I ended up with five players, the wonderful Karen (playing Scooter), Jefferson (An-i-mal!), Amy (Gonzo the Great), David (Miss Piggy), and Edmund (Sam the Eagle), plus walk-on parts by other muppets as the fancy took us. We started by singing the Muppet Show theme (I had printed the lyrics for everyone.)
Despite Kermit’s absence, the Muppets had to put on a show as best they could, starting with finding a guest star, and staging numbers. Seizing his opportunity for moral reform, chronically disapproving Sam decided that this would be a good time to set an example with an inspiring, high-minded, patriotic show — by inviting the President. He had heard that a petition to the White House gathering at least 100,000 signatures in 30 days had to receive an answer, so he laboriously started e-mailing repeatedly. Rizzo and the rats soon turned this into a valuable opportunity by assisting him in exchange for cheese.
Gonzo and Animal, meanwhile, were interested in something loud involving cannons, a bit like 1812, so Sam talked them into a John Philip Sousa-style march (probably “The Thunderer”, I was ignorant and couldn’t tell which.) Buoyed by this success, Sam then decide to invite Bill Clinton to come play saxophone with the Electric Mayhem.
Soon, everyone was into this patriotic theme, with Gonzo planning to read the Declaration of Independence while jumping over the chorus line on his motorcycle, and Miss Piggy getting a sequined red-white-and-blue dress to wear for her singing number. Scooter was doing his level best to channel everyone’s enthusiasm in a more-or-less show-building direction.
Again, Rizzo was delighted to assist with the project since, a month after the Fourth of July, flags and bunting were cheap and he was able to resell them at a cheesy profit. But meanwhile, Sam’s project kept growing the closer he seemed to be to his goal, and he started wanting to bring in every living President of the United States — plus Muppet Ronald Reagan.
As the auditions and set-building were taking place for the various numbers, Muppets in Black from Homeland Security arrived on the scene to investigate a denial-of-service attack on the White House server of possible terrorist origin — Sam and his rat lobby. They were further convinced of the threat by the use of explosives and cannon for Gonzo’s rehearsals… One of the MIBs was soon smitten with the enchanting Miss Piggy.
Animal managed to recruit the MIBs as part of his percussion ensemble, and Scooter convinced them this would actually be a clever undercover surveillance operation. Delighted, Gonzo got a chorus line of chickens dressed in black suits and sunglasses, then did the same with the larger monsters and arranged them all in a nice arc shape so he could jump over them with his bike.
The show was to open very soon when, with some assistance from Scooter’s connections, Sam confirmed that the Presidents of the United States, all of them, would be there — plus Muppet Ronald Reagan. The show opened with Miss Piggy signing the “Star-Spangled Banner”. (Although David was playing Miss Piggy and I offered shiny Fate points if he sang, it’s Edmund who crooned the whole thing in eerily Piggy-like dulcet tones. We certainly turned heads at EndGame.)
Gonzo followed with his reading of the Declaration of Independence while jumping over the chorus line of Chickens-, Muppets-, and Monsters-in-Black, but of course the stunt ended up in spectacular failure. Fozzie took the stage with patriotic knock, knock jokes and was booed off stage by Statler and Waldorf.
To Sam’s great pride and slight puzzlement, the Presidents of the United States of America then belted out their hit “Lump”, accompanied by Bill Clinton on saxophone — and Muppet Ronald Reagan and Muppet Bonzo. Bill Clinton reappeared in the next act, an episode of “Veterinarian’s Hospital” featuring a number of sax jokes.
Due to the MIBs vetoing a number of international act, what followed was an instrumental rendition of “The Girl from Ipanema” featuring the agents. For the grand finale, the Sousa march with cannon was a spectacular eye-catcher — and temporarily landed Sam in jail when his initiative finally raised the terror alert sufficiently…
(Thank you to Amy for giving me her notes on the acts! We then had a good debrief and the players made some good suggestions for running this as a Game on Demand at the upcoming Big Bad Con. I’ll post the full notes later this week.)
Art by GroovyGecko. Muppets © Jim Henson Company and Disney.