27 Apr 2018

Ten reasons why we love the musical Muppets

From Upbeat, 11:04 am on 27 April 2018

Relive your childhood with Miss Piggy, Kermit and the gang, with special guest Bret McKenzie when they come to Wellington to perform with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

Jim Henson Retrospectacle pays tribute to the creator of Sesame Street, The Muppets and Fraggle Rock at the Michael Fowler Centre on 27 April and 28.

Over the years The Muppets have created musical magic. Bring out your inner child – or animal – while enjoying these Muppet musical tributes.

Rainbow Connection

It’s one of the most iconic songs to be performed by Kermit the Frog, and resonates with multiple generations. Written by Paul Williams and Kenneth Ascher, this was part of The Muppets movie in 1979. It received an academy award nomination for Best Song and reached number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100.


The Blue Danube

Johann Strauss’ the Blue Danube gets a Muppet makeover with Gonzo conducting and a chorus of Camila the Chicken, including the voice of Jon Voight. This video went vial in 2008. Try to waltz with your kids to this one.


 Bohemian Rhapsody

The entire cast of The Muppets lend their voices, and musical talents to this cover. It’s been viewed more than 60 million times on Youtube – not as many as the original Queen version which has had more than 491 million. You know you want to head bang Wayne’s World styles.


Ode to Joy

It’s not just popular music The Muppets cover. Beaker has brought joy to more than 22 million youtube viewers with Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. Something for the budding classical music fans out there.


Mahna Mahna

This well-known gem from The Muppets back catalogue first debuted in 1976. Mahna Mahna (doo-doo-dee-doo-doo, doo-doo-dee-doo!!) reached number eight on the UK charts in 1977. In 2005 it was used to help promote CanTeen’s Bandana Week, with Mahna Mahna turned into “Bandanana”. How’s that earworm?



We get the giggles every time we see this version of Bizet’s Habanera from Carmen. Performed by the Swedish Chef and Beaker (with a guest appearance by Animal), it will have opera fans either reaching for the mute button or convulsing with laughter. 


 Smells Like Teen Spirit

An anthem of a generation gets a barbershop quarter make-over by the Muppets with guest star Jack Black. Many of the song’s more colourful lyrics were changed or sung by Beaker who can only say “meep”. Courtney Love – Kurt Cobain’s widow – hated the rendition, but original Nirvana member Dave Grohl liked it. 


David Grohl Vs Animal drum battle

Speaking of Dave Grohl aka nice guy of American rock and leader of Foo Fighters squared off against Animal in 2015. Who do you think rocked out the most? Animal has also battled American Jazz drummer Buddy Rich, Travis Barker from Blink 182 and singer, songwriter and social activist Harry Belafonte.


Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No 1

This rendition of Tchaikovsky’s first Piano Concerto may well make classical fans cringe, but pianist Victor Borge adds a bit of flair (and comedy) with this performance.


The Muppets Theme song

The Muppets’ theme song has had a number of makeovers over the years including contributions from orchestras and OK Go. The Muppets harmonise for this one.