitious sketches he had written and been promised would make it to air and Ebersol’s solidified confidence in his executive producer position resulted in O’Donoghue’s second and final departure from Saturday Night Live. His last episode as head writer aired on December 12, 1981 and was hosted by Bill Murray. Lorne Michaels brought O’Donoghue back to the staff when he resumed his post as SNL overlord now and forever prior to the start of the 1985-86 season, but that decision proved fruitless and the man known to millions as Mr. Mike would never again be associated with the show whose success he had been partially responsible for. O’Donoghue prospered as a screenwriter (Scrooged) and columnist for Spin magazine before dying of a cerebral hemorrhage on November 8, 1994. He was 54 years old.

I was originally going to post a rough-looking copy of the video of William S. Burroughs’ SNL appearance, which includes the Interzone short story “Twilight’s Last Gleaming”, with Japanese subtitles I found on YouTube. Luckily Hulu has a more improved version sans subs which is embed-friendly. Bear with the opening advertising. Do it for America.

Gorgon Heap: Purple Muppet Eater

Posted in Crazy Shit, Movies, My Heroes, TeeVee, Videos on August 24, 2013 by Robert Morgan

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I have loved Jim Henson‘s Muppets since I was a kid. I grew up watching Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, grooving to their catchy musical numbers and the humorous sensibilities that played wonderfully to both their young fans and adults who were often stuck watching the shows with them. Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Bunsen and Beaker, Scooter, Rowlf, Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, and the rest remain close to my heart even as I continue on through the vast and unforgiving wilderness of adulthood.

Over a week ago I picked up the new Blu-ray of The Muppet Movie. Later that night I watched the movie in shimmering high-definition for the first time in many years. Not shockingly I found myself still enjoying its enduring silliness and sense of wonder and joy. The ending reprise of “The Rainbow Connection” when the camera pulls back to reveal an epic assembly of Jim Henson‘s creations, including a few characters from Sesame Street and others who didn’t appear in the movie until then, as the song reaches its soaring conclusion will always bring a few tears to my eyes. For this final shot there were so many Muppets and not enough puppeteers to perform them so a few ringers were drafted – one of them was filmmaker John Landis.

One of the neglected Muppets in this final shot was a furry purple creature I had only become reacquainted with in recent years. Gorgon Heap is one of the most underrated of all the characters in the Muppet universe. He only made a handful of appearances on The Muppet Show and in various Muppet-related books and comics, but he was never granted the status of recurring character. Gorgon was barely a character at all. It was all part of his weird mystique. To be honest, Gorgon was the Cookie Monster of The Muppet Show, except that he didn’t have to serve an educational purpose. If he wasn’t scaring the other Muppets he was usually eating them….and anything else he could get his paws on.

He looked like a hunk of purple shag carpeting with bulging yellow eyes and Mr. Potato Head ears. If the eternally jovial McDonald’s mascot Grimace had a crazy hippie cousin who enjoyed hitching rides with strangers in isolated areas of the American Southwest and then sucking the meat and marrow off of their bloated corpses while taking multiple hits of L.S.D., it would look exactly like Gorgon Heap.

Shit, it would probably be Gorgon Heap.

Gorgon was the raging anarchic id lurking beneath the family-friendly burlesque veneer of The Muppet Show. That Kermit and the gang let a monster whose personality and soul had been replaced long ago with a larger appetite for anything and everything just roam free backstage and in front of the cameras while the show was on the air spoke volumes about what the Muppets once meant to their audience: a brutal redefining of popular children’s entertainment. Anything could possibly happen on The Muppet Show, and more often than not anything did happen. Much like Gorgon Heap himself (or itself – I’m not quite positive about that) the show cared, yet it didn’t care. The Muppets just wanted to do what they loved best and hope that in the end they were accepted even if they didn’t always succeed.

Obviously, once the Muppets went mainstream it appeared that there would be no place for a character like Gorgon Heap. In order to reach a wider audience Henson and his gifted cast and crew couldn’t have a frightening ogre who thought nothing of eating his fellow Muppets if it would temporarily satisfy his insatiable cravings among the others. Even Animal was more lovable than Gorgon, and he used to terrify the hell out of me as a young’un.

After being featured as a background Muppet in the Sex & Violence pilot that aired on ABC in March 1975 Gorgon made his first speaking appearance on The Muppet Show in the third episode of the first season, hosted by Joel Grey (Cabaret). He was performed by Frank Oz – as “Fielding the Butler” – in the “Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Disappearing Clues” sketch:

In his second appearance Gorgon showed up to devour Wayne of the singing duo Wayne and Wanda as he was singing “Some Enchanted Evening”. Clearly the esteemed Mr. Heap misunderstood the lyrics. Meet, not eat. Richard Hunt performed the character (given a slightly more menacing appearance here – must be the demonic horns) in this episode which was hosted by the late comic actor and voice-over artist Avery Schreiber:

For his third appearance on the show Gorgon was finally referred to by name (and as “one of the world’s great eaters”) in the culinary panel discussion sketch featuring host Vincent Price. Here he was performed by Dave Goelz – best known for performing Gonzo and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew. Price totally sells out Kermit at the end. A devil indeed, and a legend of the screen:

Jerry Nelson was the man behind this particular – and particularly strange – Muppet in the second season premiere episode hosted by the late Don Knotts. He appeared in the cold open when Scooter came into the host’s dressing room to find the erstwhile Barney Fife cowering in fear of an unexpected roommate. “What’s the matter, sweetie? You don’t like chorus girls?”:

Oz would return to the character in a second season episode hosted by Rich Little. Gorgon made a surprise appearance at the end of the “Inchworm” skit to eat Lenny the Lizard. This time around he was given an elongated snout. The bit was essentially a remake of a famed Muppet sketch featuring Kermit the Frog and an earlier incarnation of Gorgon named the Big V that was a television variety show fixture during the 1960’s:

Here’s an earlier version of the “Inchworm” skit featuring Kermit and the Big V that was performed on The Tonight Show in September 1969 (starts at 2:02):

Gorgon Heap would go on to make sporadic, often silent appearances throughout the show’s first three seasonswas also featured as a drummer in a third season episode hosted by actress and singer Leslie Uggams.

Given how the character is such an important part of Muppet history it saddens me to see Gorgon soullessly discarded by those tasked with maintaining the integrity of Henson’s creations, like he was a lousy first draft idea consigned to the waste basket of cultural history. I would hope that with the Muppets experiencing a resurgence of popularity on the big screen Gorgon Heap might get a shot at a modern day comeback, but with the Walt Disney Company holding the purse strings for Kermit and company until the literal end of time that doesn’t seem likely.

That’s a shame, because even though Gorgon didn’t make a whole hell of a lot of sense as a character he was always hilarious to watch devouring everything in his path. He was offbeat and unpredictable, and if the Muppets want to continue to stay fresh and relevant as the times change they could sure use some of those special qualities.