‘Muppets Now’: Scooter Reveals What It Takes to Manage Muppet-Level Chaos for Disney+

     July 29, 2020


The world can never have too much of The Muppets in it, and it’s a welcome sight to see the gang back together for Muppets Now, their first unscripted original series for Disney+. Scooter’s always rushing to make the deadlines that the Muppets never seem to be able to meet in the most timely of manners, but whether it’s in the lifestyle tips from the diva herself Miss Piggy, the zany experiments with Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker, a game show hosted by Pepe the Prawn, cooking tips from the Swedish Chef, or the calming balance of Kermit the Frog, the chaos, silliness and fun that comes with widely varied personalities of all the Muppet characters, big and small, is definitely present.

To promote this new series, Scooter took time out from his new role as a producer to chat 1-on-1 with Collider. During the interview, which you can either watch via video or read below, he talked about how excited the Muppets are about this new show, which showcases what they do best, the challenge of getting the Muppets to meet deadlines, what it’s like to work with Pepe the Prawn, tricks for keeping Miss Piggy happy, having some other projects in development, and what it’s like to have to deal with the Muppet legal department.

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Image via Disney+

Collider: Hi, Scooter!

SCOOTER: Oh, hi Christina!

Congratulations on your first Disney+ TV series!

SCOOTER: Thank you! It’s our first unscripted series, too. We’re very excited.

Why was now the right time for The Muppets to get into the streaming business, and to do something unscripted?

SCOOTER: That’s why we called it Muppets Now because people can watch it when they want to watch it. If you want to watch it right now, you can watch it. And if you want to watch it now, then you can watch it then. And it’s all about Muppets doing what we do best, you know? Just silliness and chaos.

Was it a challenge to get The Muppets together and to keep them on track, to shoot this new series? Did any of them not pull their weight and you had to get them to shape up a bit?

SCOOTER: Well, we have a little thing called schedules, but nobody seems to know there are schedules. So, I’m getting segments in at the last second and trying to upload ‘em and get ‘em out the door. But everyone wants them to be great, so we’re all working to the bitter end to get ‘em done. We’re dealing with interesting personalities, I would say, so it’s a challenge, but it’s fun.

Along with being responsible for uploading everything, you also run a game show starring Pepe the King Prawn.

SCOOTER: Yes.

What are the biggest challenges of working with Pepe, who clearly drives you a little bit crazy?

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Image via Disney+

SCOOTER: Yeah. The challenge is the host of the show, Pepe, who doesn’t seem to know that when you get the network approval on something, you have to just go with it. You can’t change it, last second. He’s a free-wheeling guy, so you never know what’s gonna happen. It’s interesting and a bit stressful.

What are the tips and tricks to working with someone like Miss Piggy?

SCOOTER: Lots of nodding. Nodding. She likes nodding. She likes agreeing. She likes to hear the word “yes” a lot. She doesn’t like to hear the word “no” very much. And you just stay out of her way.

Now that you’ve done this show for Disney+, what’s the next step, in your career? Do you have a dream project that you’d like to do?

SCOOTER: We have some things in development that I can’t bring up right now, but personally, I’m liking this producer role, trying to wrangle all these guys. Kermit is definitely the glue of the Muppets, I would say, but I’m kinda the chewed-up piece of bubblegum. I’m working my way through it.

How is it to have to work with Joe from Legal?

SCOOTER: That laugh! Yeah, he’s a new addition to the Muppets. Joe’s a lot to process, let’s say. We’ve never had to deal with anybody like that before, so it’s been interesting. He secretly wants to be in show business. He really wants to be a comedian. He’s not funny. He needs to just give up on the jokes.

Well, thank you, Scooter. I appreciate you talking to me. I love the show.

SCOOTER: Thanks, Christina!

Muppets Now is available to stream on Disney+ on July 31st.

Christina Radish is a Senior Reporter of Film, TV, and Theme Parks for Collider. You can follow her on Twitter @ChristinaRadish.

Television