Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, and more beloved Muppets characters crashed the San Diego Comic-Con panel for their upcoming ABC sitcom, “The Muppets.”
The audience was first treated to never-before-seen test footage that the creators pitched, which introduced the show’s hyper-meta concept.
The “mockumentary”-style show, à la “The Office,” follows the gang behind-the-scenes of Miss Piggy’s late-night talk show, “Up Late with Miss Piggy.”
Everyone has their role: Kermit the Frog, executive producer; Fozzie Bear, on-air sidekick; the Swedish Chef, craft services. The Great Gonzo, Rizo the Rat, and Pepe the King Prawn staff the writers’ room. The cast list goes on, drawing from nearly 40 years of content spawned by Jim Henson’s genius.
Puppeteering legends Steve Whitmire, Eric Jacobson, Bill Barretta, and Dave Goelz brought their fuzzy friends to life after retrieving them from under the table about 20 minutes into the panel. From the moment America’s favourite crustacean, Pepe, emerged, the crowd went berserk.
In character and speaking off the cuff, Rizzo trolled Fozzie for his corny jokes. Gonzo contemplated the perils of online dating. Kermit and Miss Piggy partook in grating small-talk about the status of their love lives.
The panel gave a glimpse into the lives of the Muppets as we’ve rarely seen them before. It certainly set the stage for ABC’s reboot, which premieres September 22.
Bill Prady, co-creator of CBS’s Emmy-darling “The Big Bang Theory,” who cut his teeth as a production assistant at Jim Henson Productions, promised the audience it will touch on themes and topics over kids’ heads. In the style of “The Muppets Movie” and “Muppets Most Wanted,” there will be jokes for every age of viewer.
And in keeping with the Muppets’ tradition, the team will forever be forced to decide between “doing things the way things should,” Prady said, and doing things for the betterment of a friend.
As the puppeteers wrapped up, the audience treated them to a roaring standing ovation.
We can’t wait to see the shenanigans unfold this fall.
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