My Week with Muppet Covers, Part 1: An Introduction

Published: January 2, 2023
Categories: Feature

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5

*A-PLLLLLLLLT!* That was the sound of me blowing the dust off of an old, old ToughPigs series that’s finally coming out of the vault! It is with great pleasure and much saliva that I proudly announce the grand return of… My Week! *Honnnnnnk!* That was the sound of me honking my horn in celebration as I typed that sentence, which probably confused the other drivers around me.

My Week is a long-running series of week-long features on ToughPigs going back to the earliest of early days on this website. We’ve covered everything from Bear in the Big Blue House to Doctor Who, from Grover’s Mom to breakfast cereals and back again.

Anyhow, it’s been six whole years since My Week last graced us with their presence, and that’s a long time! In fact, it’s such a long time that My Week is now considered a nostalgia property, so the ToughPigs team has brought me in to reboot the series, revitalize the franchise, milk it dry, and hopefully start a toyline. An occasion as important as this comeback requires a big topic to (ahem) uncover, so I’ve decided to open what might be a Pandora’s Box of Muppet nerd emotion and start a conversation about Muppet covers.

But how does one even approach a subject so vast in scope? Is it even possible to write a brief overview? How do I even figure out what I mean by “Muppet covers” anyway?

Well, I at least know my starting point: “I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon.” Every Muppet fan with a piano records a cover of this song, and it always works – it’s a reliable composition in that way.  What’s remarkable is, for as much as we think of “Rubber Duckie” as the definitive Ernie song (and it probably is), “I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon” is part of a little genre of Ernie’s nighttime songs that feel central to the Sesame Street songbook.

“Imagination,” “Dance Myself to Sleep,” and “When Bert’s Not Here” are among the greatest Jim Henson songs, and all of them would later be recorded again by others. “That’s What Friends Are For,” “But I Like You,” and “Do You Like Me?” are definitive Ernie and Bert duets, and all of these begin in the same place as many of the definitive Ernie and Bert sketches: their beds. For this reason, I argue that Ernie and Bert’s bed sheets are the most important Muppet covers.

Ernie and Bert’s Covers

Truly, nowhere in Muppetdom will you find more memorable bedding than this set of covers, and I intend to prove it. Yes, this is what this article is. They look warm and fuzzy, yet perfectly uncomfortable. They look lightweight, yet just heavy enough to be a burden to the puppeteers.

What makes them especially distinct is that vivid, disgusting, beautiful shade of green. It’s worth noting that, after Jim Henson’s passing in 1990, the color of the covers was changed from green to blue. This was to signify that Kermit was dead and everyone was sad about it. I immediately regret that joke. That was terrible. I’m so sorry. I’ll go die now.

Before I do, however, I’d like to address that these probably aren’t what you think of when you read the words “Muppet covers.” I’ve been told that I’m not always good at managing expectations in my writing, but this time, I’d really like to give you the article you wanted to read. When you think of Muppet covers, I bet what comes to mind are actual sheets you can buy with Muppet designs on them, so here’s my ranking of Muppet bedding merch!

My Ranking of Muppet Bedding Merch

1 – The Fantastic Miss Piggy Sheet

Sheets featuring glamorous Miss Piggy on beautiful, ancient staircases held up by columns. Several Kermit the Frogs are saluting her.
Image from the Muppet Wiki, uploaded by Scarecroe

Imagine being an artist in 1980 and creating these stunning illustrations with the knowledge that they will unquestionably be peed on by children. Putting so much effort into a product like this today seems unthinkable. 1980 may have been the pinnacle of Muppet merchandise design, and yet, in every product at the time, there always has to be something that’s weird to the point of being almost awkward. In this case, it’s the quartet of Kermit clones saluting Miss Piggy. The Kermit clones are coming for us all someday, and I welcome them.

2 – The Fantastic Miss Piggy Shoot

A line of Miss Piggys in doll-like outfits pose with umbrellas for Kermit, who is photographing them with a very old camera.
Image from me, because of course I’m the type of nerd who would have this.

Someone’s taking photos of Miss Piggy in your bed! Am I fired yet, Joe?

3 – The Wembley Fleece

A yellow Fraggle Rock blanket featuring the Fraggle Five, but mostly Wembley, as described better below.

I like Wembley merch, and I like Fraggle Five merch, but it’s weird to see Wembley treated as the star of the Fraggle Five. I have a funny feeling that this item may not have been designed by people who knew a heck of a lot about the show. I nevertheless own one of these – I was hypnotized into buying it by Wembley’s famously swirly, hypnotic eyes, which I genuinely didn’t notice until just this moment. This is the only documented Fraggle Rock bedding in existence.

4 – All Sesame Street Sheets

Children's bedding with Elmo all over it

I’m putting these low on the list because they’re all made for children’s beds. The fans are tired of everyone acting like Sesame Street is for children! I believe Sesame sheets should be made for adults– no, you know what? I can’t do this bit. This one’s too stupid even for me.

5 – Hell

Children's bedsheets with bad illustrations of the 'Muppet Show' Muppets using discolored images from different eras and design styles
A close-up of the pillow from the previous image.

Somewhere in the world, there is a high security prison where the prisoners aren’t allowed to have any sheets unless they choose this set. They will never choose this set.

You know, it’s funny… since I started writing this sentence, it has occurred to me that it didn’t need to be written. It has also occurred to me that most of you were probably expecting an article about music. I suppose that’s what I’ll write about for the remaining articles in this series.

I plan on approaching this from two angles – Muppets performing the songs of others, and others performing the songs of Muppets. Of course, that’s more ground than I can fully explore in one week, but that’s okay! ToughPigs has a lot of writers, and the future has a lot of weeks, unless it doesn’t. I fully expect and look forward to many more articles about Muppet music in ToughPigs’ future, but my goal for this week is to roughly map out the Muppet cover landscape.

Still, I’m glad I got to talk about bedding for a bit since Muppet songs and Muppet sheets are closely related. In Muppet music, any artist can be covered by Muppets.  In Muppet sheets, you can be covered by Muppets. Add them together and you get Muppet sheet music, which lets you cover the Muppets. And that’s how math works. Of course, both beds and songs are meant to have rests in them, so it’s probably time for me to give this article a rest. I apologize for its existence. Goodnight, sleep tight, and don’t let the Kermit clones bite.

Click here to take it slow, take it easy, take a rest on the ToughPigs forum!

by J.D. Hansel

Tagged:My Week

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