A continual source of fun (and slightly subversive) family entertainment, The Muppets have been delighting audiences for decades. And at Disney’s recent D23 Expo, Kermit the Frog (and a special guest) showed the world that they’re still able to get audiences rolling in the aisles.
Appearing on stage alongside Jason Segel, who stars in and wrote the latest Muppets film, Kermit the Frog was a huge hit with the D23 crowd, even receiving shouts of “I love you!” from admiring fans. But not everything was working in Kermit’s favor, as Entertainment Weekly reports.
According to EW, Kermit and Segel were waiting on stage for Miss Piggy to arrive when they realized that neither of the clips they were going to show featured the notorious diva. When Piggy did show up, in the sidecar of a motorcycle, she was none-too-pleased with the pair.
Quoting EW, “Once Piggy learned that she wasn’t part of the D23 footage, well, she wasn’t too pleased. “Where’s [chairman of Walt Disney Studios] Rich Ross?” shouted Piggy as she stormed off the stage.”
With Piggy gone, Kermit and Segel were able to get on to the footage. If you’ve been keeping up with Screen Rant’s coverage of The Muppets, including a brilliant parody of The Hangover 2 trailer, you already know a bit about the upcoming Muppets film and its style of humor. The two new clips from the D23 Expo offer a further glimpse into star and writer Jason Segel’s approach to the material.
Several of our colleagues in the movie blog world were in attendance at D23 and shared their own descriptions of the footage. Read on for a summary of the clips, courtesy of our friends at ComingSoon.
In the first clip Segel, Adams and Segel’s best friend Walter (a Muppet) drive around Bel-Air, looking for Kermit the Frog’s house. Unable to find a doorbell, Walter tells Segel to pick him up and throw him over the fence despite Adams’ protestations about it being electrified. Sure enough, Walter is electrocuted. Just as he tries to convince Segel to throw him over again, the silhouette of Kermit appears to the sound of a heavenly choir (which is actually a bus with a touring church choir inside). Walter passes out from the shock.
Walter wakes up inside Kermit’s home with Segel and Adams watching over him. Kermit asks what he can do for them as his butler ’80s Robot appears with a silver platter of Tab Cola and New Coke. Kermit insists they don’t need anything, and ’80s Robot rolls away, bumping into walls and furniture while muttering catchphrases like “gag me with a spoon.”
The second clip began with Rolf cutting the chain to the old Muppet Theater. Kermit looks nostalgic as he walks in, clips of him introducing Bob Hope playing in his mind. But the theater is in shambles, and Fozzie Bear insists that there’s no way to rehearse with the theater in that condition. When their first attempt to do so proves incredibly lackluster, Dr. Teeth busts out a boom box and plays Jefferson Starship’s “We Built This City.”
I don’t know about you, but the image of Kermit living in his 1980s heyday ordering around his Rocky IV robot style butler cracks me up. Judging from that gag, along with the Tab Cola and New Coke references, it’s apparent that Segel’s script is meant to appeal to those who grew up in the 1980s. Whether or not these pop-culture references go over well with the general public and not just 20 and 30-somethings remains to be seen, but my guess is there’s enough general humor in the film to satisfy audiences of all ages.
More than anything, it is Jason Segel’s obvious love for The Muppets that should get audiences excited for this movie. As he told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview at D23,
“I think for a lot of comedians especially the Muppets are a huge comic influence. They were on the first season of Saturday Night Live, and they’ve always been a subversive comic element and I think people are excited to pay homage to a memory from their past.”
In other words, The Muppets won’t just be a smorgasbord of pop-culture gags, but the kind of self-referential humor and engaging characters that The Muppets are famous for. Check out Segel’s full interview with THR in the video player below.
What do you think of these scene descriptions? Are you excited to see The Muppets back on the big screen?
The Muppets is slated to hit theaters on November 23rd.