Scooter at TED2012 (Yes, the Muppet!)

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Photo: James Duncan Davidson

“Bye, Lisa, I’m off to the TED Conference!” That’s what Scooter announced just before being grabbed by a hook and pulled into a series of wonderful events.

So, there was a delay, but he made it. And what he didn’t mention in the movie is: He was a speaker!

On stage at TED2012 — the “Academy Awards for nerds,” as he put it — Scooter laid out his question: “Can Tactile Icons Survive in anĀ Integer-Driven Environment?” In other words, MUPPETS vs. CGI! (Or “Formulas vs. Felt.”) In a breathtaking intellectual throwdown only a 2-foot-high Muppet could deliver, Scooter laid out a series of trenchant arguments that demolished the notion that computer-generated characters have surpassed puppets:

-CG can do 3D? Muppets have always been 3D.

-CG can do motion capture? Hand moves, puppet moves. Motion: captured.

-Artificial intelligence? “In all the years I’ve been with the Muppets, we’ve never done anything intelligent, artificial or otherwise.”

And the best part of being at TED: JJ Abrams promised him he could play a Vulcan.