The Best Movie Critic + review

Muppet News Flash!

My significant other teaches at a grade school, and recently discovered that her students have no clue who the Muppets are. My heart died a little bit when I heard that. Luckily much exciting Muppet business is in the pipeline, and maybe, just maybe, the upcoming years could see the Muppets reborn for a whole new generation. Maybe...

Before we get started with the, you know, ‘serious’ Muppet news, here’s a fun little something to waste ten minutes with. This has been floating around the internets for a few weeks now, so my apologies for being so late on the uptake. I wasn’t going to post it, except that I feel like Muppet-gushing today ('Muppet-gushing' is illegal in 16 states, by the way). Remember in the 90s when the Muppets adapted British classics like A Christmas Carol and Treasure Island? Well a couple of fellas decided why not continue the trend on into adapting contemporary British classics, such as…er…The Wicker Man? If you haven’t seen The Wicker Man and you are reading this site, I am very disappointed in you. Please fix this error immediately, or else we can’t be friends anymore. If you love The Wicker Man (I know you do), you’ll get a kick out of this (kinda NSFW):

Totally bizarre. Ms. Piggy’s head on top of Britt Ekland’s naked body is an image that will be seared on the inside of my eyeballs for the rest of my life.

Now for a real Muppet News Flash!

On Tuesday, it was blasted out over the internet that Jason Segel of Forgetting Sarah Marshall and I Love You Man sort-of fame, will star in the upcoming Muppet motion picture, which he also wrote. That's right, its actually be moving forward. We’re actually gonna get a new Muppet movie! And its not gonna be an adaptation of Wuthering Heights or Brokeback Mountain or anything!

Yeah, I saw Forgetting Sarah Marshall. It’s one of those groaners that’s pretty painful while you watching it but that, nonetheless, you can’t help but recite the funny parts with friends later on. I can’t believe I’m admitting in public that I sorta liked Forgetting Sarah Marshall. I dunno, feeling generous today, I guess.

Of course, anyone who’s seen that movie will remember the awesomely out of place Dracula puppet musical finale, and Segel has made constant mention in press interviews about his love of the Muppets. Apparently his story pitch - allegedly involving a cross-country quest to 'get the gang back together' after the Muppet Show studio is closed down by an evil oil tycoon who wants the oil underneath it - was good enough to give him a shake at this beloved (by me) franchise. Segel seems like a nice enough guy, and they’re not going to go for the Judd Aptow gross-out angle (my mind just flashed to a hellish vision of Meet the Feebles starring the actual Muppets), so I’m feeling maybe kinda-sorta hopeful about this one. God knows they can't do any worse than they have been doing. I mean, have you seen the Muppets lately? Look at this:

I don’t usually advocate torture, but the person who said, “You know what would ‘hip up’ the Muppets? Putting Kermit in a tropical shirt with green Adidas!” should probably be waterboarded. I mean, it’s not up to me, but I’d make an exception in this case. Anyone, ANYONE could do better than that. But here’s hoping Segal and his crew do more than just ‘acceptable’ and deliver a new Muppet classic that restores our faith in the characters and the franchise, and lives up to the Muppet Holy Trinity: The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, and Muppets Take Manhattan (that last one is admittedly kind of the Return of the Jedi of Muppet movies). It’s been too long.

p.s. The exception to the lousiness of the current Muppet franchise is Roger Langridge's Muppet Show comic book, which perfectly captures the feel of the classic early days of the television program. The art is tremendous and the scripts seem like something uncovered in Jim Henson’s private papers. Very highly recommended.

-Ben

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