12/29/1980 – ‘Shooting Editors office – Jack Warden’

In the boisterous second feature from the Muppets, The Great Muppet Caper, Kermit and Fozzie play crack investigative reporters working for The Daily Chronicle, ably assisted by their easily-distracted (by chickens) photographer, Gonzo. After missing a major news story, all three are fired by their loud-mouthed editor, Mike Tarkanian (played by Jack Warden). In an effort to win back their jobs, they head to London to get the scoop on a big jewel heist story, launching the action of the film.

Jack Warden was Jim’s first choice for the editor’s role and his believable performance helped draw audiences into the fantasy of Muppet journalists right from the opening scenes. Warden was known for playing powerful characters like his angry juror in 12 Angry Men or football coaches in a couple of other films. Perhaps Jim’s choice was inspired by Warden’s masterful performance as Washington Post editor Harry M. Rosenfeld in the 1976 film All the President’s Men.

Warden’s scene was the last straightforward one shot before the complications of the pool fantasy sequence and the final parachute scenes were tackled the following month. By February 1981, the shoot was finished and editing had begun to ready the film for its June 26th premiere.

For more information about The Great Muppet Caper production see:

Jim’s list of possible actors to cast in the Editor role.

Fozzie, Gonzo and Kermit on the hunt for a newsworthy story.

Prop newspaper from The Great Muppet Caper, 1981.

Jack Warden in a Great Muppet Caper scene still.

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