When ABC announced that its reboot of "The Muppets" (premiering Tuesday night) would take the format of a "mockumentary," many compared the style to that of "The Office."
When applied to the American version of the latter, the comparison goes beyond confessionals that break the fourth wall; it extends to both shows' characters, who have more in common than you might think.
While Scooter's background nerdiness may remind some viewers of human-resources rep Toby Flenderson, and Rowlf's sage words and piano-playing prowess echo those of warehouse foreman Darryl Philbin, these five comparisons may be the most sensational, inspirational, "celebrational and Muppet-ational."
1. Kermit the Frog and Jim Halpert (played by John Krasinski)
On "The Muppets": When things go awry, as they often do, Kermit's "Sheesh!" is the defeated voice of reason. After years of not knowing how to handle his feelings for Miss Piggy, they broke up; Kermit's now dating a Muppet named Denise.
On "The Office": The verbal equivalent of Kermit's "Sheesh!" are Jim's wide-eyed takes to the closest video camera. In Season 1 of "The Office," Jim abandons his seemingly unrequited feelings for office mate Pam Beasley and dates a new woman named Katy, played by Amy Adams — who'd go on to star in the 2011 movie "The Muppets."
2. Miss Piggy and Pam Beasley (played by Jenna Fischer)
On "The Muppets": Dedicated to the arts (performance). Frustrated by her work environment, she's trying to remain professional on a fundamental level. Probably still has a crush on Kermit but chooses not to verbalize it, perhaps because of existing relationships. Has a flair for the dramatic (just ask TODAY's Kathie Lee Gifford).
On "The Office": Dedicated to the arts (visual). Frustrated by her work environment, she's trying to remain professional on a fundamental level. Definitely had a crush on Jim but couldn't verbalize it because of existing relationships. Has been known to pull off a dramatic moment or two, as evidenced by her beach fire walk and subsequent confessions.
3. Gonzo and Dwight Schrute (played by Rainn Wilson)
On "The Muppets": Once described by Kermit as the Muppets' "resident weird person," the Great Gonzo often perplexed his colleagues, who enjoyed laughing with him as he routinely failed onstage. In the 1999 movie "Muppets from Space," Gonzo learns his family is from outer space.
On "The Office": Dunder Mifflin's resident weird person (well, one of them, anyway), Dwight often perplexes his colleagues, who enjoy laughing at him as the routine target of pranks. Dwight's cousin, Mose, might as well be from outer space.
4. Fozzie Bear and Andy Bernard (played by Ed Helms)
On "The Muppets": Whether he's singing or telling jokes, this consummate entertainer just wants to be the life of the party. Relies on a catchphrase ("Wocka wocka!") in an attempt to endear himself to his audience, with poor to mixed results.
On "The Office:" Whether he's singing or telling jokes, this consummate entertainer just wants to be the life of the party — even if it means a kids' party where children throw pies at him. Relies on a catchphrase ("Rit it dit do dooo!") in an attempt to endear himself to his coworkers, with poor to mixed results.
5. Animal and Creed Bratton (played by Creed Bratton)
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