Ryan Dosier - It's always odd when a show comes to an end. After years of entertaining, engrossing, and enlightening you, it feels like saying farewell to a close friend... but a friend who you don't really know, yet at the same time a friend who brightens your world once a week. Today, we bid farewell to The MuppetCast, the weekly Muppet podcast started by my good friend Steve Swanson, which just recently conducted its final show.
For the past four years, The MuppetCast has been an amazing resource for Muppet fans. It brought us Muppet music, Muppet news, and gave Muppet fans one of their first outlets to express themselves and (literally) let their voices be heard. Perhaps The MuppetCast's biggest achievement, however, was Steve's uncanny knack of recruiting countless professionals to come of the show and talk to him about Muppets. The likes of Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Jerry Nelson, Kevin Clash, David Rudman, Fran Brill, and even Frank Oz all lent their time to Steve for extremely rare, wonderfully conducted, and beautifully meaningful interviews.
But, to me, The MuppetCast means quite a lot more. The MuppetCast was the first time I realized that I could contribute to the Muppet fan world. In 2007, I won a Muppet impression contest doing my take on Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, and Steve was kind enough to let me keep doing the impression to introduce a few more shows. Thanks to Steve's help, I knew that there was more for me to do than just be a Muppet fan... I had something to contribute. This, of course, led to The Muppet Mindset... and I can safely say we probably wouldn't be here had Steve not given me those opportunities, and then showed unparalleled support for me and the site. I can honestly say that every opportunity I had to be a guest on The MuppetCast (all of which can be found here) was a treat and a delight--even when I had to work with that Joe Hennes character.
The true magic of The MuppetCast is Steve Swanson himself. The show is advertised as "Hosted by Steve Swanson," but that's not even the half of it. Steve edits, organizes, writes, plans, interviews, keeps up with emails, keeps up with phone messages, spends money, records, and somehow in there sleeps, has a wife, a social life, and eats. How he managed to do it for the past four years, I will never, ever know, but aren't we all so freaking happy that he did?
I've had the pleasure of a few encounters with Steve in person. Together, we hosted the sparsely attended, but still fun, Muppet Vault in Columbus, Ohio--and Steve not only let me sleep in his house, but he bought me breakfast, picked me up and took me to the airport, took me to his brother's house, and gave me a crap load of Muppet content that I had never seen before. That's just who Steve is... kind, giving, and personal. Not too long after, Steve and I happened to be at Walt Disney World at the same time and we met at Epcot and hung out for a few hours. The only way to do Disney better is to do it with a Muppet fan... especially one who is as big of a Disney fan as I am. Thanks to Steve for all of these moments, and many more, that we enjoyed together. I'm proud to call him my friend.
So it's with a heavy heart, but a confidence that Steve is doing the right thing for himself, that I bid farewell to The MuppetCast. We should all know, however, that we won't be saying goodbye to Steve. He'll still be around. We'll just have to look harder to find him! Now go, take a listen to The MuppetCast's Final Show, and join us as we bid a fond adieu and start the celebration of four years of The MuppetCast.
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org