So, a couple of weeks ago I attended a press conference with Kermit the Frog. My audio recording of that turned out to be nearly useless, but Andrew J. Parker had better luck, and you can read the transcript of the Q&A over at Dork Shelf. (I asked the question about Rizzo and Pepe getting shafted on screen time.)

The press conference, obviously, was to promote “The Muppets”, and co-writer/producer/star Jason Segel was also in town; our conversation — with high-quality audio clips and everything — appears in this week’s NOW. He’s a lovely guy, and he’s made a lovely movie. Couldn’t be happier for him, really.

And no, this wasn’t the first time I’d interviewed Kermit. I did a phoner with him — yes, a telephone interview — about eighteen years ago, when Disney first released “The Muppet Christmas Carol” on video. Strangely enough, I was much more skeptical about the experience then. This time around, well, the frog popped up and the disbelief got suspended … and it was the same for everyone else in the room.

In the end, that’s what Segel’s movie is about. You can’t help wanting to believe the Muppets are real, because if they aren’t, the world is a colder and harsher place. Our species is better off for having invented them.

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