“Muppets Most Wanted” almost as much fun as the last movie. I hold my nose and root for UConn tonight. And R.I.P., John Pinette


One of the first things that my wife and I bonded over when we first started dating was our love of The Muppets.
I mean, yes, everybody loves The Muppets, but she really, really, really loves the Muppets. Like, more than is probably normal.

So of course we saw the first Muppets movie of their “reunion”, the one that came out two years ago and starred Jason Segel and the always-awesome Amy Adams, along with new Muppet Walter.
And it was fantastic. Funny, smart, and the songs were great, too.
So of course, we had to see the sequel, though unfathomably it took us two weeks of being in the theaters for us to catch it, finally seeing it Sunday.

It was good. About as good as I expected. It wasn’t as good as the last film, but hey, it was a sequel, so you can’t have too high hopes.
Ricky Gervais was really good, playing “Dominic Badguy” which is such a Muppets movie name for a character. Tina Fey was great as (naturally) a Russian prison warden in love with Kermit, and Ty Burrell brought the funny as a bumbling Interpol officer.

I’d explain the plot to you but would it matter? It’s just ridiculous enough to keep you interested, and the jokes, as expected, went over most kids’ heads but made the grown-ups laugh.

The roster of cameos is typically bizarre and varied for a Muppets movie: We get everyone from Usher, to Ray Liotta, to Salma Hayek, to James McAvoy, to P. Diddy, and they all contribute something.
And the songs are once again really good, and we left the theater happy that the Muppets are back.

Can’t ask for much more than that. Go see “Muppets Most Wanted,” with or without kids, if only for the fantastic final musical number. It was fabulous.


**A sad night tonight for me and other college basketball diehards, as the national championship game is played, followed by “One Shining Moment,” the greatest three minutes of the television year in my opinion. It should be a great game, but it’s sad because it’s the last meaningful men’s game until November.

It’s tough for me to root for either Connecticut or Kentucky tonight, because I hate both programs intensely. I hate UConn because they dealt my Duke boys two of the most painful defeats of my lifetime, in the 1999 title game and in the 2004 Final Four, and because the Huskies under Jim Calhoun were a dirty program run by a classless lout.

I can’t root for Kentucky, of course, because they’re coached by Satan and have the most obnoxious fans in human history.
Still, when it comes to Satan or UConn, I’ve got to pick the Huskies. (My preview, with keys to the game, should be up on ThriveSports.com by the time you read this) I think Kentucky will win because they are a better team, but both teams have been winning so improbably these last three weeks that I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see UConn win.

Come on Huskies, don’t make me and America watch John Friggin’ Calipari cut down the nets again. That’s just a miserable sight for so many.

**Finally today, sad news Sunday that John Pinette, a hilarious stand-up comedian and a guest star on the very last episode of “Seinfeld,” died at age 50 of a pulmonary embolism.

Pinette, the heavy-set guy who always poked fun at himself, is one of those comedians I discovered 20 years ago on some cable comedy show, and I remember laughing so hard my sides hurt when I first heard is “four hour” Chinese buffet routine (above).

He was a funny, funny man, and he’ll be missed. We can never have enough laughter in this world.



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