I didn’t get much out of Lady Gaga’s most recent record, “ARTPOP.” But then she got the Muppets on board.
Thanksgiving night, ABC presented “Lady Gaga & the Muppets’ Holiday Spectacular,” which sent me running toward the TV — not for Gaga but for a glimpse of my lifelong dream frog, Kermit.
Gaga, clad in various Muppety furs and often not much else, performed a lot of “ARTPOP,” but this time, context made all the difference. It seems that what she needed all along was a supporting cast of singing chickens and everyone’s favorite weirdo, Gonzo. The vibe recalled the original “Muppet Show,” where Diana Ross and Cher appeared as musical guests in the late-’70s cabaret-style program.
Cabaret is Gaga’s best angle, and her real talent showed in a genuinely touching duet of the sad-road-dog song “Gypsy,” with Kermit — a veteran of showbiz loneliness himself.
The special got terrible ratings, but camp history will embrace this lovable mess as it did 1988’s “Pee-wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special,” where Grace Jones performed a transcendent version of “Little Drummer Boy” while a globe named Globey and a floor named Floory looked on.
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