...a blog by Richard Flowers

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Day 2356: Muppet Show


As Mr Frown's search for some idiot to be his Apprentice draws to a close, the six remaining candidates appeared on Questionable Time to try and explain why anyone should care which of them wins.

Since Mr Balloon has described them as MUPPETS (and to be fair, Lord Blairimort was RIGHT when he said that's a BIT RICH coming from Mr Balloon!) I thought I would try and identify WHICH Muppet was WHICH!

Mr Benny Hill: people have said that he is like Sam the All-American Eagle – austere, aloof, obsessional. This is nonsense; he is none of those things. I watched him bobble backwards and forwards and from side to side, flapping his head and his hands and doing a poor-man's impression of his DAD. Clearly his main characteristics are (a) he does not realise everyone thinks he's a joke (b) he does not realise that he is an ALIEN. Muppet rating: GONZO THE GREAT.

Ms Hazel Bleary: wide-eyed and as insanely chirpy as you can get without having a CUCKOO actually pop out of your forehead, sitting next to GONZO only reinforced the OBVIOUS stereotype. Quite how anyone can believe that what the public want after ten years of the Labour is the same but MORE SO completely eludes me, but she certainly looks keen to put Mr Benny in a spangley leotard and launch him from a cannon pointed at the audience. Muppet rating: ESMERALDA the CHICKEN.

Mr I'm Sorry I've Forgotten Who You Are [R: John Cruddas] No, it's gone again: probably ought to be one of those two in the Electric Mayhem Orchestra that no one remembers, not Dr Teeth, Sax-man Zoot or Animal, the other two. Having said that, neither lead-guitar Janice nor bassist Floyd really has that air of self-satisfied spiv about them. Seems to be trying to sell under-the-counter Old Labour policies. Muppet rating: RIZO the RAT.

Mr Alan Johnson: indulgent smile, affable nature, gives the impression that he knows that the unions will stitch it up for him and can afford to look generous. Muppet rating: Frank Sinatra looky-likey JOHNNY FIAMA (NOT an anagram of Mafia, hoooo no).

Mr Peter Vain: self-styled prima-donna, making a living off the achievements of others, who no one quite dares to tell just how ridiculous they really are. Too much make-up. Muppet rating: obviously MISS PIGGY.

Ms Harriet Harpic: clean round the bend. She places all her emphasis on being best chums with Mr Frown. But not his patsy. And a woman. But not his patsy. And she comes from the South which will compliment the fact that he comes from the north.[*] Seems too much to concentrate on qualifications based on who she IS, rather than what she can DO. Muppet rating: incompetent gopher but uncle owns the theatre, SCOOTER.

[*] actually, Ms Harpic seems to be saying that Mr Frown's best Apprentice would be EVIL KATIE from "The Apprentice". Which is handy, because she happens to be AVAILABLE.

Having said all that though, actually watching the show I began to realise that for all of their differences they actually all sound the same:

  • No return to Old Labour
  • Time to move on from Iraq
  • We must be a listening government (shut up, WE're talking!)
  • Ooh, I can't think of ANY of our legislation that we should repeal
  • Haven't we done WELL.
By the end of the show, I realised that in fact none of them HAVE as much individual personality as ANY of the Muppets above. So in fact they are all THE AMAZING MUSICAL MUPPAPHONES, identical coloured gonks who squeak when clubbed.

Which kind of makes Mr Frown MARVIN SUGGS, the man with the mallet. And that fits.


Mr Balloon is a bit of a MUPPET himself of course. Let me see – talks with funny accent, flaps hands about, flails around losing control of his kitchen/cabinet, known to holiday in Norway, never produces an actual result… Muppet rating: clearly he's the SWEDISH CHEF!

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