So, um, check out Prince on Jimmy Fallon tonight–although our sources are unclear on whether he is performing new songs as an official musical guest or just sitting with The Roots! Either way, some of us have seats for the taping and some of us are kind of amped about it. And in anticipation of all things Purple we thought it appropriate to flashback to 1997 to revisit a very special appearance from his royal badass on Jim Henson‘s Muppets Tonight. For those who may not remember, this was your garden variety late-night sketch show – except with muppets. It was an attempt to update The Muppet Show for new audiences. Think Saturday Night Live run by Stadtler & Waldorf instead of Lorne Michaels. The show was hosted by Clifford – a muppet who seemed cooler and hipper than any of his predecessors on paper – and friends. The newer take on the original struggled to reach its audience or the past glory of the original series hosted by Kermit The Frog.
Turns out it would have been much easier if the host were green in this case; while ratings may have lagged for the new series they undoubtedly spiked the night The Artist Formerly Known As Prince – that memorably cool symbol that could not be pronounced or pleased by his then-record label – made an appearance as the featured guest. Playing right along with the standard issue Muppet foolishness, Prince is a great sport – even trading a few one-liners with his felted and furry friends. They reciprocated by dressing to honor their guest. Gonzo, most impressively, appeared in a Revolution-era bustier with pumps and fishnets (“Gonzo, you are definitely workin’ those pumps and fishnets”). His elephant friend was nice enough to rock leather pants without back pockets in a show of solidarity. Prince capped his appearance by performing “Starfish & Coffee” and “She Gave Her Angels” – songs the muppets and their wide world of props were nice enough to accompany him on. The best part? They made it funky. But then again, that comes standard issue with everything Prince. Tune in to see Prince on Jimmy Fallon to get your fill tonight on NBC.
shouts to GB