I didn’t know I needed to see Kermit play Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof,” but turns out, I did. And I’d venture to say that actually, we all do.
Thanks to TikTok user Kermit MaFrog, who takes on different popular musical songs chanted by a puppet of the popular frog from Jim Henson’s “The Muppets,” we have an incredible rendition of “If I Were a Rich Man,” amended to, naturaly, “If I Were a Rich Frog.”
The lyrics are mostly unchanged, though Kermit laments about God creating many “poor muppets” and sings, “If I were a rich frog, ribbit, ribbit, ribbit, ribbit, ribbit, croak,” with the delightful dry Yiddish inflection of the men who popularized that role — from Zero Mostel to Haim Topol. Every time he sings that “croak,” my soul soars a little.
There’s something about the perfect meld of Yiddish accent and the still convincing nasal Kermit tone under it all that makes this rendition supremely delightful. Add to that the perfect Tevye costume MaFrog has assembled, with a tweed cap, a faux greying beard, a tweed vest and white shirt and you can understand why the video has gained close to 100,000 views. Though perhaps my favorite detail are the books Kermit sits on as he sings about fantastical riches — they’re a bunch of Jewish author Shel Silverstein’s classics and a copy of “Fleishman Is In Trouble.” I truly have zero notes about this video.
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This enchanting parody isn’t the first muppet and “Fiddler” crossover. Back in 1996, Jerry Nelson (aka the voice of Count von Count) performed a take on “Tradition,” aptly titled “Addition,” for Sesame Street’s “Monsterpiece Theater,” in which Nelson counted fiddlers on the roof. At the end of the clip, all the Fiddlers fall into the house, caving down the roof while Cookie Monster says, “Oy gevalt, will you meshugenah please cut down the fiddling and go fix my roof?” When they won’t stop playing, he sighs out an, “Oy, show business,” and the clip ends. Someone give Cookie a rugelach, stat!
I don’t know about you, but I’d watch a whole “Fiddler on the Roof” Muppets musical. One commenter on the Kermit TikTok suggested the title “Fozzler on the Roof,” and well, I think we need to make it happen. Paging “The Muppets Mayhem” (and “The Goldbergs”) creator Adam Goldberg — please make our dreams come true!