The Washington Post

Academy Awards 2012: Will Bret McKenzie sing ‘Man or Muppet’ if he wins best song?

Bret McKenzie — making Muppet face — on the red carpet. (LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS)

The most pressing question at the Academy Awards is not whether George Clooney or Jean Dujardin will win best actor. It’s this: Is there some way, maybe, perhaps, that “Man or Muppet” still might be performed during the telecast?

Oscar organizers opted not to have renditions of the two nominated songs — ”Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets” and “Real in Rio” from the animated film “Rio” — be part of the ceremony.

“I cried every day about it,” Bret McKenzie, writer of “Man or Muppet” and one-half of Flight of the Conchords, told me half in jest on the red carpet. “But now I’ve gotten used to it, and I’m not complaining about anything because I’m at the Oscars.”

After noting that he and “The Muppets” director James Bobin had plans for a big Busby Berkeley-esque number that, sadly, did not come to pass, McKenzie hinted that if he wins, maybe he could sing a little something.

“I was tempted to try and smuggle a Muppet in under my coat and bring it out and do ‘Man or Muppet,’ ” he said.

“We’ll see,” he said. “Kermit might be backstage. Maybe I’ll grab him.”

To be clear, he didn’t sound terribly committed to this idea. But the mere suggestion that this could happen may give some “Muppet” movie music fans a ray of rainbow-connected hope.

When she isn’t at a movie theater or writing about movies, Jen Chaney is ... um ... probably at home, watching a movie.


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