(The actual pageant part starts at 2:30.)
There are a lot of bootlegged copies of "Muppet Family Christmas" floating around YouTube this year. Technically, it's a violation of copyright and therefore illegal. But while I generally don't condone copyright infringement, in this case I have to paraphrase Fozzie Bear in The Muppets and ask what's MORE illegal: violating copyright, or depriving the post-Henson generation(s) of the greatest Muppet production ever made, in all its uncut glory? Really, there's only one possible answer to that, as far as I'm concerned: keep circulating the tapes.
If this is a Sesame Street pageant, then why is Rowlf playing the piano instead of Prairie Dawn? Not that I'm complaining; the more Muppet worlds colliding and converging the better, I say.
Bert in drag is funny. That is all I have to say about that.
The first time I saw this, I wasn't very familiar with the Muppet Show cast of characters, so I didn't really know who Sam the Eagle was, and his reaction of "Is nothing sacred?" was pretty much lost on me. Now it's one of my favorite jokes in the whole show. I keep meaning to make an icon of that moment; maybe I'll get around to it someday.
This year is my first time watching "Muppet Family Christmas" having seen Fraggle Rock in its entirety. I don't anticipate that it will necessarily add anything to my viewing experience, but I have a better appreciation of the characters now.
I think I've told this story before, so forgive me if I'm getting tedious, but the end of "Muppet Family Christmas," where Jim Henson himself makes a brief appearance, is very special to me. You see, when this first aired in 1987, I'd never seen Jim Henson on TV as himself. I knew his name, and I knew he performed Kermit, but I didn't know what he looked like. So at first I was very confused why this random bearded guy just shows up at the end of the special. But then my mom said, "Ohhh, it's Jim Henson!" and then suddenly all became clear. I saw him on TV several times after that (particularly in The Jim Henson Hour, which I watched devotedly and tried very hard to enjoy), and I've seen a lot of archival footage of him since then. But this is the way I'll always remember him: taking pleasure in the happiness of others and quietly volunteering to do the dishes.