My friends, we’ve already whittled down our options for the Muppet performance bracket down to a sweet, somewhat surprising sixteen. Who will make it to the Elite Eight?
Right now, there’s an even split — eight cameos and eight non-cameos. I bet we’ll get more of the latter in the next round. Here’s who I would send onto the Elite Eight.
(1) Michael Caine, The Muppet Christmas Carol vs. (4) Chris Cooper, The Muppets: Two excellent, Oscar-winning actors. Two very good performances. But…I mean, it’s Caine.
(6) Carol Kane, The Muppet Movie vs. (2) Diana Rigg, The Great Muppet Caper: Listen, I adore Carol Kane. I do. But even though I like the original Muppet movie more than its sequel, I can’t in good conscience rank a very, very brief cameo above an actual lead human performance. It should be a Sir vs. a Dame in the next round.
(1) Charles Durning, The Muppet Movie vs. (5) Mel Brooks, The Muppet Movie: This one is difficult, but…I must give it to Mel Brooks. Yes, it’s a glorified cameo. Yes, Durning has more to do. But I cannot help but laugh at Brooks’ outrageous performance every time in ways that just don’t quite happen with Durning.
(3) Steve Martin, The Muppet Movie vs. (2) Amy Adams, The Muppets: Amy Adams is a national treasure. But she was wasted in the 2011 Muppet movie. Steve moves on.
(1) Charles Grodin, The Great Muppet Caper vs. Ray Liotta, Muppets Most Wanted: How did Ray Liotta get this far in the bracket? Nothing against him, but Grodin has to take this one.
(6) John Cleese, The Great Muppet Caper vs. (2) Jason Segel, The Muppets: I really have a lot of issues with the revival, but this is another case where the cameo has to lose by right of being a cameo.
(1) Tim Curry, Muppet Treasure Island vs. (4) Orson Welles, The Muppet Movie: Orson Welles is a titan, even if watching Citizen Kane is like looking at hieroglyphics! (I kid.) Anyway, no hard feelings, old man, but this goes to Curry.
(6) Peter Falk, The Great Muppet Caper vs. (7) Madeline Kahn, The Muppet Movie: In the war of the cameos, I give this to Columbo and his fun little tangent.