The original five seasons of the Muppet Show are now available on Disney+. That’s the biggest news going.
For a slightly smaller story... somehow, in 2020, we succeeded in filming Season 2 of The Slugs & Bugs Show! We shot for three weeks through strict COVID protocols and by God’s grace we made it through - with 13 new episodes that exceeded all our expectations.
The original cast is back - Doug the Slug and Sparky the Lightning Bug, Morty and Maggie Raccoon, along with Miss Carla, and a few new characters and some really fun guests that drop by with sage wisdom, or flower seeds, or instructions for unicorn wrangling.
I mention the Muppet Show because it’s one of my all-time-favorite TV shows, but also because the heart and soul of our show is communicated so ineffably by the gifts and commitment of our four puppeteers. We ask an awful lot of those puppets, and they deliver nuanced, heartfelt, honest, and hilarious performances in literally every episode. Their personalities are complex and lovable and knowable, just like Ralph the Dog, Miss Piggy, Gonzo the Great, Dr. Teeth, and the legendary Kermit the Frog.
However, instead of a show built on skits and gags (brilliant as they were), our show is built on stories and relationships that reflect a gospel-centered attempt at life, with conflict and forgiveness and restoration. Toni Morrison said to write the kind of books you want to read, so we made the kind of show we want to watch. Which also means - we made it really funny.
And that reminds me of our spectacular Season 2 guests! Dear people like counselor Sissy Goff, artists like Ellie Holcomb and my old friend Andrew Peterson, TV personalities like Big Easy (from the Harlem Globetrotters!) and so many more, enter into the stories with playful sincerity. Sometimes the problem-solving is as simple as quantum mechanics (enter NASA astronaut Patrick Forrester), and sometimes it is as complex as forgiving your mouthy little brother (enter spoken word artist and parent Propaganda).
It seems lofty and stuffy to say it, but The Slugs & Bugs Show seeks to model the path of discipleship for kids and families. And somehow, our producer Chris Wall and our writers and brilliant performers have made it really, truly, fun to watch.