1 The Muppet Mindset: The 2012 Muppet Madness Tournament

Mar 13, 2012

The 2012 Muppet Madness Tournament

It's March again, and you know what that means for the Muppet fan community--it's time for the annual Muppet Madness Tournament! Yes, once again, yours truly, Ryan Dosier, is thrilled to team up with Joe Hennes and Ryan Roe of ToughPigs.com and Steve Swanson of The MuppetCast to bring you the most exciting tournament that March has ever seen! This year is bound to be an another awesome tournament year. Don't believe me? Well... we're also thrilled to be able to reveal to you the official bracket for The Muppet Madness Tournament this year, alongside ToughPigs! Voting begins tomorrow, March 13th, but you can preview the bracket below (and make sure you click it to make it bigger)!
As you can, for the first time we've chosen a theme for the tournament... a fairly obvious theme, at that: characters from The Muppets, the 2011 film. The bracket is divided into four quadrants, New Characters, Celebrities, Classics, and Old Favorites. Voting for Round 1 lasts from March 13-March 18 (at www.MuppetFans.com/tournament). Last year we analyzed every matchup with our predictions of who would win... and we're excited to continue that this year! Read on!


WALTER vs. HOBO JOE - The very first matchup in the Tournament this year is already a tough decision. Unfortunately for Zach Galifianakis, however, I think it's pretty obvious who's going to come out on top in this round. It's Walter all the way. After making such a huge splash into the Muppet world, I wouldn't be surprised if we saw Walter move all the way to the championship round.

MARY vs. MISS POOGY - I'm really not sure what to expect from this matchup. There are players who will vote for Mary simply because they adore Amy Adams (and who can blame them) and there are fans who will vote for Miss Poogy because s/he was hilarious in the movie and came from a great performance by David Rudman. Trivia! This is the first year a David Rudman original character has been included in the Tournament.

TEX RICHMAN vs. 80s ROBOT - I think this matchup will have another obvious winner... 80s Robot has this in the bag. I can't see Tex Richman winning. He was just too down-right mean (and he couldn't really rap). Besides, 80s Robot was very funny ("Gag me with a spoon.") and he's a Matt Vogel original. What more can you ask for! (Besides some TAB or New Coke.)

GARY vs. GARY MUPPET - It's the battle of the Jason Segels! Yes, Jason Segel the human, playing Gary, against Jason Segel the Muppet playing Gary played by Bill Barretta. Confused yet? Grand. I'm almost positive that Gary the Human will conquer this round... but I think it would be hysterical to see Gary the Muppet topple him.


JACK BLACK vs. NEIL PATRICK HARRIS - One has nice teeth, the other has nice suits... one had a major role in The Muppets, the other answered phones but still managed to steal the show. This is probably the most competitive first round matchup. I really have no idea who will prevail here. Whether it's Jack Black for his dynamite performance in The Muppets or whether it's Neil Patrick Harris for his undying passion for the Muppets... it's a toss up! My gut says NPH... but I'm excited to see what happens!

KRISTEN SCHAAL vs. EMILY BLUNT - Animal's anger management counselor against Piggy's secretary! Who will prevail?! My vote goes to Kristen Schaal for being adorable and hysterical--even though Emily Blunt is both of those things as well. I just enjoyed Kristen more in the movie... and I'm slightly biased because I met her in person and she was magnificent. Anyway. Yes. I predict a Kristen Schaal victory.

JIM PARSONS vs. KEN JEONG - aka Human Walter vs. Punch Teacher Guy. I'm in a pickle here because I love both of these actors. Jim Parsons is amazing as Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory, but Ken Jeong stars on my favorite show Community (which returns this Thursday at 8 on NBC). However, being a rational-thinking person, I can safely declare that Jim Parsons will win this round. His scene in The Muppets is a favorite among just about everyone... and not many people really liked Punch Teacher.

ALAN ARKIN vs. MICKEY ROONEY - The battle of the old guys! Alan Arkin, the one-time guest star on The Muppet Show and current tour guide for The Muppet Studios against Mickey Rooney... who sang a line in "Life's a Happy Song." This is another tough match to call... but I'm going to go with Mickey Rooney for the win. He's just so old and funny and awesome. Who doesn't love him?


KERMIT THE FROG vs. THE SWEDISH CHEF - Yet another matchup that you'd be foolish not to guess correctly. Kermit will take down the Chef, no question. How can you compete against the Frog this early? Especially when The Muppets was such a great vehicle for Kermit. "Pictures in My Head" should already make Kermit the winner here.

ANIMAL vs. FOZZIE BEAR - This is another very heated matchup--already in Round 1! I'd really like to see Fozzie take this one--because who doesn't love Fozzie? But Animal has such a major fan following among casual and obsessed fans alike. It's really, really tough to call this one. My vote goes to Fozzie pulling out a heart-warming triumph... but Animal could easily take the cake.

GONZO THE GREAT vs. MISS PIGGY - I'm biased here as well... Gonzo is my favorite so I'd really, really like to see him win this. However, no one can argue that his role in The Muppets was one of his better ones. It is incredibly easy to argue that it was one of Piggy's best performances. I could really see this matchup going either way, but my gut says Miss Piggy will conquer.

BUNSEN AND BEAKER vs. STATLER AND WALDORF - The duel of the duos! Also the fight between Steve Whitmire/Dave Goelz duos. This is a very, very tough matchup between four extremely popular characters. My money is on Statler and Waldorf taking the gold, however, due to their amazing ascent in last year's tournament. They made it to the Championship and lost to Super Grover... so their popularity will most likely put them over the top.


UNCLE DEADLY vs. BOBO THE BEAR - Tex Richman's henchmen have turned on each other (it's an idiom, you idiot) (not really, I just wanted to use that)! I think Uncle Deadly will topple Bobo in this round thanks to his incredible return in The Muppets. After having only a handful of previous appearances, Matt Vogel brought Uncle Deadly back in a major, major way. I think that Deadly's popularity with hardcore and casual fans alike will propel him to victory.

ROWLF THE DOG vs. LINK HOGTHROB - Two of Jim Henson's classic characters battle for dominance! Rowlf returned with a howl in the new movie, having one of the biggest laughs, and Link Hogthrob spoke in a Muppet production that wasn't a video game for the first time since 1990 and had his first speaking role in a Muppet movie ever. But I don't think that will be enough for Link to beat Rowlf. I think the dog's got this one wrapped up in a doggy bag and ready to take home.

SCOOTER vs. WAYNE AND WANDA - There's two Richard Hunt original characters in there somewhere! I think this is another matchup that is incredibly easy to call... Scooter takes it. Wayne and Wanda just don't have the history and amazing resurgence that Scooter has/had. His role in The Muppets was one of his biggest ever. Yes, Wayne and Wanda had a major laugh... but Scooter wins this one.

THOG vs. JERRY NELSON'S VOICE - Yes, you read that right. We managed to sneak in Jerry Nelson's Voice into the Muppet Madness Tournament! We're just awesome like that. If you didn't know, the voice of original Muppet performer Jerry Nelson can be heard in The Muppets as the announcer for The Muppet Telethon. It's magic. I sincerely hope Jerry can win... but I think the big blue giant will stomp all over this one.

Well... there you have it. Every single matchup for Round 1 of The Muppet Madness Tournament 2012! But that's not all! For the first time ever, we're offering you a chance to win big in The Muppet Madness Tournament as well! This year we're having a Muppet Madness Bracket Contest in which you, the players, will be able to fill out your own brackets and submit them to us. You will get points for each correctly guessed matchup and at the end of the tournament the three players with the most points win a fabulous prize!

All of the details for the game as well as the downloadable bracket for you to fill out and email to contact@muppetfans.com can be found on The Muppet Madness Bracket Contest page on ToughPigs.com. You've got from March 13th-March 18th to submit your brackets, so start filling them out!

There it is, friends, The 2012 Muppet Madness Tournament! Voting for Round 1 begins on March 13th and ends on March 18th and you can come back to vote in each matchup once daily! We're so excited about the Tournament this year, and we sincerely hope all of you are too! Have fun everybody!!

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

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