This is a Muppet News Flash: No News Tonight

Published: August 30, 2008
Categories: Commentary

It’s being wildly reported that there’s a new Muppet TV show in the works, being written by Jason Segel. A “source”, who we’ll call “Stu the Intern” for the time being, has stepped into the spotlight to say “Jason is a massive Muppets fan and is seen as the man to finally bring The Muppet Show back to TV.” Exactly 2.5 seconds later, the news ticker was off, printing a ribbon of text predicting the future of a nude Jason Segel-penned television series starring a bunch of talking socks. (Although to be fair, the story was buried by another newsbit about 4 seconds later regarding Barack Obama leaving his wife for the Montauk Monster.)

Now, I’d love to see a new Muppet series as much as the next fanatic, but I’m thinking that this was just a slip-of-the-lip by our friend Stu. I mean, TV and movies have so much in common, it’s easy to say one instead of the other. Just look at M*A*S*H; I heard that was supposed to be a radio drama before a debacle involving a typo’ed press release.

Though this is hardly the first time we’ve been teased about a new Muppet Show, especially in recent years. Just take a look at this list that I totally didn’t make up at all:

-Back in the 80s, there was a show on ABC’s schedule in which two Whatnot Muppets would don wigs and eyelashes in a vain attempt to get an apartment in an all-female apartment building. The idea was blatantly stolen by Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari, who are currently having one half of a terrific career.

-After the success of The Great Muppet Caper, a series was planned featuring Marla, Carla and Darla. The trio gave up their jewel-stealing days to work undercover for the FBI. The series was put on permanent hold after executives learned that there would be no puppets in the show. No wait, not puppets, I meant nudity. Nudity.

-Five words: The Clive Cahuenga Variety Hour.

-An issues-oriented talk show on CNBC starring The Muppets at Walt Disney World‘s Quentin Fitzwaller.

-Had Animal Jam continued its run, the last 15 minutes of every episode would have been dedicated to “Bozark’s World,” a segment in which everyone’s favorite elephant and his pet iguana would spotlight a topic and talk it to death.

-A family sitcom called “Good Grief, Our Dad’s a Bear!” starring Fozzie Bear and Téa Leoni. Unfortunately, the idea of a comedian lead with an attractive wife had already been done on “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “According to Jim,” “My Wife and Kids,” “Still Standing,” “The Flintstones,” and countless others. And that’s not to mention the pilot starring Sweetums and Jennifer Aniston as a husband and wife traveling salesman team.

-After their dismissal after the first season of The Muppet Show, NBC purchased the contracts for Mildred, George the Janitor, Hilda, the Guru, and Wayne and Wanda to star in a competing variety show. When it became obvious that the show would fail, NBC just threw them in the Saturday Night Live band.

-In order to fill in the plot holes within episodes of Fraggle Rock, “White Collar Doozers” covered the thrilling stories of Doozers in the contracts department, toiling away at their tiny desks, drinking their tiny coffee, and having tiny little ulcers.

So while we wait to see-it-before-we-believe-it regarding a new Muppet series, we’ll just keep our fingers crossed and hope that the rumors are true. No, not that The Clive Cahuenga Variety Hour is coming to DVD; that a new Muppet Show is a real possibility, and I’ll get to stop making up lists about obscure characters in fictionalized productions!
Click here to daydream about Muppets in your TV Guide on the ToughPigs forum!

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Written by Joe Hennes

Co-owner and Editor-in-Chief.
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