Friday, July 14, 2017

It’s Time To Get Things Started… by Steve Whitmire

It’s Time To Get Things Started…

From Also published in

Dear Friends,

In 1978 when I was asked to join The Muppet Show, the Muppets were the hottest thing on the planet. I was invited to sit at the feet of the true masters, Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, and Dave Goelz; working alongside them, absorbing different skills from each, as we, along with many talented others, contributed towards the same shared vision, the vision of one man. The result became a skill-set for myself that was sort of a compilation of the best of them all.

For me the Muppets are not just a job, or a career, or even a passion. They are a calling, an urgent, undeniable, impossible to resist way of life. This is my life’s work since I was 19 years old. I feel that I am at the top of my game, and I want all of you who love the Muppets to know that I would never consider abandoning Kermit or any of the others because to do so would be to forsake the assignment entrusted to me by Jim Henson, my friend and mentor, but even more, my hero.

As I am sure you can imagine, I have experienced every possible emotion since October 2016, when I received a phone call from The Muppets Studio’s executives to say they were recasting. Through a new business representative, I have offered multiple remedies to their two stated issues which had never been mentioned to me prior to that phone call. I wish that we could have sat down, looked each other in the eye, and discussed what was on their minds before they took such a drastic action.

I have remained silent the last nine months in hopes that the Disney company might reverse their course. Doing what is best for the Muppets is the lens through which all my interactions have been filtered. Given the opportunity I remain willing to do whatever is required to remedy their concerns because I feel my continued involvement with the characters is in the best interest of the Muppets.

For decades, you have been an invaluable partner in co-creating the existence of the Muppets, and I am humbled by your devotion to them. There is so much more for us to talk about so I have created this site as a place to connect and share on all things Muppet, past, present and future.

Please forgive any faux pas as I have not been active in social media previously and have a serious learning curve. I just want you all to know that I am sorry if I have disappointed any of you at any point throughout our journey, and to let everyone know that I am devastated to have failed in my duty to my hero.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Elton John Setlist from 13 Oct 1998:Madison Square Garden New York, NY, USA The Big Picture Tour

Circle Of Life

Grey Seal

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Honky Cat

Tiny Dancer


I'm Going To Be A Teenage Idol

I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues

I Don't Wanna Go On With You Like That

Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me


Rocket Man

Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy

Crocodile Rock

Your Song

Recover Your Soul

Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters

I'm Still Standing

Simple Life

The One

Something About The Way You Look Tonight

The Bitch Is Back

Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds

Great Balls Of Fire

Bennie And The Jets

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

"Professor" Irwin Corey (1914 - 2017)

"Professor" Irwin Corey, the classic comedian billed as the World's Foremost Authority, died Monday, Feb. 6, 2017. He was 102.

The centenarian funnyman was known for a decidedly weird routine. Dressed in the garb of an absent-minded professor – wild hair, a shabby suit, and sneakers – he'd wander onstage distractedly. He'd consult his notes, maybe laugh at something he saw there, pocket the notes, consult them again … finally, the first word of his routine, always the same: "However …" What followed was a masterpiece of doublespeak, improvised by Corey and thoroughly confusing and amusing his audience.

One oft-quoted snippet of a Corey routine started: "However ... we all know that protocol takes precedence over procedures. This Paul Lindsey point of order based on the state of inertia of developing a centrifugal force issued as a catalyst rather than as a catalytic agent, and hastens a change reaction and remains an indigenous brier to its inception. This is a focal point used as a tangent so the bile is excreted through the panaceas."

Corey sprinkled more recognizable aphorisms among the 50-cent words, and these quotable quotes were so perfect that some have entered the lexicon as clich├ęd phrases, with few who repeat them knowing who coined them. Here's how Corey turned a phrase:

"Wherever you go, there you are."

"If we don't change direction soon, we'll end up where we're going."

"You can get further with a kind word and a gun that you do with just a kind word."

The distinctive routine came from the brain of a man who had an unconventional childhood and young adulthood. Born in Brooklyn July 29, 1914, Corey was one of six siblings who grew up in an orphanage despite not being orphans. Abandoned by her husband, Corey's mother struggled to support her children while working and also attempting to recover from tuberculosis. The Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum was a solution born out of desperation – she could work enough to send them money for the children's care while also recuperating from her illness.

It was Corey's home until he was 13, and it was where he started his long comedy career, performing to amuse the other children. But then the young teen joined the tide moving west, riding the rails to California in search of work. He returned to New York as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corps, working his way across the country and, in his spare time, taking up boxing and becoming a featherweight champion.

Back east, Corey began performing as a comedian, working the Catskills circuit as well as New York City clubs. As his career burgeoned, World War II interrupted. Corey was determined not to serve, first seeking 4F status and then, when he was drafted nevertheless, convincing his superiors he was a homosexual and being discharged after six months.

Postwar, Corey honed his Professor persona and ramped up his path to fame, appearing on many of the hottest shows of TV's early days. He was a regular guest of talk show hosts including Steve Allen, Johnny Carson, and Ed Sullivan. Through his surreal stand-up routine, he influenced many of the next generation of comics as they got their start: Lenny Bruce, Jonathan Winters, and George Carlin were just a few of the stand-ups who looked up to him. He occasionally acted, too, as when he guest-starred on an episode of "The Phil Silvers Show" and, later, in movies such as "How To Commit Marriage" (1969) and "Car Wash" (1976).

Alongside his stage and screen career came a number of odd stunts, not least of which was his 1960 bid for the presidency of the United States as part of Hugh Hefner's "Playboy" ticket. His campaign slogans included, "Vote for Irwin and get on the dole" and, "Corey will run for any party, with a bottle in his hand."

In 1974, attendees of the National Book Award ceremony were perplexed as Corey arrived onstage to accept the award on behalf of its actual winner, Thomas Pynchon, author of "Gravity's Rainbow." His acceptance speech was much like one of his "professorial" comedy routines. Just as the audience was at its most bewildered, a streaker ran across the stage – not associated with Pynchon or Corey in any way; he was just a random sign of the times. Corey knew the more serious contingent of the literary world was annoyed by his appearance, but he didn't care: As he told interviewer Jim Knipfel, "I got paid $500 for it, and I had a good time."

In his 80s and 90s, Corey undertook an unusual mission. Walking the streets of New York City, he sold newspapers to drivers for a dollar or a handful of change. According to The New York Times, those papers were often free ones that he took from public newspaper boxes. Unkempt and repeating his mantra – "Help a guy out?" – Corey appeared like any other panhandler, though some recognized the comedian. What they didn't know was that he donated all his proceeds from these escapades to a charity that provides medical supplies for children in Cuba. He even had the autographed photo of Cuban President Fidel Castro on his apartment wall to prove it.

It was one of many ways in which Corey was politically and socially conscious. A far-left liberal, he loved relating his favorite example of his radicalism: "When I tried to join the Communist Party, they called me an anarchist," as he told The New York Times. He was blacklisted in Hollywood for his support of the party, a consequence that continued to affect his career for years after the end of the McCarthy era. But he remained active with his leftist views, supporting causes including the Mumia Abu-Jamal defense fund and Palestinian relief efforts.

Of his political activism, Corey told interviewer Kliph Nesteroff, "I was never aware that I was a political commentator. It just happens. You just do it. You breathe, but you're not conscious of breathing. When I did my act, I wasn't conscious that it was political."

Corey was married for 70 years to the former Fran Berman, who preceded him in death in 2011. He was also preceded in death by their daughter, Margaret, and he is survived by their son, Richard.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

WWII sailor Joe Hittorff, with roots in Kent, is laid to rest at last

Contributed photoEnsign Joseph P. Hittorff Jr.
Contributed photoEnsign Joseph P. Hittorff Jr. 
Editor’s note: About two weeks ago, The Register Citizen was notified by a local funeral home that the recently identified remains of a WWII sailor, lost in the attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941, had arrived in Connecticut for burial. Not long after, a representative from POW/MIA CT Forget-Me-Nots, Inc. contacted us on behalf of Ensign Joseph P. Hittorff Jr.’s family asking that we not seek an interview. The family, however, provided a great deal of information about Hittorff’s life and service. Hittorff served on the USS Oklahoma and his long-overdue funeral will take place in Kent on June 18. Hittorff’s cousin, Dianne Lang, wrote the following piece about her relative and how his remains came home.
As a baby boomer who missed World War II by a few years, I never thought much about how the war had impacted the older generation who lived through it. We certainly studied it in school, but it somehow seemed remote to me. I do remember the infrequent occasions when my uncle, Robert Keene, would reluctantly talk about the time he spent in an army tank. I just knew it had been an awful experience for him. I also remember my father, Philip Camp, talking about the rough treatment farmers were given during the last call for recruits before the war ended. He was the sole support for a multi-generational family unit, and a food producer, so had been deferred up until that point. Farmers were almost considered anti-American by some in the military as they had not been expected to serve. No one spoke much about those times, and I felt disconnected from that period in history.
Then everything changed. My mother, Marie Camp, was contacted by Robert Valley, Volunteer Coordinator of the USS Oklahoma families. Information had been uncovered by a researcher that led him to believe that the remains of my mother’s first cousin, Ens. Joseph Parker Hittorff, Jr. could now be identified.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Everybody tells me not to hit back at the lowlifes that go after me for PR--sorry, but I must. It's my nature.

Monday, October 31, 2016

I can't take it anymore (Clinton/Trump)

I can't take it anymore...

'Bill Clinton cheats on his wife. Impeach him. Trump proudly brags about sexual assault (and has cheated on his wives). Elect him.

Hillary oversaw the department of state while 4 people died in an embassy attack. Put her in jail. 2 Republicans were in office while over 200 people died in embassy attacks. No problem.

Immigrants don't pay taxes. Round them up and kick them out. Trump doesn't pay taxes. He's a business genius.

Hillary's foundation only spent 87% of their donations helping people. She's a crook. Trumps foundation paid off his debts, bought sculptures of him, and made political donations to avoid investigations while using less than 5% of funds for charity (and he got shut down by NY State). So savvy... Put him in the white house.

Trump made 4 billion dollars in 40 years, when an index fund started at the same time with the same "small loans" he received would be worth $12 billion today... without a trail of bankruptcies, thousands of lawsuits and burned small business owners. He's a real business whiz. Hillary took a loss of $700k. She's a criminal.

Trump is the first candidate in the modern era not to release his tax returns, and took a billion dollar loss in 1 year. Genius. Hillary takes responsibility for private email servers and apologizes. Not credible. Trump denies saying things (on the record) he actually said (on the record), he's just telling it like it is.'

To those who support him:

Your arguments are thin. Your ignorance of reality is shocking. Your double-standards are offensive, and your willingness to blindly support him and recycle the rhetoric is absurd. Your opinion is not fact. Your memes are not news articles. And your hypocrisy is not a platform.

#rantover #imwithher #proudnastywoman

Sunday, August 14, 2016


HANNAY--Margaret Lois Patterson, died on August 11, 2016 after a four-year struggle with brain cancer. She was born in Rochester, NH, on December 20, 1944, the eldest child of Dr. Lois Kunz Patterson, biologist, and Rev. Dr. Ralph Patterson, pastor in New England with summers as a Christian camp director, mostly at Deerfoot Lodge in Speculator, NY. Margaret had two brothers, Ronnie who died as a 'blue baby' on the day of his birth, and Ken, a Vietnam Veteran and Chief of Operations of the Portland, OR District Navigation and Hydrographic Survey Missions of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He died less than a month after his diagnosis of Glioblastoma Multiforme at age 49.

Margaret received the same diagnosis in October 2012, but advanced cancer care gave her a much longer life. She was very grateful for the excellent care of her doctors, home health aides, and Community Hospice of Albany County. Margaret went to Wheaton College in Illinois, where she had an excellent education in English literature; she met David Hannay when they were 18, and he was the love of her life. They were married at age 20 and spent more than 50 happy years together. Both Margaret and David continued with graduate school through the Ph.D. and became professors, Margaret in English Literature at Siena College and David in Computer Science at Union College.

Along with David, she was proud of their daughters Deborah Hannay Sunoo, a Presbyterian pastor married to Ken Kyung Sunoo, and Catharine Hannay, a teacher and creative writer married to Eric Peterman, and of their granddaughters Rebecca Catharine Jin Sunoo and Alina Margaret Yun Sunoo. She felt blessed to live near so many of David's family, raising their daughters in a home inherited from David's grandparents in Westerlo, NY.

Dr. Hannay was Professor of English at Siena College from 1980 to 2013. Her specialty was the literature of early modern England, and she frequently taught Elizabethan Literature, English Renaissance Literature, and Shakespeare, as well as the Honors Great Books class for first year students. In 2000 she received the first Raymond Kennedy Excellence in Scholarship Award from the College. At Siena she served as chair of the core curriculum committee, chair of the committee to establish the Honors program, and chair of the English department. Her publications include more than fifty articles and seventeen books, including biographies of C.S. Lewis, Lady Mary Wroth, and Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke; seven volumes of editions of works and correspondence by the Sidney family edited with Noel Kinnamon and Michael Brennan; and essay collections, most recently the two-volume "Ashgate Research Companion on the Sidneys, 1500-1700," edited with Michael Brennan and Mary Ellen Lamb (2015). Her books have received various "Book of the Year" awards, and her volume on Dorothy Sayers was nominated for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America.

Over the years Margaret received a number of research fellowships including three from the National Endowment of the Humanities and three from the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. She has served on boards of the Modern Language Association, as Council Secretary of the Renaissance English Text Society, and as national president of the Conference on Christianity and Literature. She was a founder, secretary, and then president of the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women, from which she received a Lifetime Achievement Award. She was secretary and president of the International Sidney Society, which gave her the Jean Robertson Lifetime Achievement Award. Each of these things, she said, was a great joy; she loved teaching, caring for students, attending conferences on the English Renaissance, and sleuthing in the archives in England and Wales for her research.

With David, Margaret was an enthusiastic member of First Presbyterian Church of Albany, NY. She served on session, taught classes, and was most recently on the welcoming Membership Committee. She was blessed to have such good friends and pastors in this historic church that welcomes all people and strives to serve those in need. She was most grateful for the similar ministry of Franciscan ideals at Siena College, and for the deep friendship of colleagues there. She also treasured her friendship with colleagues across the English- speaking academic world who shared her research interest in early modern writers.

A memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church, 362 State St., Albany, NY 12210, on Sunday, August 28th at 1:00pm. Memorial donations in Margaret's honor may be given to First Presbyterian Church of Albany for Mission and Outreach.