The television show that I loved the most as a child was a vaudeville-type show created by puppeteer Jim Henson called The Muppet Show. Some of my very best Muppet friends appeared on the show regularly: Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzy Bear, The Swedish Chef, Rowlf the Dog, Statler and Waldorf (pictured left), Sam the Eagle and many, many more. Every week the show had a famous (non-Muppet) host but, to the child-me, none of the hosts ever seemed to be as famous as the Muppets themselves. The world of the show was, to the child-me, a completely real world where pigs and dogs and frogs and whatever Gonzo was could talk and where the soundtrack to everything was provided by Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. Eventually, the Muppets made it to the big screen in movies like The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, and The Muppets Take Manhattan, and I love those movies now as much as I did as I child.
Part of the brilliance of "The Muppet Show," I now realize, is that it was just as entertaining for adults as it was for children. Some of that had to do with its featured guest-hosts, who put themselves in the awkward and hilarious situation of having to talk to puppets, but more of it had to do with the archetypical characters created by Jim Henson. Each of the Muppets had a fully-developed personality that no doubt resembled some "real" person that you knew. Anyway, here's the theme song, which still makes me giddy-happy whenever I hear it:
Maybe it's too "dated" at this point, but for those of you who are parents of small children, I highly recommend giving them a healthy dose of "The Muppet Show." I've seen some of the children's programming today and none of it seems as good as this classic.