Are you sick of Jason Segel interviews yet? NEVER. Not in a million years of muppets and a million questions about being tall. This particular interview is best read with one window open to Erik Voss' SNL recap, because it basically functions as a host's commentary on the weirdest sketches of the night, best sketches cut after dress rehearsal, and musical sketches that Segel and Kristen Wiig absolutely bombed at the table read. And how Segel and Paul Rudd made out so hard in dress rehearsal that they were asked to tone it down for the live show. Ah, what an episode! I'm gonna have the Blue [...]
During SNL's first season in 1975, a recurring segment was an appearance by the Muppets. These slow, lengthy pieces took place in The Land of Gorch and featured ugly, monstrous characters like King Ploobis and Scred, whom Lorne Michaels and Jim Henson initially pitched as more adult versions of Muppets “that can stay up late.” Unfortunately, what Americans saw was King Ploobis and Scred bumbling around humorlessly for eight minutes. The writers loathed writing these pieces — “I don’t write for felt,” Michael O’Donoghue famously proclaimed — forcing then-rookies like Alan Zweibel to write them every week:
I look in the corner of the room and there’s this guy [...]
Holy Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil, another Muppets parody trailer? Also, is that H. Jon Benjamin's voice? Also, another Muppets parody trailer? Why? Why would you make another, you adorable fuzzy beasties? We're already going to see the movie! We promise! I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!
Every great series of parody trailers needs its grand finale, and The Muppets is no exception. The latest gets in shots at Pus in Boots, Twilight, Happy Feet and Paranormal Activity. Seriously, the advertising for this movie has been Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce good. I like to imagine Jon Hamm drinking scotch and saying sternly, "They aren't just puppets. They're promises. The promise of an escape, from the pain of being misunderstood, from being strung along…[ten minute stare out the window]…from becoming puppet versions of ourselves."
One of my favorite Not the Nine O'Clock News skits of all-time begins with the Not Team relaxing at home, reading their newspapers. One after another, they read something amazing in the paper — "El Salvador Is Going to Be a Second Vietnam," something about goats and artificial limbs and flamingos — but show little to no emotion. Finally one of them sees something in the paper that excites everyone: "Good Lord…there's someone I've heard of guesting on The Muppet Show."
The Muppet Show premiered in 1976, and 35 years later, many of its celebrity guest hosts have, like so many other millions from pop culture, been [...]
Fresh off SNL, Jason Segel continues effortlessly riding the gale-force winds of The Muppets promotion by taking us through his past roles. He even reveals the true goals behind Judd Apatow's movie making career:
[Undeclared] was really good, and they canceled it the same way they'd canceled Freaks and Geeks, so that was the moment when Judd was like, "All right, watch this: I'm single-handedly going to make all these people movie stars. You think you're so smart, network? Watch what I'm about to do." And from that show being canceled, Judd went on a Count of Monte Cristo-style revenge mission to make every one of us famous. [...]
Are these Muppets planning on stopping their adorableness anytime soon? Their unabating, rampant cuteness is just pounding away at all of our shriveled, embittered, bronze-encased hearts. And it hurts. Their latest crime is this gift guide from the Secret Santa between Muppet and human Muppets co-stars, including Sarah Silverman, Rashida Jones, Kristen Schaal, and Whoopi Goldberg. They all love each other so much! I really can't wait for November 23 so the movie comes out and I can go back to my regular cynical, bleak existence without all this stupid joy in the way.
Still sad about that Bill Hicks letter? Not anymore you're not! Pow! "Life's A Happy Song," written by Flight of the Conchords' Bret McKenzie for The Muppets and featuring Feist and Mickey Rooney, is maybe the most powerful extra-grade cheerfulness rocket in the world this morning. (You can also listen to the new "Muppet Show Theme," which includes vocals from Joanna Newsom.) Seriously, stay off this website today if your emotions are fragile, because we are just taking them and whipping them around on a roller coaster of total despair and exuberant happiness. Uh-oh. I'm strapped into the roller coaster and I can't stop listening to this song! [...]
Ever since Disney announced they were relaunching the Muppets with a new Muppet movie, one that stars my imaginary BFFs Amy Adams and Jason Segel, as well as my actual BFFs Rizzo the Rat and Crazy Harry, I've been counting down the days until the film's release. (Less than a month now!) So I was extremely disheartened to read in the Hollywood Reporter that Frank Oz and others in the old guard Muppets crew are expressing concern about how much Segel really GETS the Muppets, y'know? (Read that sentence again as Janice, and it's a lot more fun.) But then I read it as a Muppet Show fan, [...]
The new movie upholds the feel-good tradition of the older Muppet movies. "At least half of my critical thinking went out of the window, overwhelmed by sheer nostalgia," notes Time Magazine's Mary Pols. It's [...]
You know the new Muppet, Walter? The "sweet, simple character" who's a big fan of all the other Muppets' past Muppeting? Apparently that sweetness and simpleness was modeled after the sweetness and simpleness of one Mr. Michael Cera. Good to know. Now we can all prepare for the moment when a Muppet inspires us to feel disproportionate amounts of lust or derision (or other feelings people feel about Michael Cera? I mostly just want to punch him gently on the shoulder and go "believe in yourself!").
These are three facts about Jason Segel that you may not have known:
1. Babies hate him because he is too gigantic.
2. There's a room in his house devoted to puppets.
3. He wore a cape underneath his clothes until he was 12.
What, you need more cool factoids than that? What are you, some kind of fact-guzzling freak? Go read the interview, then, but after that you should call your doctor. Facts are not a suitable basis for a healthy human diet.
Grumbles were heard throughout Georgia last Friday when the "Director's Choice" at the Savannah Film Festival turned out to be The Muppets. Reactions spanned the spectrum of snootery, ranging from “I wanted something deep and artsy — I didn’t fly all the way down here for this," to “My favorite films at this festival were Inuk, about an abused Greenlandic teenager, and We Need to Talk About Kevin, about a budding psychopath. By comparison, I was just bored by the idea of The Muppets.” Well, la di curse-wording da! Still, though, maybe the Muppets folks need to calm down a little bit with the promotion. We still [...]
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