Guys, I love the Muppets. I love everything about them. I loved The Muppet Show, I was Miss Piggy for Halloween when I was in kindergarten and when I got to meet Miss Piggy – this year – for work, I, well, I freaked out.
They make me so very happy and I love everything about them. Sure, I’ve seen all their movies but the one that I hold nearest and dearest is The Muppet Christmas Carol. Sorry! But it is my absolute favorite. Of lots of things.
So to get into the holiday spirit, let’s explore five ways The Muppet Christmas Carol ruined my life:
1. Made Any Other Version of this Story Obsolete For Me
Yes, I’m aware A Christmas Carol is a book, first and foremost. No, I have not read it. But I’m also acutely aware that there are versions of this story WITHOUT Muppets. But to me, in my heart, the only version that matters is, well, the version that includes Muppets, duh.
If you mention A Christmas Carol to me, in any form, I picture Muppets. Bob Cratchit? Muppet. Tiny Tim? Muppet. Marley? TWO Muppets. It just goes on and on. I remember watching some behind-the-scenes featurette on how they did this movie with real people and Muppets and I was obsessed. I remember quoting along with it with my little brother and just not understanding why ANYONE was a real person in this movie. Or in any version of A Christmas Carol.
2. Michael Caine is ONLY Scrooge, to Me
First of all, I just learned via IMDb that Michael Caine’s birth name is Maurice Joseph Micklewhite so there’s that fun fact for ya!
Michael Caine IS Scrooge to me. Which means, I see him on screen and I think, “Scrooge.” But it also means I see someone else playing Scrooge and I think, “imposter.”
Unless we’re talking Scrooge McDuck, of course.
Obviously, this can be confusing since Michael Caine is literally in every movie (not literally) and has played a MILLION iconic characters (not a million). But this is one of those roles that I just cannot and will not get out of my head. I love him so much when he becomes good and I love him when he’s evil and it’s just all great. (Side bar, how creepy is it when he goes to the Cratchit’s and plays that “I’m a jerk” trick on them? Like, Scrooge, THEY DON’T KNOW YOU WENT ON AN INNER JOURNEY LAST NIGHT, DUM DUM.)
3. Have a Skewed Idea of What Frog/Pig Offspring Would Look Like
As I mentioned I have a soft spot for Miss Piggy. And as a result of THAT I also LOVE Kermit the Frog. Look, let’s be real, I love all the Muppets, actually. (A former co-worker and I even used to refer to ourselves as Statler and Waldorf. . .for what should be easy-to-figure-out reasons.)
But here’s the weird thing.
So Miss Piggy is a… shhh…pig. And Kermit the Frog is obviously a frog. But when they have children, they don’t have creepy frog/pig hybrids. They have female children who are mini version of Miss Piggy and male children who are frogs. Simple as that.
4. Gonzo and Rizzo Are the Be All and End All of Hilarious Duos
Oh boy. Now, Gonzo is excellent, obviously. But he and Rizzo the rat in The Muppet Christmas Carol are the best comedy team there is.
They’re not the traditional big, slow guy and little hyper guy which I also love immensely, but something else entirely that is also so satisfying. They’re both small, they’re both kind of dumb, but in different ways, and I love when they decide it’s too scary for them to keep narrating and leave us for a bit.
5. Want Spirits to Teach Me the Error of My Ways
I think all of us should come away from this tale thinking, “man, we should just be better.” (“Be better” is a phrase my friend and I often implore others to do)
But I think mostly we come away from it thinking, “Well, I’m NO Ebenezer Scrooge!” and I don’t think that’s good enough! Unfortunately, most of us are NOT going to be visited by spirits who will take us on emotional journeys into our past, present and future and we just have to figure out how to be better on our own.
Be better. Everyone.
(This was a play on Tiny Tim’s famous line…you got that, right?)