Monday, December 12, 2011

Jason Segel On NPR + the Muppets

On opening day of the new Muppet movie called The Muppets, I was lucky enough to catch Jason Segel and Nick Stoller on NPR's Fresh Air talking about the movie, and let me tell you...I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. This interview was absolutely priceless.

Muppets feature pretty heavily in my life. I refer to people as Muppety all the time (I've done so on this blog!) The Muppets Take Manhattan is one of my favorite movies. I have an "I Heart Kermit" lunchbox. The Muppets version of "The 12 Days of Christmas" is on my Christmas playlist. All of my siblings (I'm the youngest of 7) say "the Muppets always remind me of you" aka, me!

And so, listening to like minded Muppet fans on Fresh Air was a real treat for me. Jason Segel and Nick Stoller (of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, another one of my favorite movies) wrote and produced the movie. James Bobin (who has directed episodes of Flight of the Conchords) directed the movie. And Bret Mackenzie (one of the stars of Flight of the Conchords) wrote many of the songs featured in the movie. When talking about Bret Mackenzie and his song writing style, Jason Segel said "He's by nature very Muppety". I have to whole-heartedly agree.

The general vibe of the interview was light-hearted, humorous, and (like the movie itself) smart and very sweet. On how they went about writing the movie, they said: "we wanted to be Muppet purests". I adore the idea of Muppet purests. I really, really like/admire Jason Segel. His musical sensibilities, his sense of humor, his love of Muppets. On the character of Walter, the wide-eyed, innocent Muppet-mega fan, and star of the movie, Segel said: "he reminds me of what Kermit was, maybe, before he became famous, you know when Kermit was still living in the swamp." This cracks me up! My favorite song from the movie is called "Man or Muppet" and features Segel as Gary, a Muppet version of Gary (which apparently the studios allowed him to keep and now lives at home with Segel and his other puppets), Walter (Gary's Muppet brother), and Jim Parsons as a perfect and very funny human version of Walter. They played the song during the interview. It's awesome.

If I don't stop myself now, I'm just going to ramble on about how much I love these guys and the Muppets, and the songs from the movie, and so on and so forth. And so, I'll end by saying this: I'm so, so happy that the Muppets are back, and thank you Jason Segel and Nick Stoller for writing such a touching, funny, and perfectly wonderful movie, just in time for the holidays.