|After years of playing literary figures (Kermit as Bob Cratchit in The Muppet Christmas Carol, Miss Piggy as “Benjamina” Gunn in Muppet Treasure Island), the Muppets returned to their original identities in 1999’s Muppets From Space. But one little Muppet found he had no identity to begin with-that blue, hook-nosed, chicken-loving daredevil named Gonzo. Relegating Kermit, Piggy and Fozzie to the background, this feature explored the otherworldly origins of the weird one.
As the film opens, Gonzo is plagued by a nightmare of Biblical proportions: Noah refuses him passage on the ark because he’s the only one of his kind. The beaked freak’s past starts to take shape when Gonzo receives messages in his breakfast cereal: “R U THERE” and “WATCH THE SKIES.”
Gonzo announces his extraterrestrial origins on national television, bringing him to the attention of a secret government agency. Led by K. Edgar Singer, the agents capture Gonzo and rat pal Rizzo. With the help of their Muppet friends, Gonzo and Rizzo escape from the National Security Facility, but the alien “whatever” is forced to choose between returning to his birth family or staying behind with his Muppet family.
Departing from the Muppet movie tradition of original songs, Muppets From Space featured a smattering of 70’s funk backing up the usual production numbers. Like the first three films, this installment featured a variety of celebrity cameos, from Hulk Hogan to F. Murray Abraham to Dawson’s Creek’s Katie Holmes and Joshua Jackson. Unfortunately, the sci-fi spoof failed to blast off at theaters, leaving the Muppets to regroup for their next launch.