|The third feature outing for Kermit, Piggy and the gang was also the last with Muppet creator Jim Henson. This time out, the Muppets went Broadway-or at least tried to-with the musical help of composer Ralph Burns (Cabaret, Annie). The “small-towners try to make it in the big city” routine had been done before, but never with frogs, pigs, bears and assorted fish-throwing loonies.
After Kermit and pals stage a successful musical number at small Danhurst College, they get the showbiz bug and head for Broadway, where Kermit hopes to earn enough money to marry his sweetheart, Miss Piggy. Unfortunately, the Great White Way is not as inviting as they’d hoped, and door after door is slammed in their faces. Their dreams crushed for the moment, the Muppets take a variety of odd jobs, with Kermit working as a waiter in a small diner. The job introduces the loveable frog to the boss’ cute daughter, Jennie (a human), making Miss Piggy incredibly jealous.
Just when things start to go right, Kermit gets struck by a taxi and left with amnesia, eventually taking on a new life as an advertising executive. With Kermit out of the picture, it’s up to Miss Piggy and the rest of the Muppets to save the show and rescue Kermit from a life of 80’s corporate greed.
The Muppets had been satirizing show business for years on TV’s The Muppet Show, and The Muppets Take Manhattan proved they were masters of the game. Art Carney, Joan Rivers, Dabney Coleman and others provided the celebrity cameos, a Muppet movie staple. The film also featured the first appearance of the Muppet Babies, who went on to star in an insanely popular cartoon of their own.