What The Muppets Taught Me

Kealoha and I went to see the new Muppet movie last night. A curious thing happened to me while watching it. I felt like a little, tiny, young Tanya woke up inside me, stretched, and started laughing again. It was very peculiar and delightful. The movie is terrific. It’s cute, funny, a bit nostalgic, and filled with…well…hope. Anyone from my generation who grew up with the Muppets will understand this: I could watch the movie as an adult and enjoy it, but it’s that little girl in me that absolutely rejoiced.



The movie reminded me of a couple of things. First, how so much of modern living is fast-paced and sarcastic. It’s like we’ve all grown up and become more cynical and jaded. “Hope” has become something to laugh at ironically. Like, we’re all hipsters now or something. The movie reminded me that when I was a girl, I’d watch the Muppets and no matter what was going on in my household, for a while, I could laugh. And as cheesy as it sounds, the song Rainbow Connection really did make me believe that if I just held on long enough, some day I’d find it…whatever IT was. (And I did.)

The movie also reminded me of other things the Muppets have taught me. They taught me how to write, and how to write comedy. I remember a book I had of the Muppets. It was unlike any other book I’d seen because it was a book of sketches from the actual show. There were illustrations, but the dialogue was written out in script form. I’d re-enact my favorite scenes and try to do the Muppet voices (poorly). But really, when I look back on it, the Muppets taught me comedic pacing and how to write a sketch that didn’t go on too long. In a sense, I learned dialogue from the Muppets (which might explain a lot).

Now, the Muppets are still teaching me…and it’s that cheesy idea of Hope again. In the movie, they say that the Muppets have given the world the third greatest gift: laughter. But for me, it’s deeper than that. It’s the idea that everything will work out. Everything will be okay. And the deeper idea that no matter how weird you are (if you’re a chicken, or a frog, or whatever Gonzo is) you can still have love and connection and family, whether it’s the family you’re born into, or the family you choose.

So. Yes. The Muppets taught me how to write, how to laugh, how to hope, and maybe…just maybe…how to love.

I know it’s cheesy. I know that. But I’m okay with that. Maybe with all the crap that goes on in the world, the daily stresses of family life and finances, and then the bigger, global stresses…maybe we need to just slow down a little and rejoice in the little things a bit more. The Muppets reminded me of that too.

My inner-little-Tanya is very grateful; so is the outer-older-Tanya. Both of us are smiling.