Statler and Waldorf are mainstays of The Muppets, and their heckling has been part of the show for decades. But on Saturday Night Live, the two’s constant interruptions were addressed in a surprisingly violent sketch starring Keegan-Michael Key.
The sketch was framed as a Disney+ show, but in reality what’s shown is a taping of the show with Statler and Waldorf in the balcony commenting on the action. Kermit is trying to chat up Lily Tomlin, but keeps getting interrupted by the odd couple upstairs. That’s when Key and Kenan Thompson, playing bouncers paid by the venue, come out to settle things down.
“Everyone here paid good money to see this little dragon and his friends do their thing,” Key’s bouncer character said. “So let them do their thing without talking.”
Key’s character says “you are more than welcome to leave” to the duo several times as they tried to argue their case. But eventually, he has to go up to the balcony and rough them up for himself. Both Key and Thompson struggle to keep it together as the two tough guys try to keep of the facade in the face of bruised and battered puppets from the legendary Jim Henson show crumple because of Key’s fists and elbows.
“Look, guys, I’m sorry,” Thompson’s bouncer says, giggling as Statler struggles to breathe and a shaken Waldorf looks off into the middle distance. “Obviously I’m not a big fan of this show either. I mean, it’s a mess backstage. Dude with orange hair just blowing things up. Penguin and chicken turds everywhere. It’s too madcap for my tastes.
“But enough of the hating,” he continues. “No more heckling, OK?”
Waldorf agrees, only to say something that gets him roughed up by Thompson as well. But the sketch ends with an exasperated Kermit telling everyone to quiet down, which gets the bouncers heckling him, too. At least he didn’t get a flying elbow for the effort from Tomlin, though.