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The Muppet Movie (1979) Poster

Trivia

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Jim Henson spent an entire day in a 50-gallon steel drum submerged in a pond for the opening scene of Kermit the Frog in the swamp.
In a 2004 interview, John Landis revealed that he was the puppeteer for Grover during the final sequence, as Frank Oz was busy operating Miss Piggy. Landis also noted that Tim Burton was also among the many puppeteers in the finale.
Jim Henson was determined to use the larger budget of a feature film to push the technological limits and capabilities of puppetry. One of the most difficult feats (and one that appears deceptively easy on-screen) was making Kermit ride a bicycle.
Kermit the Frog playing the banjo while sitting on a log took five days to shoot.
This was the last movie to feature famed ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his wooden sidekick, Charlie McCarthy; Bergen died shortly after his scene was shot in 1978. It held particular meaning for Jim Henson, who cited, on many occasions, how Bergen and McCarthy were the major reasons he took an interest in puppetry. A dedication to Bergen is included in the end credits.
The first The Muppets project to take place in the real world.
The film was an allegory for Jim Henson's rise to fame.
Orson Welles plays a studio executive named Lew Lord who draws up a standard rich-and-famous contract for The Muppets - a reference to real-life producer Sir Lew Grade (later Lord Grade). When Jim Henson was trying to find a producer to make The Muppet Show (1976) happen, no American network understood or was interested in the concept, Grade recognized Henson's vision and made the show possible.
The illusion of Fozzie driving the Studebaker was achieved by having a midget drive the car via remote control from the trunk, using a television monitor to guide his steering. The puppeteers would lay on the seat or floor and couldn't see a thing. The first time they tested it, the television monitor went on the blink, and the driver had to be talked through the scene by an assistant director on a walkie-talkie ("A little to the right, now, to the left...hold it...").
The song "Never Before, Never Again" was originally sung by a professional singer dubbing in for Frank Oz (as Miss Piggy), but the producers did not think her rendition was as funny as Frank Oz's version.
It took three Kermit the Frogs to do the opening "Rainbow Connection" scene. One of the Kermits used in "The Rainbow Connection" was a mechanical; you can tell by the way it strums the banjo, and the colors of Kermit's "skin".
Orson Welles only had one line of dialogue.
When several celebrities who were scheduled to do cameos had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts and others were brought in, writer David Odell, was hired to rewrite the script and make each new cameo fit. His work on the film led Jim Henson to offer Odell the job of writing the screenplay for The Dark Crystal (1982).
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Doc Hopper is a parody of Kentucky Colonel Harland Sanders, the founder of the Kentucky Fried Chicken (now "KFC") restaurant chain, who was known for his attire of a white suit and bolo string tie.
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A deleted subplot followed Statler & Waldorf who turned up at various points in the movie to comment (and heckle) the main action.
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Gonzo is ridiculed when he says he wants to go to Bombay (also known as Mumbai), India, to become a movie star. According to International Business Times, the Bollywood film industry in that region produces roughly twice as many movies a year as Hollywood.
According to Austin Pendleton, James Frawley was very unhappy directing the movie and did not get along with the Muppet performers.
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As the camera pans across the entrance to the movie studio, "Doglion," the large, horned full-bodied Muppet with long, gray hair, can be seen walking through the lot. He is therefore the first member of The Muppets to be shown on the big screen.
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According to David Odell, shooting on the final number in the film was delayed because Paul Williams developed a case of writers block.; Jim Henson asked Odell to come up with some dummy lyrics so they could block out the scene. When Williams heard somebody else was doing his job, he suddenly managed to finish the song in no time.
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Austin Pendleton refused the role of Max until James Frawley wrote more for the character to do, because he really wanted Pendleton for the role.
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One of James Frawley's rare ventures into film directing. He more often directs for television.
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Shot in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Lake Sherwood, California.
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Cameo: Richard Pryor appears in the movie handing out balloons.
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Cameo 

Caroll Spinney:  Big Bird tells Kermit the Frog that he's going to New York to break into public television - an obvious reference to Sesame Street (1969), the television show that popularized the Muppets.
Jim Henson:  One of the bad guys trying to shoot Kermit the Frog in the western scene.
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Madeline Kahn:  At the El Sleezo Bar.
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Steve Martin:  the waiter in the small-town restaurant where Kermit the Frog and Piggy eat their first dinner.
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Bob Hope:  Ice cream vendor who sells cones to Fozzie.
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Richard Hunt, Jerry Nelson:  Inside the El Sleezo.
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Frank Oz:  Wearing motorcycle gear in the El Sleezo. He's the thug who wrestles with Fozzie (one of his main roles).
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Steve Whitmire:  In the crowd of the beauty pageant at the County Fair.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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