When I was little, nothing put a smile on my face like the Muppets – particularly Beaker and the Swedish Chef – but I was surprised to learn that until recently a lot of today’s youth had no idea who Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Scooter, Animal or Miss Piggy were! The Muppets had gone out of style somewhere between Muppets from Space and It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie. But starting last November the Muppets have been making a triumphant comeback – not on television, not on the silver screen, but on YouTube.
It all started on November 23, 2009, when a Muppet cover of Bohemian Rhapsody appeared on a new Muppets Studio YouTube channel. The video, which starred Muppets Gonzo, chickens, Rowlf the Dog, Animal Pepe the King Prawn, Bobo the Bear, Beaker, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Rizzo the Rat, Mahna Mahna, Lew Zealand, Fozzie Bear, Sam the Eagle, The Swedish Chef, Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem and more, received over 10 million views within the first two weeks and took home two Webby Awards.
Bohemian Rhapsody put the Muppets back on the radar. And it didn’t stop there. Muppets Studio on YouTube has continued to upload videos regularly, including many covers of popular songs that have received more than 1 million views. You can watch some of the most popular Muppets YouTube clips below, but first let’s take a look at why it was such a fantastic move for the Muppets to turn to social media and YouTube.
Let’s face it – The Muppets are a thing of the past (or at least they were until their recent YouTube success). Fans that watched The Muppet Show and The Muppets Take Manhattan as children are now too old to buy tickets to see Muppet movies or to tune in to Muppet programming on television. However, most of these fans now make up YouTube’s prime audience. YouTube was the perfect place to target these fans and remind them of how funny and loveable Jim Henson’s puppets are, as well as reach some new, younger fans while they are there. Thanks to YouTube the Muppets are back, and they are better than ever, with nearly 30 million views on their YouTube videos and over 2 million channel views. Check out a selection of Muppets YouTube clips below, and let us know what you think! Which of the Muppets’ viral videos is your favorite?
Statler & Waldorf: Meh
The very first video uploaded to the Muppets Studio channel was of grumpy old Statler & Waldorf, commenting on the Muppets move to the Internet. They say, “The Internet is a completely different culture…everything here is immediately followed by sarcastic comments and nasty responses. Yup, we’re finally where we belong.” This is not only true in Statler & Waldorf’s sense, but in every sense. The Muppets have really found their home on YouTube and on the social web. And Statler & Waldorf do get to make their own sarcastic comments and nasty responses at the end of every Muppets video.
The Muppets: PÃ¶pcÃ¸rn
The Muppets latest video, uploaded just over two weeks ago, is my personal favorite (probably because it features the Swedish Chef). The clip already has over 1 million views and is continuing to spread.
The Muppets: Ode To Joy
Beaker’s Ode To Joy, which was uploaded on the same day as Bohemian Rhapsody, has nearly 2 million views. Beaker was also featured in another popular video called ‘Beaker’s Ballad’, in which he meeps “Dust In The Wind” as anti-Beaker comments pop up on the screen.
The Muppets: Stand By Me
Big Mean Carl sings Stand by Me, dressed in a bunny suit in this Muppets hit, with 1.8 million views to date.