Statler and Waldorf: From the Balcony
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Statler and Waldorf: From the Balcony logo
|Hosting||Statler and Waldorf|
|Debut||June 26, 2005|
|End date||September 20, 2006|
Statler and Waldorf: From the Balcony is a multi-award winning webshow starring the Muppet characters Statler and Waldorf which ran biweekly on Movies.com from June 2005 until September 2006. The series spawned more than 35 episodes and featured many Muppet characters - both well-known classics and newly created characters. The two elderly curmudgeons would discuss upcoming films, watch the latest movie trailers and share the week's "balconism" from their theater box.
Many of the webisodes featured a segment (or segments) featuring other Muppet characters - for example, Pepe the King Prawn often reviewed the recent DVD releases or gave remote reports; and fictional movie trailers or commercials starring other Muppet characters were also commonly seen. Many established Muppet characters appeared - including Rowlf the Dog, Johnny Fiama, the Swedish Chef, Bobo the Bear, Dr. Teeth, Animal, Sam the Eagle, and Sweetums. Plus many new recurring and one-time gag characters would appear in segments, sketches and parodies. Several new characters that frequented the series include Larry and Oliver, Lester Possum, Ted Thomas, Stan and Louie, the Hollywood Pitchmen, the Blimp, Loni Dunne and a pair of musical performers.
A test pilot was briefly available online in February 2005. The pilot featured Statler and Waldorf in a movie theater watching, rating and commenting on the latest trailers for The Pacifier and Constantine, additionally Pepe the Prawn appeared to give a rundown on the latest DVD releases. The pilot did not feature the classic balcony set seen in later episodes, a "Balconism" and other regular features the series would later include. The puppeteers on the pilot were Victor Yerrid (Waldorf) and Drew Massey (Statler and Pepe). The pilot was removed from Movies.com in the spring of 2005 and has not been officially released or reposted since.
In early June 2005, Movies.com announced that From the Balcony would soon become a regular feature of the site. Biweekly episodes started appearing on Movies.com beginning on June 26. The first eight episodes featured regular Muppet performers Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire and Bill Barretta performing the cast of Muppets in each episode. However, starting with episode 9, and continuing until the end of the series, Victor Yerrid and Drew Massey returned to take over the main puppeteering duties on the project.
Victor Yerrid commented on his and Drew Massey's role in the series in a 2007 interview stating:
|“||We did about ninety-five percent of the puppeteering so we worked on just about every scene together. We were also involved in the creative meetings and got to pitch characters and segment ideas.||”|
The opening of each episode started with a quick first-person perspective traveling through the El Capitan Theatre. The song "Hey a Movie!" from The Great Muppet Caper was used as the theme song in early run of the series before being replaced with an original instrumental composition for later episodes (starting with episode 5). The show originally was produced in the traditional 4:3 (1.33:1) aspect ratio, but starting with episode 15, and continuing for the rest of the series' run, the picture switched to a 16:9 (1.78:1) widescreen format.
Through the 15-month run of the series, the show spawned more than 34 episodes. Aside from the biweekly episodes, the series produced sets of promotional Halloween and Oscar clips that were released to television news syndicates for incorporation in news broadcasts to promote the series. Statler and Waldorf also appeared from the set of From the Balcony in a promotional tie-in to introduce the films for ESPN Classic's Reel Classics Extra beginning in October 2005. The characters and balcony set were also featured in a public service announcement for the Will Rogers Institute in late 2005.
In October 2006, after the 34th episode of the webshow debuted online, Movies.com set the following message via the "Balcony Bulletin" mailing list (an e-mail mailing list that would alert subscribers when a new episode was posted):
|“|| Dear Statler & Waldorf Fans:|
As you know, your favorite cranky critics, Statler and Waldorf, are getting up there in years. While they're not ready for retirement, they've decided to take some time away from the balcony for some well-earned rest and relaxation (read: finding new things to complain about).
Don't despair, though—during the hiatus you can still enjoy classic From the Balcony. Every show is available for viewing in the archives! There's also a rumor going around that everyone's favorite curmudgeons may be popping in for special appearances on new parts of Movies.com. Stick around to find out where!
Although the show was said to only be on a "hiatus", as of May 2009, no information on a possible return of the show or the production of new episodes has surfaced, nor have Statler and Waldorf appeared in any other parts of Movies.com. At a public appearance in June 2007, Dave Goelz mentioned that they were working on several projects - including new Muppet webisodes. However it was unclear if he meant a return of From the Balcony or the creation of a new web series.
While there has been no word of upcoming From the Balcony episodes, The Muppet Newsflash: A Jim Henson News Blog announced on Sept. 17, 2009, that Statler and Waldorf will release a book titled From the Balcony in 2010.
Awards and Recognitions
From The Balcony won a Silver Telly at the 2006 Telly Awards, for best use of comedy. Movies.com was awarded the highest-level Silver Telly Award for "Best use of Humor in a Non-Broadcast Video" for From the Balcony's creative spoof of the film Dukes of Hazzard.
In April 2007, the series was nominated for, and won, a Webby Award. Hailed as the "Oscars of the Internet" by the New York Times, the Webby Awards are the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet. The series' nomination, in the "Comedy: Long Form or Series" category, was Movies.com's first ever nomination for a Webby. Public voting ran on the Webby Awards website throughout April 2007 to decide the winners of the award. On May 1, 2007 it was announced that From the Balcony was the winner of the "People's Voice 2007: Webby for Best Comedy Long Form or Series" due to the show gaining the most votes out of the five the nominees in the category.
|Test Pilot||February 25, 2005||none||Pepe the King Prawn|
|Statler and Waldorf take a look at The Pacifier and Constantine however the pair is unable to get a consistent rating scale to rank the films. Pepe the King Prawn pops in to give a rundown on the latest DVD releases - Saw, I Heart Huckabees, Donnie Darko and Taxi.|
|Episode 1||June 26, 2005||Dej-HAH-vous||Pepe the King Prawn|
|Statler and Waldorf take a look at the trailers for War of the Worlds and Bewitched. The pair rank each film on their "Snooze-O-Meter" noting how far into the film they will fall asleep. Plus the two toss it over to Pepe the King Prawn to talk about the newest titles on DVD - Miss Congeniality 2, Coach Carter and Hostage.|
|Episode 2||July 6, 2005||KILL-dren||Rowlf the Dog|
|Statler and Waldorf preview Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Fantastic Four. The two rank the films on the "old man driving scale" noting how fast they would drive to (or away from) the film. Rowlf the Dog stops by the set of The Wedding Crashers to give tips on how to be a wedding crasher.|
|Episode 3||July 18, 2005||Expenda-BILL||Johnny Fiama|
|Statler and Waldorf preview Stealth and The Island. Plus Johnny Fiama interviews Keanu Reeves (through edited footage).|
|Episode 3: Bonus Clip||July 19, 2005||none||Pepe the King Prawn|
|Upset that Johnny Fiama took his place in episode 3, Pepe releases a "top-secret" video giving his take on the week's new DVD releases.|
|Episode 4||August 3, 2005||COUGH-in||the Swedish Chef|
|Statler and Waldorf review The Dukes of Hazzard and Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo. Plus the Swedish Chef makes a pair Daisy Duke jeans.|
|Episode 5||August 18, 2005||Doggie-DAR||Pepe the King Prawn|
|Statler and Waldorf review The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Red Eye; plus Pepe is on the street to talk about Sin City, Beauty Shop and A Lot Like Love on DVD.|
|Episode 6||September 1, 2005||TRAVOLTED||Pepe the King Prawn|
|Statler and Waldorf host "The Balc-y Awards" covering the best (or in their case, worst) in summer movies.|
|Episode 7||September 14, 2005||Lucky BLAST-ard||Bobo the Bear|
|Statler and Waldorf review Just Like Heaven and Corpse Bride. The two also share a rare Star Wars: Episode III audition tape from Bobo the Bear.|
|Episode 8||September 29, 2005||Prev-EULOGY||Pepe the King Prawn|
|Statler and Waldorf review Into the Blue and Two for the Money. Plus Pepe is on the red carpet of Flightplan where he interviews such celebrities as Brent Sexton, Peter Sarsgaard, Michael Irby, Constance Marie, Isaiah Washington, Jodie Foster, Erika Christensen and several other guests.|
|Episode 9||October 12, 2005||CON-mercial||Dr. Teeth & Animal|
|Statler and Waldorf review Doom and Elizabethtown. Plus Dr. Teeth and Animal talk about Shop Girl's love triangle.|
|Episode 10||October 27, 2005||Coinci-DANCE||The Weather Guy|
|Statler and Waldorf review Jarhead and The Legend of Zorro. The Weather Guy checks in with the report for the movie The Weather Man.|
|Halloween Press Clips||October 28, 2005||RUN-derwear|
|In a series of videos not released on the official website, Statler (dressed as a mummy) and Waldorf (dressed as a vampire) give a "Halloween Film Countdown". These clips were released to news syndicates to air as promotion for the web series.|
|Episode 11||November 11, 2005||BLONDE-tourage||Sam the Eagle|
|Statler and Waldorf review Get Rich or Die Tryin'' and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Sam Eagle gives an editorial on the Johnny Cash movie Walk the Line.|
|Episode 12||November 26, 2005||WEAK-quel||Stan and Louie|
|Statler and Waldorf review Rent and In the Mix. Plus the theater rats give their take from "Below the Balcony".|
|Episode 13||December 10, 2005||HACK-tors||Ivan the Villager, Sweetums, Clive Focus, penguins|
|Statler and Waldorf review The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and King Kong. Plus Ivan the Villager and Sweetums beg for Hollywood's mercy and Clive Focus gets shots of the stars of March of the Penguins.|
|Episode 14||December 24, 2005||YULE LOG-jam||Larry and Oliver|
|Statler and Waldorf give their Christmas film countdown from a decked out balcony. Plus Larry and Oliver act out every Christmas movie ever made.|
|Episode 15||January 7, 2006||Fluctu-WEIGHT||Assorted whatnots, animals and aliens, Indiana, Sam the Eagle|
|Statler and Waldorf showcase some of the international rip-offs of their webshow, while Indiana complains about being a fly-over state (with a disclaimer from Sam, the American eagle).|
|Episode 16||January 20, 2006||WIN-jury||Alvy Mellish, Lester Possum|
|Statler and Waldorf review Big Momma's House 2 and Underworld Evolution. Alvy Mellish weighs in on Match Point and Lester Possum takes to the streets to find out what the average movie goer is thinking.|
|Episode 17||February 4, 2006||Romantic KARMA-dy||Deliveryman, Loni Dunne, Ted Thomas, Mr. Movie, Billy|
|Statler and Waldorf review Firewall and The Pink Panther; meanwhile Ted Thomas and Loni Dunne discuss the Oscar nomination announcements. And Mr. Movie gives Billy a lecture on how movies are made.|
|Episode 18||February 18, 2006||It's OVER-ture||Oscar envelope, detective, Sam the Eagle, Lester Possum|
|Statler and Waldorf host their big Oscar prediction episode. A detective interrogates an Oscar envelope and Lester Possum goes to the street to hear people's views on who will win at the Oscars.|
|Oscar Press Clips||March 2, 2006||none|
|In a series of videos not released on the official website, Statler and Waldorf are interviewed on their Oscar predictions. These clips were released to news syndicates to air as promotion for the web series.|
|Episode 19||March 4, 2006||PROM-blematic||Ted Thomas, Hugo, Spamela Hamderson, assorted animals|
|Statler and Waldorf are off to the beach to review Failure to Launch, Ultraviolet, and 16 Blocks. Ted Thomas interviews Hugo, the star of The Shaggy Dog. Plus a commercial for "Muppets Gone Wildlife".|
|Episode 20||March 18, 2006||ACT-lete||penguins, Larry and Oliver|
|Statler and Waldorf review She's the Man, Inside Man and V for Vendetta. The Muppet penguins star in a promo for March Madness of the Penguins and Larry and Oliver are back to reenact every sports movie ever made in another installment of "Film Crew Theater".|
|Episode 21||April 1, 2006||Hide and SEQUEL||The Hollywood Pitchmen, and Young Statler and Waldorf|
|A pair of anxious Hollywood pitchmen try to sell new ideas of movie sequels and Statler and Waldorf show an old (black-and-white and silent) episode of "From the Balcony".|
|Episode 22||April 15, 2006||PET-amorphosis||Stan and Louie|
|Statler and Waldorf show their American Idol audition and Stan and Louie are back for another view from "Below the Balcony".|
|Episode 23||April 29, 2006||THESPIAN-age||Tom Cruise, Cruise's assistant, Loni Dunne|
|Statler and Waldorf show sneak-peeks at the trailers for Mission: Impossible 4: Ridiculously Impossible and Mission: Impossible 5: Impossibly Impossible ; plus Loni Dunne interviews an excited Tom Cruise.|
|Episode 24||April 29, 2006||LAUGHTER-math||Superheroes, musical performers|
|Statler and Waldorf showcase some rejected mutants' auditions for X-Men, including The Blimp, The Procrastinator, The Defroster, Beaverine, The Invisible Twins, and Scorn. The duo also take a look at a trailer for a made-up film, Poseidon: The Musical.|
|Episode 25||May 27, 2006||Opening FREAK-end||Waldorf's replacement|
|Inspired by The Break-Up, Statler and Waldorf go their separate ways. While Waldorf is at home alone, Statler brings in a new co-host to review The Omen.|
|Episode 26||June 10, 2006||STARING wheel||Manny Folds, The Swedish Chef|
|Statler and Waldorf, with the help of Manny Folds, talk about all the summer car films. The duo gets the balcony pimped out; and The Swedish Chef makes "Nacho Libres".|
|Episode 27||June 24, 2006||Armed FARCES||Ted Thomas, Craig Kent, Superman|
|Statler and Waldorf review An Inconvenient Truth. Ted Thomas interview's Superman's cousin Craig. Plus Superman returns... a video.|
|Episode 28||July 7, 2006||Yo HO HUM||James Lipton, Polly Wanna Cracker, Long Joel Silver|
|Statler and Waldorf look for buried treasure in the balcony after talking about Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. "Inside the Actors Studio" takes gets up close with a staring pirate's parrot. Plus Long Joel Silver advertises the "Movies for the Marooned Box Set".|
|Episode 29||July 22, 2006||MAD-aptation||Tom Cruise, David Hasselhoff|
|David Hasselhoff and Tom Cruise star as Statler and Waldorf in the big screen adaptation of From the Balcony.|
|Episode 30||August 4, 2006||HELL-titude||Bunnies, sheep, birds|
|Statler and Waldorf have some problems with the camera as they showcase many Snakes on a Plane knockoffs - such as Bunnies on a Balloon and Sheep on a Submarine.|
|Episode 31||August 18, 2006||In-FAD-uation||Ted Thomas Sr., George Lucas, Woody Allen, alien|
|Statler and Waldorf are on vacation, so the producers treat viewers to From the Balcony's last good episode - an episode from 1977. Ted Thomas Sr. interviews rising director George Lucas, and a younger Statler and Waldorf take a look at what Close Encounters of the Third Kind would have been like if Woody Allen directed.|
|Episode 32||September 2, 2006||FLICK-tion||Coach Gruesome, Flopsy, Larry and Oliver|
|Statler and Waldorf's "Back to School Special". Larry and Oliver return to reenact every high school movie ever made in another installment of "Film Crew Theater". Plus Flopsy prepares to play in the big football game.|
|Episode 33||September 16, 2006||POP-coronary||Caspar Von Blimpman, The Maltese Falcon, musical performers|
|Statler and Waldorf showcase a film noir parody starring Statler as Dashiell Chander. The two critics also show off a clip from another upcoming musical about going to the movies.|
|Episode 34||September 20, 2006||OS-carred||Jimmy Pureisle, The Hollywood Pitchmen|
|Statler's new intern Jimmy quickly outgrows his coffee fetching job and rises to the high heights of fame. The Hollywood pitchmen return to pitch wild prequels to Jimmy. Soon Jimmy's 15 minutes of fame are up. In a twist ending, Jimmy, in hope of a come-back, buys the balcony and takes over the show.|
List of Balconisms
A list of all the "balconisms" presented by Statler and Waldorf throughout the series:
- ACT-lete: An athlete who attempts to act in movies but really should just stick to their sport.
- Armed FARCES: When the army is rendered useless in a Sci-Fi or action movie, and the true hero turns out to be an average Joe.
- BLONDE-tourage: When the cool girl in a teen movie is surrounded by several dumb sidekicks who will do anything she says.
- Coinci-DANCE: When the music starts playing, everyone breaks out in a perfectly choreographed dance that they all know.
- CON-mercial: When the studio puts out a misleading trailer, that cons viewers into the theater.
- COUGH-in: When a main character coughs in the first few minutes of a movie, and you know they'll be dead by the end.
- Dej-HAH-vous: When all of the funny parts of a movie have already been shown in the trailer.
- Doggie-DAR: The innate ability of the family dog to sense an evil man in their company even when the humans are completely oblivious.
- Expenda-BILL: The nameless character who always goes on secret missions and is always the first to die. (see also: redshirt)
- FLICK-tion: A modern day high school flick that is loosely based on a classical work of fiction.
- Fluctu-WEIGHT: When an actor gains or loses a large amount of weight to suit an upcoming role.
- HACK-tors: Cut-rate actors who replace big stars in cheap sequels to their hit movies.
- HELL-titude: A horror film that takes place at a high altitude (e.g. mountain, plane,)
- Hide and SEQUEL: When actors make sure they will not be found in the sequels to their previous movies.
- In-FAD-uation: When Hollywood tries to make money by doing movies about the latest cultural trends.
- It's OVER-ture: The music they play at the awards show when they want the acceptee to shut up and get off the stage.
- KILL-dren: The uncute kids in horror movies.
- LAUGHTER-math: When the aftermath of a disaster movie is so laughable, it practically ruins the whole film.
- Lucky BLAST-ard: The main character of an action movie who can run, jump, swim or drive just one step faster than the fireball of a huge explosion.
- MAD-aptation: When a TV show is adapted into a movie, but it stinks so much that it angers the loyal fans.
- Opening FREAK-end: When a horror movie's release date coincides with its subject matter.
- OS-carred: When a person is unable to get anymore work after winning an Oscar.
- PET-amorphosis: When a movie character suddenly finds himself turned into the family pet.
- POP-coronary: A medical condition that develops when you see how expensive things are at the concession stand.
- Prev-EULOGY: When movie studios cram the whole movie into the preview and kill any chance of people going to see it.
- PROM-blematic: When most of the problems in a teenage comedy come back to the characters at the prom.
- Romantic KARMA-dy: Where the main character unexpectedly finds love while helping others with their relationships.
- RUN-derwear: When a female in a scary movie runs away from the killer and for some reason is always in her underwear.
- STARING wheel: When someone driving a car in a movie ends up staring at the passenger instead of watching the road.
- THESPIAN-age: When an award winning actor is cast as a villain in a spy thriller.
- TRAVOLTED: When one key film role rescues an actor's career from years of struggle and puts them back on the map.
- WEAK-quel: A sequel that comes so long after the first movie and nobody really cares.
- WIN-jury: When the star of a sports movie receives an injury that hurts his ability to play, but overcomes it and finds a way to win in the end.
- Yo HO HUM: How Hollywood felt about pirate movies before The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise became such a big hit.
- YULE LOG-jam: The glut of big movies that comes out right around Christmas.
Reel Classic Extra
Starting on August 28, 2005 (and continuing for 19 weeks), Statler and Waldorf hosted ESPN Classic’s Reel Classics Extra, a weekly sports-themed movie programing block, with antics from the balcony. The brief introductory clips were filmed as part of production for Statler and Waldorf: From the Balcony - using the same puppets, sets, crew. Aside from introducing the films, the clips heavily promoted the webshow with on-screen pop-up advertisements saying "for more Statler & Waldorf go to movies.com". An archive of these introductions was added to the From the Balcony website afterwards in 2006; they remain part of the show's video collection at Movies.com.
Statler and Waldorf’s 19 special "Reel Classic Extra" intros were for the following films:
- Steve Whitmire (episodes 1–8)
- Dave Goelz (episodes 1–8)
- Bill Barretta (episodes 1–8)
- Drew Massey (episodes 9–34)
- Victor Yerrid (episodes 9–34)
- Allan Trautman (episode 17)
- Alice Dinnean-Vernon (episode 33)
- The dame
- Executive Producer: Ian Hirsch
- Cinematograper: Byron Werner
- Editor: David Tarleton
- Writers: Joe Nussbaum, Mike Pellettieri, David Young
- Director: Ian Hirsch
- Art Director: Marcus Vaughn
- Set Dresser: Amy Mullin
- ↑ Yerrid, Victor.An Interview with Victor Yerrid. The Muppet Newsflash. August 2007.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 James, Greg. Statler and Waldorf on ESPN. The Muppet Newsflash. October 4, 2005
- ↑ Will Rogers Institute. Online "TV/Film PSA's" archive. "The Muppets/Teri Hatcher 'Teen Stress' - 60"
- ↑ Goelz, Dave. Muppets, Music & Magic Q&A. June 2007
- ↑ "Statler & Waldorf Book". The Muppet Newsflash: A Jim Henson News Blog, Sept. 17, 2009. http://www.muppetnewsflash.com/search/label/From%20the%20Balcony.
- ↑ Buechnet, Maryanne Murray.25 Sites We Can't Live Without. TIME. August 3, 2006.
- ↑ Movies.com Wins Multiple Prestigious Awards Rogonizing Achievements in Entertainment, News and Creative Content. Movies.com. May 30, 2006.
- ↑ James, Greg. Vote for Statler & Waldorf in the 2007 Webby Awards!. The Muppet Newsflash. April 13, 2007.
- ↑ James, Greg. Statler & Waldorf Win the Webby. The Muppet Newsflash. May 3, 2007.
- From the Balcony news reports at The Muppet Newsflash
- From the Balcony's original characters at the Muppet wikia