Thursday, January 21, 2016

A loving mock obituary for Animal of 'The Muppet Show'

Funeral for a Muppet.

The last few weeks have been absolutely brutal on rock icons of the 1970s, claiming the lives of Lemmy Kilmister, David Bowie, and Glenn Frey in short succession. These deaths, grouped by an accident of history, have taken a toll on music fans worldwide and have resulted in any number of tributes and public displays of grief. An Irish satire site called Waterford Whispers News has responded to these unhappy recent headlines by crafting an obituary for another prominent ‘70s musician: unkempt Muppet Show drummer Animal, who has kept time for The Electric Mayhem since his debut in 1975. According to this article, the pink-furred percussionist died at the too-young age of 66 from a condition called “threadbaring syndrome.” Given the fate of such similarly “wild” rock drummers as Keith Moon and John Bonham, Animal was surprisingly long-lived in his profession.

Despite being about a puppet, the obituary is generally written with great sensitivity, as Animal’s fellow Muppets offer their sincere, heartfelt thoughts about their departed friend and costar. The members of the Mayhem are said to have posted a remembrance at their Facebook page. Even that notorious cut-up, Fozzie, keeps it serious here. In remembering Animal’s behavior on the set of Muppets: Most Wanted, Fozzie says, “Although he had already been diagnosed with threadbaring syndrome, you would never have known he was sick.” So that was Animal: a professional to the last. Only at the very end of the obituary, with an incomprehensible statement from the Swedish Chef, does the article become overtly jokey in nature. Silly as all this seems, the Animal obit is a chance to reflect on the sad truth that rock stars are human and, therefore, as mortal as anyone. Muppets, on the other hand, can truly live forever. Animal is already on his already on his second performer.

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