The fact that Forgetting Sarah Marshall screenwriter/actor Jason Segel is bringing back the Muppets to the big screen is tremendous news for casa de Rivas. I'm a big Muppet Show fan (any programming that has the audacity to film segments called "Pigs In Space" has my vote) and my fanaticism carried through with The Muppet Babies and the movies as well. And seriously, was there anything more exciting than when Kermit or Piggy or Gonzo would cameo on Sesame Street? Who cares about Tony Danza or Lou Gossett Jr. showing up? If they stuck Gonzo in a segment with Grover, I was in eternal bliss.
I'm getting an overall good vibe from this project so count me in as an early supporter. I have no doubt Segel and company will include everyone's favorite felt-skinned friends including the rarest of rats (here's looking at you Rizzo). Just for kicks I tried to pick my top five favorites and it was a toughie. You don't leave out guys like Kermit, Gonzo or Sam the Eagle without a heavy heart. But some had to go and some had to stay and here they are:
I always identified with the bug-eyed, nervous Beaker because he always seemed to have a pretty good idea as to what he was doing in Dr. Bunsen's lab, but he worked for a boss who was something of an idiot. We've all been there! Beaker comes across to me as guy who used to be a relatively merry lad who (through brute force) underwent serious shock therapy. And I don't need to guess who changed him. Dr. Bunsen Honeydew was a sick ticket, always using poor Beaker in one of his illegal experiments, which usually resulted in Beaker running around the room like a mad man, steam shooting out of his ears. Beaker was able to withstand a lot of torture which is admirable. Plus, dude's a hell of a singer.
4. Fozzie Bear
Fozzie always reminded me of that guy in school who was ever the jokester, but never really all that funny. For some this is annoying but I find it a little endearing because it's hard to dislike someone with a good heart and good intentions. Fozzie only wanted to make people laugh and there's nothing wrong with that.
3. Miss Piggy
I was always more than a little attracted to Miss Piggy which bothers my girlfriend for a myriad of reasons but there it is. It's out there. Judge me not! It always struck me as kind of odd that Kermit never went mad for her the way she was clearly mad for him. When you saw Kermit give in they ended up doing something more civil and sexless like rowing a boat or picnicking. Piggy is obviously a passionate lover and I dig that. Kermit wasn't even excited enough to kiss his fiancee on the lips on their wedding day. Something funny going on there ...
Nobody got more riled up at the sight of a beautiful woman than Band's prolific drummer, Animal. The only thing he loved more than a female were his drums. And contrary to popular belief, Animal wasn't always an uncontrollable sap when it came to the ladies. Just catch this act when Rita Moreno (hottie) sings "Fever." He stood up for himself in a way Kermit never would have.
1. Statler & Waldorf
Jim Henson saved his most diabolical creation for these two grumpy old Muppets who, more or less, represented the most foul, cynical and darkest of people ... critics! These guys were king of the quips. Many times Fozzie served up the 70-mph underhanded pitch and they launched it out of the park and into the black. And they got away with everything they said because they were senior citizens. Who was going to come after them? Fozzie Bear? Please. They were old and that gives you not only discounted theater prices, but the right to say anything you want. These cats could have decapitated Fozzie Bear on stage in front of everyone seated and gotten away with it. And it probably still would have been funny too.