Jim HensonJim Henson was determined to use the larger budget of a feature film to push the technological limits and capabilities of puppetry. One of the most difficult feats (and one that appears deceptively easy on-screen) was making Kermit ride a bicycle.
The illusion of Fozzie driving the Studebaker was achieved by having a midget drive the car via remote control from the trunk, using a television monitor to guide his steering. The puppeteers would lay on the seat or floor and couldn't see a thing. The first time they tested it, the television monitor went on the blink, and the driver had to be talked through the scene by an assistant director on a walkie-talkie ("A little to the right, now, to the left...hold it...").
The first Muppet project to take place in the real world.
Kermit playing the banjo while sitting on a log took five days to shoot. Jim HensonJim Henson had to sit in a 50-gallon steel drum submerged in a pond to operate the Kermit puppet for the sequence.
The character of Doc Hopper is a parody of [?] Harland Sanders, the founder of the Kentucky Fried Chicken (now "KFC") restaurant chain, who was known for his attire of a white suit and bolo string tie.
Austin PendletonAustin Pendleton originally turned down the role of Max. James FrawleyJames Frawley had the role expanded because he really wanted Pendleton for the role.
This was the last movie to feature famed ventriloquist Edgar BergenEdgar Bergen and his wooden sidekick, Charlie McCarthyCharlie McCarthy; Bergen died shortly after his scene was shot in 1978. It held particular meaning for Jim HensonJim Henson, who cited, on many occasions, how Bergen and McCarthy were the major reasons he took an interest in puppetry. A dedication to Bergen is included in the end credits.
In a 2004 interview, John LandisJohn Landis revealed that he was the puppeteer for Grover during the final sequence, as Frank OzFrank Oz was busy operating Miss Piggy. Landis also noted that Tim BurtonTim Burton was also among the many puppeteers in the finale.
The film was an analogy for Jim HensonJim Henson's rise to fame.
Orson WellesOrson Welles plays a studio executive named Lew Lord who draws up a standard rich-and-famous contract for The Muppets - a reference to real-life producer [?] Sir Lew Grade (later [?] Lord Grade). When Jim HensonJim Henson was trying to find a producer to make [The Muppet Show] happen, no American network understood or was interested in the concept, Grade recognized Henson's vision and made the show possible.