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The List: The Muppets take Sauk Valley Media

Published: Thursday, March 20, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT

March Madness? I’m clinically insane for the creations of the late, great Jim Henson.

So, this is a big week for me. Why? Because “Muppets Most Wanted” comes out Friday. That’s why. Cue the fist-pumping and raising of the roof.

And now I’m dancing in the office again.

Pardon my lack of seriousness, but it is The Muppets we are talking about. From “The Muppet Babies,” to “The Great Muppet Caper,” each TV show and movie – yes, even “Muppets from Space” – holds a special place in my heart.

The movie also was part of my list for my most anticipated films for 2014. So, it’s going to be good. Right?

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Everyone was wrong about “The Monuments Men.”

I can at least guarantee “Muppets Most Wanted” will at be better than Clooney’s blunder. So, there’s that.

But back to the furry funnies. I decided to celebrate the release of “Muppets Most Wanted,” by creating a list of totally legitimate awards for some of my favorite Muppets.

Technically, The Muppets is a trademark now owned by Disney. Sesame Street not included. But, I will kick it old-school and define Muppet as any creature created by Jim Henson.

Muppet I’d most-like to party with: Animal

Listen, the guy calls his own shots. He’s a handful. But imagine being able to trash a hotel room with him. He’s getting blamed for it. Every single time. He plays the drums with the best of them. I rarely know what he’s saying, and that intrigues me.

Most-underrated Muppet: Scooter

Scooter, was the group’s backstage “gofer” in “The Muppet Show.” He was the brainy kid in diapers in “The Muppet Babies.” He’s a hard worker. Scooter never gets the spotlight, but has he ever complained once? Didn’t think so. Scooter, we appreciate you. Never forget that.

Muppet I’m most likely to become: Fozzie Bear

The sentimental jokester reminds me a lot of myself. I’ve always had a connection with Fozzie. His jokes are corny. My jokes are corny. He likes polka-dot neck ties. I’m a fan, as well. And sometimes, when I tell a joke, my friends remind me of Statler and Waldorf, the angry old guys who never laugh and give him a hard time. I feel your pain, Fozzie.

Muppet I always wished could be my little brother: Grover

Grover is just such a great dude. He’s loyal, funny, and has one of the coolest voices of all The Muppets. Oh, did I mention he’s got a not-so-secret secret superhero alter-ego? Remember those “Sesame Street” episodes when he threw on the cape and became SuperGrover. Google it, kids.

All-time favorite Muppet: Kermit

As if it was ever in doubt, the world’s most famous amphibian is by far the best there is. I mean, besides the countless movies and shows he starred in, Kermit even reached No. 25 on The Billboard Hot 100 with “Rainbow Connection,” in 1979’s “The Muppet Movie.” Jim Henson, who provided the voice of Kermit until his death in May 1990, knew that people would love Kermit since he was first introduced in 1955. Almost 60 years later, he’s still right.

There’s so many characters I would have loved to include. Jim Henson, Frank Oz and countless other very talented people helped create a vast network of characters that are still being enjoyed to this day.

I know I’m going to see “Muppets Most Wanted.” Did I mention Tina Fey is in it, too?

Now that’s this guy’s dream come true.

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