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It's called 'A Salute to All Nations, But Mostly America'
November 10, 2011 7:36 AM   Subscribe


 
Oh for fuck's sake. X-Men: The Last Stand was a good movie. No, it lacked a lot of what made the first two movies great, but it stood on its own and was one of the few mass-market films that geniuneoly felt operatic. So I am sick and tired of people bashing what was, yes, an imperfect but still enjoyable and gorgeous film.

Now what the hell is a mop-pet and who's Oscar?
posted by griphus at 7:40 AM on November 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is also an article about hosting the Oscars, from Racialicious:

"The Muppets hosting The Oscars? The most interesting part of that pairing would be figuring out which half should feel more insulted."
posted by hepta at 7:41 AM on November 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


I would only have gotten behind this campaign if Jim Henson were still with us.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:42 AM on November 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


Why is this article on Gizmodo, of all places? Unless they can steer me to where I can buy my own muppet-making gadget, I'm not sure I understand why I would take their recommendation on hosting the Academy Awards. It would make more sense for them to recommend Siri to host the ceremony.

Nevertheless, I like the idea. Muppets are awesome, the Academy Awards are boring, and the Academy takes itself too damn seriously.
posted by jabberjaw at 7:48 AM on November 10, 2011


I love the Muppets, but I'm not sure how practical it would be. A lot of people don't realize that The Muppet Show wasn't recorded live.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:49 AM on November 10, 2011


While in theory this is a great idea, in practice, non-human presenters have never worked well. The pair from Monsters, Inc., or Roger and Jessica Rabbit, or Space Jam or whatever. It always ends up even more stiff than the usual schlock.

Although I will admit that last year's Hologram Bob Hope was probably the liveliest part of the broadcast.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:49 AM on November 10, 2011


That being said, all of the big musical numbers for the nominees for best song must include pigs and penguins. This is non-negotiable.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:51 AM on November 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


There is one perfect solution to this, and what I wouldn't give to see it happen: "Troy and Abed host the OS-cars!" In character.
posted by jbickers at 7:52 AM on November 10, 2011 [39 favorites]


Yes, I think we should talk seriously about why Twilight Sparkle should host the Oscars.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:53 AM on November 10, 2011 [10 favorites]


They should do a complete green screen with live CGI hosts.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:53 AM on November 10, 2011


Oh for fuck's sake. X-Men: The Last Stand was a good movie. No, it lacked a lot of what made the first two movies great, but it stood on its own and was one of the few mass-market films that geniuneoly felt operatic. So I am sick and tired of people bashing what was, yes, an imperfect but still enjoyable and gorgeous film.

The only good thing about X-Men: The Last Stand was John Powell's score. You want operatic? You got operatic. Oh, and the teaser was awesome.

Pity about the movie itself. Fusing Whedon and Claremont's most famous plot lines was not a great idea.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:57 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oscar the Grouch should host the Oscars.
posted by madcaptenor at 8:02 AM on November 10, 2011 [11 favorites]


someone should launch degaw.kr, the site that caches all the gawker articles so you can read them elsewhere
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 8:05 AM on November 10, 2011


Oh for fuck's sake. X-Men: The Last Stand was a good movie.

It most assuredly was not. This has been empirically proven in rigorous lab test throughout the world. It just lobbed more unnecessary crap at a good premise and dragged everything down.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:08 AM on November 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


I would only have gotten behind this campaign if Jim Henson were still with us

If Jim Henson were still with us, the Oscars would be beneath the Muppets.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:08 AM on November 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


One of the 'related articles': A Muppet Interfered on WWE Raw Last Night.
posted by zarq at 8:10 AM on November 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


Burhanistan: "They should do a complete green screen with live CGI hosts."

I mean. I guess it wouldn't be much different from their films....
posted by schmod at 8:14 AM on November 10, 2011


I love the Muppets, but I'm not sure how practical it would be. A lot of people don't realize that The Muppet Show wasn't recorded live.

The Muppets were special guests on Monday Night RAW two weeks ago and made multiple live appearances backstage, onstage and even at ringside throughout a 2-hour show.

So yeah, it's doable. As far as practical, I've been told that making the fantasy appear real is somewhat part of the Muppeteer job description.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:16 AM on November 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


> I mean. I guess it wouldn't be much different from their films....

Exactly! It would be an ironic homage.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:16 AM on November 10, 2011


@TheWhiteSkull - A lot of people don't realize that The Muppet Show wasn't recorded live.

And I think the Academy Awards might benefit from being time-delayed to allow for the muppets. Watching it 'live' is pretty much a waste of time so I'd vote for the Muppets.
posted by Man with Lantern at 8:26 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Muppets would curse up a storm if it was live anyway.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:27 AM on November 10, 2011 [11 favorites]


Who watches the Oscars anymore?
posted by kinnakeet at 8:32 AM on November 10, 2011


I love the Muppets, but I hate this idea. Absolutely hate it. It's cutesy and tricksy and gimmicky and it will distract from the only actual value the Oscars have, which is celebrating great movies. This will mean the show you watch on television will be entirely different from the show everyone in the theater is seeing, since they will unavoidably be watching the puppeteers and so forth, meaning they're indulgently pretending to be watching what you're watching.

As I said, I love the Muppets as much as anyone, but this is a stupid idea.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 8:45 AM on November 10, 2011


Instead of playing music to usher the winners ungraciously off-stage mid-speech, get Statler and Waldorf up in the balcony to shut them up.
This.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 8:45 AM on November 10, 2011 [10 favorites]


The Oscars isn't purely about celebrating great movies (ahem, Titanic) -- so often, it's about rewarding favorites in the industry, sometimes years after the great movie they should have been rewarded for. It's not even timely. So yeah, bring on the muppets. Bring out Camilla the chicken handing out the statuettes. Have Beaker and Dr. Bunsen cooking up clouds of smoke for the nominee reels. I love it.
posted by mochapickle at 8:50 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


The new incarnation of the Muppets may not be quite what we remember.

Kermit as Mogul, Farting Fozzie Bear: How Disney's Muppets Movie Has Purists Rattled
posted by heatvision at 8:53 AM on November 10, 2011


This has been empirically proven in rigorous lab test throughout the world.

[citation needed]
posted by griphus at 9:08 AM on November 10, 2011


[citation needed]

Common sense.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:13 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


One of things that bothers me is that the trailer for the current Muppet movie features the music for Cee Lo's "F*ck You." I grew up with the Muppets and while I remember Joel Grey hosting and singing the opening song to Cabaret on the Muppets, not quite the same thing.
posted by miss-lapin at 9:14 AM on November 10, 2011


[citation needed]

The terribleness of the third X-Men movie is as self-evident as, I dunno, Rick Perry being dumb or the sun being hot.
posted by kmz at 9:18 AM on November 10, 2011



The new incarnation of the Muppets may not be quite what we remember.

Kermit as Mogul, Farting Fozzie Bear: How Disney's Muppets Movie Has Purists Rattled
posted by heatvision at 8:53 AM on November 10 [+] [!]


This is exactly what I was worried about. :(
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:21 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


The last time I watched the Oscars was when Marlon Brando sent that Native American girl to accept for him. I'm not saying the Muppets could get me to watch again, but I'd at least acknowledge the broadcast existed.
posted by tommasz at 9:22 AM on November 10, 2011


I don't necessarily think the problem is with the hosts of the Oscars but the writers. The hosts don't write a lot of those intros do they? But people like Bruce Villanch do. Let's get Dan Harmon and gang in there and then put whoever you want up front, and it'll be gold.
posted by tittergrrl at 9:34 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]



It's not quite a mop and it's not quite a puppet, but oh man...

I'd watch. I'd watch the hell out of it.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:35 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, I'm pretty sure the fact that Fozzi Bear added farts to his act in the trailer is a plot point in the film showing how far The Muppets have fallen only to return to their former glory over the course of the film.
posted by tittergrrl at 9:36 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also the subject of my column today, in part. The salient paragraphs:

This has left the Academy scrambling for a new host, and I am quickly going to mention that the most interesting option is The Muppets. Jim Henson's studio immediately began lobbying to have their creations take over the event. Besides the fact that there is inherently something delightful about having the awards hosted by America's most beloved puppets, there are a few additional facts that make this a good idea. First, the Muppets will likely have a hit movie before the Oscars — they are about to release a new film, scripted by and starring Jason Segal of "How I Met Your Mother," who was an unusually good choice to tap in the creation of this film. Additionally, the Muppets have been making all sorts of online media, and it has generally been terrific. The pump is primed, as they say, for a hit, and, barring the unlikely event of Segal having turned in a genuinely awful script, this should do very well at the box office.

Besides that, the actors behind the Muppets are now among the most seasoned improvisers in Hollywood, as has been repeatedly demonstrated by their guest appearances on daytime and nighttime talk shows, which generally deteriorate into exquisite chaos — something the Oscars would do well to have more of. And, like Murphy, the Muppets are Saturday Night Live alums, having been part of the cast the first season of the show and making regular guest appearances after that. Better still, the Jim Henson studios, where the muppets are stored, is on Sunset and La Brea in Hollywood, which is literally all of three blocks from where the Academy Award ceremony is held. Having them host would be part of a great tradition — when Ed Sullivan had to fill in for an absentee guest, he would call puppeteer Senor Wences, who lived right across the street from Sullivan's studio.

posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:37 AM on November 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, I'm pretty sure the fact that Fozzi Bear added farts to his act in the trailer is a plot point in the film showing how far The Muppets have fallen only to return to their former glory over the course of the film.

If you read the article, it alleges at least that performers like Whitmire have expressed worry over the script to the extent that they considered removing their names. Also:
Frank Oz, the most famous living Muppets performer -- known best as Miss Piggy -- spoke more harshly in a recent interview with the British paper Metro. "I wasn't happy with the script," he said bluntly. "I don't think they respected the characters. But I don't want to go on about it like a sourpuss and hurt the movie."
Of course, all of the others sources are anonymous and it really remains to be seen, I guess.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:42 AM on November 10, 2011


Brian Grazer, replacement producer for the 84th Academy Awards, has been on the phone so long that his hair gel is giving out. He barely makes eye contact with you before returning to the study of a sheet torn raggedly from a legal pad, grubby with eraser rubbings and strikeouts.

"The Muppets?" he says. "Sure, I called the Muppets. That was five...no, seven hours ago. Billy Crystal screens his calls, Steve Martin hands them off to his assistant's assistant, but Kermit always picks up. Class act, that frog; polite but firm.

"He explained that he and his friends felt that their vaudevillian sensibility wouldn't communicate the brash, edgy attitude that the Academy seemed to desire, as indicated by their first choice of Ratner and Murphy. Neither was Kermit comfortable working with Ratner's in-place team of writers, who are at this point contractually meshed with the production. It's funny, but Albert Brooks had the exact same objection.

"I brought up money then, and I'm sorry I did. He sounded hurt, and the phone call didn't last much longer. He wished me good luck, he was sure I could find a great host; he invited me and the girlfriend over to his and Piggy's place for chilaquiles, and that was that. No Muppets."

He picks up the phone. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to call Rich Little." You can hear his fingers drumming on the desk as his assistant ushers you out. "C'mon, pick up. Pick up..."
posted by Iridic at 9:43 AM on November 10, 2011 [10 favorites]


Also, I'm pretty sure the fact that Fozzi Bear added farts to his act in the trailer is a plot point in the film showing how far The Muppets have fallen only to return to their former glory over the course of the film.

You know, people who whine about fart jokes not being funny are the most boring people in the world. Fart jokes aren't bad because they're about farts. Farting is inherently funny. Most fart jokes are bad because they're not about anything other than saying "hey, a fart!" But in the clip, Fozzie is so excited because he has shoes that fart, and that is goddamned hilarious, and exactly in the spirit of the Muppets: a smart joke about chaos.
posted by mightygodking at 9:44 AM on November 10, 2011 [14 favorites]


MetaFilter: People who whine about fart jokes not being funny are the most boring people in the world.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:56 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Muppets should not host the Oscars.

The Muppets should streak the Oscars.
posted by bondcliff at 10:07 AM on November 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


MUPPETS OCCUPY OSCARS.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:11 AM on November 10, 2011


OSCAR OCCUPY GARBAGE CAN.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:16 AM on November 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


I love this idea. It has me rethinking my belief that Neil Patrick Harris should host
everything.
posted by louche mustachio at 10:17 AM on November 10, 2011


Respecting the characters? Really, Frank Oz? The only character that has ever gotten any respect is Kermit the Frog. How about this: give me a reason to empathize with Miss Piggy. Give me something that makes Fozzie lovable instead of just feeling sorry for how pathetic he is. Show some respect to Gonzo! That guy deserves it!

Muppets are about chaos. They are about deconstructing gimmicks. But one thing they are not is static. There's no reason the Muppets can't be a little more sophisticated, more three-dimensional, while maintaining their core value of good, clean, fun chaos.

And, yes, I am arguing that fart jokes not only maintain chaos, but also make the Muppets more sophisticated.
posted by jabberjaw at 10:29 AM on November 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


One of the 'related articles': A Muppet Interfered on WWE Raw Last Night.

That was the greatest picture of anything ever.
posted by dry white toast at 10:48 AM on November 10, 2011


It's not a fart joke. It's a fart shoe joke. One is not muppets. One is very muppets.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:50 AM on November 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


Muppets are about chaos. They are about deconstructing gimmicks. But one thing they are not is static. There's no reason the Muppets can't be a little more sophisticated, more three-dimensional, while maintaining their core value of good, clean, fun chaos.

And, yes, I am arguing that fart jokes not only maintain chaos, but also make the Muppets more sophisticated.


If you're arguing that the muppets somehow need improvement over the Oz/Henson days, I don't even . . . If you read the article linked, you'll see that it's not all about fart jokes but also the reactions of the characters around other plot developments (the group breaks up because they're jealous of Kermit's success). I mean, c'mon guys. I get that you're all excited about this movie. But the reactions of the performers who have long been deeply involved both with the characters and the franchise should be given some respect.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:52 AM on November 10, 2011


Nope. I mean I'm sorry they are sad about the changes, but change is good and so far none of the parody trailers released have said "not muppet" to me. Sometimes people dislike new things but pretending that a new thing is inherently bad because those who have come before dislike it is a horrifying concept.
posted by Peztopiary at 11:02 AM on November 10, 2011


I love this idea. It has me rethinking my belief that Neil Patrick Harris should host everything.

I actually think a NPH/Muppets combo would work.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 11:03 AM on November 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


But the reactions of the performers who have long been deeply involved both with the characters and the franchise should be given some respect.

Not one of them is on record in this article. Not one. Only Oz, in an interview for another magazine, who says he didn't like the script, and even he hadn't seen the finished product. In fact, nobody in the article mentions the finished film, and even those who are complaining say they are moved by the trailer.

The article is conjecture, off-the-record stuff, and deeply contradictory. If these people are willing to go on the record once the film has been released and they have seen it, I will respect this. Until then, this is the worst sort of arts reporting.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:05 AM on November 10, 2011


Fozzy Bear has whoopie cushions on his shoes. That's only out of character because it might actually be funny.
posted by zennie at 11:06 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I actually think a NPH/Muppets combo would work.

They're way ahead of you.
posted by mightygodking at 11:18 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I agree - - the Muppets should host the 1979 Oscar show.
posted by fairmettle at 11:29 AM on November 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Bunny Ultramod: "the Jim Henson studios, where the muppets are stored live, is on Sunset and La Brea in Hollywood"

FTFY
posted by I am the Walrus at 11:32 AM on November 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


I agree - - the Muppets should host the 1979 Oscar show.

But then... I wouldn't have been able to see it :C. (Could have experienced it fetally, though, I suppose)
posted by drezdn at 11:32 AM on November 10, 2011


PhoB - I'm not sure you can improve on Muppets from the 70s. But I think rehashing the Muppets from the 70s is not the answer. I own a couple seasons on DVD, meaning if I want the Muppets from the 70s/80s, then I can go there.

But the new Muppet movie can be not-the-70s-reincarnate and still be good, and it can maybe even explore another dimension of the Muppets while maintaining its core.

Oz just strikes me as stodgy and somewhat lazy, and what is bad about fart shoes?
posted by jabberjaw at 11:58 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


This could actually happen. Whose uncle owns the Kodak theater?
posted by Mchelly at 12:11 PM on November 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


As much as I like the Muppets hosting idea, its been clear to me since Eddie Murphy dropped that the only proper choice for host is Christopher Fucking Walken.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:16 PM on November 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Fart shoes strike me as exactly the sort of dumb idea that Fozzie would pitch to Kermit, who would then find any excuse to keep Fozzie safely off-stage. Fozzie's perpetual incompetence at a vocation he pursues with unquestioning dedication is what makes him beautiful.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 12:28 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Robert Downey Junior should host the Oscars.

That is all.
posted by tzikeh at 12:43 PM on November 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Most of the complaints about the movie showing the Muppets being "un-Muppety" seem to come from the fact that the plot is about them regaining their old glory after "losing their way", which, while confirming "The Muppet Way" requires the depiction of the characters being, well, out-of-character, at least at the beginning. Is it necessary for the movie to work? Maybe not, but writing a script that avoided that and still serves anyone BUT Muppet hardcore fans would be damned hard. Maybe too hard for Jason Segall and company.

As for a Muppet Oscars ceremony, it most certainly would change the face of the Oscars (to something rather green), but I'm not sure if that would be a bad thing or a good thing. It certainly could end up making them look "un-Muppety", since the Kodak Theater is not at all like the Muppet Theater, and that's the biggest risk and the biggest negative.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:41 PM on November 10, 2011


Oz just strikes me as stodgy and somewhat lazy, and what is bad about fart shoes?

Again, if you read the headline, they're not complaining just about fart shoes--Oz doesn't even mention them.

Personally, my big worry--which seems to be reflected in the anonymous source's concern about the characters being jealous of Kermit--is that it won't be true to the characters' fundamental good natured attitudes toward one another. That's not to say they didn't have conflict, but in the Henson days, they always liked one another. I suspect things have been trending different for a long time, though. Even in their guest appearances, Kermit's a real shit to Miss Piggy these days.

(Add that to the list of "Sentences I never thought I'd type.")
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:45 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


("Past the headline," rather.)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:47 PM on November 10, 2011


Maybe not, but writing a script that avoided that and still serves anyone BUT Muppet hardcore fans would be damned hard. Maybe too hard for Jason Segall and company.

In his favor, he did write A Taste for Love - - the Dracula puppet musical from Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
posted by fairmettle at 2:40 PM on November 10, 2011


BREAKING NEWS:

Billy Crystal?

Seriously?

Ugh.
posted by tzikeh at 2:43 PM on November 10, 2011


> Billy Crystal?

I'm pretty sure it's an animatronic puppet.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:44 PM on November 10, 2011


Well, I guess this is as good a place as any to post these:

Four clips from The Muppets

Five more clips from The Muppets

Sorry about how you have to sit through the same ad at the beginning of each one.

I think the movie looks delightful, but then I'm part of its target audience.
posted by hippybear at 2:52 PM on November 10, 2011


Billy Crystal?

Well, duh, Bob Hope was unavailable.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:00 PM on November 10, 2011


Billy Crystal is a safe choice. He's done it before, many many times, and he seems to be popular. I don't think he's exactly going to attract the younger demographic which the Oscars seems to be trying to court, but with these last minute battles being fought over the production, it's probably better to go with a known quantity than try something new and have it fall over and die in front of the global eye.

The Muppets would have been a fine choice. For those who say they don't work live -- they've appeared on a lot of shows which are at least taped live -- Jimmy Fallon has had them on repeatedly, and Elmo appears regularly in a much less kid-friendly form than one might expect.

Of course, the magic wouldn't be there for those watching the awards live. It'd be impossible to put on that kind of production and not have the puppeteers be seen by the live audience. It might be possible, but not with only 3 months lead time. That kind of thing takes a lot of planning.

Anyway, getting back to Crystal... I'd be much more enthused about him hosting if he wasn't living with a horrible Botox death mask of eternal surprise these days. Why British actors seem content to allow themselves to age naturally and Hollywood actors are hell-bent on surgery and face-paralyzing booster shots to try to "look better" when it's apparent to anyone that they're being fake and plastic makes no sense to me. It's no wonder we find Maggie Smith and Michael Gambon and others from the UK stable of actors becoming the venerated elder statesmen of stage and screen. If you can't move your face and/or you look like a Whitley Strieber alien, then how can you possibly be taken serious in any real acting role?
posted by hippybear at 4:23 PM on November 10, 2011


NPH/Muppet/Robert Downey JR. Combo for the Oscars.

I have cast my vote.

(But I'll just take the muppets if I have to choose.)
posted by Malice at 4:31 PM on November 10, 2011


Does Billy Crystal count as a Muppet? Because he was confirmed as the host.
posted by Renoroc at 4:57 PM on November 10, 2011


XQUZYPHYR: I love the Muppets, but I'm not sure how practical it would be. A lot of people don't realize that The Muppet Show wasn't recorded live.

Capt. Renault: While in theory this is a great idea, in practice, non-human presenters have never worked well. The pair from Monsters, Inc., or Roger and Jessica Rabbit, or Space Jam or whatever. It always ends up even more stiff than the usual schlock.

You guys are kidding, right?
posted by Hairy Lobster at 5:34 PM on November 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm not kidding at all. In fact I didn't even say the comment you quoted.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 3:12 PM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I remember Joel Grey hosting and singing the opening song to Cabaret on the Muppets

Must. See.
posted by Theta States at 8:05 AM on November 15, 2011


Brilliant, Hairy Lobster!

Patient: "Who, Doctor?"
Dr. Rowlf: "It's not Who Doctor, it's Doctor Who, and that's another show!"
Nurse Janice: "Is he related to Doctor Which?"
Dr. Rowlf: "It's not Doctor Which, it's witch doctor, and that's another ballgame!"
Nurse Janice: "Oh, then Doctor Who's on first!"

The shtick gets better. Because eventually it ends! Hahahahah!
posted by jabberjaw at 8:35 AM on November 15, 2011


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