For the majority of my teenage life I was taunted because I had certain tastes. I was told that liking this group of entertainers was unacceptable. That despite being a film major, the fact that I not only liked but raved about this talented group of performers was insane and negated all of my cultural taste. People told me to grow up, that they’re childish.
To everyone who told me The Muppets are something that should be a vestige of my childhood… I’m about to prove you wrong.
3 Times the Muppets Proved They’re for Adults and Better Than You’ll Ever Be
1. All of the Cultural References
If you think that The Muppets are for children, one can be proven wrong only by listening to the cultural references in their films. Whether they’re meta references with cameos by famed actors that go undetected by “youthful” audiences (What eight year old knows who Ray Liotta and Danny Trejo are? If so, what have their parents been letting them watch? Can they go back in time adopt me? But not really I’m happy with my parents). In the first few minutes of the most recent film, not only is there a parade of such cameos but also there are references to Gone With the Wind and the severe drop off in quality in The Godfather: Part III. And you think this is for the kids?
2. The Quality of Human Talent Willing to Work With Them
Don’t get me wrong. I go see a Muppet flick for some great music, a good laugh, and to see my two favorite celebrity BFFs in action (Kermit and Fozzie Bear – most functional celebrity friendship… they are not enablers like Paris and Nicole). But look what talented actors have leaped at the opportunity to work with them over the years. During The Muppet Show years anyone from Rita Moreno to Ethel Merman to Richard Pryor to Gilda Radner would be liable to stop by. In fact, no person guest-hosted The Muppet Show twice because there was so much demand. If Kermit were less docile he’d tell Lorne Michaels to suck it. If they’re good enough for Julie Andrews who’s probably been sainted at this point, you best believe they’re goddamn good enough for you.
3. They are the last lovable vestige of fun entertainment that isn’t completely dirty.
I love a Judd Apatow as much as the next person, but those are no means pure of heart. And the are definitely not free of dick jokes, hence the hesitation one has bringing a child to one. Nowadays we don’t really have many forms of entertainment that both adults, teens, and kids can enjoy. The Muppets and their magic of veiled references for adults and pure wonder and fun for the kids make for one of the best multi-generational forms of entertainment left. Because how could you not love this face?