Tonight on the show: Brian Henson, son of the legendary puppeteers Jim and Jane Henson, and a mean puppeteer in his own right. His show Puppet Up!: Uncensored, an adults-only puppet revue, hits the stage in Toronto later this month.
All of which gives us an excuse to indulge in a look back at some truly awesome musical numbers from the various incarnations of the Muppets over the years.
7. "Bohemian Rhapsody" (2009)
This viral Muppets cover is worth it for Animal's alternately confused, reassured and then triumphant "Mama" chorus alone — although Miss Piggy's diva-on-the-piano turn at the end is pretty great too:
6. "Hey a Movie!" from The Great Muppet Caper (1981)
What better way to kick off a movie than with Kermit and Fozzie as crack reporters for The Daily Chronicle navigating a scene of sheer civic mayhem?
5. "Share It Maybe" from Sesame Street (2012)
The song parody has been a treasured part of Sesame Street for years (remember "Furry Happy Monsters" with R.E.M.?). This Cookie Monster take-off on Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" is insanely catchy, and even includes a nice message about sharing:
4. "Salute to Canada" (2012)
For the 30th anniversary of the Just For Laughs festival last year, Kermit's friends put out this parade of hilariously off-base "facts" about Canada, which the friendly green frog tried in vain to correct (e.g. "Canada is owned by Michael J. Fox," "Canada is America's hat"):
3. "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" from The Muppet Show (1980)
No gimmicks or gags in this one: just Floyd Pepper out on a fire escape, serenading the night with George Harrison's classic.
2. "1,2,3,4" from Sesame Street (2008)
Ok, one more Sesame Street song parody. Feist joins assorted Muppets for a rendition that reimagines her breakout hit as a childhood counting song:
1. "The Rainbow Connection" from The Muppet Movie (1979)
Yes, we had to end with Kermit's wistful signature song, which opens The Muppet Movie by asking why there are so many songs about rainbows:
Ok, and one bonus clip. Debbie Harry joins Kermit on The Muppet Show in 1981 to help him cover "The Rainbow Connection":