The Muppets Recap: Too Hot to Handler


By Karen Valenzuela, @VictoriaNoir89

Chelsea Handler was this week’s guest star on ABC’s The Muppets. If the always-offended, censorship-loving group “One Million Moms” had a problem with the show before, I highly doubt Ms. Handler improved their mood.

She’s Chelsea Handler, after all, the only female voice in the world of late night talk show. She isn’t always PG-13, let’s just put it that way.

Up Late with Miss Piggy invited Chelsea Handler on as a guest. Miss Piggy describes her as “that lady at the airport who asks for a pat down.” Dang, Piggy! Although I feel like Chelsea Handler would be the first person to agree with that.

We immediately see that Scooter has a major (not minor) crush on their guest when Kermit tries to praise him for booking the late night talk show host and he’s unresponsive. (I feel like we can all relate to Scooter’s reaction. We all have that one celebrity.) Scooter tells the camera that he sometimes waits for his mom to go to bed and then turns to the “naughty language channels”—and Chelsea Handler apparently “filled in some of the gaps from that talk we got back in health class.” Cue audible wince. Scooter, no. This isn’t right.

Piggy and Chelsea discuss the woes of dating, and Chelsea admits that she’s frustrated. She announces that she’s ready for a nice guy who has a steady job. She continues with her description of the man she’s looking for, and Scooter realizes she’s describing him to a tee.

He makes the decision to ask Chelsea Handler out on a date, with Rizzo and Pepe there to back him up. They try to give him some advice as they wait outside of her dressing room, telling him what to do with his hands, et cetera. He finally gets frustrated with them and knocks on the door.

Mustering up all of his Muppety courage, Scooter goes in to her dressing room. He semi-smoothly transitions into asking her out, all the while obviously thinking a lot about what to do with his hands…But before he can spit it all out, he knocks over her lamp. It hits the table with her vegetable tray, sending it all onto the floor. Then he slips on the ranch and falls right into Chelsea Handler’s arms. He finally admits he came in to ask her out on a date but that he made a horrible mess of it. But Chelsea accepts! That worked out surprisingly well, Scooter! Not exactly smooth, but effective! Well played!

They seem to be having a nice time during the date, and are really enjoying one another’s company, when Chelsea leans over to kiss Scooter. He has a major meltdown, jumps up from his chair, and races out of the restaurant like his backside is on fire.

The next morning, Rizzo and Pepe want to know everything. Scooter admits he isn’t going to see her again because she moved way too fast and Rizzo and Pepe are floored by this news, for obvious reasons. (Mostly because they’re buttheads.) Scooter says he’s been ignoring Chelsea’s texts, so he’s pretty sure she got the message. Just then he sees that someone sent him a big bouquet of flowers. When he reads the card, he’s hoping and praying it isn’t from Chelsea—and of course it is. He realizes has to go break up with her in person. Oh, so…like a responsible adult? Just saying.

Scooter asks Chelsea to meet him again. When he tells her he likes her, she moves in to kiss him like she did that night, and he has to stop her. He tells her he’s the type of guy who has to move really slowly in his relationships, and she seems to understand, even if it’s not normally what she’s used to. She offers the idea that they just talk on the phone since she’ll be going on the road again soon, and Scooter agrees. Good job, buddy!

Meanwhile, Fozzie Bear tells Kermit he’s thinking about taking the next big step in his relationship with Becky. It’s Fozzie, so this is immediately terrifying for us and for Kermit, both. What step, exactly, is he thinking about? It turns out he’s decided to ask her to move in with him, which…Fozzie, don’t. It’s very obvious that he has no idea what it’s like to share space with another person 24/7. Fozzie’s never lived in the college dorms, or shared a hibernation cave—sorry, sorry. I know. I’m making assumptions simply because he’s a bear. But honestly, Fozzie is clueless. And you can see it on Kermit’s expressive face as Fozzie details how wonderful he thinks living with Becky will be. Everything he seems to be excited about sounds pretty awful, actually! So good luck with that, Foz.

Kermit quickly recovers and tells Fozzie that he hasn’t had time to get to know Becky all that well in the time that they’ve been dating (12 weeks! Fozzie, no!), and he asks if he’d want to do a double date. Fozzie is ecstatic and agrees. It’s an outwardly sweet gesture by his best buddy Kermit. Until Kermit explains out of earshot that Fozzie has that innocent, childlike quality (basically saying he’s immature, without actually saying he’s immature) that makes him incapable of moving in with somebody so soon.

Kermit, Denise, Fozzie, and Becky all go to Rowlf’s for trivia night, and it seems like Fozzie’s claims about Becky being good at trivia are pretty accurate. She’s getting a lot of questions right. Kermit starts being the protective friend and asking really fun Have You Ever questions, starting with if anyone at the table has ever broken the law. Then he asks about their credit scores. Riveting table conversation, Kermit. It seems Denise is a little more problematic than any of us knew, but Becky seems harmless enough, no matter how deep Kermit digs.

During the next trivia question, Becky drops her pencil. When Kermit ducks down to help her out, he sees Becky looking at her phone under the table. Like all of us, he assumes she’s cheating at trivia, especially when she pops back up and miraculously knows the right answer all of a sudden! Uh ohhh…

Kermit pulls Denise aside and tells her what he saw. He’s convinced that Becky’s cheating and he’s upset about it. Denise is practical, and she warns him to stop meddling in Fozzie’s business because it will ruin their friendship. Which is really wise advice, but because he is Kermit and thinks he knows best, he doesn’t listen to her.

The next day, Kermit decides not to tell Fozzie outright that his girlfriend cheats at trivia. Instead he tries to get Fozzie to figure it out for himself. It goes as well as you’d expect. Which is to say, not well at all. When Becky comes to the office to go to lunch with Fozzie, Kermit tries to subtly ask her more trivia questions to see if she knows U.S. History without looking it up on her phone. It doesn’t go as planned when everyone around them starts answering before Becky can say anything. Apparently the Muppets are all really well versed in U.S. History.

Kermit gets more and more frustrated until finally announces in front of everybody that Becky was looking up the answers to the trivia questions on her phone the other night. Smooth, frog. Real smooth. Especially when she says that she was on her phone to bid on a gift for Fozzie on eBay. Offended, Fozzie takes Becky out of there and Kermit looks like a giant jerk in front of everybody. Deservedly so.

Fozzie and Kermit talk it out in the middle of Fozzie recording themed promos live for different cities across the country and the whole scene is Muppet comedy at its smartest. Fozzie sticks up for himself when he realizes Kermit thinks he’s not mature enough to move in with somebody. Kermit apologizes and says he’ll always be there for Fozzie, and then he asks “So when is Becky moving in?” Fozzie says he never asked her because it’s way too big of a step and you can’t rush these things. Here, Kermie…I’ll say it for you: “Sheeesh.”

This episode didn’t reach the expectations that I had after last week’s “Pig’s in a Blackout” episode, but it still got quite a few chuckles out of me. In all, it was a pretty solid episode. Chelsea Handler was funny, and Riki Lindhome always makes things better when she comes in to play Becky. I even enjoyed Denise’s appearance, but don’t tell her or Piggy that, okay?

The Fun Bits:
Pepe: And last Friday night instead of going club hopping with me, you were…
Scooter: …shooting a YouTube video on how to make a Spartan helmet out of a cereal box. Cheese and crackers, I am a dork!

Swedish Chef: …verdeh gerrr uh vert deh sherrderrrrrr!
Kermit: Ooo. You know, Chef, I think that joke’s a little off color.
Swedish Chef: Oh. It der Handler hermer.
Kermit: Handler humor! Oh. Well, that almost makes sense now.

• Fozzie’s excitement about Becky moving in after she’s just started violin lessons made me cringe so hard. Maybe it’s that I once played violin—“played.” I was perpetually stuck in the beginner stage. My poor family dealt with that awful screeching for 3 whole years.

Fozzie: “It’s trivia night at Rowlf’s! We can go there! Becky wins all the time, too. And they’ve got amaaazing prizes, too, like beer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Maybe it’s just beer.

• Throughout the episode, Kermit kept running into the problem of his friends thinking he’s talking to the camera for an interview when he’s actually talking to them. It was fun meta. (As opposed to not fun meta, I guess?)

• Why do the Muppets all turn to Rizzo and Pepe for dating advice? It’s always those two guys! They’re buttheads, first of all. And secondly, they’re buttheads. The only two Muppets who might be worse at dating advice are Chip the IT Guy, because he’s a stalker, and Big Mean Carl, because he’d either yell at the woman he’s asking out, or he’d eat her. Or both.

Pepe: “Listen, if jer gonna ask Chelsea out, joo gotta do something else with jer hands.”
Scooter: “Oh okay. Well maybe I’ll just—I’ll move ‘em around, you know, like people do when they talk… (waves his hands around)
Pepe: No, no, no. Do not do this, okay? Jer trying to land a woman, not a plane.

• I really want to go to Rowlf’s and play trivia. I’d wreck Becky at trivia. It took her way too long to come up with Teddy Roosevelt. Just sayin’.

• Wait. Did Chelsea Handler really date 50 Cent? Oh my God! I just looked it up, and she did! Wow. Love is crazy.

Scooter: Chelsea was fun but I don’t think I’m gonna see her again.
Pepe: Oh. Well…joo must trust jer hhgheart, because jer hhgheart is never wrong.
Scooter: Yeah, she got waaay too physical waaay too fast.
Pepe: I stand corrected. Jer hhgheart is very very stupid.

• Big Mean Carl would be a Francophile.

• I WANT A BOBO HUG SO BAD! Can I have a bear hug, Bobo? Please?

Bobo: “Why are they No. 2 pencils? Know what I mean? Like, why-why isn’t 1 good enough?”

• Electric Mayhem being so high that they spend a good chunk of the day trying to figure out if Kermit is a robot is probably one of my favorite things about this episode.

• I love that this show periodically has Big Mean Carl answer the phone in the background. You’ll hear the phone ring and then, “Up Late With Miss Piggy. WHAAAT?!!” He’s the worst person they could have answering the phones, and yet he is also THE BEST.

Catch an all-new episode of ABC’s The Muppets next Tuesday, December 1 at 8pm! Rumor has it that Mr. Joseph Gordon-Levitt himself will be guest starring!

Rating: 4/5

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