Besides the accusations of “false histories” and the hand-wringing over fart shoes, one of the earliest, most controversial aspects of The Muppets was the introduction of an all-new Muppet, Walter, a character who would not only intrude upon the group’s sacrosanct world, but more or less be its center. And while one might expect such a decision to be engineered by a designated Disney subcommittee that would concoct a design based on relentless focus testing and merchandising considerations, then maybe add sunglasses. But as this New York Times profile reveals, its inspiration came from a much more human place: “They told me to think about Michael Cera—that if he was a puppeteer he would already have the job,” says Peter Linz, the man who actually ended up doing it, since a puppeteering hobby is one of the few quirks Michael Cera does not currently have. Put down the bass guitar and pick up a puppet, Michael Cera. You’re losing money here.
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