Kermit the Frog's most famous song, after "Back That Azz Up," is "The Rainbow Connection," and it's one that hits everyone a little differently depending on what they've got going on in their lives. As a song talking about a connection between us all, it made perfect sense for Kermit to bust it out during the loneliness of self-isolation.
Like many people putting together shows at home these days, Kermit has to get up to turn his camera on and off in his little swamp all by himself -- though he has much better set-up than Gonzo's OnlyFans videos. What makes this nice is that it's a calm, gentle reminder that just because the world is in chaos, with even frogs staying at home in their swamps, our dreams don't have to disappear. It's also noteworthy that for a lot of people, this might be their first introduction (outside of those bonkers Facebook Portal commercials) to Matt Vogel as the new voice of Kermit. Here, take a listen to a Vogel/Henson comparison.
This song's got quite the history to it. First and foremost, it was the main number from The Muppet Movie over 40 years ago. Fittingly, it was also the song that set the tone for Jim Henson's memorial service.
Henson was the kind of person who wanted his funeral to be a celebration of life, as he refused to let anyone show up in black. But it was also a moment where the Muppet family realized there needed to be some lines of succession. Many Muppets have since had to receive substitutions from other puppeteers -- which means that Muppet mainstays, such as "Rainbow Connection," have to be learned anew while keeping the magic alive.
Performances of the song have ranged from the very touching (Henson's memorial, the Willie Nelson cover, and the Kenny Loggins cover), to borderline inappropriate (on Season 8 of The Bachelorette). And, yes, those goddamned Facebook Portal ads.
It's a bit weird to suggest that Kermit has some kind of internal reflex that forces him to start singing, like a Muppet Manchurian Candidate, whenever he hears the opening notes, Zuckerberg. But, the point is, while these "Rainbow Connection" covers can come from anywhere -- Muppeteers, famous singers, a school recital -- they'll mostly come from the heart.
The hidden "Rainbow Connection" is actually the way that very song brings us all together.
Isaac is on Twitter and Instagram @NotFunnyIsaac and wants to connect with all of you.
Top Image: The Muppets Studio