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, it’s Pulp Fiction!
Rizzo the Rat as Vincent Vega – Overall, Pulp Fiction was a hard movie to cast, but I never had any doubts about who would be playing Vincent. Kind of scummy and seedy, but not without their charm; rarely take things seriously; mostly seem bemused by everything going on around them; have a definite “attitude”, but aren’t nearly as much of a tough guy as they’d maybe like to be. I just don’t see how there’s any other choice.
Gonzo the Great as Jules Winnfield – If Rizzo is Vincent, then Gonzo is the natural pick for Jules. There are parts of the Jules character I think Gonzo would do real well. Jules’s transition from idle chit-chat to violence during the burger scene (no, the other burger scene) (no, the other other burger scene) would be hard for most Muppets to pull off, but I think Gonzo could do it. And he’d be especially good as post-“moment of clarity” Jules. But there are some moments, like when he’s lecturing Vincent about his general not-giving-a-shitness, that would be a little out-of-character for Gonzo. My ideal Muppet for the role of Jules would actually be Bert from Sesame Street; he’s the only one I can see capturing every facet of Jules. But if Bert is Jules, then Ernie would have to be Vincent, and I just don’t see that working.
Dr. Teeth as Marsellus Wallace – Marsellus has got to seem immediately threatening despite not really doing much over the course of the movie. Uncle Deadly can do threatening, but in a more formal, old-fashioned, and refined way that wouldn’t really fit. Dr. Teeth, though . . . I dunno, maybe it’s just me, but there’s always been something a little unsettling about that guy. Like, I can buy he and the Electric Mayhem get up to some seriously bad shit after The Muppet Show wraps each week.
Miss Piggy as Mia Wallace – Seems kinda obvious, yeah? Right down to having tried to make an acting career work. Plus, I like that Mia being a pig makes Jules warning Vincent that pigs are filthy animals retroactive foreshadowing.
Animal as Butch – I rarely get to cast Animal as anyone, but I think he’d work as Butch. You’d still have to lose a fair bit of Butch’s dialogue, but (for a Tarantino character) he’s fairly laconic, and Animal could sell his more crazed and physically violent moments quite well.
Nanny as Captain Koons – I picture the flashback to Butch’s childhood being an animated segment in the style of Muppet Babies. And if you do that, having Nanny play the Christopher Walken role, saying things like “I hid this uncomfortable lump of metal up my ass two years” . . . it’s just too perfect.
Fozzie Bear & Kermit the Frog as Maynard & Zed – It would feel wrong to leave these two out of the movie altogether, but there aren’t many parts that really match their personalities. So I figure, if you’re gonna have them go out of character, have them go wildly out of character and play a pair of deranged rapists.
Rowlf the Dog as Winston Wolfe – The Wolf always keeps his cool, no matter how rough or exacerbating the situation gets, and Rowlf can definitely pull that off. Plus, he’s a dog; the character’s called the Wolf. Unless there’s another canine Muppet I’m forgetting, seems like it has to be him.
Our Very Special Guest, Kathy Griffin! as Herself – As Dr. Teeth/Marsellus Wallace emerges from his car wreck and starts shooting, I want her to shout, “Not again!” That is all.
Those are my picks for a Muppet rendition of Pulp Fiction. What are yours?