Stephen King (b. 1947) is a horror novelist known for setting his stories in Maine or New England.
- Dr. Phil van Neuter intends to feature "Stephen King's Townhouse of Wax" (with a cameo by Leona Helmsley as Edwina, the painting that would not die) in the Tales from the Vet segment from Muppets Tonight episode 201, but instead Mulch plays footage from a 1993 holiday party where van Neuter gets drunk. "Townhouse of Wax" is a fictitious title referencing the 1953 Vincent Price film House of Wax, and is not actually associated with King.
Several of King's books have included brief Muppet references, usually through characters watching Sesame Street, as have film and TV versions.
In the 1983 book, daughter Ellie enjoys Sesame Street. When they move, her boxed items include Sesame posters, and her father Louis later recalls the day she spent "at Grandma and Grandda's, watching Sesame Street non-stop on Grandda's new video recorder." This trait is retained in the 1989 film version, where Ellie (Blaze Berdahl) has a Kermit the Frog doll and a copy of The Sesame Street Library Volume 3 in her room.
The novel also mentions Louis' belief that, for families with small children, the space under the couch starts to "develop a strong and mysterious electromagnetic force that eventually sucks in all sorts of litter--everything from bottles and diaper pins to green Crayolas and old issues of Sesame Street magazine with food mouldering between the pages."
The 2007 film adaptation tells the story of a group of small town residents trapped together in a food store as the outside world experiences a disaster that begins picking off lives. Mrs. Carmody (Marcia Gay Harden) riles a group of religious fanatics who begin chanting "expiation!" in response to God's will in the face of unknown dangers. Observing the loss of control exhibited by her followers, Ollie Weeks (Toby Jones) remarks, "Welcome to Sesame Street, kids. Today's word is 'expiation'."
The home video release of the film includes a featurette called Drew Struzan: An Appreciation of an Artist. In addition to showing off some of Struzan's Muppet posters (The Great Muppet Caper and The Muppet Christmas Carol), footage of his studio reveals that he keeps a Kermit the Frog photo puppet replica overlooking his painting area.
Under the Dome
King's 2009 novel was adapted into a CBS TV series from 2013-2015. In the episode "Plan B", from the 2015 final season, several characters discuss Hektor Martin, revealed to be the secret head of sinister corporation Aktaion:
- Sam: Why would he hide his involvement?"
- Hunter: Maybe because, from what I can tell, the government has their hand so far up him, he's a Muppet. A rich, powerful, and very bad Muppet.