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 we’re doing something a little different, as we’ll be doing a Muppet Casting of a book: J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Because, as we know, there’s no such thing as a film version of The Hobbit. Nope, no film version at all. Certainly not three of them.
Kermit the Frog as Bilbo Baggins – Kermit would be fantastic doing Bilbo’s arm-flailing frustration as the Dwarves invade his home for their party, and would also do great later on as the only sensible member of a wacky band of miscreants.
Miss Piggy as Thorin Oakenshield – Thorin’s defining characteristic is his pride, and Miss Piggy has that in spades. Plus, her on/off romantic tension with Kermit can transfer easily to Thorin’s cantankerous, frequently strained friendship with Bilbo.
Scooter & Skeeter as Fili & Kili
Bunsen & Beaker as Oin & Gloin
Rowlf the Dog & Pops as Balin & Dwalin
Rizzo the Rat, Yolanda Rat, & Third Unnamed Rat as Dori, Nori, & Ori
Pepe the Prawn & Lew Zealand as Bifur & Bofur
Gonzo the Great as Bombur – Bombur probably suffers the most bad luck and indignities over the course of their travels, and I feel like Gonzo’s the only Muppet who could go through all that and still keep his chin up the whole time.
Sweetums as The Trolls – Sweetums is so perfect for the part of the trolls, I picture the three of them just being him and two people in near identical costumes.
The Swedish Chef as The Great Goblin – The Great Goblin tends to rant a lot, so I thought it’d be fun to have those rants be done in unintelligible “Swedlish”.
Fozzie Bear as Gollum – Riddles aren’t strictly speaking jokes, but they’re close enough that I can absolutely see Fozzie leaping at the chance to have a contest of them.
Sam the Eagle as The Lord of the Eagles – ‘Cause, duh.
Bobo the Bear as Beorn – At one point, he’d explain to Bilbo and the Dwarves how he can change into a bear. He demonstrates this by putting his hands over his face, then pulling them away and shouting “Ta-da!”, and all the Dwarves act shocked at this “transformation”.
Dr. Teeth & The Electric Mayhem as The Elves of Mirkwood – I’ll admit, this is mostly because we’re running low on Muppets at this point, but I don’t think they’d do a bad job of it.
Statler & Waldorf as Smaug – Smaug’s scene with Bilbo involves a lot of verbal sparring, and if you make Smaug a two-headed dragon, with Statler & Waldorf’s heads in place of traditional dragon-y ones, I think they could handle that material really well.
Our Very Special Guest, Mr. Samuel L. Jackson! as Gandalf – An old man who’s wise but also badass and good with a joke? Sammy J could do that in his sleep. I’ll admit, he’d probably give us a very different sort of Gandalf than Ian McKellan, but there are some parts where I think he’d do even better. “What do you mean? Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not, or that you feel good this morning, or that it is a morning to be good on?” “And you do know my name, though you don’t remember that I belong to it. I am Gandalf, and Gandalf means me.”
Those are my picks for a Muppet rendition of The Hobbit. What are yours?