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 William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing!
Kermit the Frog & Miss Piggy as Benedick & Beatrice – There was really no other option here. A man and woman who have an often frosty relationship, with lots of yelling and snarking back in forth, but that can shift on a dime into madly passionate love? It’s what these two were born to do.
Gonzo the Great & Camilla the Chicken as Claudio & Hero – Claudio behaves rather horribly in the latter part of the play, but the audience is still supposed to like and sympathize with him. Gonzo, being one of the more well-loved Muppets, and one who does have a history of getting too carried away with things and causing trouble for his compatriots, seems one of the most likely to pull that off. As for Hero . . . it’s kinda sad how you could replace her lines with unintelligible chicken bawks and very little would change.
Fozzie Bear as Leonato – Leonato’s role in the story is to basically be friends with everyone, explaining why they’re all at his house, but still be clueless enough to be completely suckered by Don John’s evil plan. Fozzie definitely seems lovable, friendly, and stupid enough for all that to work.
Rowlf the Dog as Don Pedro – A guy who stands above all the romantic strife going on and just tries to be a good dude and give everyone their happy ending. Cool, laid back Rowlf seems like a natural pick.
Sam the Eagle as Dogberry – Sam has just the right sense of self-importance and self-seriousness to make Dogberry’s incompetent version of law enforcement hilarious.
Statler & Waldorf as Conrade & Borachio – Don John needs someone to talk with about his evil schemes, and to encourage him along towards them, and Statler & Waldorf are certainly a pair who’d enjoy stirring the pot like that.
and as Don John . . .
Our Very Special Guest, Mr. Robert Downey, Jr.! – In recent years, RDJ has had some great success drawing on his own history of substance abuse to play characters like Tony Stark and Sherlock Holmes who often have a whiff of high functioning alcohol/drug abuser about them. For portraying Don John’s petty and pointless brand of evil, I think an implication that he’s at least mildly sloshed through most of the story would work wonders.
Those are my picks for a Muppet rendition of Much Ado About Nothing. What are yours?