Pete and Ben get socked all the way to the Geek Farm, where they discuss this week’s appearance of The Mummenschanz, are surprised by the behind-the-scenes origin of The Vendaface, and try to remember that Pete is forgetting everything.
Sources and References:
Ben compared some of the animal mummery of Mummenschanz to Isabella Rossellini’s Green Porno, dramatic recreations of the reproductive lives of various parts of the animal and insect kingdoms, archives of which can be found on the Sundance Channel’s YouTube page. Whether Rossellini was inspired by Mummenschanz remains up for “mild speculation”, but they did both appear on the fourth season of Conan O’Brien‘s Late Night, Rossellini in September, right at the beginning of the season, and Mummenschanz in December.
You can hear Ronnie Bright do the bass vocalizations along to Johnny Cymbal’s version of “Mr. Bassman” in this YouTube upload of an old 45.
You can decide for yourself if the ‘Ello Worm in Labyrinth looks like Jim Henson’s fondling fish in the UK Spot, and compare the lyrics to the Frank version that appears on Sinatra ’65.
While there seemed to be a fairly comprehensive compilation of Chris Elliott spoofing Mummenschanz on Late Night with David Letterman, there doesn’t seem to be the same ability to watch a clip of the members appearing on Northern Exposure. Legendarily, the show is unavailable for streaming, and so one may need to scrounge for the DVDs in order to experience this.
When Pete researched the American leg of the Mummenschanz 50th anniversary tour, there may well only have been one stop in the US, but it has expanded significantly since then. Starting in the Northeast on October 13 and running through the end of November, local audiences have a good selection of opportunities to see for themselves whether the performances will be done in absolute silence or to an orchestra track. The tour then heads to Europe for the new year of 2023.
And, lastly, for your delectation, as promised: a GIF of the puppeteer underneath the dancing couple of Wayne and Wanda peeking out as he crashes into a bookcase.