40 Greatest Influences of the last 40 years #30 Bert and Ernie Sing-a-long (and the rest of Jim Henson's Empire)
Whether is was the endless dayly episodes of Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, Muppet Babies on sturday mornings at 7:30am, John Denver and the Muppet Christmas album ("budum bum bum") Fraggle Rock, or even Master Yoda in the Empire Strikes back, the influence Jim Henson exerted on me in my formative years is undeniable.
Sunday May 31st, 1980, a day that will live in Infamy. This video explains why. Its by the Smithsonian Institute. Its nice and scientific. Educational. Fascinating. Nerdy.
It's like reading a text book.
But wait..... you might ask "you weren't even born until 1981, how could some thing that happened before you were even born be a greatest influence of the last 40 years?"
In the original 30 for 30 I did this as Teddy Riley and Dr. Dre in a tie for #23 on the count down. I still think that Teddy Riley as the poster boy of New Jack Swing and Dr Dre as an emblem for the hip hop of the early 90’s appropriately encapsulates the music that has influenced me. However at this time I want to also acknowledge the heritage of that music back to Motown, funk, classic R and B music etc, as my appreciation for the genres has expanded with age, and, lets be honest, the early 90’s sound was a fad. It has some classic staying power, but it’s all very “dated” and definitely not timeless, where as I would argue much of the black musical heritage that came before it is timeless. And an old skool old soul like me appreciates classic and timeless and tends to ignore and discredit the new and trendy. But not when I was 10 years old.
So as much as I would like to share my many thoughts on the artist’s intentions, motivations and execution of each of my many many favorite songs, I know nobody cares. So I will just link to YouTube videos of my favorite artists and songs from the period and genre. (Your welcome!)
But first I will hazard a brief comment on the elephant in the room, and in current American society......
About the time my baby brother was born my family moved into anew house. In this house I was finally old enough to play outside by myself. The problem was I wasn’t really I to sport or running around outside. I was mostly interested in playing with my He-man toys and Construx. I would remain a bit of a homebody until I broke my leg as shown in the post on #35. But the exception to that rule was Brody Quiggle.
Brody was my neighbor. We had adjoining back yards that we could run back and forth in. I don’t quite know how we met. I kind of think our parents might have done a play date. But You take two 5 year old boys and put them together and they are likely going to be friends. And that is what we were
Growing up most kids have superhero’s they idolize and aspire to be like. Batman, Superman. GI Joe. Astronauts, Race car drives and Knight Rider. Navy seals, Cowboys, Detectives, cops, and Spies. Even Indiana Jones, or Luke Skywalker were heros in the struggle of good vs evil . My hero, or idol, as in the person I aspired to be like to keep the world safe (#38 aside) was MacGyver.
Angus MacGyver as portrayed by Richard Dean Anderson in the show of the same name was a hero, but also kind of an anti-hero. The heroic self sacrificing part was there, but not the overt strength, and thirst for danger. If anything Mac was always stumbling into bad situations on accident. An accidental hero who really just wants to take a nap, eat a veggie burger and play hockey, Monday’s at 8/7 central on ABC.