Jason Segel Says New Muppet Character Walter ‘Was Born In My Brain’ [AUDIO]
Writer and star of the new “Muppets” movie Jason Segel stopped by “On Air with Ryan Seacrest” to talk about the new movie, his fascination with Muppets, and the new character he created for the movie.
Jason developed a love of Muppets at a young age, even though he was little too young when the original “Muppet Show” was on. “My mom is a crazy comedy dork like me and she had taped all of ‘The Muppet Show’ episodes. She showed me the episodes and movies. It’s one of the best memories I have, sitting with my mom watching ‘The Muppet Show.’ So, I’ve loved the Muppets ever since then,” he tells us.
“Muppets are such an influence on who I became as a comedian. They’re sort of like the gateway to comedy for young people,” Jason says. “When you’re a kid, he [Kermit] is Tom Hanks or Jimmy Stewart.” Jason also admitted that his house is packed with Muppets, “There is a reason that I am still single,” he jokes.
After making “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” Jason went to Disney with his idea of making the new Muppet movie, and they laughed at him. Eventually they came around and Jason was able to bring all the Muppets back together for another movie. He recalls a tearful moment when “The Muppet” theme song was re-recorded for the first time since 1979, “Having them all singing together in a room, it was amazing,” he says.
You may notice there is a new Muppet in the in the movie, Walter. Jason created this new character. “Walter was born in my brain. He’s sort of the eyes and ears of the audience. He’s a wide eyed innocent, who is the biggest Muppet fan in the world,” Jason tells us.
In the movie, “Walter goes to meet the Muppets, and find out that they’re not quite where they used to be. They’re not the Muppets that he loved when he was growing up. So, he sets out to get them all back together, and to put on a giant show to remind the world of how great the Muppets are. Which is basically what I was trying to do with this movie.”
“The Muppets” does not hit theaters until November 23rd, but already the toys from the movie are flying off the shelves. Including Walter. Ryan and Jason decided to try to track down the popular holiday toy. They called several stores, but were told Walter was sold out! The good news is they were able to find a store that still had Walter in stock!
“The Muppets” movie is definitely for the family, but Jason says, “That’s never what the Muppets were, they always felt a little bit dangerous. Like this controlled chaos that might bubble over. So, it is like a mix of nostalgia for our generation and a reintroduction for a new generation.” You can see Jason, Walter, and the rest of the gang in “The Muppets” when it opens in theaters everywhere on Novemeber 23rd!