Friday, February 1, 2013

The Muppets Take Manhattan - A (Somewhat) Live Blog

"Peoples is Peoples."

Former Mayor Ed Koch passed away today at 88 years of age. Whether you were a huge fan of his or not, he definitely had a New York personality and he definitely left his mark on the city. He showed up in several NYC-based films and shows throughout the years, but none made such an impression as did The Muppets Take Manhattan. So in honor of Mayor Koch, let's take a (somewhat) live blog look back on this gem of a movie. If it's a love letter to New York, and he is Mr. New York, than by transitive properties, it's kind of a love letter to him as well. Let's get this train movin'!

- A Frank Oz Film!

- No matter how long I live here, if I close my eyes and think of New York it looks like the opening shot of Manhattan from Muppets Take Manhattan.

- toll booths with no EZ pass lanes! madness!

- Kermit scat singing to Together Again gets me

- Danhurst College seems like a nice place to go to school. Apparently the part of "Danhurst College" was played by Vassar College in this movie. Thank you for this knowledge, Muppet Wiki.

- Miss Piggy 80's perm! I can't even deal!

- I love that Animal is a skirt chaser and it's totally cool with everyone. WO-MAN! WO-MAN! WO-MAN!

- Kermit is the only one who realizes the show isn't good enough for Broadway. I respect his realism.

- They came to NYC via Port Authority?? Poor bastards.

- Speaking of poor, living in mini-lockers is not far off from the real NYC apartment experience.

- Star Trek TNG's Dr. Crusher is the secretary of the evil theater producer the Muppets first meet with! Love her!

- I love the side-to-side Muppet dance move, the Muppet Sway. It makes me feel like I can dance too!

- Evil producer has grabbed Gonzo by the nose and is threatening to kill Camilla. NOT COOL, DUDE. Luckily Animal is on the case.

- Gonzo gives Camilla mouth-to-beak resuscitation and STILL this movie is rated G. The 80's had different standards, folks.

- OMG, "You Can't Take No for an Answer." Every race that I run I create a new playlist for my ipod. This song is always the first song on any running playlist. It sets a good pace. It keeps me going right at the beginning. In the movie, there's also this awesome shot of all the muppets legs walking down the mean streets of NYC.

- Just as despair is setting in, Pete's Luncheonette! Rizzo! Pete! Homewrecker Jenny! Soup bowls for everybody - with soup in them!

- Peoples is Peoples! Best speech ever. Words to live by.

- Everyone's leaving. Oh no. This is too sad. "Saying Goodbye" Piggy on the train gets me every time. But what train station is this supposed to be? Grand Central Station? Where are the outdoor platforms in NYC? Fozzie has a teddy bear which is amazing.

Kermit visits the Empire State Building, as one does when they are at their lowest. The Frog is STAYin'! And so - secretly - is a pig...

- Homewrecker Jenny gets Kermit a job at the diner and is trying to get TOO CLOSE to Kermit. Back off, Jenny.

- A frog with an affro. Boffo, Lenny! Socko Lenny!  Selling people on your show is hard, y'all. Trust.

- Piggy is spying on Kermit and Honewrecker Jenny outside the Plaza Hotel and is rightfully concerned. Piggy is also getting the BEST cat calls from some construction guys, which is hilarious. Her rage at Homewrecker Jenny puts them in their place and leads to...

- The best scene ever recorded on film. Quelle Difference! Joan Rivers and Miss Piggy. Extreme Makeover! Now you're gonna REALLY wear rouge!

- Rats in the kitchen! A little more scatting coming your way. Skillet skating on pads of butter makes for delicious diner pancakes.

- Kermit's got stacks and stacks of letters. Scooter's working in a movie theater, it's 30 years earlier and 3-D movies were the fashion then too.

- Beth the Bear wants to "snuggle" with Fozzie. He does not see ready for anything that intense. Always check beforehand to see if the cave you're selecting is co-ed!

- The Whispering Campaign! Kermit is heading to Sardi's. Replacing Liza's picture with Kermit's is not the best move, Kermie. She will blow up your spot.

- The rats ruin everything. I'd like to say that the reaction by the customers in Sardi's to the rats is over the top, but that's probably really how people would react in that situation.

- Central Park. Oh, man, so much drama is about to go down. Kermit and Homewrecker Jenny jog and Piggy tries to pursue them. Then a mugger steals Piggy's purse! Piggy borrows Gregory Hines' roller skates and puts on her "Angry Eyes." This dude doesn't stand a chance. It's fun to see him run through CP though. His shirt is drenched at the end of it. Piggy WINS!

- Kermit gave Jenny the huggies! I love when Kermit and Piggy fight and yell at each other. Time for a make up carriage ride!

- Muppet Babies Dream Sequence!! I love Baby Piggy's slightly misshapen face. The only thing missing here is Nanny and her amazing striped socks.

- Piggy still won't be nice to Homewrecker Jenny after she gets her a job at Pete's diner. Let it go, Pig.

- Brooke Shields sighting! She has gone out with a few rats before. She is pro-inter-species dating!!

- Rowlf carrying a real dog around in a kennel is weird and unsettling. Snook-ums, for the record is a boy.

- Ronnie Crawford is Bernie Crawford's son and his going to produce the show on Broadway! Things are looking up! So it's about time Kermit got hit by a cab and lost his memory!

- Kermit is missing! Jenny and Piggy bond and forgive. Ronnie tells them show is going up in two weeks! Time to rally the gang and find Kermit!

- Kermit has amnesia! And spotty reflexes. And a masochistic doctor. He's released into the wild in a new clean suit to start again.

- A trip to an ad agency gives him the new identity of Phillip Phil, and new friends named Jill, Gil and Bill. Ocean Breeze Soap: It's just like taking an ocean cruise except there's no boat and you don't actually go anywhere.The Mad Men Frogs rule.

- Manhattan Melodies opens in one week. Time to find Kermit! Yay! That means... Here's Mister Mayor, Ed Koch! I feel like he's the kinda guy who just always looked old. Raise a glass, folks!

- The Muppets are despondent over Kermit's disappearance. But the Mad Men Frogs happen to have lunch in Pete's Diner. Kermit's subconscious affinity for "Together Again" leads him to play the melody by tapping glasses of water. The other Muppets turn around and find him, but he still doesn't know them. So they kidnap him and bring him to theater. As one naturally would.

- One of my earliest memories of being in a movie theater is watching the moment Miss Piggy punches the lights back into Kermit's brain. "Cancel the show!" Some things just stay with you!

- Somebody's getting MAH-REEEEEEED! Somebody's getting MAH-REEEEEED! Greatest musical number ever? It has to at least crack the Top 10.

- "Days go passing into years. Years go passing day by day." Don't make me burst into tears, movie.

- Too late! She'll make him happy! That's all she needs to know! They're all doing the Muppet Sway! I'm not made of stone!

- Uh oh, Piggy got a real priest! Are they really married? Nobody knows! Piggy seems pleased though. Fake it til you make it, girl. Kermit did say I do... though perhaps one could argue it was under duress.

- What better way could anything end - hand in hand with a friend? FOR SERIOUS. Well, played, Muppets. Well played.

So thanks, Mayor Koch, for stewarding the city through an incredibly rough time in the late 70's and 80's and for being part of a movie that made young impressionable artistic kids like me want to come to the city and have their shows produced. Your love for the city and the impact of your time is mayor lives on!!

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