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The Muppet Christmas Carol – Picture Disc

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That's my sober birthday," admits Williams. "I'm 32 years sober. By the end of the 80s my career had basically gone. I had misplaced the 80s. When you misplace an entire decade, you have earned your seat and you are officially an alcoholic. I had a reputation in Hollywood as an alcoholic and an addict." In his free time, Shane loves going for runs and playing with his 16-year-old beagle Butterscotch. Butters for short, she has been the greatest love of his and inspires him everyday, both creatively and emtionally. On top of that, he's now a huge collector. He loves Funko Pop, McFarlane Toys, and Neca's huge line of horror figures. In the last two years he has been going to a lot of conversations to buy an unhealthy amount of figures. This has also allowed him to meet some of his favorite filmmakers/actors like Mike Flanagan, Matthew Lillard, John Carpenter, Grace Caroline Curry, Steve Burns and Kathryn Newton.

I walked into the recording studio and went straight up to Caine and said, 'It's so wonderful to meet you'," recalls Williams. "He turned to me and said, 'You know, we spent a whole weekend together.' I just went, 'Oh my God! You're right.'" You can see why it never made it to air, but still the laughter is so infectious that it has you crying with them! One of Williams's most cherished memories of this process was the song When Love Is Gone, sung by Meredith Braun. "I felt like my greatest success as a songwriter for The Muppet Christmas Carol was When Love Is Gone. Because, emotionally, you see what grief and loss did to Scrooge and his behaviour." The writer of The Carpenters' We've Only Just Begun and Barbra Streisand's Evergreen, Williams had worked on The Muppet Show and The Muppet Movie, earning an Oscar nomination for the latter's song Rainbow Connection. Which is all the more remarkable, since Williams struggled with alcohol and drug addiction through his life, up until 15 March, 1990.The song is Yippie Ki-Yay Father Christmas by Jonnie Common and as the title suggests it takes us through the greatest Christmas move of all time Die Hard (It’s a Christmas film fact, I will fight to the death on this one.) All of a sudden I was waking up in the morning with no cravings. I'd found my tribe. I was comfortable and grateful in this world in a way I'd never experienced before," declares Williams. "That's when I was asked to write a score about Scrooge, who is experiencing a spiritual awakening and a changed outlook. It was a perfect fit." If you are already a fan of hers then enjoy this Christmas offering, if you haven’t yet been bought in to her beautiful crazy world, then you are welcome and enjoy!

Which makes it all the more surprising, then, that the initial idea for The Muppets to do their own version of A Christmas Carol wasn't a calculated masterstroke from Henson or anyone at Jim Henson Productions. Instead, in the middle of 1991, just a year after Jim's death, it was suggested to Brian by his agent Bill Haber, who worked for Creative Agents Agency.

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JT: This is by far and away my favourite Christmas film. I was a Muppet fan already, but working with Dan for so long has made me even more so, as he loves them easily as much. However, Shane isn't just a movie guy. He also loves video games. Super Mario Sunshine, The Last of Us Part 1 and 2, and Batman: Arkham City are some of his favorites. Music plays a big part in his life as well. Given that Shane's a big horror fan, you might be surprised to learn that he's a pop guy. Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo, Dua Lipa, The Jonas Brothers, and Demi Lovato play on repeat while he's writing. Henson believed that Frank Oz, the voice of Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and Animal, as well as the director of The Dark Crystal, Little Shop of Horrors and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, should have been overseeing The Muppet Christmas Carol instead of him. Unfortunately, when Disney saw the finished film, they asked for When Love Is Gone to be cut out. "Evidently the head of the studio thought it was too sad for kids. Or too boring," remarks Williams. "I'm not going to try to pretend that I understand what he was thinking." Their Christmas sketches are some of my favourites but one that always has me laughing is Bill Hader and Fred Armisen as the two doorman Renaldo and Alexi. This sketch only ever made it as far as the dress rehearsal and never got broadcast. The premise is very simple, two doorman share Christmas stories with the kids that come out the building, but Jeff and I have been there often, both the comics can’t hold it together and corpse throughout!

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