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The Muppets movie franchise: Our 10 favorite celebrity cameos

The Muppets movie franchise: Our 10 favorite celebrity cameos (photo)

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Way back when the Muppets maintained a regular presence on television and movie screens, it seemed like every celebrity was jockeying for a cameo on “The Muppet Show” or one of the characters’ feature films.

With “The Muppets” arriving in theaters this week, that tradition continues. Making appearances in the film are everyone from Dave Grohl and Neil Patrick Harris to Zach Galifianakis and James Carville, along with many, many more celebrities with a soft spot for Kermit and his gang.

While the actors, musicians, and other famous faces appearing in the film are joining an impressive list spanning decades of cameos, they also have some big shoes to fill. Over the course of making seven feature films, the Muppets have assembled a memorable list of cameos from some true Hollywood icons.

So without further ado, here are our 10 favorite cameos from the Muppets movies.


RICHARD PRYOR

His role in “The Muppet Movie” was a brief but memorable turn as a balloon salesman, but it’s a great example of how to make a short scene live a long life in our memories. His interaction with Gonzo and his chicken girlfriend is priceless, and his facial expressions sell the scene as only Richard Pryor can.


JOHN CLEESE

“The Great Muppet Caper” shipped the crew off to London, so it’s no surprise that Jim Henson nabbed one of the most popular British actors and comedians, “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” star John Cleese, for an extended cameo. Cleese plays a reserved British gentleman who offers up some hilariously dry commentary on the Muppets’ activities around his home.


JOHN LANDIS

It wasn’t just famous actors who made memorable cameos in the Muppets movies. For example, take “Animal House” and “The Blues Brothers” director John Landis’ brief appearance in “The Muppets Take Manhattan.” Landis played a movie exec who Kermit manages to snag a meeting with, and then fast-talks into accepting the costumed frog’s script. Landis doesn’t get to say much in his cameo, but it’s one of those cool nods to the real world that Henson was so fond of including in his Muppets adventures.


STEVE MARTIN

Possibly one of the most memorable cameos to occur in any of the Muppets movies was Steve Martin’s turn as a snarky, sarcastic waiter who serves Kermit and Miss Piggy during a scene from “The Muppet Movie.” The scene is amazing for more than just Martin’s awesome shorts — it’s a great example of Kermit and Miss Piggy acting alongside one of the industry’s funniest actors and still managing to hold onto the scene.


JIM HENSON

Sure, Henson was technically in nearly every shot of the Muppet movies, working the puppets, voicing characters, and so forth. However, in this scene from “The Great Muppet Caper,” Henson makes a rare on-camera appearance as a guest at the fancy club where Kermit and Miss Piggy have an epic dance. Check out that epic beard!


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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.

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It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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