It’s been a while, but the affable star of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ is reviving the Muppet mania that has been hibernating deep inside most of us over-25-year-olds. This week, Jason Segel’s new movie ‘The Muppets’ opens nationwide, and, because of his own Muppet mania, he seems to be the most star struck of them all.

In an interview with Rolling Stone’s ‘Off the Cuff’ series, Segel said that working on the film for more than four years had to be about “more than just liking the Muppets.” He admitted that he is obsessed. He said, “I cried pretty hard the first time I met Kermit. It sounds very sweet but it was really strange. Like, ‘Is this guy really going to be capable of being in charge, or is he going to cry constantly?’”

Segel’s mom introduced him to the Muppets early in life when she began showing him recorded episodes of ‘The Muppet Show.’ “They taught me what kind of comedian I wanted to be,” he said. “They never get laughs by making fun of anybody, but there’s a sense of controlled chaos, that they could bubble over at any minute, but never at other people’s expense.”

Segel pitched the movie to Disney, who had bought the Muppet franchise from the Henson estate back in 2004, and was surprised and delighted when they actually gave him the green light. He told Rolling Stone that they didn’t have to make many calls for cameos. People kept coming to them, wanting to be in the film with their beloved Muppet characters.

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