This succinct, visual explanation, courtesy of WaitButWhy.com, provides some insight into why people like Princeton and Kate Monster might be so unsatisfied with their post-college lives. Basically, “to get to the bottom of why, we need to define what makes someone happy or unhappy in the first place. It comes down to a simple formula:
A parodic response to the general complaint that millenials are “lazy,” “self-centered,” “entitled,” “money-obsessed”…
“Puppets are a bit of a Trojan Horse. They’re our way in. Once you get the audience hooked, you can tell them all kinds of truths and they’ll go along with you.” — Avenue Q Co-Creator Robert Lopez on MSNBC
For a World AIDS Day benefit in 2005, the original cast of Avenue Q and the cast of the Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof presented a 10-minute spoof of both musicals called “Avenue Jew.” As a brief prologue, Trekkie Monster plays the Fiddler theme and then eats the fiddle. Tevye, his wife Golde, and his two remaining daughters, having immigrated to the USA, arrive on Avenue Jew, an area inhabited by Jewish versions of the Avenue Q characters.
TV news has a long and illustrious history of having fictional characters on as guests while pretending they are actually real. Below is a curated selection of some favorite moments.
Kermit’s other half Miss Piggy on NBC’s “Today” talking about her “career”:
Kermit the Frog on CNN’s “The Situation Room” arguing for inter-species relationships:
The infamous ALF interview on “O’Reilly”:
Serious news anchor Erin Burnett interviews puppet presidential candidate Marvin Quasniki:
And, of course, the characters of Avenue Q on MSNBC:
Avenue Q wasn’t the first attempt at parodying Bert and Ernie’s intimate roommate relationship. This 2002 short film by Peter Spears ran at the Sundance Film Festival, but was kept from further distribution when its director was served a cease and desist order by Sesame Workshop’s lawyers. The short is based loosely on The Children’s Hour, a tragic play by Lillian Hellman about unrequited love between two women.
“There are lessons to be learned on Avenue Q: lessons about the fleeting nature of contentment and success, the highs and lows of passion, and the frustrated struggle to try and find a purpose in life. The fact that these lessons are presented by puppets that sing and dance seems clever rather than contrived.”
— Tom Smith’s review of Avenue Q, published in Theatre Journal, 2004
“A puppet must always be more than his live counterpart–simpler, sadder, more wicked, more supple. The puppet is an essence and an emphasis. For only in this way does a puppet begin to reflect the truth.”
— Bill Baird (1904-1987)
A concise timeline of 12 scandals that have shaken what audiences like to perceive as the idyllic muppet-filled world of Sesame Street.
Last year, the University of Utah’s Department of Theatre opened Avenue Q at the Babcock Theatre. This video feature focuses on master puppeteer and actor Jennifer Barnhart, an original cast member of the Broadway run of Avenue Q.