The Muppet Movie Is Coming Back to Theaters For Its 40th Anniversary

The Jim Henson Company via Fathom Events
The Jim Henson Company via Fathom Events

Long before CGI-centric films ruled the box office, there were The Muppets. On June 22, 1979, the Muppets—who had found success (and Emmy acclaim) with The Muppet Show in the mid-1970s—made their feature film debut in The Muppet Movie, a musical road trip film directed by James Frawley and produced by Jim Henson.

The movie opens with Kermit performing the classic, Oscar-nominated song “Rainbow Connection” in a swamp, and soon the lyrics—"Someday we’ll find it / The Rainbow Connection / The lovers, the dreamers and me”—became an earworm for audiences of all ages. During a cross-country road trip to Hollywood, the movie shows how Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Rowlf the Dog, Fozzie Bear, Camilla the Chicken, Dr. Teeth, Scooter, Beaker, and Animal met, and even features a cameo from Orson Welles.

The grand musical finale involved an ambitious 250 puppets. Henson hired 150 extras to pull off the feat, including Tim Burton and John Landis (who handled Grover as a favor to Frank Oz, who was busy with Miss Piggy). The movie, which cost $8 million to make, grossed $76,657,000 domestically and enabled Henson to make more Muppet films, including The Great Muppet Caper (1981), The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984), and Muppets from Space (1999).

To celebrate The Muppet Movie's 40th anniversary, Fathom Events will re-release the film into 700 theaters on Tuesday, July 30 with two showings. To find out if there’s a screening in your area, you can head to the movie's page on the Fathom Events website and type in your zip code. Wocka wocka!

Wayfair’s Fourth of July Clearance Sale Takes Up to 60 Percent Off Grills and Outdoor Furniture

Wayfair/Weber
Wayfair/Weber

This Fourth of July, Wayfair is making sure you can turn your backyard into an oasis while keeping your bank account intact with a clearance sale that features savings of up to 60 percent on essentials like chairs, hammocks, games, and grills. Take a look at some of the highlights below.

Outdoor Furniture

Brisbane bench from Wayfair
Brisbane/Wayfair

- Jericho 9-Foot Market Umbrella $92 (Save 15 percent)
- Woodstock Patio Chairs (Set of Two) $310 (Save 54 percent)
- Brisbane Wooden Storage Bench $243 (Save 62 percent)
- Kordell Nine-Piece Rattan Sectional Seating Group with Cushions $1800 (Save 27 percent)
- Nelsonville 12-Piece Multiple Chairs Seating Group $1860 (Save 56 percent)
- Collingswood Three-Piece Seating Group with Cushions $410 (Save 33 percent)

Grills and Accessories

Dyna-Glo electric smoker.
Dyna-Glo/Wayfair

- Spirit® II E-310 Gas Grill $479 (Save 17 percent)
- Portable Three-Burner Propane Gas Grill $104 (Save 20 percent)
- Digital Bluetooth Electric Smoker $224 (Save 25 percent)
- Cuisinart Grilling Tool Set $38 (Save 5 percent)

Outdoor games

American flag cornhole game.
GoSports

- American Flag Cornhole Board $57 (Save 19 percent)
- Giant Four in a Row Game $30 (Save 6 percent)
- Giant Jenga Game $119 (Save 30 percent)

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The Office Writers Considered Making Michael Scott a Murderer, According to Greg Daniels

NBCUniversal, Inc.
NBCUniversal, Inc.

Greg Daniels is best known as the showrunner of The Office, a job that earned him two of his four Emmys. As reported by Screen Rant, the acclaimed creator dished in a recent interview with The Guardian about why the American version of the much-loved show almost wasn't made, along with a proposed plot twist for Michael Scott that forced Daniels to put his foot down.

"The UK version hadn’t finished airing and I’d never heard of it. My agent sent me a VHS tape of season one. It had a somewhat boring title so I didn’t look at it. He told me he wanted to show it to someone else if I wasn’t interested, so I popped it in. I watched the entire first series that evening," Daniels said.

As the show really got going after Steve Carell's role in The 40-Year-Old Virgin made him a household name, Daniels said some ideas in the writers room got too wacky for their own good. He recalled one particular instance, saying, “There were times where [the writers] would become enamored with a joke, and I'd have to put my foot down. For instance, they really wanted Michael to kill Meredith with his car. That was an early pitch, where he runs her over in the parking lot and then comes back, gets a tire iron and finishes the job. I was like, 'You can’t do that, that’s crazy!'”

Michael being a murderer certainly would have changed the tone of the show, so it makes sense that it never happened. Imagine the courtroom scenes we would have had to endure! The Scranton Strangler storyline would have paled in comparison.

[h/t Screen Rant]