It was the summer of 2013. Simpler times. The Muppets were still riding high after their return to the public eye after their 2011 film, and just before the double-whammy of underperforming Muppets Most Wanted and the 2015 The Muppets sitcom. For a brief moment, it seemed that the Muppets could do anything, and one of the anythings they decided to do was star in an iPhone app.
My Muppets Show was a phenomenon. Starting with an empty stage, you could collect gems to buy Muppet characters to populate your tableau. But the cool part was – the Muppets you’d have on your screen would sing or play instruments in unison, creating the ear-wormiest of ear worms. The more Muppets you could collect, the more full your songs would sound.
And honestly, it was addicting. How could you start with one member of The Electric Mayhem and not pair them with the rest of their bandmates? What is a Kermit without his Miss Piggy? How many chickens does Gonzo really need, and will the game actually supply you with them all?
Personally speaking, I found myself setting alarms to make sure I checked in to collect coins as often as possible. I didn’t want to wait a minute longer than necessary before I could afford a Lew Zealand or Sweetums.
To keep things exciting, the game didn’t stop at just one stage – there were five whole stages! The Muppet Theater, The Swedish Chef’s kitchen, The Muppet Theater’s rooftop, the Muppet Treasure Island ship, and the Gulag from Muppets Most Wanted. Each stage had unique characters, new costumes, and most importantly – new songs. And I cannot stress this enough – all of the songs would funnel into our eardrums and set up camp.
The Muppet gang weren’t the only characters to make it into the game. We got to see a collection of Whatnots who could do what the regular Muppet troupe couldn’t. Folks like Bloosman, the keytar playing monster, accordion aficionado Myron Bellows, and everyone’s favorite – Durwood Clapper, whose entire raison d’etre is that he claps and stomps. The fact that Durwood Clapper hasn’t made his way into actual Muppet canon yet is a crime against nature.
You may think this is a joke, but no – I feel very strongly that Durwood Clapper should join the Electric Mayhem as their seventh member in The Muppets Mayhem, and I hope the producers of the show will listen to this highly important, unsolicited request.
My Muppets Show reigned supreme from August, 2013 until being permanently shut down in January, 2015. A very brief lifetime, even by mobile phone game standards. And yet – dare I say – it was the greatest game the Muppets had ever released. Not the highest bar, as most Muppet games historically stink. Some may be remembered fondly, but they all end up being famously difficult, good-intentioned but glitchy, or on a game system I never owned so I haven’t played it and only claim it’s garbage so I don’t get too jealous.
But My Muppets Show was simple. It was musical. It felt like you really were creating your own mini Muppet Show. And by gum, the Muppets looked and sounded like Muppets. What more could we ask for?
I’ll tell you what we could ask for. A return of My Muppets Show! Or a sequel! Or literally any other new Muppet game that comes close to the joy this silly little app provided for us. As much as I wish My Muppets Show was still around, I’m thankful to have this 10th anniversary as a reason to look back and remember the good old days of coin farming, moving bodies around on the Muppet stage, and lying awake in bed replaying the dulcet tones of Pepe the King Prawn singing in my brain.
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by Joe Hennes – Joe@ToughPigs.com