Michael Wermuth, Jr. - Today I'm beginning a list of my 30 favorite moments from the theatrically-released Muppet movies, each scene presented in chronological order. Today we'll go from The Muppet Movie to The Muppets Take Manhattan, and in Part 2 we'll cover The Muppet Christmas Carol to The Muppets. Enjoy, fellow Muppet fans!
From The Muppet Movie...
1. Screening room scenes - Okay, this is sort of a cheat because it's really three seperate scenes, but the screening room scenes from The Muppet Movie are all great scenes. They bring us many characters who don't have roles in the actual film, quite a few funny lines and gags (like Crazy Harry's respone to Dr. Teeth referring to the movie as "dynamite" and Doglion literally taking a seat).
2. "Moving Right Along" - A fun song sung by Kermit and Fozzie, featuring some of the movies best gags and lines, including the fork in the road, Fozzie's line about his natural habitat, and a cameo by Big Bird.
3. Gonzo on balloons - Gonzo buys a bunch of balloons for Camilla, but it ends up taking him up to the sky, where the others must drive and keep up with Gonzo, unaware that Doc Hopper is behind him. Also features an odd billboard that holds an actual giant pie.
4. "I Hope That Something Better Comes Along" - One of the few big interactions between Kermit and Rowlf, singing about women and making puns.
5. "Rainbow Connection" Finale - The finale is a great scene. We get a reprise of "Rainbow Connection" on a Hollywood set that includes references to earlier in the film, and we get a big shot of almost every character who had been created up to that point.
From The Great Muppet Caper...
6. "Happiness Hotel" - When Kermit, Fozzie, and Gonzo arrive at the Happiness Hotel, they are greeted with a full musical number, with almost all the main characters from the movie and then some. The jug-band starts the song, Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem get a great part in the song, and it all ends with a memorable scene where Gonzo takes a picture of everybody.
7. Beauregard's taxi driving sequence - The gang meets Beauregard, who just happens to live at the hotel where they are staying, only he doesn't know how to get there. And then he drives destructively, providing some funny lines, like "It takes awhile to get to know the town" (when he's lived in London all his life), plus Beauregard acknowledging that he's lucky to have a drivers license.
8. "Steppin' Out With a Star" - Kermit gets ready for his date with Miss Piggy in this great number, where Kermit gets dressed, watches his shadow dance, and jumps off the Murphy bed.
9. "Couldn't We Ride" - The classic bicycle sequence that tops the bicycle scene from the first movie. Kermit and Piggy ride bikes and sing together in the park, and eventually Kermit does some amazing tricks on his bike, only to end up in Miss Piggy's bicycle basket.
10. Baseball Diamond keep-away - The Muppets have caught up with the jewel thieves right as they are about to steal the baseball diamond. They turn the heist into a game of keep-away which plays out like a game of baseball. Louis Kazagger shows up to provide baseball coverage, and the Muppets do better than the thieves... Until Nicky Holiday stops Kermit from catching it.
From The Muppets Take Manhattan...
11. Muppets in lockers - When the Muppets arrive in New York, they need a place to stay, so they stay in lockers. I used to wonder why they did this, but now I realize that it's funny and doesn't need a real explanation.
12. "You Can't Take No for an Answer" - One of Dr. Teeth's best solo numbers, played over a montage of the Muppets getting rejected by producers. It foreshadows the last act of the movie when they briefly stop by Bernard Crawford's office and we see Ronnie Crawford. We also get a great sax solo from Zoot.
13. Scooter at the movie theater - Scooter's postcard flashback shows him working as an usher at a movie theater which plays a 3D movie where Lew Zealand is one of the customers. Lew causes a real-life 3D effect by throwing his boomerang fish at the right moment.
14. Kermit at Sardi's - Part two of Kermit's three-part plan, Kermit dresses as a rich producer, complete with mustache, and goes to Sardi's, where he replaces a picture of Liza Minelli with one of him. He also has the rats go under the tables to start a whispering campaign to get people interested in "Manhattan Melodies." Too bad those rats got hungry...
15. Manhattan Melodies Finale - The whole Manhattan Melodies sequence is grand. Kermit recovers from his amnesia and is quickly ready to go on, and right before showtime Kermit lets all of the Muppets' friends be in the show, and they all seem to know what to do on such short notice. We get three great songs, "Right Where I Belong," "Somebody's Getting Married," and "He'll Make Me Happy." The wedding is a great scene, filled with characters (including many from Sesame Street) and featuring a real minister instead of an actor, making it ambiguous as to whether Kermit and Piggy really did get married.
Remember to check back for Part 2 for the next 15 favorite Muppet Moments!
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org