Tag Archives: 80s magazine

Gonzo was a plumber, but now he’s popping and locking with the best of ‘em!

So I know it seems like I’m continuously going back to this same Fall 1984 issue of Muppet magazine this month, but in my defense there is a lot of neat stuff packed between those covers.  At first I had intended to just post tidbits from that issue while I was on vacation and out of the state, but there was so much neat content I couldn’t help but stretch it out a bit for fear of there being too much radness for one post!  Seriously…

This is the last tidbit though, I swear.  So we all know that Breakdancing really broke through to the mainstream in 1984 what with the release of Beat Street and Breakin’, not to mention classic episodes of sitcoms like Gimme a Break (where I first leaned of the phenomena back in the day.)  So, as a bastion of pop culture news for kids, it comes as no surprise that Muppet magazine was there at ground zero to cover it for the children of America.  This article features a couple of formative breaking crews, The Dynamic Breakers and their all-female spin-off the Dynamic Dolls.  The DB’s are themselves the more acrobatic members of a larger crew called the Dynamic Rockers, who were certainly a formative part of the hip hop scene at the outset.  The Breakers (Airborn, Duce, Kano, Flip and Spider), saw an opportunity to market their crew and ended up going on a media blitz in 1984 including talk and variety show appearances (even teaching Penny Marshall to do a headspin), and eventually ending up in this photoshoot/interview with the one and only Gonzo from the Muppets…

I can’t even summon the words for how cool it is to see Gonzo in his own Dynamic branded track pants.  Anyway, there’s plenty of advice for aspiring breakers in this piece including how to create your own outfit without going broke, building your crew around a variety of styles, and even a lexicon to Freshen up your lingo…

I’ll be the first to admit that I was a class-A, uncoordinated dork as a kid, and I have some very distinct memories of watching the Breakdance episode of Gimmie a Break or catching a bit of Breakin’ on HBO and then rushing out to the dining room where there was some space and trying my best to do a kick or backspin and then falling flat on my face.  I think all I ever managed to eek out was a sad moonwalk or two, but I suppose at least I gave it a shot.  Thank god none of that is on video…

The accordion is the wave of the future, the Sound of the 80s!

Seeing as I shared the Weird Al/Michael Jackson congratulatory advertisement earlier in the week, I thought it would be fun to follow that up with this Al Yankovic fluff piece (and not just because he’s interviewed by Fozzie Bear) from the Fall 1984 issue of Muppet Magazine.  There’s not really that much to dig into as far as revelations, or any trivia that isn’t pretty common knowledge, but it is fun to see the duo in similar Hawaiian shirts…

I found it rather interesting that these articles from Muppet are attributed to both a muppet character and to the actual author (in this case Katy Dobbs.)  I mean if you’re going to try and keep the fantasy of the Muppets alive by having them “interview” the celebrities, why then go so far as to list the actual writers with an “as told by” credit?  I get crediting for the work, but I think it could be handled on the contents page or something.  Just think it’s a little weird.  Anyway, I thought it was neat that Yankovic also brought up the fact that he always asks for permission when doing a parody, and to connect it to last week, Fozzie’s favorite song is “Eat It” by Michael Jackson…

Also included in the 4-page spread was the lyrics to “Eat It” and “I Love Rocky Road”, which is a nice touch.  Not sure if the lyrics were in the liner notes of Yankovic’s albums back then, but as a kid I would have totally loved being able to see them transcribed like that…