It’s time to play the music, it’s time to light the lights, it’s time to meet the people who brought the Muppets to life! The new documentary Muppet Guys Talking brings together five of the original Muppet performers for an intimate, sometimes hilarious discussion about creating characters; working under absurd conditions on projects like Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, and the Muppets movies; and collaborating with the legendary Jim Henson. Director Frank Oz (creator and performer of Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Grover, Cookie Monster, Bert, and Animal, among others) leads the casual, revealing conversation with Dave Goelz (the Great Gonzo, Boober Fraggle, Bunson Honeydew), Fran Brill (Prairie Dawn, Zoe), Bill Barretta (Pepe the King Prawn), and the late Jerry Nelson (Count von Count, Emmett Otter, Snuffleupagus, Robin). The film will be available for streaming on March 16, and Yahoo Entertainment is premiering the trailer exclusively today. Watch it above.
Though Oz and company don’t actually perform their characters in Muppet Guys Talking, they go deep on the origin stories of beloved Muppets like Grover (modeled on Oz’s dog Fred), Gonzo (inspired by Goelz’s own insecurities), and Count von Count (a role that Nelson won with a one-line audition). The trailer offers a sneak peek at some of the wild behind-the-scenes stories shared by the longtime friends, who recall performing their puppets in crazy circumstances (often under floors, occasionally underground), trying to screw up one another’s lines (particularly in the case of Oz and Henson, who performed Bert and Ernie and the the Swedish Chef together), and being the butt of pranks (like the one that made Goelz’s desk literally explode). Watching their playful, affectionate banter nearly 50 years after Sesame Street premiered makes it clear that the spirit of the Muppets lives on.
Muppet Guys Talking is the first-ever documentary directed by Oz (Muppets Take Manhattan, Little Shop of Horrors, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Death at a Funeral) and his first film in 11 years. The movie will be available online only at MuppetGuysTalking.com beginning March 16.
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