It’s time for another round of Muppet Casting, where we take a famous movie and ask, if Jim Henson’s Muppets made their own version of it (in the vein of The Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island), which Muppets would you cast in the lead roles?
This week, by popular demand (well, a couple people demanded it, anyway), it’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show!
Kermit the Frog & Miss Piggy as Brad & Janet – These roles call for a classic, wholesome, all-American couple. Kermit is definitely the Muppet who can take good natured and old fashioned hokeyness and make it sound sincere. Piggy isn’t quite as good at that, but Brad and Janet need to seem like the archetypically/stereotypically perfect couple at first, and the Kermit/Piggy shippers will have trouble buying that if Kermit’s paired up with anyone other than Miss Piggy.
Dr. Phil van Neuter as Dr. Frank N. Furter – I was reluctant to cast such a minor Muppet in such a large role, but Dr. van Neuter really is perfect for the part. It’s not just that they’re both mad scientists. There’s also the way they both seem more interested in the sick things they can do while nominally doing “science” than any actual scientific discovery, and the way they quickly become snappish as soon as anyone deviates from what they had planned.
Gonzo the Great & Camilla the Chicken as Riff Raff & Magenta – If Gonzo’s not going to be Dr. Frank (and he was a strong contender, let me tell you), it still feels like the Muppets’ resident weirdo should be one of the Transylvanians. He even kinda looks like Riff Raff, and if Gonzo is Riff Raff, then Camilla has got to be his Magenta. Plus, since Magenta has the fewest plot-essential lines, it seems like the best place to stick the unintelligible chicken (why are chickens the only Muppet animal that can’t talk, anyway?)
Janice as Columbia – Partly this came from process of elimination (the Muppets only have so many female characters), but Janice’s free-spirited, flower-child personality is actually very fitting for a character who decides to hang out with freaky alien invaders for no apparent reason other than she likes them.
Floyd Pepper as Eddie – Given that Eddie’s screentime consists almost entirely of him going “I really love that rock ‘n’ roll!”, he has to be played by a member of the Electric Mayhem. Floyd’s the Mayhem member who usually gets the most lines, and he’s often paired with Janice, and since she’s playing Columbia here, that makes him the best fit.
Dr. Bunsen Honeydew as Dr. Everett Scott – You need a rival scientist for Frank N. Furter, and Bunsen Honeydew is definitely the saner Muppet scientist.
Sam the Eagle as The Criminologist – Stuffy, prudish, serious, and often subtly or not-so-subtly criticizing others’ morality? If you pick someone other than Sam for this role, you are a big dumb stupid head.
And finally, in the role of Rocky Horror it’s Our Very Special Guest, Mr. Chris Hemsworth! – I wanted to cast a Muppet here, I really did, but it just didn’t seem to work. Rocky is explicitly described in song as having huge, well-defined, and beautiful muscles, and muscle tone is one thing that the Muppets, being made of felt, just do not have. So I went with a human guest star, one who’s tall, handsome, and known for having the “Charles Atlas Seal of Approval”.
Those are my picks for a Muppet rendition of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. What are yours?