Jason Segel isn’t just starring in “The Muppets” (set for release Nov. 23). He’s also a co-writer, having written the script with his “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” partner Nick Stoller. While “The Muppets” isn’t likely to have nude scenes and wild cards like Russell Brand, putting the script together was a logistical nightmare, according to Segel. “It was oddly a lot more complicated than I thought,” Segel said in an interview during the CBS after-party during the TCAs. “All of a sudden, you realize when you write a scene like, ‘The Muppets run away from the building,’ the set has to be elevated and there’s puppeteers operating all four limbs. It’s as creative as you want it to be in your brain.”
But writing for puppets may not have been the most gut-wrenching part of the job for the “How I Met Your Mother” star. “I cried the first time Kermit said a line I’d written,” he said. “It’s not even “awww” worthy. It just happened. I’d been writing the script for about four years, literally since ‘Sarah Marshall.’ We did a table reading, and they’d brought the puppets for the first time. We’re all just sitting at the table, and all of a sudden they brought out Kermit and he said the first line that I had written. And I just lost my shit a little bit. I started crying at the table read and I had to awkwardly ask them to stop filming. It was emotional. He’s been my favorite since I was a little kid.” Despite the tears, Segel added, “It was a good day.”
Of course, Segel still has his day job, which is about to get some complications of its own. After a bout of infertility, Marshall is goingt to have a baby with Lily (Alyson Hannigan). Though the addition of a baby to a show can be a worrisome sign, Segel swears the show won’t be jumping the shark. “It doesn’t feel stunty to me,” he said. “Our characters have been married for five years. It’s kind of what happens. You have a kid, that’s what happens… For Carter [Bays] and Craig [Thomas], this is what’s happening in their lives. I don’t write the show, but you write what’s happening in your life and that’s what turns out being great. ‘Sarah Marshall’ was about a bad break-up which I’d had, ‘Five Year Engagement’ was about being in a long term relationship, which Nick and I have both experienced, and Marshall and Lilly getting pregnant is what these guys are going through. I think one of the things that makes the show feel true is we’re not trying to create an artifice of what people want to see. We’re trying to do very naturally what [people] our age are going through.” And sometimes, if you’re lucky, that includes Muppets.