On my Twitter feed today, I found this vintage Nightline video posted by ABC News. Originally aired on December, 6, 1987, the Ted Koppel-hosted special was designed as a town hall meeting of sorts to try to make sense of the economic recession of the day. Joining Koppel as special correspondents are none other than The Muppets. While it’s a funny video in which everyone’s favorite anthropomorphic Jim Henson animals define terms like “bull and bear markets,” it’s also an interesting time capsule of sorts. By watching the video, one can easily draw parallels between the kind of late-80s news coverage this exemplifies, and the headlines we all see today when we turn to our current 24/7 online and cable TV news sources. It’s also really interesting to look at some of the facts presented in the report, especially when Kermit mentions that the national debt is at “2.4 trillion dollars” –– today, our current national debt is roughly 14.9 trillion dollars. In one funny portion, Kermit, our ever-trusty anchorman, asks Fozzy to stack up in dollar bills our national debt. “If you stack up this money, how tall a stack is it going to be?” Kermit asks. “130,000 miles,” Fozzy replies.
With Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzy, and co. releasing a new film later this month, perhaps The Muppets can come back to our evening newscasts and help make sense of today’s often-gloomy headlines? Check out the ABC clip here.