Podcast Transcript: Hubba-Wha?! Episode #20

Published: September 21, 2023
Categories: Transcripts

Click here for original audio.

Transcription provided by Katilyn Miller.

Hubba-Wha?! Episode 302 – Kermit the Park Hopper

[Clip from The Muppets at Walt Disney World plays]

MICHAEL EISNER: Welcome, everyone. I’m in the lobby of the Grand Floridian Beach Resort in Walt Disney World. It’s the perfect place to have tea with Fozzie Bear and his mother.

EMILY BEAR: Four lumps or five?

MICHAEL: Oh none for me. Thank you.

FOZZIE BEAR: I’ll take six.

EMILY: Would you care for some honey?

MICHAEL:  No, thank you, darling.

FOZZIE AND EMILY: (together) Aaaahhhh.

ALL: Wocka Wocka

[Clip ends]

[Hubba-Wha?! theme music plays]

BECCA PETUNIA: Welcome to (in echo sounding voice) Hubba-Wha?! (in normal voice) A Muppet Quiz Show Brought To You By ToughPigs.com! It’s your favorite quiz show that’s not like the others! Here, Muppet fans, Muppet professionals, and everyone in between competes for fabulous prizes and to see who’s this week’s Toughest Pig!

I’m your host, Becca Petunia of ToughPigs.com! Today on (in echo sounding voice) Hubba-Wha?! (in normal voice), we’re grabbing our popcorn buckets and boarding the People Mover because we’re headed to Walt Disney World! You know, for a brief time in the late 80s and early 90s, it seemed like the Muppets were going to have a huge role in the Disney parks, especially Hollywood Studios. Then, well…some stuff happened. But there’s still a lot of intersection between the Muppets and Walt Disney World even today, so we’ve still got a lot to explore!

You know, I’ve been to Disney World’s Hollywood Studios once, but at the time it was still MGM Studios. And the park was three years old. And I was younger than that. So needless to say, it’s been a while, and I needed some help to write the questions in this episode. So I used my personal Genie, Muppet Wiki, to help, plus some other sources that I’ll mention later. And speaking of, let’s agree to play fair today. Please don’t look at Muppet Wiki, or any other resource, during this game. Disney World is the happiest place on Earth. Don’t make me sad.

Anyway, before we take this ride, you’re going to need to show me your Magic Band. Or, in lieu of that, just introduce yourselves. That’s why we’re going to play our first game, (echo sounding voice) To Tell a Face. (in normal voice)

Contestants, buzz in to answer some questions about yourself. Whoever buzzes in first will be introduced first. Ready? Go!

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: All right, Mel. So Mel, you’ve buzzed in first so you get to answer these questions first,

MEL: Okay. Hello.

BECCA: Hi there, Mel.

MEL: (laughing) Hi.

BECCA: Mel, what is your name?

MEL: Hi. My name is Melia, also known as Mel. Yes, hi. [laughs] Sorry, I’m very excited to be here.

BECCA: And, you know, I’m gonna start doing this this season because it’s important to do. Mel, what pronouns should we use for you while you’re here?

MEL: I use they pronouns. Thank you so much for asking. Yeah.

BECCA: No, no problem. So Mel, what is your sort of history with the Muppets?

MEL: Yes. So, I was definitely into the Muppets as a kid. I remember watching mostly The Muppet Movie a lot. That was kind of the only thing I really had other than on our semiannual family vacations to Walt Disney World. My biggest exposure to the Muppets when I was growing up was Muppet*Vision 3D. It is a perfect piece of cinema. It is in my Letterboxd top four.

[Becca laughs]

MEL: It is genuinely a perfect movie. And so yeah. And so I was definitely into the Muppets but in… after I graduated college, I ended up moving down here to Orlando and being in this sort of theme park environment definitely got me more into the Muppets. Probably a lot more than I anticipated when originally moving here, but we can get to that later (laughing) if you want.

BECCA: Yeah. Well, why don’t you tell me a little bit about some of that theme park experience. What do you do down in Orlando?

MEL: Yeah.

BECCA: Why did I call you to be on this episode? To ask a leading question.

MEL: Absolutely. So, eagle-eyed fans of my social media may be familiar. I originally moved down here to Orlando for the Disney college program after I had graduated and was working in costuming at the Magic Kingdom. It was really great. I got to work on a bunch of shows and stuff like that. Had a really wonderful experience coming out of theater school. Originally only planned to live down here for, you know, my one semester of a college program. And here I am almost five years later in a very different place than we started.

But so I worked at Disney for about two years and then a little thing called the Novel Coronavirus happened. And we all got laid off via email on a Saturday afternoon. So that was exciting. And then, shortly after the very slow, kind of return to a semblance of normalcy here in Orlando, Disney sort of called back everyone from a lot of the frontline positions, but there was not a lot of entertainment in the parks because of the difficulty of masking and social distancing for a lot of things like that. So a lot of us who were previously in entertainment ended up other places.

And it got to a point where I could go back to Disney and work in the parks. But they told me that the only thing they had available at the moment was quick service food and beverage. And I was currently working as like a host at a restaurant at Disney Springs and I was like, “Well I don’t really want to do that. That’s sort of the environment I’m already in. But it would be funny, if you’ve got anything available. Any chance, any chance you get any spots at PizzeRizzo open?”

And believe it or not, that was not one of the more requested locations I guess. And so then I worked at PizzeRizzo for about six months because I thought that it would be funny and it was. So yeah. You love to see it.

BECCA: All right. And of course, you know, you’re still down there and you work for Universal now. Correct?

MEL: Yes. Yes. I do. Yeah. Back in entertainment. Doing costuming things with them. Having a lot of fun. Still very close to Disney, obviously still there a lot. Visiting the Muppets mostly.

BECCA: Well, there you go. And last question here. What Muppet-themed attraction should Disney World open? What do you think should be the next move?

MEL: Hmm. The next thing. I mean, I think, I don’t know if this is something we’ll talk about later, but one of the early kind of rumored things that they had been wanting for a potential Muppet expansion of, at the time, MGM studios was like the Great Muppet Movie ride.

BECCA: Let me tell you, Mel, I have an entire round about that.

MEL: Okay, great. So that’ll come back but we lost the original great movie ride here in Orlando for Runaway Railway, which I personally do not have a ton of beef with. I wish there was a universe where we could have kept both. But I think that park really needed something like Runaway Railway. I am not a Runaway Railway hater. I am, however, a great movie ride stan. And so if there was a way that we could…we could bulldoze a lot of things, but I think a variation of that Great Muppet Movie Ride would kind of be perfect and be the thing that that park specifically needs to kind of tie it back to that original theme.

BECCA: Excellent. So Mel for answering all those questions, and thank you so much for going into all that detail, seriously, but for that, I’m going to give you 20 points.

MEL: Amazing.

BECCA: And now let’s move on to our second contestant from ToughPigs. It’s…

MATTHEW SOBERMAN: My name is Matthew Soberman.

BECCA: And Matthew, again, I’m just gonna ask you what pronouns should we use on this podcast for you?

MATTHEW: I use he/him pronouns.

BECCA: All right, great. So, Matthew, you know, listen, we all know, we know so much about your history with the Muppets because you’ve been on so many ToughPigs podcasts at this point. And you write for us and all that?

MATTHEW: Yeah, 11 years now.

BECCA: Yeah. Geez. Yeah. I’m coming for you, but slowly. This is year nine for me.


BECCA: But yeah, so I’m gonna skip that question. I’m going to instead ask you, where do I park my bicycle?

MATTHEW: Probably in Dover, which is the capital of Delaware.

BECCA: That’s true. All right. Next question. What is your history with Walt Disney World? Because you only talk about this half as much, maybe two-thirds as much as you talk about the Muppets.

MATTHEW: Uh, yeah. It’s kind of a big… Yeah, I mean, yeah. At least, where I talk with you about things.

BECCA: True.

MATTHEW: So my first trip to Disney World came in February ‘97. The 25th anniversary celebration was still going on. It was the only time I got to ride both Horizons and the original Journey into Imagination. They both closed by the next time I had been… by this next time I went. Those I think had a pretty formative experience of my life. Like if you’re talking core memory, I don’t remember much but I just remember being in awe of Horizons.

To the point where, believe it or not, growing up where people think of me as the Muppet guy today, they thought of me as the Disney Parks guy then. I’ve been there more times than I can count. Haven’t been there recently though. I think I went just after the Great Movie Ride closed. That was a, that was a sad day.

Yeah, I mean it’s just sort of always been a presence in my life.

BECCA: You’ve also, you’ve written for some Walt Disney World news websites on and off.

MATTHEW: Yes. And occasionally about Walt Disney World news for ToughPigs.

BECCA: That’s true. And I should say, you, of course, were on the most listened to episode…

[Matthew laughs]

BECCA: …of ToughPigs’s other podcast, or one of our other podcasts, Movin’ Right Along. You were on the episode where you discussed Muppet*Vision 3D.


BECCA: Which maybe we’ll be talking about. And you love, you love reminding us.

MATTHEW: I love it just because of how much it irks Ryan.

BECCA: Mmhmm.

MATTHEW: I think Anthony is just sort of like bemused by the whole thing. But Ryan’s like, “Ugh. This again.” I mostly do it to get a rise out of him. Not for anything.

BECCA: Anyway. Now I wouldn’t know anything about trying to get a rise out of Ryan and Joe. Anyway, so what Muppet-themed attraction do you think Disney should add to their parks?

MATTHEW: Well, you know what, there are a lot of great things, but honestly, I would just be happy if they reopened the Muppet*Vision 3D at Disney California Adventure. Like, it feels weird that literally only one Disney park on the whole planet has a Muppet-based attraction. So at this point, I would be happy to settle for just that. But if I had like a ride, oh, I mean, the Great Muppet Movie Ride would have been fabulous. Other than that, wow, I’ve never really tried to like imagineer my own Muppet attraction.

I mean, obviously, I think the big thing now is trackless dark rides like Runaway Railway, as Mel said. I think that they’re… the Muppets could have a lot of fun with that as a medium.

BECCA: It’s funny because when you put it that way like I think Runaway Railway is a good kind of structure with like…you’re supposed to be doing this but then it goes completely wrong and you’re going all over the place. Like that’s that’s very much in the, you know…

MEL: That’s a perfect idea. Yeah.

MATTHEW: Oh and I do want to thank Mel because, as we all know, cast members are the magic.

MEL: Thank you. [laughs]

MATTHEW: Thank you for keeping us entertained and engaged.

BECCA: Anyway, I’m gonna open a Jacques Roach-themed attraction at Disneyland Paris.

[Matthew and Mel laugh]

BECCA: I need to workshop what it is. But that’s for like Ryan and Anthony and nobody else. Anyway.

[Matthew laughs]

BECCA: So nice work. You have earned 20 points as well, Matthew, bringing this to an exciting tie. And moving forward, let’s play our first trivia game [in echo sounding voice] Can you guess? [in normal voice]

So, in this game, we’ll be guessing about the biggest way that the Muppets are at Disney World: the attraction Muppet*Vision 3D. We all know and love Muppet*Vision 3D and in fact, you’ve both just spoken about how much you know and love Muppet*Vision 3D. It was Jim Henson’s final project with the Muppet gang. And is still one of the best 3D movies out there. But do you remember key details about the show?

I’m going to ask you questions about Muppet*Vision 3D. Your job is to buzz in and answer the questions. It’s so simple even Bean Bunny could do it. Each question is worth two points. Buzz in when you know the answer. But please wait until I finish reading the question so our studio audience can play along. Are you ready?

[Clip from Muppet*Vision 3D plays]

[Muppet theme song plays in background]

STATLER: “Well, what do you think?”

WALDORF: “Do we have time to go to the bathroom before the next show?”

STATLER: “We can’t, you old fool. We’re bolted to the seats.

[Statler and Waldorf laugh]

[clip ends]

BECCA: Let’s go. All right, first question. What year did Muppet*Vision 3D open in Disney World?

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Matthew.

MATTHEW: That would be 1991.

BECCA: Correct. Matthew, I’ll ask you this bonus question. What is significant about the date the attraction opened at Disney World?

MATTHEW: Well, it opened on May 16th which was the first anniversary of Jim’s passing.

BECCA: All right, I’ll throw in an extra point for that. It also opened then little, little under three months before I was born. Question two. What year did Muppet*Vision 3D open in California Adventure?

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Matthew.

MATTHEW: That would be 2001.

BECCA: Correct. Ten years later.

MATTHEW: Mmhmm. And it was an opening day attraction at California Adventure.

BECCA: Like the mountain shaped like a bear. Question three. What company was the original sponsor of the attraction?

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]


MEL: Was it Kodak?

BECCA: It was Kodak. Correct. Question four. What is the name of Bunsen and Beaker’s living 3D effect?

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Matthew.

MATTHEW: That would be Waldo, the spirit of 3D.

BECCA: Can you, can you give me his full name from The Jim Henson Hour?

MATTHEW: Waldo C. Graphic.

BECCA: Correct. Question five. What device do Bunsen and Beaker use to try to stop Waldo?

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Matthew.

MATTHEW: That would be the Vacuu-Muppet.

BECCA: Ooh, you got the specific name too. That’s what I like. Question six. What remote control device does Fozzie use as a cheap 3D trick?

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]


MEL: That would be his remote controlled banana cream pie.

BECCA: Correct. Nice work. Question seven. What song does Miss Piggy sing before she is interrupted by Bean Bunny?

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]


MEL: She sings “Dream a Little Dream of Me.”

BECCA: Correct. Question eight. Who is the only character to appear in the attraction in person, that is, not just on screen or as an audio animatronic?

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Matthew.

MATTHEW: That would be Sweetums.

BECCA: Correct. The Sweetums, at least originally, the people in the Sweetums costume were trained by the Jim Henson folks to make sure that he could move.

MEL: Oh, wow.

MATTHEW: I believe they still are. Though I’m not 100% sure about that.

BECCA: Yeah, I don’t know if that’s still the case. But I certainly know it was in the 90s.

MEL: That’s so cool.

BECCA: To make sure they could realistically move like Sweetums. Question nine. Now we’re talking about the queue. According to the information at the Muppet Labs security desk, where can you find the key to Muppet Labs?

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Mel, very fast there.

MEL: The key is under the mat.

BECCA: The key is under the mat.

MATTHEW: Now, having the three of us all been to Disney World, have you looked for the key?

MEL: Absolutely.

MATTHEW: It’s a must-do. It’s a must do when you’re there.

MEL: It’s under the mat.

BECCA: I’ve been again, like I said, I went to Disney World fairly recently, but we didn’t get to go to Hollywood Studios.


MEL: Heartbreaking.

BECCA: So the only time I’ve been to Hollywood Studios, which was MGM studios at the time, was literally in 1994. So I saw Muppet*Vision 3D twice then but I have no memory of like the specifics of the queue. We also had, weirdly, had a bootleg VHS copy of Muppet*Vision 3D growing up.

MEL: Wow!

BECCA: So I’ve seen it a couple times even before the Youtube days but I had a lot of just bizarre Muppet VHSs that I need to dig through the next time I’m at my parents house but.

MEL: I was gonna say, do you still have that VHS?

BECCA: I do. I mean it would be at my parents’ house but I mean, I remember it being bad because it was like filmed directly and not with like somebody correctly polarizing the lens. Just like there’s good versions of it on Youtube now which I rewatched to help me write these questions. And I remember the VHS not being that good. But it was nice to have. Anyway.

MEL: Absolutely.

Question 10. One of the props in the backstage queue, pays tribute to a famous mouseketeer. What prop is it?

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Matthew.

MATTHEW: It is a net full of Jell-O.

BECCA: Correct.

MATTHEW: A tribute to Annette Funicello.

BECCA: I feel like that’s got to be almost impossible to like, I wonder if anyone has figured that out without reading it written down.


MEL: I have no idea. Or if you take kids in there today.

BECCA: Oh well, certainly, I don’t think kids today know who Annette Funicello is unless…

MEL: They should.

BECCA: Kids are re-watching those specials or kids are listening to that one bonus episode of Podcast: The Ride where they talk about all of her career. Question 11. What is the name of the orchestral group who plays the music for the show?

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Matthew.

MATTHEW: Uh, I know the band leader is Nicky Napoleon.

BECCA: Okay.

MATTHEW: But I don’t remember the name of… I think… I thought it was Nicky Napoleon and his orchestra.

BECCA: It is not, at least not according to Muppet Wiki. I’m not sure where this is stated if it’s stated anywhere. Mel, do you have any idea?

MEL: I do not actually have any real idea.

BECCA: Okay. According to Muppet Wiki, it is listed as Nicky Napoleon and his Emperor Penguins.

MATTHEW: Ah. That’s cute.

BECCA: Now, I believe that name comes from another Muppet production, which is actually what brings me to my next question, which I was gonna ask whoever got the question right. This bonus question, this Daily Double or whatever you want to call it. On what two Muppet programs did Nicky Napoleon previously appear?

MATTHEW:  I think I can guess one of them but I don’t think I could guess both.

MEL: Mm-mm

BECCA: Well I’ll give you one point if you want to buzz in Matthew.

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Let’s do this right. Matthew.

MATTHEW: Was it Little Muppet Monsters?

BECCA: It absolutely was. That three episode-long TV show before it was canceled, Little Muppet Monsters.

MEL: Wow.

BECCA: I assume neither of you have any idea what the other one is?

MEL: No.

BECCA: Well, it was a show. It was a special designed to promote Little Muppet Monsters among other things.


BECCA: The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years. That show was a special like retrospective and also was designed in part to promote Little Muppet Monsters, a show that had already been canceled by the time The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years aired.

MATTHEW: [laughs] But Big Bird sure is excited to watch that show.

BECCA: He is. He is. He mentions that. Yeah. What is the name of Sam the Eagle’s finale?

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]


MEL: It’s called A Salute to All Nations, But Mostly America.

BECCA: Correct. I’m unsure if this episode will have already come out or will be coming out after this one. But I do have an episode that I’m going to be recording where I wrote all of the questions based on that theme of a Salute to All Nations, But Mostly America.

Question 13. What Disney theme park attraction does Sam’s finale reference?

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Matthew.

MATTHEW: What is It’s a Small World?

BECCA: It is It’s a Small World.

MATTHEW: And I just remembered I’m not on Jeopardy.

BECCA: Yeah.

[Mel laughs]

MATTHEW: This isn’t Ellen’s Energy adventure.

BECCA: This is not Ellen’s Energy Adventure. I’m sorry.

MEL: Not yet.

MATTHEW: A nightmare Hubba-Wha?!

MEL: You don’t know.

BECCA: I did not write a whole round of questions based on Ellen’s Energy Adventure, starring Ellen DeGeneres and some dinosaurs.

MEL: And Bill Nye the Science Guy. Yeah.

MATTHEW: And Jamie Lee Curtis.

BECCA: Yeah.

MATTHEW: There’s an Oscar winner in there.

BECCA: It’s true. Uh, Kramer.

[Matthew laughs]

BECCA: Question 14. Jim Henson tragically died before the release of this attraction, leaving Frank Oz to put the finishing touches on it. What did Frank ask Disney to pay him in return?

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Matthew.

MATTHEW: That would be a basket of socks.

BECCA: It is a basket of socks. That is the payment Frank Oz received for completing Muppet*Vision 3D.

MATTHEW: See, I was just studying before this episode and I had to look at the Muppet*Vision page and that just happened that’s what my eyes scrolled to was that fact.

MEL: I had not heard that before. That is wild.

BECCA: Yeah.

MATTHEW: Yeah. He would not accept any money for finishing Jim’s project. Which I think is a sweet gesture.

MEL: Absolutely.

BECCA: Man, it’s funny because again, like I said, I’ve only been to Disney World a few times, but like seriously, and Mel knows this, and I think you both do just from Twitter, like I love Podcast: The Ride so much that like now I like know everything about Ellen’s Energy Adventure.

[Mel laughs]

BECCA: A ride I never did and obviously will never do.

MATTHEW: No, not anymore. Sad. I did love it.

BECCA: [laughs] That doesn’t surprise me that you loved it.

MATTHEW: Just to tie it back to the beginning of the episode, closed on the same day as The Great Movie Ride.

MEL: Oh, wow.

MATTHEW: That I believe was the Disney blogger apocalypse. Because they had to cover two closings and had to make the difficult decision as to try to be the last person on which one.

MEL: Oh my god.

MATTHEW: And famously, Ellen’s Energy Adventure, unlike The Great Movie Ride, broke down on its last ride. Like the people who waited all day did not get to finish the ride, but they did get to walk through.

BECCA: Did they at least get to walk through the dinosaur parts?

MATTHEW: Yes, they did.

BECCA: Okay, there we go.

MATTHEW: Everyone was taking pictures and the cast members were not rushing them at all.

MEL: That’s good.

BECCA: Yeah. I mean why would you? The dinosaurs is, again, like the best part, but I’ve learned that comes from a different ride. Anyway, um, so, moving back. All right. Nice work there. Now it’s time for my favorite game, the head to head game…

[Clip from Sesame Street]

ANNOUNCER: Beat the Time.

[Cuckoo sound effects]

[Clip ends]

BECCA: As long as we’re talking about the Muppets at Walt Disney World, let’s talk about The Muppets at Walt Disney World. And by that I mean the TV special from 1990.

This incredibly fun episode of The Magical World of Disney features the Muppets exploring different attractions around all three of Disney World’s parks: The Magic Kingdom, Epcot and MGM studios. And boy, do they visit a lot of attractions. By my count, there are 36 attractions or Disney World areas featured in this special.

And I will say, Muppet Wiki, Shane, I know you’re listening. We don’t have a written out list of this on Muppet Wiki. So your pal had to sit in front of her TV and write them all down. And some of them I did not know the name of. So I had to describe them and text Ryan Roe. I’m like, “There’s an attraction that looks like this. What is it?”

MATTHEW: What kills me is you could have absolutely have asked me, but I was gonna, you already knew I was gonna be on the episode.

BECCA: I knew you were going to be on the episode, so I had to ask Ryan instead but anyway, I’m not mad.

[Matthew and Mel laugh]

MATTHEW: I’m sure you did great.

BECCA: Well, I’m pretty sure I did great. And I’m pretty sure you guys are going to do great too. So here’s how this is going to work. Starting with Mel, name a location at Disney World that appears in The Muppets at Walt Disney World. We’ll go back and forth between the two of you to see who can name more.

So Mel’s going to name one. Then Matthew’s gonna name one then Mel’s going to name one, then Matthew’s gonna name one. If you can’t remember one or you get the answer wrong, your opponent will have the chance to steal and go twice instead. If neither of you can answer, the round ends. Right?

And hey, if you can’t remember the special that well, remember Disney World attractions from the year 1990 and you’ll be okay. All right, so Mel?

MEL: Yes. I don’t know that I have ever seen this special all the way through.

BECCA: Oh my goodness.

MEL: So this might be a little rough.

MATTHEW: Oh, I highly recommend it. It’s a lot.

BECCA: It’s on Youtube.

MEL: I thought about watching it to prepare for this and then I just didn’t and I regret that now.

BECCA: It’s on Youtube. It’s a lot of fun, you know, especially if you like both the Muppets and the parks. You know, they film it on location, which is nice. It’s a lot like that social media video where Animal goes to Animal Kingdom and just isn’t funny.

MEL: Yeah.

BECCA: And is really bland and just says, like, bunny rabbit over and over again. It’s a lot like that but if there were jokes.

MEL: Okay. Okay.

MATTHEW: If it were funny and entertaining and an hour long.

BECCA: Yeah. And Jim Henson and Frank Oz were there and all that.

MATTHEW: Yeah. And Frank Oz was performing Animal.

BECCA: Yeah. No offense to Eric Jacobson.

MATTHEW: No, Eric does a wonderful job.

BECCA: But yes, offense to that video where he just says bunny rabbit a bunch. Anyway.

[Clip from The Muppets at Walt Disney World plays]



MUPPETS: Walt Disney World?!



FROG: Oh, yeah, that’s right. I forgot. Walt Disney World is just on the other side of those trees over there.

SCOOTER: Let’s go everybody.


BEAR: Yeah.

KERMIT: But wait a second. What about the Frog festival?

FOZZIE: Kermit, you don’t understand. You are asking us to choose between Walt Disney World and fried bugs.


[Clip ends]

BECCA: Mel. Name an attraction.

[Clock ticking sound]

MEL: Can it be like a location as well?

BECCA: It can be a location. I’ll let you know if I need you to go more specific.

MEL: Okay. I know that part of this special does take place at the Grand Floridian Resort in the lobby.

BECCA: Okay, I have Grand Floridian on my list. Matthew, name a location.

MATTHEW: I don’t know if this is going to count, but I’ll shoot my shot. I do know that Robin is carried away on the Walt Disney World monorail.

BECCA: Um…I do have monorail written down. Listen, I approached this with the level of thoroughness that fans of (in echo sounding voice) Hubba-Wha?! (in normal sounding voice) and ToughPigs in general come to expect. Monorail is on my list. Mel, name an attraction.

MEL: I be– Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, I believe.

BECCA: Big Thunder is in this special. Correct. Matthew.

MATTHEW: Uh, Star Tours.

BECCA: Okay. Star Tours. Correct. Mel?

MEL: Um, Main Street, USA.

BECCA: Um, Main Street USA is included. Can you be a little more specific? The scene is on like a key feature of Main Street, USA. I guess “on” is a clue there.

MEL: Is it on the trolley?

BECCA: Correct.

MEL: Incredible.

MATTHEW: Well, as long as we’re talking modes of transportation, I’m going to pick a defunct attraction, the World Showcase bus that used to take people around World Showcase at Epcot.

BECCA: Now listen, I have World Showcase written down.

MATTHEW: Oh just all as one location.

BECCA: Well no, because I actually I’m going to now ask you to get a little more specific, Matthew. Name, one of the pavilions featured in the World Showcase in the special.

MATTHEW: I’m pretty sure they use all the ones that were open at the time. So I can name you all 11.

BECCA: Well, I take it– I got bad news for you because there’s only nine in the special.

MATTHEW: Oh there’s only nine. Well, I’m gonna go with the safe choice and that’s Mexico.

BECCA: Mexico is in the special. Mel, you wanna guess?

MEL: Yeah, sure. I’ll go the other direction and I’ll say Canada.

BECCA: Canada is in the special. Correct. Matthew.

MATTHEW: Uh, Japan. The Japan Pavilion.

BECCA: The Japan Pavilion is in the special. Mel.

MEL: The UK.

BECCA: The UK is in the special. Matthew.

MATTHEW: The Morocco Pavilion.

BECCA: The Morocco Pavilion is in the special.

MATTHEW: Clifford just jamming out there.

BECCA: Yeah, he is. Mel.

MEL: Uh, France.

BECCA: France is in the special. Matthew. [laughs]


BECCA: Italy, is in the special. Mel.

MEL: Germany.

BECCA: Germany is in the special. Matthew. This is the last one by my count.

MATTHEW: So, um, I’m not a hundred percent on this. I’m gonna say, China?

BECCA: It is China. Correct. So the United States, I did not notice the American Adventure anywhere. Um, and what’s the other one that’s missing?

MATTHEW: Norway.

MEL: Which might not have been open yet.

MATTHEW: Norway opened in ‘88 so it was probably open.

BECCA: I didn’t see it. Again, I was keeping a pretty close eye. Anyway.

MATTHEW: I trust you.

BECCA: It’s fine. So we did the World Showcase. Mel another attraction.

MEL: Going back to our defunct attractions, I believe the like Skyway Buckets in Magic Kingdom are in that special. Maybe.

BECCA: You know, I didn’t write down the Skyway.

MATTHEW: I don’t believe they are. I think that was only for promotional.


MEL I am thinking of a picture. Yeah.

BECCA: The promo photo does have it, but I don’t believe it’s in the special. Matthew. I guess you get to name two then.

MATTHEW: Uh well, I will keep the defunct theme going. I believe Gonzo and Camilla stand outside the Wonders of Life.

BECCA: They do. Correct.

MATTHEW: And for the second one, as long as we’re because, you know, Epcot’s my happy place, I know Bean and Scooter hang out at the jumping fountains outside Journey into Imagination.

BECCA: Correct. Mel.

MEL: We have reached the extent of my knowledge on this, so I am going to start guessing.

BECCA: Great.

MEL: We have not done any from MGM Studios yet. So I will say The Great Movie Ride. Or the Chinese Theater facade.

BECCA: The Chinese Theater is included. Yes. Right and that is The Great Movie Ride.

MATTHEW: Well then I will go with the big finale at the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular.

BECCA: Correct. Mel.

MEL: Staying at MGM, is there anything on the Streets of America? The backlot?

BECCA: The New York backlot is included. Robin is so excited to be on the New York back lot. It is a little strange. Matthew. [laughs]

[Mel laughs]

MATTHEW: I’m pretty sure this is a real world location. So I’m going to say the pet care center.

BECCA: That is on my list. Mel.

MEL: I believe, I think there is a scene at like the beach outside The Grand Floridian or like on the Seven Seas Lagoon.

BECCA: I think I just included that as part of the Grand Floridian.

MEL: As part of the Grand Floridian. That’s fair. That’s fair.

MATTHEW: Um, do you want to guess again?

BECCA: Yeah, Mel, go again. No, that’s fair.

MEL: Okay.

BECCA: That’s my fault for not saying the Seven Seas Lagoon is separate.

MEL: I will guess… going back to Magic Kingdom. Let’s say the Jungle Cruise.

BECCA: The Jungle Cruise not included. Despite you feel like being right up.

MEL: Yeah.

BECCA: Right up their alley.

MEL: Feels like that would,yeah, have a lot of potential.

BECCA: Yeah. Matthew, you want to give me two?

MATTHEW: Uh, See, now we’re getting at the point where I’m trying to quickly go through this special.

BECCA: Yeah, if you miss, listen, if you miss one, again, if you both miss then, then this round is over.

MATTHEW: Um, I had one and I lo–, uh, Because I’m going to start stretching. I believe the opening sequence where they break in is in front. You can see from the shot, Sid Cahuengas.

BECCA: You know, I didn’t have that written down but I believe you because it’s so specific.

[Clock sticking stops]

[Mel laughs]

MATTHEW: Yes. The old that, for those who don’t know, that was a place in Hollywood Studios near and dear to my heart because unlike every other merchandise shop on property, they sold movie props.

MEL: Mmhmm.


MATTHEW: Probably–

MEL: Now that building is–Oh sorry.

MATTHEW: Oh, no. Go ahead, go ahead.

MEL: Oh, I was gonna say, now that the building still exists, and I think the facade might still be there, but it is the Photopass headquarters of Hollywood Studios.

MATTHEW: Yes. Ah. I could only afford one item from there and it was a prop check from the Broadway version of The Producers.

BECCA: Okay.

MATTHEW: So in a way, I technically brought it back to New York. I went all the way to get something I could have gotten if I had waited outside the dumpster of the Saint James Theater.

[Clock ticking sound]

BECCA: Matthew, you want to give me another one because you do get to steal.

MATTHEW: I believe Kermit and Raven Simone sing “Rainbow Connection” outside Cinderella Castle.

BECCA: Correct. I will accept Cinderella’s Castle. It’s so obvious but it counts as an attraction. Mel, anything? Any guesses?

MEL: Um, following that theme, I’ll say Spaceship Earth.

BECCA: Spaceship Earth is included because again, you can’t not. Matthew.

MATTHEW: Um, Yeah, I’m starting… oh, Fozzie, when he tells his jokes, I’m pretty sure a couple of the Country Bears can be seen. So I’m gonna say Country Bear Jamboree.

BECCA: Correct. I will count that even though you cannot, I don’t think you see actual Country Bear Hall. But you do see the bears. Mel.

MEL: How many do we have left?

BECCA: Oh geez.

[Matthew laughs]

BECCA: One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12. Okay, Country Bears. I got it right here.

MEL: I am going to guess the Living Seas at Epcot.

BECCA: The Living Seas is included. Correct.

MATTHEW: Oh yeah, they do a bunch when they’re doing the finale dancing in front.

BECCA: Yeah, and I had to write them all down. Matthew.

MATTHEW: Well, I’m starting to grasp at straws myself.

BECCA: Some of these are obvious and then some of these are ones that I needed to text Ryan.

MATTHEW: I’m pretty sure, keeping with the Country Bears, one of the other bears that laughs at Fozzie’s jokes in the scene, is Brer Bear from Splash Mountain.

BECCA: It is Brer Bear from Splash Mountain. I did not have Splash Mountain written down but I will give you another one because Brer Bear is there. So it feels like that’s gonna count for Splash Mountain. Mel. A guess?

MEL: Sticking with the Frontierland theme. Can I say Tom Sawyer Island? With the boats.

BECCA: Is the boat. [sighs]

MEL The little rafts are…

BECCA: Yeah, well, you can see…you can see the Mark Twain.

MATTHEW: I think that’s a separate attraction.

BECCA: But that’s a separate attraction.

MEL: Yeah, I would count that different.

MATTHEW: The boats were the Mike Fink Keel boats.

MEL: Yeah.

MATTHEW: Which I think were operating still at the time, but…

BECCA: Well, I…

MATTHEW: I don’t know if you see them.

BECCA: I don’t have that. I think it’s just the Mark Twain which I guess I just gave away. So now there’s less options left. Matthew.

MATTHEW: Um…The Crystal Palace.

BECCA: The Crystal Palace, which I had to ask Ryan the name of. And Matthew, do you have another one?


BECCA: You’re still missing some obvious ones.

MATTHEW: Some obvious ones? Wow. Because I…

BECCA: Like ones that people at home will know.

MATTHEW: Oh, I’m sure I could name Disney Parks attractions, but I don’t– I’m just trying to remember what’s in the special. Ah, yikes. I’m gonna say… The Magic of Disney Animation.

[Clock ticking stops]

BECCA: No, I’m sorry.

MATTHEW: No, it’s not there, no.

BECCA: Okay, so I guess– we each– you both missed. So I’m gonna end the round here. Attractions you did not mention: Crossroads of the World.

MATTHEW: Oh yeah. The shop.

BECCA: Mmhmm. Space Mountain.

MATTHEW: Oh, it is in that. I wasn’t sure.

BECCA: You see the outside of it. It’s, again, I had to check but it’s definitely Space Mountain. Um, The Chapeau.

MEL: Oh.


BECCA: That’s not an obvious. Dumbo the elephant and the Mad Tea Party were the two obvious ones that neither of you said.

MEL: Yeah.


BECCA: We could count Gonzo’s various adventures in quote “a Grungy tunnel.”

MEL: Been there.

BECCA: Yeah, I’m sure. As well as a laundry room.

MEL: Been there.

BECCA: A sewer. And I also would have counted Mickey Mouse’s office where the special ends. All right. And I do apologize again if I missed, or I was incorrect and the Tom Sawyer Island was included or any of these other things. I am sorry. But, believe me, I am going to try to convince Matthew to help me edit Muppet Wiki so we cannot have to go through this again.

[Mel and Matthew laugh]

BECCA: Meanwhile, while we’re not in the park, let’s turn on Disney Plus and check one of the other most Disney World-themed Muppet productions. That’s right. I’m talking about Muppets Haunted Mansion.

MATTHEW: Oh I thought you were going to talk about Behind the Attraction.

BECCA: No. They don’t have a Muppet one of that. Do they?

MEL: I don’t think so.

MATTHEW: No, they don’t.

BECCA: Yeah. I feel like I would have watched it if they did. No, I’m talking about Muppets Haunted Mansion. Anyway, as you know, in this special Gonzo and Pepe have to spend the night in the Haunted Mansion. Except not the Haunted Mansion at Disney World or Disneyland or the Phantom Manor or whatever. It’s kind of the same, but different. And one of the ways that the mansion is different, is that instead of our usual Haunted Mansion friends, we’ve got Muppets. Because at the end of the day, nothing is scarier than Mo Frackle.

[Matthew and Mel laugh]

BECCA: That’s why we’re going to play a game that I’m calling (in echo sounding voice) Doom Buddies. (in normal voice) In this game…

[Matthew chuckles]

BECCA: Thank you. Thank you, thank you.

MEL: I love it.

BECCA: Pause for the hilarious laughter.

[Mel laughs]

MATTHEW: Dah, dah, daaaaaah.

BECCA: Yeah. In this game, I’ll name a character from the Haunted Mansion attraction or Haunted Mansion lore. Your job is to buzz in and name the Muppet who portrayed that character in the special.

MEL: I love it.

BECCA: I want to thank, and this is the other source that I used. I want to thank the Haunted Mansion Wiki for some clarification on the character names because this is something else, Matthew, this is something else we’re gonna have to take care of Muppet Wiki. Because yeah, we’re not using, we’re not really using, I guess we’re using the names that they used in the credits of the special. But they’re not the official Haunted Mansion names. Also, it is really–

MATTHEW: Look the Haunted Mansion fandom is a level beyond Disney Parks fandom.

BECCA: I was about to say, it is real hard to understand the names of the Haunted Mansion characters because they each have like six names.

MEL: Yeah.

BECCA: And then titles and then there’s the comic book names and the Eddie Murphy movie. And now Jared Leto has a movie and–

MEL: That’s right. We’re but weeks away from getting more new names to add to this expansive lore.

BECCA: So I’m gonna name a Haunted Mansion character. You are going to buzz in and name the Muppet who portrayed that character in the special. For some of them there may be more than one right answer. If I mention a group of characters or a pair of characters. Also, in those cases, you will get points if you name both. If you can only name one, you will get some points, etc, etc. You will get two points for each correct answer. And now let’s meet some of those 999 happy haunts.

[Clip from Muppets Haunted Mansion plays]

STATLER: Oh no. The only thing worse than being stuck in here with you is being stuck in here with them.

[Statler and Waldorf laugh]

[Clip ends]

BECCA: Question one. Madam Leota.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Matthew, by a like millisecond.

MATTHEW: That would be Miss Piggy.

BECCA: That would be Miss Piggy. Question two. The Hatbox ghost.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]


MEL: Fozzie.

BECCA: Correct. Question three. The Organist.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]


MEL: That is Rowlf.

BECCA: That is Rowlf. Question four. The birthday ghost.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Matthew.

MATTHEW: That’s Robin.

BECCA: It is Robin.

MATTHEW: Tiny Tim did die.

[Mel laughs]

MATTHEW: I mean much later. Much after the events of Muppet Christmas Carol.

BECCA: Sure.

MATTHEW: But yeah. He’s very much dead by the time Muppets Haunted Mansion rolls around.

BECCA: True. Question five. And there’s obviously two characters here. The Staring Busts.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Matthew.

MATTHEW: That would be Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker.

BECCA: Correct. Question six. The Chandelier Ghost.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Matthew.

MATTHEW: Is that Chip?

BECCA: That is Chip. Everyone’s favorite Muppet. Chip.

MATTHEW: Not Tori who runs Live from Muppet Land. She hates Chip.

BECCA: Question seven. And there’s two answers here. The Duelists.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Matthew.

MATTHEW: That would be Pops and Sam the Eagle.

BECCA: Correct. Matthew is on a roll here.

MEL: Oh man.

BECCA: Question eight. Three answers here because we are talking about the Quicksand Men.

[Clock ticking sound]

BECCA: From the stretching painting.

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Matthew.

MATTHEW: That would be Link Hogthrob.

BECCA: Correct.

MATTHEW: The middle ghost is I want to say Dr. Strangepork.

BECCA: Correct.

MATTHEW: And the one that’s going to be making a quick exit is Miss Poogy.

BECCA: It is Miss Poogy.

MATTHEW: Is that the only other time we’ve seen her outside of the 2011 film?

BECCA: Oh no. Oh no. She is in the episode of Muppets Now that I reviewed. Let me just say, Miss Poogy, my least favorite Muppet. Anyway, I don’t like Miss Poogie. Question nine. Continuing with these paintings, Sally Slater.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]


MEL: That is Janice.

BECCCA: That is Janice. Correct. And question 10. The last included painting, because they did not do one of the Bride. Question 10. Alexander Nitrokoff.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Matthew, by a millisecond. Again you guys are like neck and neck here.

MATTHEW: Well, standing on dynamite, who else would you get but Crazy Harry.

BECCA: Correct. Now, this one is harder because question 11 is Constance’s six dead husbands. I’m gonna let you guys go back and forth on this rather than just let one of you earn 12 points. Mel, give me one.

MEL: Walter.

BECCA: Walter is one of them. Matthew, give me a second one.

MATTHEW: Beauregard.

BECCA: Correct. I will say, did not recognize it was Beauregard when I first watched the special

MATTHEW: No, he is heavily disguised. Like that mustache, it is hard to tell that that is our favorite cab driver/janitor.

BECCA: Mel, another one.

MEL: I don’t know if you’re counting them together or separately.

BECCA: Separately.

MEL: So Johnny.

BECCA: All right.

MEL: Okay.

BECCA: Johnny. Matthew.

MATTHEW: The next one would be Sal Minela.

BECCA: Correct. Mel. There’s two more.

MEL: There’s…[sighs]

MEL: She has six dead husbands. Pepe will be the seventh.

MEL: Mmhmm. I don’t know that I have the other two.

BECCA: Matthew.

MATTHEW: I can name one of them. It’s the foul mouthed Penguin.

BECCA: It is the foul mouthed Penguin. It is a penguin who Johnny says can’t say that. It’s a kid–or Sal one of them.

MEL: Yeah.

MATTHEW: (in low voice) Oh, what was… What’s the sixth?

BECCA: There’s another one. I know, but I’m trying to remember who it is.

BECCA: I believe technically it’s the fifth if we’re, you know…

MEL: Mmhmm.

BECCA: If we want to be really specific here, the penguin is the sixth. I mean, I’m gonna have to call it.

MEL: Yeah.

MATTHEW: You probably will. I’m gonna go on a limb and say, Phil van Neuter.

BECCA: It is not Phil van Neuter, although he is present in the party scene. It is Lew Zealand.

MATTHEW: Oohhhh!

MEL: Oh yeah!

MATTHEW: I can’t believe I missed that one.

BECCA: No, no, no, I mean it’s okay. Honestly, I have not watched this special since it came out. It’s cute. Question 12.

MEL: I love it.

BECCA: Question 12. The Grady Twins.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Matthew.

MATTHEW: Oh, the only twins more terrifying than the gr– the actual Grady twins: Andy and Randy.

BECCA: And please– Correct. And please forgive me for that trick question because they are, of course, characters from the film The Shining.

[Mel laughs]

BECCA: But they are in the movie.

MATTHEW: I was tempted to say that this question is too hard.


MEL: I was gonna say, they’re not in The Haunted Mansion. [laughs]

BECCA: Yeah. No. No. No. But they’re in the special. They’re in the special.

ME: They sure are.

BECCA: They say, “Come play with us, Gonzo.”

All right, you guys are so good at this, it’s scary. And speaking of scary, you know what attraction terrified me as a kid? It’s that neighbor of Muppet*Vision: The Great Movie Ride. No, seriously. I was like three years old. And I went on The Great Movie Ride and I got so freaked out by the fire and the gunshots that I caused a walk-off.

MEL: Woooooow.

MATTHEW: And that’s why you haven’t been back to Hollywood Studios!

BECCA: Yes! No, no, no, no.

[Mel and Matthew laugh]

BECCA: Anyway.

MATTHEW: It did scare the bejeepers out of me as a kid too.

MEL: Oh absolutely. That alien? From Alien.

BECCA: It was the alien…Well, spoilers. It was that. It was a combination of a lot of rides that I’ll get into when we get to the questions. But anyway, rest in peace, Great Movie Ride. But three-year-old Becca will not miss you.

One thing that would have made The Great Movie Ride a little more palatable to me as a kid would have been if they went forward with the idea to put the Muppets in it. That’s right. We know for a fact that there were plans to make the ride, The Great Muppet Movie Ride with the Muppets causing chaos throughout the most classic set pieces of Hollywood. Alas that ride never came to be.

However, I’m still thinking about the Muppets and their relationship to the great movies of Hollywood’s past. That’s why we’re going to play a very special edition of our name-the-celebrity game (in echo sounding voice) Mystery Guest. (in normal sounding voice)

In this game, I’ll name a time a celebrity worked with the Muppets or a time The Muppets directly referenced that celebrity’s work. Your job is to name that celebrity. Get it right and you’ll earn two points. Here’s a hint, all of these celebrities appeared within The Great Movie Ride.

MEL: Incredible.

BECCA: Wait until I’ve finished the clue to buzz in. All right, here we go.

Question one. We’ve already spoken about The Muppets at Walt Disney World. In this special, Kermit famously plays a character historically performed by this actor.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Matthew.

MATTHEW: Harrison Ford.

BECCA: It is Harrison Ford. And Matthew for one extra point. What Harrison Ford movie is featured in The Great Movie Ride?

MATTHEW: Raiders of the Lost Ark.

BECCA: Correct. Question two. Also in The Muppets at Walt Disney World, he and Kermit are confirmed to both be members of FASA: the Fictional Animal Stars of America.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Matthew.

MATTHEW: That would be Mickey Mouse.

BECCA: It is Mickey Mouse. And what Mickey Mouse movie is included in The Great Movie Ride.

MATTHEW: I’m just gonna say Steamboat Willie.

BECCA: It is not Steamboat Willie.


BECCA: Mel, do you know?

MEL: It is Fantasia

BECCA: It is Fantasia.

MATTHEW: Ooooh. Oh, Fantasia’s a scene in the attraction. Not–

MEL: Yeah.

MATTHEW: I mean it is in the…Oh.

MEL: Yeah. It has a scene.

MATTHEW: How did I forget that one?

BECCA: Question three. On a primetime special, she performed many songs and sketches with the Muppets, including singing “Hey Big Spender” to The Cookie Monster.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Matthew.

MATTHEW: That would be Julie Andrews.

BECCA: That is Julie Andrews. And what Julie Andrews movie is included?

MATTHEW: Mary Poppins.

BECCA: It is Mary Poppins. Mel, I saw you like raise an eyebrow. Have you not seen Julie on Sesame Street?

MEL: No.

BECCA: Okay. You have to at least…

MEL: (laughing) I haven’t.

BECCA: I’m gonna send you the clip of her.

MATTHEW: I’ve never– Oh, the clip I’ve seen.

BECCA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

MATTHEW: I’ve not seen the whole special.

BECCA: I haven’t seen the whole special but the clip where she does, I kid you not, a sexy burlesque number of “Hey Big Spender” where she tries to seduce The Cookie Monster, who is only interested in eating while she is like getting on his lap and like showing her stockings.

MEL: I can’t believe I haven’t seen or heard of this.

BECCA: This is a thing that existed and was on primetime television before The Muppet Show, correct? Yeah, this predates The Muppet Show, I believe.

MATTHEW: It might. I don’t remember.

BECCA: I’m now gonna have to check.

[Matthew and Mel laugh]

MEL: That’s incredible.

MATTHEW: I mean, I’d check for you but you said no Muppet Wiki.

BECCA: Yeah, no, no, no. You can’t look. Yeah, ‘73. That’s before The Muppet Show.

MATTHEW: Yeah. That it is.

MEL: Wow.

MATTHEW: I mean, she also, I think, one of two Muppet Show guest stars that were immortalized as an audio animatronic.

BECCA: Shhh, shhhh, shhhh.

MATTHEW: Oh. I’m sorry. I didn’t know that was a question.

BECCA: Question four. She famously appeared in an episode of Sesame Street that was banned for being too scary for children.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]


MEL: Is that Margaret Hamilton?

BECCA: That is and where is Margaret Hamilton in The Great Movie Ride?

MEL: In The Wizard of Oz.

BECCA: Yeah, I saved that. It was like, obviously, where else would she be?

MATTHEW: And what character does she play?

BECCA: Yeah. Gee.

[Mel and Becca laugh]

MEL: Another scary moment from that ride.

BECCA: Again, I’m not gonna give away where I got scared because I don’t want to give things away.

MATTHEW: I mean, for the folks at home, it’s the Wicked Witch of the West.

MEL: Yes.

BECCA: Yes, okay, thank you. Question five. Neither of these actors ever appeared with the Muppets, however, they lend their names to Baby Natasha’s doting, yet dotty parents.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Matthew.

MATTHEW: That would be Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.

BECCA: That is Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. And what Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman movie is included.

MATTHEW: A movie spoofed multiple times by the Muppets: Casablanca.

BECCA: Correct. But I didn’t want to give away the movie with the question. Question, six. His episode of The Muppet Show, Matthew, was the final one filmed. Hence, its plot about Beauregard worrying about the end of the world.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Matthew.

MATTHEW: That would be Gene Kelly.

BECCA: It is Gene Kelly. And what is the Gene Kelly movie in The Great Movie Ride?

MATTHEW: One of the best. Singing in the Rain.

BECCA: It is. Like he performed on The Muppet Show after much coaxing. Question seven. He hosted The Muppets Go Hollywood and sang “You Oughta Be in Pictures” to Miss Piggy.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Matthew.

MATTHEW: That would be Dick Van Dyke.

BECCA: That is Dick Van Dyke who, of course, is included in…

MATTHEW: Mary Poppins.

BECCA: Mary Poppins again. Question eight. This actor’s work was parodied on a Monsterpiece Theater sketch about the importance of washing one’s face.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Matthew.

MATTHEW: Is that James Cagney?

BECCA: That is James Cagney. Because of course they did “Monsters with Dirty Faces,” a parody of Angels with Dirty Faces.

MEL: Oh my god. [laughs]

BECCA: And Matthew, what is the James Cagney movie featured in The Great Movie Ride that scared the life out of me.

MATTHEW: Well technically there are two James Cagney movies. Though Cagney is not included in the other scene. The one that scared the heck out of you would have been The Public Enemy.

BECCA: It was The Public Enemy. Correct.

MATTHEW: And the second film, Cagney film referenced is Footlight Parade.

MEL: Wow.

BECCA: That’s true. Yeah, Footlight Parade is less scary though.


BECCA: Yeah, no. Question nine. She voiced The Myth-Speaker in The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.

[Clock ticking sound]

MATTHEW: [in low voice] So it’s gotta be someone who’s still alive.

BECCA: Yeah, so this person isn’t in Footlight Parade.

[Buzz in ding]


 MEL: Is it Sigourney Weaver?

BECCA: It is a Sigourney Weaver. Correct. And what Sigourney Weaver movie that was what like absolutely forced them to take me off the ride after I started crying at James Cagney?

MEL: The scene that traumatized me: Alien, of course.

BECCA: Correct. And it’s funny because again now I’m like obsessed with horror and like Alien is one of my like top five favorite movies of all time. But as a three-year-old, no.

MEL: It’s so scary.

BECCA: Yes. Well, my parents didn’t know that.

MEL: No.

BECCA: Like they didn’t know what was gonna be on The Great Movie Ride.

MEL: That there’s a Xenomorph that comes out of the ceiling down at you.

BECCA: Yes. And the Xenomorph unfortunately…You know, I guess he kind of did work with the Muppets. Because on Muppets Tonight there was a puppet that looked kind of like a Xenomorph in the sketch Codependence Day. But I did not write that down.

MATTHEW: And they directly parody Alien in a Pigs in Space sketch that I think was filmed for Youtube.

BECCA: Correct. Yeah, Pepe comes out. He chest bursts out of someone. Question 10, and the last question in this round. Big Bird once said that the only way to make a career out of swimming was to be like this actor from the pre-code era of Hollywood.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Matthew.

MATTHEW: Is that Johnny Weissmuller?

BECCA: That is Johnny Weissmuller. There is, it is on Muppet Wiki, an episode of Sesame Street where Big Bird has a throwaway joke where he says, “The only way you can make a career out of swimming is to be Johnny Weissmuller.”

MATTHEW: Or Esther Williams.

MEL: Wow.

BECCA: Well, that’s not what Big Bird says.

MATTHEW: Big Bird is six years old.

[Becca and Mel laugh]

MATTHEW: What does he know from classic Hollywood?

BECCA: And what Johnny Weissmuller movie is included in The Great Movie Ride?

MATTHEW: That would be Tarzan: The Ape Man.

BECCA: Thank you for giving me the full title of the Johnny Weissmuller version. And now, as I did so many years ago, we walk off.

[Mel and Matthew laugh]

BECCA: But before we exit through the gift shop, we have two more quick games. First off, it’s time for you to become a cast member and test my knowledge. It’s our classic stump the host game (in echo sounding voice) The Anything in the World Prize Game. (in normal voice)

As you know, in this round, you two will be able to ask me anything in the world. Literally. Well no, anything in the world about the Muppets. If you stump me, you will earn 15 points. So, I need to total up the scores because I have not been doing the math. I’ve just been drawing a lot of tally marks.

[Mel laughs]

BECCA: So, we are going to start with Mel, however.

MEL: Okay.

BECCA: But let me do the math real quick. Listen, we love everyone on (in echo sounding voice) Hubba-Wha?! (in normal voice) and truly, it’s still anyone’s game thanks to these last two rounds. But let me talk a little bit about the score because right now, Mel has 58 points.

MEL: Okay.

BECCA: Doing extremely well and extremely respectably. And Matthew has almost twice that with 106 points.

[Mel laughs]

BECCA: Doing even better. But Matthew writes for ToughPigs. Matthew, listen, it’s still anybody’s game.

MATTHEW: Oh, I know. I’m not getting overconfident.

BECCA: But Matthew, you do have a comfortable, comfortable 48-point lead.

MEL: This is about how I expected this to go.

BECCA: Listen.

MEL: And you know what, it’s okay.

BECCA: Listen, listen, we’re all winners here on (in echo sounding voice) Hubba-Wha?! (in normal voice) So, Mel, would you like to ask me a question to stump me?

MEL: I would. I am going– I did come up with a few questions. They are all about PizzeRizzo. And I’m going to pick the one that is maybe not the hardest but it is my favorite PizzeRizzo fun fact that I learned while working there.

BECCA: Okay.

MEL: Which early Jim Henson and Muppet project is referenced with a prop in the lobby of the PizzeRizzo order pickup area?

BECCA: Now, again, see, like you said, this is a great fun fact that I’m glad we’re getting on the episode, but I do think I know this one, despite having never gone.

MEL: I post about it a lot. [laughs]

BECCA: Are you referencing–Is this referencing the Pa Otter memorial service that you can see on the board or no? Is that elsewhere?

MEL: It is not. That’s upstairs.

BECCA: Oh, because that’s elsewhere. All right, well then listen, you technically did stump me. So you do get 15 points. But before you answer, you give your answer, Matthew, I’m curious to know if you know the answer that Mel is looking for here.

MATTHEW: I don’t think I do. I’m excited to find out.

BECCA: Is it The Jimmy Dean Show?

MEL: It is not. That is also upstairs.

BECCA: Okay. Because I know that one too. Which one are we talking about?

MEL: We are talking about, so, right inside when you walk in the main like lobby entrance to PizzeRizzo, to the right, kind of above the door, is a shelf. And on that shelf is a Wilkins Coffee tin.



MATTHEW: (together) Oohhhhhhh.

[Matthew laughs]

MEL: From the early commercials.


BECCA: I had actually seen that before but I totally forgot, like our pal Wilkins and Wontkins.

MEL: It is my favorite.

MATTHEW: I was going to say, “Hey, Becca. Do you like Wilkins coffee?” [laughs]


MEL: It is my favorite little thing.

MATTHEW: Well, you’re lucky you’re in a different building than us.

[all laugh]

BECCA: Oh no, that’s great. That’s great. I’m so glad that we…Hey, now we got to talk about there’s a newspaper clipping of Rowlf and Jimmy Dean on The Jimmy Dean Show. And you can see the faded letters on a sign board about the Pa Otter memorial service.

MEL: Yes. Upstairs at PizzeRizzo is the greatest place in the Disney Parks. It is my favorite place. It is the perfect place to charge your phone and sit in the air conditioning and drink a beer. And in that, you know, community bulletin board where that newspaper clip that you’re referencing is, I definitely did not, definitely did not try and figure out a way to get in there and like add my own photo while I was working there. Because I knew that no one would notice or check it.

[Matthew laughs]

MEL: I definitely didn’t do that and it didn’t work out either way. But I could’ve.

BECCA: And Matthew why don’t you try to stump me?

MATTHEW: So Becca for our question, we’re gonna go all the way back to the summer of 1991, which was a magical time, as there were not one, but two Muppet attractions open at the Disney MGM Studios. So, Becca, for how many days were both Muppet*Vision 3D and Here Come the Muppets simultaneously in operation?

BECCA: 15.

MATTHEW: I’m sorry. The correct answer was 110 days.

BECCA: Okay.

MATTHEW: From May 16th to September 2nd.

BECCA: Hey, and I was alive for…

MATTHEW: You were born when the stars of—

BECCA: …23 of those days I was alive.

MEL: There you go.

MATTHEW: You, you were born when the stars–Muppet stars aligned.

BECCA: Yeah. All it took was Jim Henson dying. [laughs] Right.

MATTHEW: I mean the thing was in–Look the project was in production when he died. They didn’t decide when they were gonna open it.

BECCA: Anyway, we are now in our last game which is, of course, (in echo sounding voice) Say the Word. (in normal sounding voice) And before we enter Say the Word, let’s check the scores. So you both earned 15 points on that last one, meaning that the score is now Mel with 73 points and Matthew with 121 points.

MEL: Heck yeah. [laughs]

BECCA: As we know, in Say the Word, in this round, you can wager any amount of points. The winner gets those points and the loser loses those points. Right? It’s just like Final Jeopardy except you do get to hear my question before you wager.

MEL: Mmhmm.

BECCA: So, here’s the question. Like I alluded to earlier, Disney had a lot of plans to include the Muppets in MGM Studios right before Henson passed. Henson’s tragic passing put a wrench in many of those ideas though. While the plans began when Henson was still alive, it is believed that only one Walt Disney World attraction featuring the Muppets was completed during Jim Henson’s lifetime. Sources are a little inconsistent here. But I’m trusting the majority belief.

Anyway. This is a three-part question. What was this attraction? Where was it located within MGM Studios? And what two Muppet characters appeared in it?

So there’s three parts to this question. So for those at home I’m asking what was the one attraction featuring the Muppets that was open during Jim Henson’s lifetime? Where was it located within MGM Studios? And what were the two Muppet characters–Or I guess who were the two Muppet characters who appeared in it?

The current score is 121 points, Matthew. 73 points, Mel. This is supposed to be very hard. I’m hoping it is. And this isn’t something that is maybe obvious.

MATT: And we have to get all three questions?

BECCA: No, whoever gets more of them correct.

MATTHEW: Okay, so for instance, Mel, if you get one of them right and Matthew, if you get two of them right, Matthew you will earn the points back and Mel, you will lose the points.

MEL: Okay.

MATTHEW: Okay, soooo…

BECCA: That incentivizes you to guess even if you don’t know all three parts.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Clock ticking stops]

BECCA: Okay. So one of you has clearly been doing their homework and has gotten more of these questions right than the other. Mel, you bet all 73 of your points.

MEL: Heck yeah.

BECCA: And Mel, you said that the attraction was what?

MEL: I was trying to think of things that were open. I have no idea what this is.

[Becca and Mel laugh]

MEL: I have no idea what this is, but I’m trying to think of things that were open and so I thought that perhaps maybe there was some sort of Muppet segment that I don’t remember on the backlot tour.

BECCA: Okay. And that would be located where?

MEL: Probably in the Streets of America section of the park.

BECCA: Okay, you guessed it would include which two Muppets?

MEL: I said Bunsen and Beaker because, you know, why not?

BECCA: Okay, sadly all three of those are incorrect.

MEL: Yes.

MATTHEW: Well, I mean I can vouch from personal account.


MATTHEW: Mel is not a–it wasn’t technically an attraction. But when they were in production on the Muppets at Walt Disney World because Craig Shemin did a presentation about this at the Museum of the Moving Image, the Muppet– the Jim Henson Productions crew did decorate their bungalow, which I think could be seen from the backlot tour.

BECCA: Okay.

MEL: You know what? It’s closer than I thought I’d be.

MATTHEW: And Jim Henson was still alive during production. I believe they did decorate it. I don’t remember what it was decorated with but I do know that the team was down there and they did try to make their presence known and entertain a few guests.

BECCA: Well, Matthew you bet all 121 points. And you said that the attraction was what?

MATTHEW: So I did not know this. I did not know the final question, but I was recently on Tori Schmidt’s podcast, Live from Muppetland where we covered The Muppets at Walt Disney World. And she asked me a trivia question which just happened to be this very one.

MEL: Woooooow!

BECCA: I didn’t listen to that episode. I didn’t listen to that episode. And not only that, I didn’t tell Tori that I was doing this. So that is a wonderful coincidence and that explains. And I hate to break this to you, Mel, that explains the accuracy of Matthew’s response. Because Matthew…

MEL: Well, that checks out.

BECCA: What is the attraction?

MATTHEW: The attraction was the stage show: “Hollywood’s Pretty Woman,” which was performed at Theater of the Stars, where Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage is performed currently.

BECCA:, And wasn’t this like hosted by Roger Rabbit or something?

MATTHEW: I believe Roger Rabbit was involved.


MATTHEW: I don’t remember exactly when it opened if it was ’89 or ’90. I know it did open within his lifetime.

BECCA: Yeah.

MATTHEW:  So, but Roger Rabbit was still like a huge hit for Disney and they were pushing that character wherever they could.

MEL: They should be.

MATTHEW: And the two characters, who will be returning to the Theater of the Stars this holiday season as part of Jollywood Nights, Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy.

BECCA: Correct. It was the easiest two choices.

MEL: Wonderful.

BECCA: So I will say, even if I were to have given Mel some points for Backlot Tour…

[Mel laughs]

BECCA: …Matthew definitely wins his points back and wins more points back. So with a final score of 242 points, our winner, and today’s Toughest Pig, is Matthew Soberman.

MEL: Hooray!

BECCA: Congrats, Matthew!

MATTHEW: Mel, you were wonderful…

MEL: Oh my god.

[Becca laughs]

MATTHEW: …to work with. Hey I learned stuff I didn’t know.

BECCA: Listen, listen, I’m really glad to have had both of you. But Matthew, you, of course, win a fabulous prize. That is either your choice of some very expired Dole Whip from 1994 or this magnet of Waldo C. Graphic himself.

MATTHEW: Well, you know, I don’t have any expired Dole Whip.

[Becca laughs]

MATTHEW: But that Waldo Graphic, that Waldo magnet is too good to pass up.

BECCA: And I will say, because I still owe you a magnet.

[Matthew laughs]

BECCA: From when you guessed a question about Bugsy Them correct on Twitter. So I did make you an extra magnet as well, Matthew, to go along with Waldo.


MEL: Wow!

MATTHEW: Oh, wow. I have a set of Muppet*Vision magnets.

BECCA: You’ve got a set of Muppet*Vision magnets.

MEL: Incredible.

BECCA: And they will be coming your way.


BECCA: All right, well, that brings us to the end of another one. So guests, let’s talk. Where can people find you if you wish to be found? Matthew?

MATTHEW: As long as the site doesn’t go kaboom before this episode.

BECCA: We’ve all been working out backup plans.

MATTHEW: Yeah, you can find me on Twitter @Matthewsoberman. Two T’s in Matthew. All one word. You can also, I occasionally tweet through the ToughPigs account. So, occasionally you may see my witticisms there.

BECCA: I mean, you’re on ToughPigs.

MATTHEW: I am on ToughPigs. Yes.

 BECCA: Right.

MATTHEW: And you can also see me if you like making… people making fun of theme parks specials and old TV, I’m also on a series which broadcasts on Twitch called Screen Holes VHS: the void of horrible stuff. It’s me and a bunch of friends sort of riffing Mystery Science Theater style over vintage TV specials, often involving theme parks.

BECCA: All right. And Mel, where can people find you if you wish to be found?

MEL: Absolutely. At the time being am still on Twitter, as well as Instagram, Bluesky, TikTok, Letterboxd. It is Mel Schnef on everything M-E-L-S-C-H-N-E-F. Brand consistency. It’s all there. And if not, if you’re ever at the PizzeRizzo banquet room there’s a chance that I am probably also there.

BECCA: And at least you’re there in spirit.

MEL: Absolutely. I should be.

BECCA: Like Pa Otter. You’re watching down over us all.

[Mel laughs]

BECCA: [laughs] And of course, you can find ToughPigs at Toughpigs.com or @Toughpigs on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. We are on Bluesky, Youtube. Hopefully going to be streaming some more on Youtube because that went well, the last time we did that. Maybe we already are depending on when this episode is released. Boy, things are confusing right now.

And hey, if you like the work we do at ToughPigs, consider donating to the ToughPigs patreon where you can get even more exclusive free stuff. And of course we have ToughPigs t-shirts and merch which include a shirt promoting (in echo sounding voice) Hubba-Wha?! (in normal voice) and a shirt I designed inspired by The Monster At the End of This Book and some other shirts I designed for Pride month that are still available. And other stuff that other people designed. I don’t know. Listen, always be plugging, always be plugging.


[Mel laughs]

BECCA: Anyway, check those out at our ToughPigs Teepublic page. And I guess I should plug my stuff too. You can find me again currently on Twitter, but regretting it every day, @unclepetunio. Uncle like the kind of person who would invite his nephew to a bug fry and petunio is like the flower except with an O. And unfortunately when you transition, you lose access to brand consistency. On Instagram, Tumblr and Bluesky, I am @Tallgirlpetunia all one word and that time the flower is spelled correctly.


BECCA: Anyway, I want to thank some people for helping out. Our guests, thank you both. Seriously.

MATTHEW: Thank you for doing this!

MEL: Yes, thank you for having me. This was so much fun.

MATTHEW: I love Muppets. And I love game shows and I love Disney parks. You’ve made this the highlight of the week.

BECCA: Well, and it’s only Monday.

[Mel laughs]

BECCA: So hopefully, it’ll remain…Well, if it remains the highlight, then that means you probably have a pretty terrible week.

[Matthew laughs]

BECCA: So I don’t know what to think. But I also want to thank Staci Rosen for writing the theme music to the show. Richard Gomez for doing our host artwork. Thank you to Joe Hennes the ToughPigs Muppet Fan Podcast executive producer. And thanks to myself for writing and editing and hosting. I don’t know. Always be plugging.

MATTHEW: Yes! Thank you, Becca.

BECCA: Yeah.

MEL: Absolutely.

BECCA: And as I thanked earlier, thank you to me listening to the complete Podcast: The Ride backlog for teaching me how to act like I know what theme parks are. And anyway, thanks to all of you at home for being with us on (in echo sounding voice) Hubba-Wha?! (in normal sounding voice): the Muppet quiz show. And as always, I think that Sweetums, the troll from Maelstrom, and the yeti are best friends and it’s time we all admitted it. Thanks, everybody.

[End of Hubba-Wha?! theme music plays]

[Clip from Muppet*Vision 3D]

WALDORF: Hey, what’s all the commotion about?

SWEETUMS: Bunny ran away.

WALDORF: Well you know what that makes him?



WALDORF: Smarter than us! [Both laugh]


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