The Muppets have been a cultural institution for more than 40 years. But their creators had never sat down to talk about their work.

Since "The Muppet Show" debuted in the 1970s, there have been eight feature films, reboots of the show, and a number of specials. Their legacy is undeniable, with each generation finding inspiration and meaning from the puppet characters first created by Jim Henson.

But in the new documentary "Muppet Guys Talking," Frank Oz (creator of Miss Piggy, Fozzie the Bear, Animal, and Sam Eagle) reveals that in all those years he and his fellow Muppet performers had never discussed where it all came from.

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I remember when I first realized, in straight-up gay horror, that I was different. Sitting by myself in a barber shop lounge, bored and fidgety, I'd reached for a Sports Illustrated (because Vogue and Vanity Fair were for girls, duh) and started flipping through while dad finished getting his hair trimmed.

Then, I landed on a spread that changed my life: an advertisement for underwear. Men’s underwear.

And I felt … lots of things.



Now, as an openly gay 29-year-old, that memory is pretty damn funny. Little gay me, feeling little gay stuff for the first time staring at a Sports Illustrated — in a barber shop lounge, of all places. The sit-com storyline writes itself.

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For many years, critics and studies denounced young people for not voting or being apathetic toward politics and activism.

In the past few years, though, a number of teens, tweens, and everything in between have been outspoken on topics such as race, gender, class, and sexuality, raising the awareness level of passionate young people around the globe.    

From crushing the patriarchy to advocating for better educational facilities for historically underserved kids, these adolescents are showing the world that age ain't nothin' but a number, but it's a number that, when used right, can change the world.  

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Teen girls.

Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images.

Their taste in music is crazy and inscrutable, what with their boy bands and their InstaSnapTunes and their Eds Sheeran.

One Ed Sheeran. Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP.

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