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 conclude our month of ghosts, ghouls, and goblins with . . . Dracula!
Kermit the Frog as Jonathan Harker – Jonathan is the first person to be exposed to the arcane weirdness of Count Dracula, so you need someone who can do a straight man creeped out by all the freaky stuff going on. Kermit would be terrific for that, as he would be with Jonathan’s later romantic leading man role. Plus, there’s the scene where Jonathan imitates Dracula’s ability to crawl up and down the side of the castle, which would seem pretty natural coming from a frog.
Miss Piggy as Lucy Westenra – For the first half of the story, Lucy gets tons of focus, being the center of everyone’s attention (hero and vampire alike), and has three different handsome, successful men, including an actual nobleman, vying for her affection. Even if I wanted to cast someone else in the part, I’m afraid Miss Piggy was quite insistent . . . She scares me.
Bunsen Honeydew as Dr. Seward – I considered Bunsen for the Professor Van Helsing role, but I’d say that Seward, who is also a man of science, but in a way that’s largely unsuited for the situation at hand, is much more up Bunsen’s alley. And if Bunsen is Dr. Seward . . .
Beaker as Renfield – It seems fitting, given all the ignoble fates inflicted on Beaker, that he’d be Bunsen/Seward’s patient who gets turned into a vampire’s mind-controlled, bug-eating plaything.
Janice as Mina Murray/Harker – With Miss Piggy in the role of Lucy, Mina falls to Janice in her role as designated second female Muppet. That is, until Lucy dies and Mina develops a psychic connection to Dracula and becomes the focus of everyone’s attention. At which point . . .
Miss Piggy as Mina Murray/Harker – A karate chop to get Janice out of the way, a quick change of wigs, and voila! Miss Piggy is now the female lead, with all the juiciest parts of the story and a romance with Kermit’s Jonathan. Not many actors could switch roles so nimbly in the middle of a movie, but Miss Piggy is so talented, and charismatic, and glamorous, and beautiful . . . and standing right behind, watching every word I type . . .
Gonzo the Great as Count Dracula – This should be Count von Count, no question. But I do try to avoid using Sesame Street characters here unless none of the official Muppets could really handle the part. And though he may not have “Count” in his name (twice!), I think Gonzo could make a mighty fine Count Dracula. Calling wolf howls beautiful music, encouraging people to eat bugs, crawling around the outside of his castle walls like a frickin’ spider . . . a lot of the Count’s bizarre behavior would, coming from Gonzo, make a fine transition from creepy to hilarious. Plus, with him as the Count, we also get:
Camilla & the Chickens as The Brides of Dracula – Kind of a no-brainer.
Rowlf the Dog as Professor Van Helsing – I like the idea that the heroes’ only source of vampire lore, their wise leader and trusted scholar, is Rowlf channeling a great deal of Dr. Bob from Veterinarian’s Hospital. He can seem just competent and serious enough that you can sorta buy people putting all this trust in him, but still enough of a goof off that, in true Muppet fashion, our heroes seem to be doing more to foil their own plans than the villain is.
Those are my picks for a Muppet rendition of Dracula. What are yours?