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A Scientific Ranking of the Cameos of 'Muppets Most Wanted'

By Rebecca Pahle | Lists | March 24, 2014 |

By Rebecca Pahle | Lists | March 24, 2014 |

In the opening number of Muppets Most Wanted it’s pointed out that sequels are “never quite as good” as their predecessors. It’s true of this film. But while Muppets Most Wanted doesn’t have the emotional core that made The Muppets great instead of just very, very good, it does have cameos. A lot of cameos. More cameos than you’d think even a Muppet movie would reasonably have. Hitchcock weeps.

Here they are, ranked, from worst to best. Warning: While some of these showed up in various trailers, many did not, and #2 on the list kindasorta constitutes a spoiler. Personally, I enjoyed being surprised, but I trust you to make your own judgement. We’re all adults here. Muppet-loving adults.

21) Ross Lynch
AKA that flower delivery kid in all the trailers whom I didn’t recognize because I’m almost 30. On the bottom of the list because what the hell even is a Ross Lynch? Animal? Vegetable? Mineral? Wikipedia tells me he’s a teenybopper actor/boy band member who’s set up shop at The Disney Channel, but we know Wikipedia’s not renowned for its eternal accuracy. I’m not entirely convinced someone didn’t just make Ross Lynch up.

20) Rob Corddry
I just don’t care about Rob Corddry. Sorry. That’s what it is.

19) Til Schweiger
Whose idea was it to give Til Schweiger a Muppets Most Wanted cameo, and are they by any chance either related to or BFFs with Til Schweiger?

18) Miranda Richardson
I’m not generally one to question the presence of Miranda Richardson in anything, but… why was she here? Honestly. Either give her a cameo where she actually gets to do something funny, a la Stanley Tucci’s cameo, or leave her out. Giving her one line is just weird. She’s Queenie, for God’s sake.

17) Chloë Grace Moretz
Chloë, Chloë, Chloë. I’m sorry you’re ranked so low. I’m also sorry your cameo, playing “Newspaper Girl,” sucked. You seemed bored, and I’m not sure how that’s possible when you have only have one line and later show up in the closing number, but you did. You have a Muppet cameo, girl. Get excited. This the pinnacle of anyone’s acting career.

16) Russell Tovey
Tovey’s miniscule cameo suffered from coming in at about the three-quarters mark of the movie, when I was well into cameo fatigue and had yet to get my second wind. It was so quick I barely noticed it happened, and I had to check IMDB to even remember who he was. “Wait was that Russell Tov—oh he’s gone now.”

15) Saoirse Ronan
Ronan, playing herself, is the “special guest” on the third stop of the Muppets’ worldwide tour. Christoph Waltz, the first guest, got to dance with Sweetums. Salma Hayek, the second, got to interact with Gonzo. Ronan got to be an awkward ballet dancer. They didn’t even say her name. It was distracting.

14) Salma Hayek
Better, but not much better, was Hayek’s cameo, in which she participated in Gonzo’s indoor running of the bulls. I don’t know, I just wasn’t feeling it. Maybe if there were only, say, a dozen cameos in this movie, as opposed to twenty billion, I would’ve dug it more.

13) Mackenzie Crook and Toby Jones
This is how you do a quick, dialogue-less cameo. Crook and Jones are in the foreground, not the background, so you can actually recognize their faces right away instead of it taking the entire length of the cameo (Tovey). Was their museum guards cameo necessary? No. Was it fun? Yes. And that’s textbook Muppets.

12) Hugh Bonneville and Tom Hollander
LOL, Lord Grantham taking a swipe at journalistic integrity by playing a reporter who’s bribed to give the Muppets a good review. I approve. Can someone start giving Hugh Bonneville comedic roles after Downton meets its soapy end, please? I’ve seen Notting Hill. I know he can do it.

11) Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga
These two benefited from their cameo being positioned in “We’re Doing a Sequel,” unquestionably Muppets Most Wanted’s best song. It was surprising. It was quick. It was funny. Bennett was smooth and Gaga was wearing something weird. Textbook effective cameo.

10) Zach Galifianakis
Galifianakis, reprising his role as Hobo Joe, was a nice little throwback to The Muppets. It’s not in the top five because it made me bitter about how much worse this movie is than its predecessor.

9) James McAvoy
Like Russell Tovey’s cameo, James McAvoy didn’t really get to do much of anything. In fact, they both played delivery men who had one short line. So why is Tovey number 16 and McAvoy number 9? Because I’m biased. Get over it.

8) Frank Langella
Playing the Vicar at Miss Piggy and the Kermitgänger’s wedding, Langella brought some much-needed dramatic gravitas to a film in which Céline Dion has a duet with Miss Piggy and a puppet frog dances on Ricky Gervais’ head.

7) P. Diddy
Or Sean Combs? Puff Daddy? I don’t know. I just know this cameo was a delight, and I want to party with him and Pepe le Prawn. Rizzo can come, too.

6) Céline Dion
Dion’s delightfully (wait for it) hammy performance as Miss Piggy’s Fairy Godmother misses out on the top five due to an egregious lack of chest pounding. What the hell, Celine? You sing, you do overdramatic gesticulations, but you leave out the chest pounds?!

5) Tom Hiddleston
This cameo has a little something something for everyone. For people obsessed with Tom Hiddleston: It’s Tom Hiddleston in a Muppet movie! Wearing weird long johns! For people sick of Tom Hiddleston: It’s Tom Hiddleston’s stand-in, probably being tased!

4) Jemaine Clement, Ray Liotta, Danny Trejo, Dylan ‘Hornswoggle’ Postl
I debated including these three, because they’re more technically supporting roles than cameos. But screw it. Between Danny Trejo, playing himself, as a gulg prisoner and Muppets songwriter Bret McKenzie bringing his fellow Conchord Jemaine Clement along to wear a crown made of sporks, I couldn’t in good conscience leave this group out.

Oh, and who is Postl, who played the fourth member of the Clement’s Gulag gang? He would be a WWE star. Bet you didn’t even know a professional wrestler was in Muppets Most Wanted, did you?

3) Usher and Christoph Waltz
It’s a tie! Unlike the Bonneville/Hollander and Crook/Jones cameos, Usher and Christoph Waltz don’t appear together. The common factor in their cameos is that they’re based on puns—Waltz does a waltz at the Muppets’ Berlin show, and Usher is an usher at the big climactic wedding. I never met a pun I didn’t like. It’s impossible to choose between these two.

2) Josh Groban
Does Josh Groban even put out albums anymore, or does he just appear on late night talk shows and sitcoms making fun of his wholesome persona and velvet voice? I’m not complaining.

And the best cameo in Muppets Most Wanted… drumroll please…

1) Stanley Tucci
Because he’s Stanley effing Tucci. Step back, plebes.

Rebecca is the Associate Editor at The Mary Sue. She lives in New York and has a Muppet problem.

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