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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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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

via GIPHY

Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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