Few performers have been able to bring puppets to life like the legendary Frank Oz. He imbues characters like Yoda, Cookie Monster, and Miss Piggy with so much vitality. The characters easily become as authentic as their human counterparts. But this hilarious behind-the-scenes blooper reel from Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas shows his magic isn’t limited to only what we see on-screen, because his characters are never more relatable than when they’re dealing with the aggravation of a never-ending day of filming.
Thanks to Twitter user TheMilanTooner the internet rediscovered a Blu-ray gem from the 1977 TV Christmas special. In it, a small drum refuses to roll out of a door and come to a rest the way Jim Henson wants. Over and over… and over and over and over again the little prop wouldn’t cooperate. It required more than 200 takes before they got something they could be happy with. Two hundred! The only thing that makes it tolerable—and laugh out loud funny—is Frank Oz (working as Ma Otter’s puppeteer and temporary voice) and Jerry Nelson as Emmet reacting like two real actors who are exhausted from doing the scene repeatedly.
Make sure you watch the whole thing, because it just gets more and more hysterical the longer it goes on. We promise.
That’s one of the funniest Muppets clips we’ve ever seen. It’s remarkable they were able to keep a sense of humor about the whole thing and stay in character as though the puppets were actual actors. That level of commitment is just… impressive. No wonder someone like Frank Oz is so good at bringing his characters to life on screen. He commits and stays in the role. His characters are totally alive between takes, especially when they need 200 of them.