When we heard that the Muppets will be the official NYC Family Ambassadors -- Mayor Michael Bloomberg made the announcement in midtown along with Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo and Pepe the King Prawn -- we cast back into youth for the pop-culture moment involving both Statlers (now the Hotel Pennsylvania) and Waldorfs (the Waldorf Astoria, natch).
We're talking, of course, about "The Muppets Take Manhattan," which was one of the best love letters -- and a great advertisement -- to New York. Sardi's (with Liza Minnelli and Vincent Sardi!), Central Park, the Madison Avenue game and, of course, the bright lights of Broadway. And the gang sleeping in the long-gone lockers in the Port Authority bus terminal. I mean, just look at this trailer.
So back to the present. On www.nyc.gov, the Muppets will share city preferences based on their personalities, eg. the Swedish Chef will guide visitors on cuisine.
Said Bloomberg, "We're proud to enlist the help of key family experts, the Muppets, to promote the five boroughs domestically and abroad." The city will also be expanding its Family Ambassador program beyond the summer and into the entire year, which he said "will aid us in attracting more family visitors year round and therefore help us reach our goal of attracting 55 million visitors to New York City annually by 2015."
As for the Muppet voice? "New York is the most fabulous city in the world. In fact, it's almost as fabulous as moi!" Does it need to be said that this comment came from Miss Piggy?