Muppets Now Season 1, Episode 4 recap: Sleep Mode

Muppets Now. Image Courtesy Disney+
Muppets Now. Image Courtesy Disney+ /

Episode 4 of the Disney Plus series Muppets Now is at risk, as Scooter (David Rudman) has put in an all-nighter, presumably a consequence of keeping the non-literal Muppets Now boat afloat. Because the poor guy’s been up for at least 36 hours, Animal (Eric Jacobson) is tasked with keeping him awake — a job for which he seems born to do. Little time is wasted getting to the first segment, “Mup Close and Personal,” where the illustrious Miss Piggy (Jacobson) haphazardly interviews actress Aubrey Plaza.

At various points, Uncle Deadly (Matt Vogel) awkwardly fills in for Piggy and Plaza for fake reaction shots, and we barely get a straightforward interview. However, Aubrey Plaza does say she’s happy to be paid for being an actress, and she and Miss Piggy both agree they are alive. We also are reminded that Aubrey Plaza respects Amy Poehler, her co-star on “Parks and Recreation.”

Muppets Now: Muppet Labs Field Test

In the next segment, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew (Dave Goelz) and his assistant and torture subject, Beaker (Rudman), run sound vibration experiments with a machine called a Beepalyzer. Although it’s a madcap segment, there are a few valuable things one might learn, such as how Italian Renaissance artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci is attributed to the discovery of soundwaves.  Of course, more viewers will be drawn to how Bunsen’s, it’s always interesting to see soundwaves shattering a wine glass (among other things).

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As one might expect, The Swedish Chef (Bill Barretta) returns to Muppets Now with another special cooking segment, this time with competitor Guiseppe Losavio, who offers a tasty-sounding recipe for spaghetti carbonara. It includes some homemade pasta with olive oil, pork, pastella (egg yolk and pecorino cheese), and some black pepper. Meanwhile, The Swedish Chef deconstructs spaghetti quite fantastically, making more of a mess than a meal (hey, what do you expect?).

Lifesty(le) with Miss Piggy

Had enough of Miss Piggy? Well, too bad! She has 2 segments in this episode, with the final one involving self-care tips, such as practicing gratitude, addressing your stress, and getting away from it all. As in previous installments, she hangs around with Taye Diggs (for a “self-affirmations” segment) and Linda Cardellini. Much to her dismay, Uncle Deadly (Vogel) keeps insulting Miss Piggy, and Pepe the King Prawn (Barretta) also pops in, which you already know spells some chaos.

On a final note, this Muppets Now episode also curiously lacks much of any Kermit the Frog (Vogel). At most, there’s is a very light smattering of Kermit. What gives? It’s unclear, but it seems this series has a less-is-more approach when it comes to America’s favorite frog. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad show, but it seems to be downplaying the green one’s star power.

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