Why I Love the Muppets

Article excerpt

Byline: Whoopi Goldberg

Rowlf, Kermit, and Pepe The King Prawn--welcome back to the big screen.

There's nothing like seeing the Muppets in real life, because you're stunned. You're stunned by their simplicity. Yes, it's just a rag with some eyes, but I don't know anybody who doesn't just go with it and fully believe they have all the attributes that you think they have.

Any time the Muppets are working, I always tell the puppeteers I want to come and play. I did that recently for the new Muppets film, starring Jason Segel. I have a small cameo in a scene where the Muppets are trying to raise money at the telethon, which will determine if they are able to keep their studio.

I did The Muppet Show once, where Miss Piggy and I sang "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend." Harry Winston loaned us something like $900 million in diamonds to do the number. It's funny singing with them, because they always sound better than you. Piggy can really wail. I also once did a voice-over on Muppet Babies, and I played a cabdriver who sang in one of the movies. I don't understand why they haven't brought back The Muppet Show. I think it's such a disservice, and I've said that to the folks at ABC. They look at me like I'm crazy.

When I was doing It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, I felt a special connection to Pepe the King Prawn. To me he's a shrimp, but he calls himself a prawn. I love his lips. Pepe and I fell deeply and madly in love, and then he had to go home with the man who operates him, because he's a Muppet, and he lives in Muppetland. When you're with them, your relationship is as strong to them as it is to human beings. You don't see the Muppeteer. It's like when kids are relating to Elmo. Kevin Clash, the man who does his voice, is there, but the kids only see Elmo. …