Kermit and Miss Piggy
Kevin Winter  /  Getty Images file
Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog are seen onstage at the 2006 TV Land Awards in Santa Monica, Calif. this year. Some of their fellow puppets appear to have moved away from Sesame Street to a decidely less wholesome address.
By Brian Tracey Business Editor
msnbc.com
COMMENTARY

The creators of The Muppets — those cute and cuddly characters you grew up watching on Sesame Street — are staging a rude and lewd puppet show that is strictly for adults only.

Even Miss Piggy would blush over the antics of "Jim Henson's Puppet Improv" now playing at this year's Edinburgh Fringe arts festival in Scotland, where there are more puppet shows listed for adults than for children.

"That really pleases me," said the late Jim Henson's son Brian, director of the Muppet Christmas and Treasure Island movies now reveling in the freedom of performing for adults only.

Every afternoon at the Fringe, his anarchic troupe of puppeteers do an improvisational show for kids, and then in the evening the puppets spew profanities for a show that takes off into surreal flights of fancy dictated by the audience.

"It is lovely to do a show where you can go wherever your brain takes you," said Henson, winding down after a show in which the audience asked half a dozen hot dog puppets to pretend they were auditioning to be Ricky Martin's backup singers.

Henson, who first performed the raunchy improvisation show in Aspen and Hollywood, would like to develop it into a TV show. Two other projects he is working on are also just for adults.

We hope one involves Kermit the Frog singing his new hit song "It's Not Easy Working Blue."

Not-so-bad ideas

  • Could this be coming to a grocery store near you? A University of Florida engineering student has designed a robotic shopping cart that follows you around the supermarket, slows down when needed so items can be placed in it, and has sensors so it never crashes into your heels.

Gregory Garcia dreamed up the robotic cart — known as B.O.S.S. for Battery Operated Smart Servant — to solve a childhood peeve of being accidentally bumped with shopping carts by his sister.

"The immediate thing that jumped to my mind was all those times as a kid when my sister would accidentally hit me," Garcia said. "It seems like the public would really want this since everybody shops."

We just hope he comes up with a gizmo that automatically ejects that bag of candy kids always try to sneak into the cart.

  • Speaking of supermarket innovations, a British grocery chain has decided a round watermelon just doesn't cut anymore,  thinking a square version of the fruit will whet shoppers' appetites.

According to the Ananova Web portal, retailer Tesco plans to sell the melons starting in October for the juicy price of about $9.50.

Imported from Brazil, the unusual melons are created by placing boxes around the growing fruit, which naturally swell to fill the shape.

In addition to its eye-catching cubic construction, Tesco exotic fruit buyer Damien Sutherland said the melons are "easier than ever to eat because they can be served in long strips rather than in the crescent shape."

Not to mention the fact they will never accidentally roll off your kitchen counter and crush your foot.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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