Thursday, August 23, 2012


I've done a bunch of posts about The Paley Center for Media, formerly knows as the Museum of Radio and television.  It is a hidden gem, and has served as a sort of pop culture mecca for me since I moved to New York in 1993.  I've watched different episodes of The Muppet Show and. tv specials about the magic behind the Muppets.  I watched what I thought would be a straight up viewing of the Oscars the year that Isaac Hayes performed the theme song to Shaft, only to find that it was footageof Andy Warhol lounging around with his friends while filming the Oscars.  Weird, right?

And what a treat to get to attend the premier of the VH1 rock dock about the history of Soul Train. I've seen that doc a bunch of times since then, and never fail to be inspired by it.

This summer, I needed a little break from the heat and thought of Paley.  I went to their digital viewing room - an amazing resource, esp. if you want to see old episodes of just about any tv show ever made.  The Center's permanent media collection contains nearly 150,000 television and radio programs and advertisements.

I chose a 1984 television special called Henson's Place: The Man Behind the Muppets.   This is a quiet, thoughtful, and totally captivating piece that has lots of good interview bits with Jim Henson as well as with people who worked with him.

I also enjoyed viewing The Muppet Show starring Paul Simon.  Looooove the bit where he sings Scarborough Fair with the Muppets and it devolves into chaos.

I ended my visit to Paley by watching the musical numbers of Elton John's guest appearance on The Muppet Show.  As the Muppets close out that episode, they are all wearing sparkly, feather-adorned glasses.  Reminded me of what a great place the world is. 

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