For anyone who’d like to see Fozzie take the gloves off and really f— s— up, remove all liquids and gels from your person and fly to Scotland for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. There, you’ll find Jim Henson’s Puppet Improv, the innocuously named Muppet show with the split personality: a clean show for kids in the afternoon, a blue one for adults in the evening. Sounds unauthorized? Not so: At the helm is none other than Brian Henson, son of Jim, who says: “There is something really therapeutic for us about this adult improv.”
Now the Muppets have made some questionable appearances, in their four decades of existence. The Muppet Show was designed with adults in mind, and Henson et al. loved their double entendres. But doing riffs on Ricky Martin’s backup singers as a coterie of hot-dog puppets is definitely a more direct approach. This is blowback from the Avenue Q/Crank Yankers/Team America puppets-for-grownups revival, and I imagine fans will be split. Some people I know have real trouble with the whole “dirty Muppet” thing — I remember their horror when Scooter appeared as a cage dancer in It’s a Very Muppet Christmas. (Come to think of it — that was pretty horrifying.)
But no holds barred Muppet improv? Watching puppets-without-borders thinking on their imaginary feet? I’m there. I mean, I’m not really — I’m here. And not going anywhere, it would seem. I need too many airline-banned liquids and gels to keep my 563-year-old body alive.
addCredit(“Miss Piggy: Everett Collection”)