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116: “Music To Hug Frogs By” – The Muppet Show & The Muppet Movie

It’s When We Were Young’s most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational episode yet! Gonzo, Miss Piggy, Fozzy, and friends may be best known for kid-focused fare these days, but Jim Henson’s world-famous puppets originally had roots in more grownup entertainment, including The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, the first season of Saturday Night Live, and a “Sex & Violence” TV special that provided a test run for puppets on primetime. 

In this episode of the podcast, we look back at the very beginning of Henson’s puppeteering career on public access television more than two decades before the gang got their very own variety program in THE MUPPET SHOW, which became a worldwide phenomenon starting in 1976. Chris, Becky, and Seth rewatch some of the series’ most notable episodes with guest stars Rita Moreno, Steve Martin, Harry Belafonte, and Elton John, and discover that their mileage for puppets delivering dad jokes may vary.

Then we revisit Kermit and company’s big screen debut in 1979’s THE MUPPET MOVIE, which awed fans by taking the Muppets out of the studio and having them ride bikes, drive cars, and show off their felt feet for the very first time, all in pursuit of Hollywood stardom.

Do we still feel a rainbow connection to these early Muppets outings? Or have the lovers and dreamers aged into old fogeys sitting up in the balcony, heckling the lovable puppet performers down below? Play the music, light the lights, raise the curtains, and prepare for some controversial opinions on the When We Were Young podcast’s Muppets episode tonight!

Follow When We Were Young on Twitter and Instagram at @WWWYshow, on Facebook at Facebook.com/WWWYShow and email episode suggestions to wwwyshow@gmail.com. Don’t forget to subscribe and review us on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts (or wherever you get your podcasts) so more folks check out the show!

Help us defray the costs of creating this show, which include recording remotely, purchasing movies/shows/music to review, delivery food to eat our feelings, and producing & editing in-house at the MFP Studio in Los Angeles, California by donating to our Patreon account at patreon.com/WhenWeWereYoung

92: “You’ll Be Dumb With Wonderment” – Moulin Rouge!

If ever a movie earned its exclamation point, it’s MOULIN ROUGE! In Part 2 of our Baz Luhrmann Spectacular Spectacular, we revisit the scintillating (and over-stimulating) 2001 musical that saw the likes of Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor belting out pop music’s greatest love songs.

Though the film earned several Oscar nominations (and two wins), it was a divisive cinematic experience upon its release, and twenty years later not much has changed. Luhrmann’s gift is his song—or rather his version of Elton John’s song—but is it one you’d want to re-open?

Sling back some Absinthe and join us as we debate the beauty, freedom, truth and love of Moulin Rouge! Why? Because we can can-can, that’s why.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @WWWYshow, on Facebook at Facebook.com/WWWYShow and email episode suggestions to wwwyshow@gmail.com. Don’t forget to subscribe and review us on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts so more folks check out the show!

Help us defray the costs of creating this show, which include recording remotely, purchasing movies/shows/music to review, delivery food to eat our feelings, and producing & editing in-house at the MFP Studio in Los Angeles, California, by donating to our Patreon account at patreon.com/WhenWeWereYoung

88: “I Don’t Need You Anymore” – #1 Pop Singles Of The 90s

We came away from our musical journey through the #1 Pop Singles of the 1980s loving many of the biggest hits of the decade. Good job, 80s! The 90s? Well, that’s another story.

We’ve already discussed some of the decade’s biggest breakouts on the podcast, including No Doubt, Alanis Morissette, Spice Girls, and Nirvana, all of whom got to #1 on our own personal charts at one point in time. But the #1 Pop Singles of the 1990s are a much more scattered affair, veering from upbeat pop cheese to gangsta rap to disco-dance throwbacks, with a whole lot of “adult contemporary” in the mix.

As it turns out, the Billboard charts of the 90s watched America go through a diverse range of musical moods, from mourning the death of British royals to celebrating barely-contained boners on the dance floor — plus a lot more Costner worship than should be permitted in one decade. Of course, the mid 90s also saw a Latin-flavored dance craze that’s not just a #1 Pop Single, but also the #1 Most Cringe-Worthy Aspect of the whole decade! (Maybe even the entire 20th century!)

So which songs do we want to “Hold On” to, and which have reached the “End of the Road?” Be forewarned — just because these songs were #1 does NOT mean we will always love them.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @WWWYshow, on Facebook at Facebook.com/WWWYShow and email episode suggestions to wwwyshow@gmail.com. Don’t forget to subscribe and review us on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts so more folks check out the show!

Help us defray the costs of creating this show, which includes purchasing movies/shows/music to review, delivery food to eat our feelings, and producing & editing in-house at the MFP Studio in Los Angeles, California, by donating to our Patreon account at patreon.com/WhenWeWereYoung

87: “Let Me Hear Your Body Talk” – #1 Pop Singles Of The 80s

In the days before YouTube and Spotify, most people discovered new music through a little device called the radio, and tracking the popularity of hit songs was much simpler. Back in the 80s, Billboard determined which songs charted through sales of physical singles on cassette tapes or CDs, and of course, airplay on the radio — which is how singles by artists like Blondie and Prince became inescapable at that moment in time.

In this episode, your When We Were Young co-hosts take Billboard’s #1 charting pop single from every year of the 80s out for a spin — and the results are mixed! If “80s music” makes you think of Madonna, Billy Joel, Van Halen, or even A-ha, you’re not alone — but none of these popular artists actually dominated the charts in any given year of the decade. (Believe it or not, neither did the King of Pop himself!)

While some tracks, like 1983’s chart-topper “Every Breath You Take,” are no-brainers, there are a few head-scratchers in the mix, too. The 80s were surprisingly big on ditties about Oscar-winning divas and the gaits of ancient peoples. So put on your best aerobics attire and join us as we whisper carelessly about the #1 Pop Singles of the 1980s —the ones we still have plenty of “Faith” in, those we’re desperate to “Look Away” from, and everything in between.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @WWWYshow, on Facebook at Facebook.com/WWWYShow and email episode suggestions to wwwyshow@gmail.com. Don’t forget to subscribe and review us on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts so more folks check out the show!

Help us defray the costs of creating this show, which includes purchasing movies/shows/music to review, delivery food to eat our feelings, and producing & editing in-house at the MFP Studio in Los Angeles, California, by donating to our Patreon account at patreon.com/WhenWeWereYoung

69: “Shining, Shimmering, Splendid” – Disney’s Renaissance Era 1989-1994

Look at these films, aren’t they neat? Any Disney fan’s movie collection’s complete if it includes THE LITTLE MERMAID (1989), BEAUTY & THE BEAST (1991), ALADDIN (1992) and THE LION KING (1994). These movies aren’t just the four most popular films from Disney’s Renaissance period (which lasted a full decade and includes 10 animated flicks); they’re also responsible for saving the animation department at the Mouse House and making an unprecedented mark on animation, Broadway and pop culture in general.

Instead of watching Disney’s “live action” remakes of these classics, we took a magic carpet ride back to the late 80s and early 90s to revisit the films themselves. Are Ariel, Belle and Jasmine modern feminist icons, or are they still stuck in traditional gender roles? Does The Lion King still rule our hearts? And who’s the hottest prince of them all? Hurry and listen to our latest episode before the last rose petal falls and we all turn into furniture forever!

When We Were Young is a podcast devoted to the most beloved pop culture of our formative years (roughly 1980-2000). Join us for a look back to the past with a critical eye on how these movies, songs, TV shows and more hold up now. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @WWWYshow, on Facebook at Facebook.com/WWWYShow and email your episode suggestions to wwwyshow@gmail.com. Don’t forget to subscribe and review us on iTunes so more folks check out the show!

Help us defray the costs of creating this show, which includes purchasing movies/shows/music to review, delivery food to eat our feelings, and producing & editing in-house at the MFP Studio in Los Angeles, California, by donating to our Patreon account at patreon.com/WhenWeWereYoung