The Muppets are getting old. They're getting lazy. Their best years are behind them. They're developing cellulite. Let's face it, the Muppets are all washed up.

And they think they're soooo smart. They're uppity little muppeties, that's what they are. They make me sick. In tonight's ABC special, "The Muppets Go to the Movies," at 8 on Channel 7, the Muppets tear through a series of movie parodies that aren't quite parodies and also avail us, the immortal viewers, of plugs for their forthcoming film, "The Great Muppet Caper."

All the Muppets really care about is money. They don't care about you and me. Greedy little buggers.

"20th Century Frog presents, 'The Three Musketeers,'" the first movie spoof on the show. "I'm Athos, I'm Porthos, I'm Gummo," the Mupsketeers sing. Oh ha ha. Oh big joke. Then it's time for "Invasion of the Unpleasant Things From Outer Space," "The Fool of the Roman Empire" (a Metro-Goldwyn-Bear production, with Fozzie growling the logo), "Nephew of Frankenstein," "Goon With the Wind," "Small in the Saddle," "A Frog Too Far" ("I could get a case of the Andy Hardy's over you," says Gloria the Greasemonkey to Kermit the Frog) and the Ingmar-Bergmanesque "Silent Strawberries."

In that one, a menacing, hooded spector says to a potential victim, "Well, if you do not wish death, how about a rubber chicken?"

Does somebody get paid for writing this stuff? I don't mean this stuff, this one-hour Muppet special. It's time somebody stood up to the Muppets and told them where to get off (how about at 8:58 p.m., Muppet Standard Time?).

The guest star is Dudley Moore. He just sort of stands around. The special guest star is Lily Tomlin, a living saint who can do no wrong (well, maybe some wrong -- leave us not forget "Moment by Moment"). In the finale, sort of a war musical, Tomlin plays a nurse, the girl left behind, and the aforementioned monkee de gres . Miss Piggy, the other leading lady on the show, plays a USO waitress, sings "Heat Wave" with a chorus of penguins and poses as the torch-bearing trademark of Cholesterol Pictures.

Now how much longer are we going to let these Muppets run riot over the land? (Miss Piggy is the cover girl of nothing less than The New Republic this week. Forsoth, The New Republic!) Can nothing stop them? Is there no hope for reason and sanity? No? Well then we might as well chuck the whole roast and Mup it up.

After all, a neutron bomb would kill all of us people and leave the Muppets standing. There's a heady irony for you. Bye now