TV Club: The Muppets both lives and dies by its mockumentary format

When the first trailer for Jason Segel’s The Muppets dropped back in 2011, my dad—a longtime fan of the franchise—took major issue with it. It wasn’t because of Segel or the absence of Frank Oz or a new protagonist named Walter or the fact that the property was getting a reset in the first place. No, he had a problem with Fozzie Bear’s use of the term “fart shoes.”

“Fozzie would never say ‘fart,’” he explained. “He would say ‘toot’ or ‘whoopee’ or some other word for it, but not ‘fart.’”

It seemed like a pretty minor complaint, but when I told some friends who are also Muppet fanatics, most of them had the exact same problem. Looking back, this shouldn’t have been a shock. While no one likes to see the pop-culture icons of their childhood messed with, Muppet fans have been especially …

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