What if The Muppet Show came back to TV? That would be terrific, wouldn’t it? Well, what if it was on FOX, and it guest-starred Eminem, and it had a Jackass parody called Dumbass, and a joke about Trent Lott? Would it still be so terrific?
That’s what almost happened in 2002. Matthew Berry is a ”Senior Fantasy analyst for ESPN,” which is apparently a title you can have, and he recently wrote a piece on the ESPN website that mentions his involvement in an attempt to bring the Muppets back to prime time network TV over ten years ago. This would appear to be the project that Muppet Wiki lists as The Muppets Present, and a pilot script was created by Berry and his writing partner Eric Abrams. Before meandering off into some talk about football and other non-Muppet nonsense, Berry’s article talks about how proud he and Abrams were of their script, and how much everyone liked it, from Lisa Henson to FOX president Gail Berman… until the chairman of FOX unceremoniously rejected it.
When you hear about something this, you can’t help but want to read it right away to judge for yourself… so it’s a good thing Berry posted the whole script online!
So judge for yourself. If you ask me, it feels about 20% Muppets, which is not too bad considering some of the other stuff from that era. Mostly what strikes me is that it doesn’t seem like the writers considered how difficult it is to get puppets to accomplish certain tasks. How’s Pepe going to ride a horse? Would they really submerge a Fozzie puppet in a hot tub? And I can’t even imagine the logistics of shooting the Gonzo skateboard bit.
What do you think?
Big thanks to Tough Pigs pal Ryan Mead for the alert! Click here to wonder what Roger Lodge is up to these days on the Tough Pigs forum!
by Ryan Roe – Ryan@ToughPigs.com