"I am geeking out! I love the title of this blog, I think it's wonderful. I feel like I'm in the right place. I'm home."
Walter, the newest member of the Muppets and one of the main characters in "The Muppets" movie (currently on track to be the highest-grossing Muppet movie of all time), spoke to CNN Geek Out for one very good reason: he is the world's biggest Muppet geek.
Not that there aren't a few humans who might give him a run for his money. On numerous fan sites, such as ToughPigs.com and The Muppet Mindset, they discuss the latest news, the characters, the history and the inner workings of the Jim Henson Company.
Some of CNN's iReporters are huge fans too.
"It's really hard to think of when I became a fan as they seem to have always been with me," said iReporter Dan Larabee.
Larabee started a puppetry group at the school where he teaches in New Berlin, Wisconsin.
"I almost cried when I took my students who are currently in the puppetry group to see the movie."
"The Muppets inspire me because they're about hope, persistence, and making people happy," said John Cody of Katonah, New York, who is also pursuing a career in puppetry.
"Nearly every part of my life has been touched by Jim Henson," Whitney Grace of Cincinnati, Ohio, said.
As for the newest character, Larabee put it this way: "Walter is really us, he is the ultimate Muppet fan living the dream of being in a movie with the Muppets, or maybe it's Jason Segel who is us. He did what many Muppet fans only dream of."
Segel, one of the stars (aside from the Muppets themselves) and writers of the movie, has been a lifelong Muppet fan and co-wrote the movie's script.
But what does Walter himself have to say? Here's our interview with the newly-minted Muppet:
CNN Geek Out: How excited were you to be cast in this movie?
Walter: I screamed like a little girl and kicked my feet in the air. I was just thrilled. Even though in the movie I play this character named Walter, in real life my name is Walter, and I'm a huge Muppet fan! So it was just a dream come true to work with these guys.
When I first read the script, I thought Jason Segel was monitoring my life or something. He wrote really close to the bone!
CNN Geek Out: Take me back to your first meeting with the Muppets.
Walter: I would have to go back to my audition. It was my first time meeting the Muppets and Jason's first time meeting the Muppets as well. It was not too different from what happens in the movie. I completely fainted. It was a little embarrassing, a little unprofessional. But I felt relieved when I came to, because Jason Segel was sobbing. Not because I had fainted, but because he was meeting Kermit for the first time.
I think the producers were a little worried the entire movie was gonna be like that. But we got better.
CNN Geek Out: Do you feel like you were able to represent the Muppet fans in this movie?
Walter: Yeah, I really got that feeling. There's a lot of Walters out there - a lot of people who love the Muppets and wanted to see them back in the spotlight, as they deserve. The really amazing thing about this movie is it was really fantastic for those people who may not even know these characters so much. There's something in it for everybody.
I've seen this movie about 67 times now. Between the money Disney paid me, and the money I've spent in tickets, I think we'll call it even.
CNN Geek Out: Do you think this movie has legitimized Muppet geeks?
Walter: Yeah! Actually, I think it made us like an enviable group. Everyone wants to love the Muppets, and the great thing is - they can!
I've been a fan of the Muppet fansites ever since I can remember. Muppet Mindset and Muppet Central and Tough Pigs.
Before I got this movie, I actually submitted some fanfiction to Tough Pigs. It didn't get published or anything. What can I say? They're Tough Pigs!
CNN Geek Out: What makes you geek out about "The Muppets" the most?
Walter: Seeing the old opening of "The Muppet Show," re-created frame for frame, in this movie. That was a major geek out moment for me, for sure.
CNN Geek Out: We have some iReporter questions, one from Danny.
Walter: As it turns out, the guys are incredibly welcoming. I would tell Danny that almost everyone was really great. Nearly everyone. Almost everyone was really great. Almost.
Fine, I'll say it. Miss Piggy is amazing, but you might have heard the word "diva" attributed to her once or twice. She never really knew who I was the whole time. She thought I was her coffee boy.
CNN Geek Out: Another iReport question from Sebastian:
Walter: I haven't had a lot of time to give it much thought, but I had some ideas. I thought it would be fun to do a biopic, a prequel to "The Muppets," called "How I Met My Jason Segel."
Reblogged this on Danny the Puppet and commented:
I love this interview (mostly because I got to be a par of it...they quote me a few times and use a video of mine). Way to go Muppets. Hoping for their first Oscar tomorrow.
yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa we need the Muppets back . yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
muppets are awesome...my 2 year old even knows all of them...we went to see the movie 2 times....I am proud of my husband (larabee)...he's definately a kid at heart which is a great quality for a father of 2!!!!
How about linking to Tough Pigs, also?! I love that site!
So cute!!! Haha they conducted interviews with the Muppets! Oh to be a child again...
Steve Swanson over at the MuppetCast does a great show dedicated to the Muppets, Sesame Street and all things Henson. You want to check out Muppet geekiness, the MuppetCast is a great place to go! The last show he gave his thoughts and opinions on Walter and the gang from The Muppets.
Ummmmm.... aren't they all?