With "The Muppets" having already brought in over $56 million, star Kermit the Frog can, if not gloat, at least rest easy knowing the Muppets return to the big screen after 12 years has been warmly received. The famous frog took a few minutes from his busy schedule to answer some questions about why the Muppets never get old, how he's achieve his tadpole dreams and why he hopes "The Muppet Show" returns to TV.
You've been around for decades, but you never look any older. What's your secret?
I keep a “Picture of Dorian Green” in my attic. Sorry, that’s an old amphibian joke….The truth is that we frogs tend to age very slowly and gracefully. I guess that’s why I still look green and wet behind the ears. (Hey, where are my ears?)
How rewarding have the reviews and the box office for the new movie been for you?
Oh, it’s been incredible. I mean, we did our best to make a good movie, but it’s a real treat to have critics everywhere like it. (We might have gotten 100% at Rotten Tomatoes if it weren’t for Statler & Waldorf.) But best of all, audiences really enjoy the movie. Both longtime Muppet fans and new fans are coming to see us. We’re thrilled!
What do you think makes The Muppets so timeless?
Well, if you asked Fozzie that question he’d probably say “Cause none of us wears a watch! Ahh! Wocka! Wocka! Get it? Timeless!? Watch!?” But since you ask me, I’ll just say I think it’s because the Muppets are like you and your family and your friends – crazy, funny, ridiculous, outrageous, green, et al. You watch us and it’s like watching your life acted out by pigs, bears, frogs and penguins.
Of the cameos, who were you most excited to meet?
Well, we had so many great cameos in the movie. And I won’t mention them by name just in case some folks out there haven’t seen the movie yet. Don’t want to ruin the surprise. But I will mention one star, Mickey Rooney. (His grandson Michael did choreography for the movie.) I mean, Mickey Rooney is a hero. He and Judy Garland did all those “Let’s put on a show” musicals that inspired me and so many others. It was an honor to share the same movie with a legend like him. Thanks, Mickey!
Jason Segal said that he aspired to be like you as an actor. Who do you aspire to be like?
I aspire to be as tall as Jason. Though I kind of figure that’s not going to happen. Actually, I’ve been very lucky. As a tadpole, I aspired to drop my tail and go to Hollywood to become an entertainer. I realized that dream and now I just want to keep the dream going and bring as many people (and frogs and pigs and bears ) along with me.
Would you like "The Muppet Show" to come back to network television?
We’d love to do a series again. There’s nothing like being in people’s living rooms every week – especially when they don’t have to clean up after you leave. I’m hoping something like that comes along. In the meantime we’ve done a lot on the Internet, including two Webby award-winning videos, Muppets’ “Bohemian Rhapsody”
and Beaker’s “Ode To Joy."
How do you explain the Mahna-Mahna phenomenon?
There’s just something irresistible about that song; once you start singing it, you can’t stop. It’s a real phenomahna-manha. Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo! Mahna-Mahna! Doo-doo-doo-doo- Mahna-Mahna! Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo ….See, I told you. There’s no escape. Mahna-mahna-nah-nah-nah-nah! Mahna-mahna-nah-nah-nah-nah ……