The Costco Connection: How did you get
involved with this project?
James Bobin: Basically, I’ve always been a
huge Muppet fan. Even as a kid, I used to
watch the show in England.
About two years ago, I had a very simple
message from my agent that said, “Do you
like the Muppets?” I sent an email back saying, “Who doesn’t like the Muppets? Of
course I like the Muppets.” It kind of kicked
off very quickly from there. It was something
I already loved and knew about, and it was
going to be a musical comedy, which I’d just
finished doing for HBO [ The Flight of the
Conchords], so it seemed like a very logical
step that I would like to try and make a new
Muppets movie. And here we are a few years
later, and I’m talking about it. So I did it!
CC: Setting out to do this, did you ever worry
what purists might say?
JB: Yeah, but I consider myself somewhat of
a purist because I’m a huge fan. I always
thought that what I wanted to do was try and
be true to how I remember them and why I
like them. My daughter is 4, and I was very
keen for her to experience them the way I did.
You can’t just tell kids things are great; you
have to show them that they’re great.
You don’t want it to be a nostalgia fest;
that would get overly boring, you know. It’s
about making it feel like it’s traditional in a
way that’s respectful, but at the same time
making it feel like it’s relevant.
CC: Was this the first full-length film you’ve
JB: Yes. I like a challenge. I really felt that having done musical comedy for a long time that
I was pretty well set up with that side of
things. [With puppets] you have this exponential learning curve. There’s a lot of practical considerations with detachable parts and
whatnot, but you work them out. Like any
sizable task, you take it one bite at a time.
I’m really happy with how the movie has
turned out. It’s exactly what I wanted it to be,
which is a way of introducing people who
don’t know the Muppets to why they were
great. And why they continue to be great.
CC: How important was it to stay true to the
Jason Segel: You gotta figure, at the very
least, kids 0 to 12 have grown up without a
Muppet movie in their lives. That seemed like
a travesty to me. I wanted them to be
acquainted with the Muppets we grew up with.
Those first three movies and The Muppet
Show, they defined who I wanted to be. And
not just as a comedian, but as a person.
CC: Because you’ve always loved puppets
and the Muppets, was there a time during the
making of this movie when you wanted to be
operating one of the characters?
JS: I got to operate Dr. Teeth, and I got to
puppeteer Animal. That was a pinch-me kind
Amy Adams and Jason Segel (center) sit surrounded by classic Muppets such as Gonzo, Fozzie Bear and Kermit along with newcomer Walter (in the blue suit).
Muppets in time
• Jim Henson’s Sam and Friends begins
airing live on WRC-TV in Washington, DC.
• The Muppets appear for the first time
on the Today show.
• The Muppets begin regular appearances
on The Ed Sullivan Show, running
• The first licensed products, featuring
Kermit and Rowlf, are created with
• Muppets make weekly appearances
during Saturday Night Live’s first
• The Muppet Show’s first season.
• The Muppet Movie premieres.
• The TV special The Muppets: A
Celebration of 30 Years airs.
• Jim Henson passes away.
• Muppets from Space is released in
theaters—the last big-screen Muppets
film until 2011’s The Muppets.
SOURCED WITH HELP FROM W WW. JIMHENSONLEGAC Y.ORG
of moment. To be operating Animal—I
mean, talk about a dream come true.
The Muppets [are] your first exposure to
dangerous comedy when you’re young. It’s
very family friendly, but you always feel like
you’re watching a controlled chaos that could
bubble over at any minute.
CC: As a fan myself, it was so good to see classic
Muppets such as Thog and the Muppaphones.
JS: I can’t believe you’re talking about them.
James Bobin is as big a fan as I am, and one of
our goals was to dig as deep into the archives
as we could. At one point, in that final scene,
I think there are 200 Muppets, and we tried to
get every obscure Muppet that they had in