John Madden announced his retirement today, retroactive to five years ago. Zing!
You know you’re a figure of unique American eminence when you’ve had an indelible impact on popular culture for so long that all the jokes at your expense have been exhausted. Yes, one could poke fun at his onscreen scribblings, the incoherent rants of his later years, or how he has come to resemble an aging, alcoholic Muppet.
But why? A thousand “comical” sports writers will no doubt spend today pecking away at “humorous” homages to the man. And you can be damn sure Madden has a Letterman “Top 10” list coming. Which will be exactly as funny as anything David Letterman has said in the past 15 years.
No . . . what Madden’s retirement really does is bring one crucial question to light: Which Muppet would you most want to get drunk with?
Kermit is right out, of course; as the leader, he’d spend hours slumped over the bar complaining about how hard it is to manage the gang. Booze would only exacerbate Miss Piggy’s abusive tendencies. Fozzy is already manic and annoying, and would probably puke on your shirt, to boot.
I suspect Gonzo is one of those guys who disdains alcohol for “clouding his mind” whilst partaking of substances “that come from the SOIL, man.” Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem might be fun (especially Janice!) but, as a band, they’d probably be surrounded by starstruck fans who’d gradually elbow you out of the ring of awe. Animal strikes me as the kind of dude who’s already too wild and hot-tempered to begin with—before you know it, you’ve taken three shots of tequila with him and he’s picking fights with the biggest guy in the bar.
The Swedish Chef? Nah. “Bork bork bork” is amusing on a sketch-by-sketch basis, but over the course of a night on the town, it would get so bork bork bork you’d bork bork bork all over his bork bork bork. See? Statler and Waldorf are already abrasive enough; you know you don’t want them aiming that contempt at you. Sam the Eagle? Recovering alky, my sources tell me.
Dr. Honeydew . . . those brainy types, they get drunk and forget that (1) no one understands what they’re researching and (2) nobody cares anyway. For me, that leaves Beaker. It would be kind of like getting your dog drunk and watching it flop around in the back yard before yakking in the grass. And by “dog” I don’t mean Rowlf; he strikes me as the sort who gets sloshed, then throws his arm around your shoulder and starts dispensing drunken “wisdom.” No, no, no: Beaker is your man. Or your whatever-Beaker-is.
Enjoy the weekend. If possible, bork bork bork.