As part of our twice-weekly series, VF.com interviews the actors and directors behind 2012 awards season’s juggernaut films. In today’s conversation, actor Jason Segel—writer of The Muppets, which earned an Oscar nomination for best original song—talks to Krista Smith about sequel rumors, his love life, and how the Freaks & Geeksgang still keeps in touch. Highlights from their chat:
Krista Smith: So after seeing the movie with them eight times, I got my sons The Muppets TV show.
Jason Segel: Oh, cool!
The best quote, basically, of 2012 for me is: “Mommy, who’s Connie Stevens?”
Oh my God.
Jason, I leave it to you. How do you explain to a four-year-old and a five-and-a-half-year-old who Connie Stevens is?
That is so funny. I’ll tell you the answer. You say, “It doesn’t matter anymore.” Did you get to the Peter Sellers episode yet?
Yes! We went through all.
The Peter Sellers one kills me, because he has an existential crisis at the beginning—I don’t know who Peter Sellers is anymore. For five minutes, it’s not a kid’s monologue at all.
And it was primetime. This wasn’t like Nickelodeon. This was on at night.
It was Saturday Night Live. It was like Saturday Night Live for families—it was really crazy.
Speaking of S.N.L., how much fun did you have hosting the show?
It was the best week of my life.
I imagine it would be, right?
It is without a doubt—especially as a comedian—it’s a marker. You dream of doing S.N.L. some day. It was not lost on me for a minute. When I walked out that door at the beginning, I was like, Oh, you did it, kid.
And I am so thrilled “Man or Muppet” got nominated for best original song.
I am, obviously, thrilled. I knew it as soon as I heard that song. I mean, Bret McKenzie nailed it. It was kind of a package deal—he came along with [Muppets director James] Bobin, who directed Flight of the Conchords. I’ve written the music for a couple of the movies I did, but the songs I write for Russell are allowed to be intentionally bad, you know what I mean? They’re allowed to be joke-y. The Muppets songs—I didn’t want to do The Muppets songs with any sense of irony whatsoever. The songs had to be actually good. And Bret McKenzie just came in and slaughtered it.
Read the entire interview HERE