Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Mark Hamill on the Muppet Show

Just rented a DVD of Muppet Show episodes from Netflix - one of them, circa 1978(?), is the Star Wars episode, guest-starring Mark Hamill as himself and as Luke Skywalker, joined by R2-D2, C-3PO, and Chewbacca. I vaguely remember seeing this when it originally aired, back in the prehistoric 70s. Even aside from the Star Wars stuff, it was great to see The Muppet Show again. It's still good for what it is, even after all these years. Definitely takes me back.
As for Mark Hamill.... what were you thinking, man??
I know it's a kid's show, but this guy takes the goofiness way beyond any acceptable level. I'm embarassed for him as I watch him do his jokes, impressions, and especially his "gargling with Gershwin" dance. There's a scene where Kermit throws him out of the theater because his act stinks. No kidding.
Now I'll say something in support of George Lucas. He's taken a lot of heat for perceived flaws in his retouches of the original Star Wars films, and even more for perceived flaws and "sellouts" in Episodes 1 & 2. Some of this criticism is justified (ahem, Jar Jar Binks), but it's mostly unfair. They don't stand shoulder to shoulder with the original 3, but they're both good films on their own.
This episode of the Muppet Show has Chewbacca dancing with R2-D2 and, good lord, c-3PO tap dancing!! This doesn't bother me, but can you imagine the nerd uprisings if something similar had been done in the last 5 years? If Jar Jar Binks tapdanced while Hayden Christensen acted goofier than Richard Simmons on some TV show, the nerds would be outside of Skywalker Ranch with pitchforks and torches, crying that Lucas was ruining and tainting the sanctity of the Star Wars canon.
Anyway- rent or buy the old Muppet Show episodes on DVD - and don't miss the Star Wars episode.


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