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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Muppets' Five Weirdest Musical Collaborations

Posted By on Wed, Mar 19, 2014 at 10:26 AM

This Friday!
  • This Friday!

Rejoice, puppet freaks (and pretty much everyone over the age of 30, whose childhood memories are inevitably intertwined with The Muppet Show), for this Friday, the new Muppet movie comes out! Muppets Most Wanted has Tina Fey and Ricky Gervais, so it's bound to be good, but the Muppets have a long and rich history of rubbing shoulders with awesome humans, especially those of the musical persuasion. To celebrate, here are five of the weirdest musical collaborations in Muppet history.

Debbie Harry

It's hard to imagine what going from the filth and chaos of CBGB's to the set of The Muppet Show does to the human psyche, but Debbie Harry mostly got through the transition intact -- while also giving dads the best reason to watch TV with their kids possibly ever. She was unintentionally sultry throughout her 1980 guest spot on the show, but not even she could get through this version of "One Way or Another" -- in a red jumpsuit, being attacked by Muppets from all angles -- looking all-the-way together. Nobody could look cool in this scenario, not even Debbie Harry. And that is insane.

Lady Gaga

The longer Lady Gaga hung out with Muppets, the bigger her hair grew and the more she looked at them like they were real people. If they'd left her in that studio any longer, we suspect her skin may have turned to felt and she'd have formed a colony. Her 2013 Thanksgiving Muppets Special was notable for her seashell-bikini-clad rendition of "Venus," plus this touching moment, when Mother Monster did a duet with Kermit (who, for a puppet, really does have fantastic emotional range). It started out genuinely heartfelt, and transformed into a disco triumph. The ratings were bad, and Gaga mimed terribly throughout the entire show, but we didn't even care.

Alice Cooper

It's a testament to 1970s television, to America's love of Halloween, and to the couldn't-give-a-fuck nature of The Muppet Show, that Alice Cooper was given a guest spot right at the time that he was considered a legitimately bad influence. It's also pretty spectacular that he opened this children's entertainment show with an unchanged rendition of "Welcome to My Nightmare" that featured him releasing a wispy, Muppet ghost from under his cloak halfway through. He spent the rest of the show -- we're not kidding -- trying to get the Muppets to sell their souls to Beelzebub. Yeah.


What do you do, as a band, when there is no Muppet Show to appear on anymore? Put 'em in a goddamn video, that's what. Weezer's "Gone Fishin'" appeared right in the middle of a Muppet drought and gave us everything we loved about the Muppets in under five minutes -- Kermit hosting, Miss Piggy being a sexual predator, Animal drumming, backstage shenanigans, a balcony critique from Statler and Waldorf, and a human disguised as a lamp. The weirdest thing of all about this video, though, is the fact that it features Rivers Cuomo looking genuinely happy. Just look at that face -- dude can barely contain his excitement. He didn't look nearly this stoked in that Playboy mansion video, just sayin'.

Elton John

Many of you will have already seen the now-legendary 1978 Muppets Show episode with Elton John. He did "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" with Miss Piggy while wearing a pink jumpsuit that left nothing -- and we mean nothing -- to the imagination. He also did "Crocodile Rock" in a setting and bird outfit so bad-acid-trip insane that Cee Lo Green -- before making a video with the Muppets himself -- attempted to recreate it at the Grammy's in 2011 (it might have worked, had Gwyneth Paltrow not been involved). Every time we see this clip, we hope with all our hearts that when aliens finally invade and humankind is wiped out, they don't find this and assume it's a fair representation of how we spent our time. 

-- @Raemondjjjj

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