Rock icon Dave Grohl recently joined forces with the Muppets, playing a piano-heavy version of Foo Fighters longtime hit Learn to Fly with the hand puppet house band Electric Mayhem on Miss Piggy’s late night talk show.
Wait, what? For those unaware, ABC’s The Muppets is a new spin on the classic characters, taking a documentary-style look at the real lives of everybody’s favorite puppet people, ala The Office. But just like the classic Muppet Show of the ’70s and ’80s, the new series is always filled with celebrity guest stars, who bring their talents along for the ride.
Grohl’s stint on the show included a drum battle with monstrous drummer Animal which ended in a tie — and two destroyed drum kits. And, in classic form, the Muppetized version of Learn to Fly had a few audience-centered asides, most of which centered on Gonzo The Great.
For the song, the curly-nosed, blue Muppet known for his fearless Evil Knievel-inspired acts works with Kermit to literally learn to fly in the video. It’s an effort that ends with the performer shooting himself out of a cannon on the roof of the Muppets’ studio, landing in a vat of “Piggy water” on top of a nearby building. After the landing, Kermit dubs him “Gonzo The Greatest.”
The Muppets returned to the airwaves this September, now helmed by Big Bang Theory co-creator Bill Prady and former 3rd Rock From The Sun producer Bob Kushell. Prady is a longtime contributor to the show, and has also written specials such as 1990’s Celebrate Jim Henson, as well as regular skits, for over 25 years.
Grohl is no stranger to the Muppets either, having replaced Animal as the drummer in the house band in the 2011 film feature film, also called The Muppets.
Improvisation seems to be a big part of Grohl’s success over the years, and he got his fair share of it in his recent appearance on the show. When the band tells him that they want to do the song different than they did it in rehearsal, Grohl asks them why they even rehearsed at all. They come up with an answer he likes, saying, “cause if we didn’t rehearse then there’s nothing to do it different from.”
“You know what, actually I dig that,” Grohl replies, smiling.
Grohl’s appearance followed the Foo Fighters’ recently released EP Saint Cecelia, which the band put out for free following what they felt was a change of meaning after the recent Paris attacks. The Foo have been encouraging fans to donate to charities with ties to the events, rather than pay for the EP.
You can watch the quick cut of Dave and Animal’s epic drum battle below.