The More Things Change…

Published: March 22, 2021
Categories: Commentary, Feature

Hopefully you’ve heard by now that ToughPigs is undergoing some changes. Well, we’re starting the prepwork to almost think about changing… soon. All that’s to say: Change is coming, but also nothing has changed at all.

I recently checked my email archives and found a note to Ryan Dosier – the former owner of the Muppet Mindset – from way back in 2016. In that email, we listed out all the reasons we thought it might be a good idea to merge our websites. That note was anything but impulsive, and I’m sure we discussed the details of it for months beforehand.

So as you can see, this conversation has been going on for a long, long time.

The conversation petered out and nothing changed at the time. But it’s always been a possibility in the back of our minds. So often, Ryan (and later, Jarrod) and I would say things like, “Boy, this would be a whole lot easier if we merged our websites.” And we were right. We were doubling our efforts for no other reason than the fact that we had two separate URLs. Ever since that first email, I think we all knew that our joining of forces was inevitable.

The big question is: Why merge? Despite having different voices, both sites provided news and commentary about the Muppets with an overly honest point-of-view. Already, there was enough overlap to justify a team-up or mash-up. So from the outside, it made sense that these two similar sites might benefit from a united front.

But the bigger answer is: We’re all so very, very tired. It’s not that we don’t have the drive to keep on creating articles and podcast and news reports for y’all, but it’s hard to keep up that momentum year after year. We at ToughPigs HQ were desperately in need of some new blood, or at least something that would give us a shot of adrenaline.

Meanwhile, over at the Muppet Mindset, Jarrod was telling me that he had some similar issues. He was mostly running the show by himself at that point, and had committed himself to publishing as often as possible. Like us, he was burning out.

One of Jarrod’s issues was that he wanted to write better articles, but didn’t have enough ideas to keep his train moving. One of our issues is that we had a million ideas, but no time to develop them all. Then, like chocolate meeting peanut butter, the idea to merge our websites sprung up again.

Personally speaking, I’m excited and terrified about this merger. Mostly excited, as I’ve been good friends (though publicly, frenemies) with Jarrod for years, and we’ve collaborated on a bunch of really fun projects. I’m looking forward to seeing how he meshes with our established work environment, and the new ideas he’ll bring to the table. But also, I’ve got that nagging what if in the back of my head. What if this doesn’t work? What if three co-owners is too many? What if this is the beginning of the downfall of ToughPigs??? Have we doomed us all just for a shot at a better website??

Okay, maybe it won’t be that bad. I’m pretty sure the worst that can happen is a couple of uninspired articles about Gonzo’s nose. (Though even those make for some good reading.)

Now that we’ve gone through all the decision-making and compromising that goes along with an ordeal like this, it’s possible that it could lead to less work for each of us. With more captains running the ship, there’s bound to be more free time for, like, our real lives. Right?? But then again, we do have those aforementioned million ideas running around our heads, and how much fun would it be to actually implement them all??

Folks, there’s a lot of work to be done. And it’s going to be exciting. There are more podcasts in the works, a ton of artist spotlights on deck, several new writers on our team, and oh yeah, this year ToughPigs will be celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Finally, I think we’ve got our shot of adrenaline.

But of course, you won’t be seeing many changes on your end. We’ll keep on publishing the same fun stuff we always have, doing silly stuff on our social media channels, and keeping you informed about everything going on in the Muppet world. Hopefully soon we’ll be able to raise the funds to redesign this website, but otherwise we’re hoping to keep on bringing you more of the Muppet fan content you love. And probably some stuff you don’t love too. Sorry in advance for that.

Remember, if you’d like to help us out, we’re always looking for professional writers to volunteer their time, professional artists who want to share their work, and donors to our brand new Patreon campaign.

Thanks for joining us on this crazy journey through Muppet fandom!

Click here to evolve to survive on the ToughPigs forum!

by Joe Hennes –


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Written by Joe Hennes

Co-owner and Editor-in-Chief.
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