Okay, so I did the next great Muppet movie that I thought was possible. I also have another idea that just may work: a live TV show that would act like the late-night talk shows, but geared towards kids!
Being a die-hard Muppet fan, I think that this is a franchise that has the capability of going in a lot of different directions. For instance, look at the success that they have had over the years (ie The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, The Muppets Take Manhattan, Muppets from Space, and the two current films that have already been released, and we also cannot forget CBS' Muppet Babies, of course). It was sad when Muppets Tonight! got cancelled, and The Muppet Show is now only available on DVD and has lost some relevance to today's kids.
But, it doesn't have to be that way. In today's society, there are so many celebrities that have loved the Muppets for years. In fact, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (the upcoming Sandman, as well as movies like Looper and the critically acclaimed Don Jon, just to name a few), have commented on how special these creations are to them and what an impact they had on their lives as kids. As a matter of fact, the televised Christmas Special they did with Lady Gaga (one of the still most controversial pop stars of today), have stated who their favorite Muppet was, whether it was Kermit, or Fozzie, or one of the others. If they could make it work with Mama Monster, why not give it a try in a different venue?
Of course, they still have the Theater, but why not move it back to another television stage that is not staffed by Muppets, but by actual people! If we're going to do a talk show, why not treat it like one?
Here is my premise: We have all seen the late-night talk shows that we love, such as David Letterman, Craig Furgeson, Jimmy Fallon, Jay Leno, and even Queen Latifah and Arsenio Hall. They all have mastered the late-night circuit at one time or another in their lives. Jimmy has always been a huge fan of them, and I think he would also make an excellent guest for them to first interview if this could go through. Let's take a look at some past interviews:
This segment was done on 'Late Night w/ JImmy Fallon' just before the show cancelled and Jimmy went to 'The Tonight Show'. In his fianl waltz, he played 'The Weight' by the Band with Kermit and Company.
This segment was made for the 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon' show, and Kermit introduced us to the famous'Muppet Pipes', a series of pipes in a utility closet that were painted by Jim Henson and Frank Oz when Kermit and his friends were first being introduced on the Jack Parr Show so long ago. It turned out they did it out of PURE BOREDOM! Anyway, this segment shows just how well Kermit would do in a situation like this, Not to mention, it is awesome history as well!
Another segment of 'the Muppet Pipes', but this time with the newest Muppet, Walter. Walter would be an excellent wingman for Kermit for a series like this, as he always gives that childlike wonder in all things Muppet.
Yes, even WWE Raw and Kermit have had their time together in 2011, when their first of the new movies 'The Muppets' , and they handled it with style and class. Makes me wonder how many of the superstars' kids thought Mommy or Daddy were so AWESOME! Who would have known that Beaker was related to WWE Superstar Seamus?
Another great wrestling segment, with Kermit being 'exposed' on MIz TV by Miss Piggy herself and the Miz in a Christmas Salute to the Troops in 2012 over whether or not they should tie the knot!
As you can see, the Muppets are proving time and again that no matter what the situation, they are extremely adaptable. Whether it's a commercial, a late-night interview, a musical number, or even facing down someone as intimidating as The Miz, they always come out smelling like a rose, so to speak.
With Muppets Live!, I thought that it would keep the same flow and format as any of the standard late-night fare, but with some great Muppet schtick to boot. I have had ideas for segments of my own, as well as some suggested by others that I know. One I thought would be great is 'In The Kitchen w/ the Swedish Chef' (I know, they did What Smells Funny? on Muppets Tonight , but hear me out). In this segment, the Swedish Chef could do something that he has never done before: he can actually learn how to cook! Bring in some celebrity chefs, like say Gordon Ramsey, Mike Symon, Geoffrey Zackarian, Bobby Flay, and all of the greats to show off their cooking skills to a smaller audeince.
Like what Kermiit did on Late Night w/ Jimmy Fallon, some great footage of backstage and what everyone does would be great for kids. As well as some political content by Sam The Eagle as he speaks with people like Bill Maher, Stephen Colbert, and even Jon Stewart.
What my point is is that the Muppets are one of those franchises that has so much potential to do so many things. While they are extremely comical and fun to watch, who says you can't teach a kid a thing or two along the way like what we did in the past? I am not talking about inundating them with facts, figures, and so forth, but rather opening the world to them in such a way that they can still enjoy the Muppets. On top of that, it will appeal to adults also in the segments as well as other things.
Imagine the Muppets getting a Friday night slot on ABC, early enough for the kids before they go to bed and not so early that the parents are going to go nuts. Friday is a big night, and there are a lot of spaces in every networks line-up. They would have a hard fight, but it is a fight worth having!
Please leave me your thoughts! I would love to hear them!