To paraphrase Kermit the Frog, it’s not easy being a Muppet. At a recent publicity event at New York’s Fashion Cafe to debut Kmart’s Sesame Street line of clothes, pitchwoman Penny Marshall was leading a cast of fuzzy friends down the runway — ”On one of the episodes of Laverne & Shirley,” recalls Marshall, ”Shirley showed me how to model, so I figured I could help out” — when things took a fowl turn. As Marshall attempted to teach Big Bird a dramatic twirl, she lost her footing and frantically grabbed at him for balance. Much to her horror — not to mention that of the predominantly preteen crowd — Marshall latched on to Big Bird’s right wing and promptly tore it off. Unruffled, Big Bird quipped, ”It’ll grow back,” and continued to model his ”lovely one-armed garment.” Later, Marshall ruefully vowed to ”never again [work with puppets] now that I injured the bird.” As they say, a bird in the hand…
Posted August 15 1997 — 12:00 AM EDT
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