The Los Angeles Times reports today that the Jim Henson Company has put together an adults-only puppet show called "Puppet Up! – Uncensored."
But don't expect to see a stripper act from Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy or Big Bird. That's because these wholesome, lovable characters are now owned by an extremely litigious mouse. (Disney purchased the Muppets puppets for $90 million in 2004.)
According to Brian Henson, son of the late Jim Henson, the show has been restricted to adults in order to allow audience members to toss out improvisational ideas to the puppet cast, which includes "12 anthropomorphic hot dogs," according to the Times.
Evidently, the idea is to insure that children are not exposed to the dirty minds of audience members.
Henson said cast members run with audience suggestions but "we try to do it in a slightly classier way instead of jumping straight into the garbage can. But the show tends to go very quickly to places you don't want a kid to go."
The 75-puppet cast includes "includes humanoids, extinct species, plants, animals, aliens and food items, nudity is appropriate in some cases," the Times says.
Steven Seagal's Feelings Have Been Hurt – By The FBI
The LA Times is just loaded with must-reads today. The plucky West Coast broadsheet also reports that action hero Steven Seagal is demanding an apology from the FBI. Times reporter Chuck Phillips wastes no time in putting Seagal in his place.
"Not long ago, Steven Seagal was one of the best-paid action stars in Hollywood. The martial arts master played crime-busting anti-heroes in films that generated more than $1 billion in ticket and DVD sales during the 1990s.
Now he appears in low-budget productions that go straight to video," Phillips wrote.
As it turns out, the canny martial artist has figured out why his career is washed up. In fact, it's pretty obvious when he thinks about it.
A few years back, an FBI affidavit outlined allegations that Seagal hired private-eye-to-the-stars Anthony Pellicano to frighten an LA Times stringer out of writing negative stories about him. (Seagal was never charged in the case, and the FBI never came up with persuasive evidence to support the charge.
"False FBI accusations fueled thousands of articles saying that I terrorize journalists and associate with the Mafia," Seagal now says. "These kinds of inflammatory allegations scare studio heads and independent producers -- and kill careers."
Seagal is demanding an apology from the Bureau.
FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller stonewalled the karate master by declining to comment on the whole sordid mess.
Stealing From The Rich
Online criminals may be tiring of ripping off elderly widows, wounded war veterans and other shut-ins. The Wall Street Journal reports on a potentially sinister development in the annals of online wrongdoing. Apparently, an alleged cyberspace criminal mastermind has figured out that it might be more profitable to rip off rich people.
That's the terrifying conclusion one reaches after reading the Journal story about a 24-year-old Russian who is charged with stealing $1.5 million and attempting to steal another $10 million from 15 victims. Here's the scary part: Igor Klopov is alleged to have found many of his marks by combing the Forbes 400 richest list.
Thankfully, Klopov is now behind bars in New York City. Still, it looks like a sleepless night in the Hamptons.
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