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 Blazing Saddles!
Rowlf the Dog as The Waco Kid – Rowlf has the right mix of friendly and world-weary needed to play the Kid. He’s definitely the Muppet I can most easily imagine saying, “You gotta remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the New West. Y’know, morons.”
Miss Piggy as Lili von Schtupp – This is the third time I’ve Muppet Cast a movie featuring Madeline Kahn. For the third time, I’ve filled her role with Miss Piggy. And for the third time, the fit has been so absolutely perfect, I can’t imagine how it could be done better. I’m not sure what that says about Miss Piggy or Ms. Kahn, but it’s just the facts.
Sam the Eagle as Hedy Lamarr (“That’s Hedley!”) – This was a tough one. I considered giving this role to the human guest star, since none of the Muppets are really evil enough for the part. I considered casting Uncle Deadly, since he at least comes close. I even considered casting Kermit against type as the villain. But, in the end, I decided on Sam. He’s cold enough for the villain role to not be too out of character, and he’s really the only one who can nail this bit: “Chewing gun in line, eh? I hope you brought enough for everybody.”
Bobo the Bear as Taggart – Bobo makes for a good dim-witted henchman to the main villain. Not much to it but that.
Link Hogthrob as The Governor – For a stupid and venal person, easily swayed by appeals to his ego, who’s somehow ended up in a position of authority, Link is perfect.
Animal as Mongo – “Animal just pawn in game of life.”
Assorted Other Muppets as The People of Rock Ridge – Fill out the town of Rock Ridge with all the Muppets who weren’t quite right for one of the bigger roles. I’m picturing Kermit as the Reverend, and the Swedish Chef as the guy who delivers the “authentic frontier gibberish”.
The Cast of Sesame Street as The Cast of The French Mistake – When the climactic battle breaks through the fourth wall and onto the set of a different movie, it’d be hilarious if they spilled onto the set where they film Sesame Street, and Big Bird, Elmo, Cookie Monster, and all the rest join in the brawl.
and as our leading man, Sheriff Bart . . .
Our Very Special Guest, Mr. Donald Glover! – I feel like Bart needs to be played by an actual black man, not a puppet, for all the film’s racial humor and commentary to work. So I got to thinking, what current black actors can best pull off Bart’s Bugs Bunny-esque schtick? I can’t say for sure Donald Glover could do it best, but he could do it pretty darn awesomely, I can tell you that.
Those are my picks for a Muppet rendition of Blazing Saddles. What are yours?