Fans of the 1979 version of The Muppet Movie were in for a treat when rare footage was released on YouTube of a camera test for the film. The eight minute clip includes footage of three of our favorite Muppets–Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, and Fozzie Bear–with all three Muppets hilariously improvising their conversations rather than following a script.
Watch it here:
The camera test is said to have come from Muppet Movie director James Frawley. While Kermit tries to break it gently to Fozzie that he’s not a real bear, Fozzie bluntly informs Kermit he’s a Muppet judging by the “wire” on his arm. While the camera test footage had been released before, it’s return to the spotlight is more than likely due to the upcoming thirty-seventh anniversary for the release of The Muppet Movie which happened May 31, 1979.
The clip undoubtedly brings back fond memories to all the forty-somethings who experienced the “Rainbow Connection” brought for by the Muppets to their childhood. Fans of the original Muppet Movie had reacted with glee when new Muppet movies were made with Jason Segel in 2011 and Tina Fey in 2014.
The success of both films prompted ABC to resurrect The Muppet Show for the 2015-16 season. The Muppets aired to mixed reviews and ratings, but the biggest struggle was that many complained that the show wasn’t family friendly with strong criticism coming from the Parent Television Council and One Million Moms grassroots organizations. Complaints varied from the Muppets use of alcohol in skits to sexual innuendos in jokes, something that critics claim wasn’t an issue with the 1970s version of the show, though some of us who grew up in that era have to wonder what the Swedish chef and Beaker were really saying.
As a result, The Muppets struggled to find an audience and the show found itself canceled after just one season according to TVLine. But fear not, the Muppets will most likely remain a relevant part of pop culture as they continue to make appearances on Sesame Street and occasionally show up in random news stories.
Just last year, Miss Piggy and Kermit made Muppet headlines when their unusual relationship hit the skids. According to People, Miss Piggy had a revelation after receiving the Sackler Center First Award for feminism and decided that she was more than capable of being independent of Kermit in the land of the Muppets. Don’t fret Muppets fans, according to TVLine, Miss Piggy and Kermit would come to their senses in one of the final episodes of The Muppets where their love was both put to the test and the proclamation of it captured on camera.
While Kermit’s heart was mended by renewing his love for Miss Piggy, Fozzie’s heart was broken publicly when Kermit had to gently tell him the sad news of the cancellation of The Muppets as the two were at a speaking engagement at Vulture Festival 2016. The camera caught Fozzie’s distraught cry and Kermit’s witty retorts as the test of their pop culture fortitude played out in front of a live audience.
Watch it here:
Still, one famous fan who was concerned for the aging Muppets employment opportunities came up with some other potential ways for the felted creature to making a living. Comedy Central host Chris Hardwick took a moment out of Wednesday’s broadcast of Midnight with Chris Hardwick to admonish ABC for canceling The Muppets and have a panel of guests, including Fozzie the Bear, share their thoughts on possible on camera projects.
Watch it here:
[Image via ITC Films]