Wednesday, September 08, 2004

My Fair Muppet

Kermit the Frog is a star. The Jim Henson creation has appeared on the Muppet Show, Sesame Street, countless TV specials and has been enshrined on the Hollywood Walk of fame. Let's take a look at his first film.

The Muppet Movie
This is really an awesome film. It was remarkably innovative when it opened in 1979, and still holds up today.
Plus, more celebrities show up in this film than at a Betty Ford clinic ice cream social. I'm not kidding. Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy, Milton Berle, Mel Brooks, James Coburn, Dom DeLuise, Elliott Gould, Bob Hope, Madeline Kahn, Carol Kane, Cloris Leachman, Steve Martin, Richard Pryor, Telly Savalas, Orson Welles and Paul Williams ALL APPEAR!

The film opens with a beautiful helicopter shot of Kermit sitting on a log in the middle of the swamp strumming the banjo.
Kermit sings 'Rainbow Connection,' possibly the most beautiful song every sung (at least by a frog.)
Many people don't know that during this scene Jim Henson had to be submerged under the swamp. The scene was actually quite dangerous, as his air supply was minimal.
After Kermit finishes the song, a BIG TIME HOLLYWOOD AGENT rides by on a boat. The agent suggests that Kermit leave the swamp and come to Hollywood (they need frogs in Hollywood.)
Kermit is reluctant to leave but the thought of 'making millions of people happy' is too powerful.

Along the way Kermit meets up with Fozzie who is TRYING to do comedy. Fozzie agrees to join Kermit because Kermit reasons "If they need Frogs, then they probably need Bears, too."

What? That is probably the most bizarre concept EVER, oh wait! A FROG IS ON HIS WAY TO HOLLYWOOD, I guess anything is possible. Still, Kermit seems to be making quite a leap.

If Mike Dika said he wanted to be coach of the Chicago Bears, does that mean that he would want to be coach of the Florida Fighting Frogs, too?

If a stock broker said he wanted a bear market, would he want a frog market, too?

If a fairytale Princess went to kiss a frog so he would become a prince, would she have to kiss a bear, too?
Actually, that would be pretty funny. She and the bear could fall in love and they could live in the palace, but then he would spend too much time watching sports, and she would say "Bear, I'm leaving you!" Then he would say "Fine! Who needs you? You worthless Tramp!" Then, she would run away and take his cave and half of his fish.
That would be great.

Anyway, Fozzie & Kermit are on the road. They meet up with Doc Hopper who is planning on using Kermit as the spokesman for fried frog legs. Kermit refuses to sell out. I am not sure why. Spokesman for a fast food company is good work. Why go all the way to Hollywood with no experience, when you could have a great demo reel featuring all of the commercials you have done?
Plus, he wouldn't be the first spokesman who IS the product he shills for. Look at Mr. Peanut from planters and The Pillsbury Doughboy. THEY OFFER THEIR OWN CHILDREN FOR YOUR EATING PLEASURE!!!!

Since Kermit says no, one would assume that Doc Hopper would simply move on and find a different frog. Since he OWNS a frog leg restaurant, a frog should be easy to find. Or he could be like Hamburger Helper and just take a discarded glove and have him be your spokesman. Also, he could be like Arby's and just rip off the Helping Hand by having a talking oven mitt.

These would ALL be good alternatives, but instead Hopper chooses to spend ALL of his time relentlessly pursuing Kermit. He is like the Coyote to Kermit's Roadrunner, the D.A. Tom Sneddon to Kermit's Michael Jackson, the OJ Simpson to Kermit's real killers. Yes, Hopper is on the hunt.
Will he catch him? Will they get to Hollywood? Will the Pillsbury Doughboy become so overcome with grief that he tosses HIMSELF into the oven? I don't know.

To conclude, the Muppet Movie is funny, sweet and probably the most extravagant puppet show EVER. If you haven't seen it in years, you MUST take another look at it.
Now, I gotta go find some frog legs, I’m starving!

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