Next week, ABC will premiere a re-imaged Muppet Show that is intended to be much more adult oriented than the beloved original family oriented variety syndicated series (1976-1980).
Conservative cultural commentator Todd Starnes bemoaned the direction of the new Muppet Show based upon the unaired new Muppet Show pilot, which focused on the awkwardness of bi-species relationships, marijuana jokes and promos touting "Finally. A network tv show with full frontal nudity". Starnes would echo Sam the Eagle's disassociation from such a "whole, weird sick show."
Admittedly, edgy humor can go awry, especially in the early prime time slot which had been dubbed "The Family Hour" in the 1970s and 1980s.
However, it can matter how the humor is handled and highlighted. Take this classic Sam the Eagle philippic from the original series.
The new Muppet Show seems like it is following the path the Brady Bunch Movie (1995) which took beloved characters and laced it with racy innuendo, like Sam the Butcher making meat deliveries to Alice or a latent lesbian spin to Marcia's sleepover friend. This can make for a cheeky parody but can be tough to prolong.