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 Stephen King’s It!
Kermit the Frog as “Stuttering Bill” Denbrough – Both are the unofficial leaders of their little bands of Losers, so this casting was all but mandatory. Plus, it pairs nicely with . . .
Robin as Georgie – Bill’s innocent, much younger brother who is taken down the storm drain by Pennywise. You need a much younger Muppet to play the role, and one who can seem sweetly innocent. Who else but Robin?
Miss Piggy as Bev Marsh – Only girl in the group? Check. Capable of righteous badassery? Check. Everyone thinks she’s gorgeous? . . . For the sake of not getting HIIIIIII-YA!ed in the face, I’m gonna say: Check.
Fozzie Bear as Ben Hascomb – I figure this choice is gonna get some pushback. Obviously, Fozzie should be saved for Richie, the jokester of the group. However, while both Fozzie and Richie share a love of cracking wise, when it comes to most other aspects of their personalities and roles in the group, I’d say Ben and Fozzie are the much closer fit. Fozzie has a timidity about him, a sense that he’s very much aware of his own shortcomings, but with a deep-seated determination that lets him power through that. That’s far more Ben than Richie. Besides, Ben is the resident fat kid, and Fozzie is easily the huskiest of the Muppets.
Which brings us to . . .
Gonzo the Great as Richie Tozier – If Fozzie’s not gonna be in the role, then I think Gonzo might serve it best. He’s not as much one to deliberately make wisecracks, but I think he’s got the right sort of attitude for Richie, the sense that, no matter how crazy and messed up the situation gets, they’re still kinda seeing what’s cool about it.
Rowlf the Dog as Mike Hanlon – When the Loser’s Club is all grown up, it’s Mike’s responsibility, as the only one still living in Derry, and who still remembers what they went through as kids, to call them up and remind them of their Promise. That kinda seems like it would be Rowlf’s job; I don’t see him having to repress the memories of fighting It like the others do, because not much gets to Rowlf.
Rizzo the Rat as Eddie Kaspbrak – Rizzo is considerably less meek than Eddie, but I think his more cowardly side, where he often turns tail (no pun intended) at danger, could help sell that he’s been so cowed and terrified by his mother. Plus, that’d make him finally standing up to ultra-scary spider/clown monster all the more satisfying.
Scooter as Stan Uris – Stan probably gets the shortest shrift and least attention of all the Losers. That is a pain Scooter knows all too well.
That takes care of our heroes, but what about our villains?
Statler & Waldorf as Pennywise & Poundfoolish – Pennywise needs to seem like an adult compared to the Losers’ Club, and Statler & Waldorf’s age would help sell it. Also, their mocking style of humor seems like the best fit for Pennywise’s cruel-and-sadistic-clown schtick.
and, as Henry Bowers
Our Very Special Guest, Mr. Michael Cera – I asked myself, which grown man bullying and terrorizing a bunch of Muppets would come across, less like a jerk, and more like the most pathetic putz ever? I think I made the right call.
Those are my picks for a Muppet rendition of It. What are yours?