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 Jurassic Park!
Fozzie Bear as Alan Grant – I considered Kermit for this role, I really did. But while Kermit is often a leading man, he’s more of a flustered everyman than Alan’s hyper-competent expert. So I decided to go in the opposite direction, lean into the parody, and cast Fozzie as Alan, but instead of being right about everything dinosaur related, always turning out to be wrong. That will also help play into the casting of a different character, but before we get to that . . .
Janice as Ellie Sattler – You might also be expecting Miss Piggy to play the lead female role, but like with Fozzie as Alan, I want to go with playing the expert characters as not actually being that bright, and Janice would be absolutely perfect for that. Plus, can you really see Piggy voluntarily sticking her hands into a big pile of dino droppings?
Rowlf the Dog as Ian Malcolm – Rowlf’s attitude and Malcolm’s attitude aren’t quite the same thing, but it’s about the closest I could find among the Muppets: even when they’re upset about something, they still sound kinda calm and jovial.
Gonzo the Great as John Hammond – This was a natural fit. Guy who pushes ahead with an incredibly dangerous bit of showmanship, heedless of the risks, ‘cause he thinks it’ll be just so darn amazing? It’s Gonzo all the way.
Scooter & Skeeter as Tim & Lex – I thought about casting Robin as one or both of the kids, but I decided using Scooter & Skeeter as a sibling pair might work better. Scooter has often been portrayed as vaguely younger than the other main Muppets.
Sam the Eagle as Gennaro – The kind-of-a-jerk legal guy no one’s really sad to see get eaten. Perfect for Sam.
Statler & Waldorf as Nedry & Nedry – Those two are just the only Muppets assholeish enough to do Nedry justice.
Lew Zealand as Muldoon – He demonstrates how dangerous the raptors are by throwing his boomerang fish into their pen, and catching a boomerang fish skeleton as it comes back out.
Animal as The T-Rex – Giant sized Animal from the end of The Muppet Movie, with a few dinosaurish parts slapped on. He’d do fantastic as the alternately curious and rampaging monster.
Rizzo the Rat as Dilophosaurus – I just think popping up suddenly in the car with Nedry, making some quip, then doing the whole spitting acid and eating alive thing would be funny.
Camilla and the Chickens as The Velociraptors – Raptors are supposed to be similar to birds, and with my above casting, Gonzo’s the one who created them, so this is all but mandatory.
Our Very Special Guest, Mr. Samuel L. Jackson! as Arnold – Jurassic Park came out a year before Pulp Fiction turned Samuel L. Jackson into a huge star, hence why he plays such a small role in the movie. I just think it’d be hilarious to have Jackson reprise the role, only now playing it as Samuel L. Jacksony as possible (“I have had it with these motherf*cking dinosaurs in this motherf*cking theme park!”). As befits a Muppet movie, he’d also break the fourth wall a lot, being aware that he’s just there to be killed off, and trying through force of will to grab control of the movie away from Fozzie and Janice’s incompetent lead characters.
Those are my picks for a Muppet rendition of Jurassic Park. What are yours?