Miss Piggy and Josh Groban start a showmance while Fozzie and Jay Leno start a bromance. Neither goes well.
Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC

Piggy and Kermit’s break-up is again at the heart of The Muppets’ second episode, but “Hostile Makeover” presents an inverse of the premiere’s developments. Piggy is the one with a new beau this week, in the form of late night talk show whisperer and occasional performer Josh Groban. And Kermit has himself to thank for his former love moving on to a new man.

Piggy’s anger level is at an all-time high in the office because she is dateless for the People’s Choice Awards. Kermit, ever the office problem-solver, has the entire staff scramble to find Piggy a date. But Jeff Goldblum’s married and Keanu Reeves gained 100 pounds for a role as Israel Kamakawiwoʻole. There’s a method to Kermit’s dating choice madness — he’s using names Piggy had on her free pass list while the two were together. (Kermit’s top choice? Lea Thompson, of course.)

But when Groban’s name is thrown around, Kermit sees the perfect opportunity to make his pig ex-girlfriend fall in love with a human musician. Kermit sets up a performance for Groban and Piggy together on the show, complete with a cabin stage setting, mood lighting, and the perfect timing for the two to kiss at the end of the performance. (That must have made headlines the morning after, right? Twitter would be ablaze with hot takes if James Corden started making out with Carly Rae Jepsen.)

Suddenly, the Muppets are working in a whole new office. Shouts about moi aren’t filling the halls, Animal and Scooter aren’t having their pre-show cries, and Piggy is actually complimenting her staff. It’s no fever dream — Groban has become a calming presence in her life. Unfortunately, he’s also become the Yoko Ono to Piggy’s John Lennon.

Groban has suggested the Electric Mayhem go acoustic and Piggy class up the joint with authors as guests — something Kermit suggested five years ago, though sadly that author has passed on. The changes are putting the audience literally to sleep, though, and turning Laurence Fishburne cruel in the ABC synergy cameo of the week as he openly insults Kermit while driving around the studio lot.

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So Kermit must unravel the yarn he’s spun and break up the duo, even if no one else on staff wants that to happen. He attempts to confront Piggy, but is stopped at the door by Groban in the star’s only scene of real substance (which is a real shame because Groban can be funny when he’s on screen for more than 30 seconds). Without a way to talk directly to his star, Kermit uses a method he knows will get through to Piggy: He plays to her ego.

Kermit has the marquee sign redone with a new name for the show, Josh Groban Presents Up Late with Miss Piggy. And bumping her name down a line leaves Piggy with one clear choice: nix Groban from the show and her life.

Fozzie the Kleptomaniac

Piggy’s changes to the show have apparently given Fozzie plenty of time to cultivate a relationship of his own — a friendship with Jay Leno. Fozzie has been invited to the former The Tonight Show host’s house for a party, and after confirming it was genuinely not a mistake, Fozzie wants to remember the party. (“I was just talking toilets with Jay Leno,” he says in bewildered excitement.)

So he takes a souvenir in the form of Leno’s candy dish, but his theft weighs heavy on the bear’s conscious. When Leno calls him back to his house, he’s worried he’s been caught, breaking the dish in the process.

But all Leno wants is to invite Fozzie to open for him in Las Vegas. (Has Leno seen Fozzie’s stand-up? A friendly conversation at a party does not a good opener make.) Fozzie is so overjoyed that, again, he wants a memento to honor the moment, so he attempts to steal Leno’s brass rooster. He’s caught, but Leno forgives him because he himself stole a candy dish from George Carlin when he was younger.

It just so happens to be the dish Fozzie stole. And broke. Just like that, Fozzie can kiss his gig and bromance goodbye.

Who’s got the munchies?

Running throughout “Hostile Makeover” is Bobo’s attempt to sell cookies for his daughter. “I’ll just take the battery out of your car to remind you to come see me,” he says as no one appears interested, particularly as The Newsman crowds in on his territory.

But Bobo comes out of “Hostile Makeover” in better shape than just about anyone else. When Scooter suggests he sell to Electric Mayhem because they’re always happy — and “legally now,” too — they must have the munchies. And correct Scooter is, as Bobo makes some serious bank by selling his entire stock. Hopefully he doesn’t have to put any of that money toward any of the hourly catastrophes plaguing the show.

Less fortunate is Kermit, who, by the luck of the TV comedy gods, ends up in an elevator next to Lea Thompson. Now is his chance to work those froggy charms, but sadly Gonzo appears to update Kermit on the plight of his mother who has been stuck overseas on a South American cruise and desperately needs money. And he decides to stay in the elevator with them to tell Kermit the story.

Guess Kermit’s free pass list will go unused until the next serendipitous elevator ride.

The Muppets
ABC revival – 2015 series
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