Why is it so great?
The stupid frog did it better than freakin’ Willie Nelson.
Kermit? You are spitting hostility at KERMIT?
You may not like the song – it is pretty silly in that 70’s pop-song kind of way – but how can you hate on Kermit the Frog? Much less go to the trouble of starting a thread about it? Sheesh, man.
Someday we’ll find it, the Rainbow Connection.
The lovers, the dreamers, and MEEEEEEEEEE!
I love that song.
It’s sappy and sentimental, but it’s perfect for Kermit and captures the Muppets at their most quiet and reflective. In context, it works beautifully.
Picture it. Darkened theater in 1979, opening weekend of The Muppet Movie. My parents, me, my stepsister in a full, quiet, crowd. Everyone is taken in by the opening song. My dad, who worked second shift and had never been home to see The Muppet Show, didn’t really get what was going on.
Nifty camera work, enjoyable opening song, camera gets down to swamp level and starts to zoom in on the banjo player.
Closeup of Kermit.
My dad yells: “IT’S A GODDAMNED FROG!!!”
I’ll love it forever just for that memory. I was 9 years old.
Movin’ right along, chickaboom chickaboom, footloose and fancy free!
Getting there is half the fun, come share it with me.
For those that are interested, here are a couple of videos of Jim Henson and Frank Oz on location scouts for the Muppet Movie, and doing shooting tests with Fozzie, Kermit, and Miss Piggy. A couple of the improvised conversations actually inspired dialogue for the finished movie.
If you’re a YouTube fan, do a search for “Hurt Kermit”, it isn’t made by Henson Associates, but its still pretty moving, for me anyway. I can’t do YouTube myself lately, the internet pipe I’ve chosen to pay for is just too narrow.
I’ve always loved the “not a real bear” bit in their back-and-forth during the camera tests.
Interesting to me that most of the posts refer to “Kermit” singing Rainbow Connection, not Jim Henson. And therein lies the magic.
Kermit is one of those characters who makes it effortless to suspend disbelief. He’s clearly felt and ping pong balls, and in entertainment of lesser quality one’s mind couldn’t get past that. We’d end up mocking him like the rubber suited monsters in an MST3K movie. But Kermit defies all of that by being his wonderful self, and ends up seeming just as real as any person. Jim Henson knew this, and it’s part of why he was a genius.
I remember reading an interview with Alice Cooper where he described the experience of being on the Muppet Show, and he hit on exactly this point. He completely accepted that Kermit was just Kermit without even thinking about it. In between takes he’d be talking to Kermit about the scene, and then step back and think, “I’m talking to a guy’s hand!”
But the rainbow has a beard!
Whaw! Whaw-whaw! Whaw-wow-wow-wow. Whaw! Wugga-wugga-wugga!
Et cetera. I wept when Jim Henson died because of this. Kermit and Rowlf had been part of my life for…forever. They weren’t puppets. They were as real as any person on TV. It didn’t matter if the person was an actor playing a character or a performer playing himself.
But the second guy to play Kermit sucked balls. Almost as much as when Mel Blanc’s kid tried to do Bugs Bunny.
I LOVE that song!
(Sarah McLachlan does an awesome cover, btw)
I heard a story that after Jim died, NPR played an interview with him. The commentator apologized for the sound quality of the clip. The sound guy had miked Kermit instead of Jim.