Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Great Muppet movie spoofs

One of the funniest things the Muppets have done is parodying pop culture. From songs to pop groups to movies to fairy tails, they have done it all. Let's look at some of their more entertaining movie spoofs the Muppets Studios have produced:

Saturday Night Fever

We all know our ABC's and a lot of us learned them by singing the Alfabet set to "Twinkle twinkle little star". Leave it to Sesame Street however to make the Alfabetsong sound like one the funkies songs ever. In this spoof of disco film hit Saturday Night Fever Grover's all decked out as John Travolta's Tony Manero and ready to bust some moves. Proclaimed the king of the disco, like Tony was in the original movie, Grover enters the discotheque  being adored by a group of female monsters.  Grover soon finds himself dancing to what quite possibly is the best arrangement of the Alfabet song ever but unfortunately overestimates his endurance. This skit wasn't the only spoof of SNF as the CTW released an concept album called Sesame Street fever with the cover being an replica of SNF's albu cover, with the Beegees and Travolta being replaced by the Sesame Street Muppets. Unfortunately, the ABC song didn't make it to the album.

The Three Musketeers

The Muppets go to the movies was a tv special in which the Muppets spoofed several movies like Casablanca and The Three Musketeers. The latter is one of the more entertaining spoofs. While the other spoofs in this special went for a kind of appropriate casting, this one just went straight for the laughs. With the vastly different enthousaistic Scooter, the coward
ly Link Hobthrob and the careless Gonzo playing the parts of the musketeers, there almost couldn't be a bigger contrast in relation to the original parts. The great thing about this bit is the strong writing when the Musketeers are talking amonst themselves. Great puns, a hilarious fight scene and a crashtastic ending.....all in all, it's classic Muppet fare.  

The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz is a movie that has been spoofed several times by the Muppets, most recently in the disappointing Muppets Wizard of Oz that forced the Muppets in a R'nB direction that was met with a harsh critical reaction upon release which no doubt slowed down the Muppets' return to former glory. Before that however, it was already spoofed in Muppet Babies, even appearing in the series' intro. 
Even earlier, it was spoofed in the same special as the Three Musketeers. Starring Piggy as Dorothy, Gonzo as the tin Woodsman, Fozzy as the Cowardly Bear and Scooter as the Scarecrow, the costumes bear a striking resemblance to the costumes later used in the Disney movie. This spoof was based upon the 1939 classic, originally starring Judy Garland, even beginning in sepia colors, a fact that Rowlf obliviously points out during the sketch. While it doesn't last long, it does feature a medley of the most famous songs of the MGM musical and features a lot of character, something sorely lacking from the Disney full length movie.

Indiana Jones

Picture Kermit. Now picture him with a leather jacket holding a gun. Now picture him shooting Nazis with this gun. Sounds like a Muppets parody made in bad taste. It isn't. The Muppets visit Walt Disney World which was the last Muppets production Jim Henson worked on contained a scene in which all the above happened. As the name implies the Muppets do visit Disney World in this special which was originally part of something bigger with plans of Disney buying the Muppets. Negotiatons fell through when Jim Henson died but Muppet fans at least got this special, along with the MuppetVision 3D movie, which still runs in both Disneyland Anaheim and Disney World. 

Focal point of this article however is the Indiana Jones show where one guest is picked to play the role of Dr. Jones. Kermit is picked and placed in the stage show, which also features Piggy. Conforming to the non-violent character of the Muppets Kermit constantly explains that he's in a stage show with fake weapons and stunts and how he dislikes violence, making for a more comedy oriented bit. Still, we get to see Kermit in a leather jacket, shooting at Nazis. That's pretty unique.

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