Muppets Haunted Mansion Special Will Feature An Appearance By The Late Ed Asner

Celebrity deaths are one of those inevitable facts of life that I nonetheless take extremely personally, particularly whenever someone I have personal attachments to is involved. It's only natural! Even without the looming specter of delays caused by the pandemic, the nature of this business means that it's not unusual for an actor or entertainer's last work to release well after their actual deaths. This can be deeply bittersweet, reminding us of what we've lost while simultaneously giving us another chance to say goodbye. 

That happens to be the case with Ed Asner, the esteemed actor best known for playing Lou Grant on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and providing the voice of Carl Fredricksen in the Pixar film "Up," who passed away a few weeks ago at the age of 91. 

Unexpectedly, however, Asner still had some tricks up his sleeve. He will make an appearance in the "Muppets Haunted Mansion" special, which feels perfectly fitting.

It's Not Goodbye Just Yet

Admirably, Ed Asner stayed busy and productive right up until the end. At the time of his passing, the venerated actor still had a handful of projects in various stages of production. One of them, apparently, was a special guest appearance in the Disney+ special, "Muppets Haunted Mansion." 

Set on Halloween, Gonzo must stay the night at Disney's theme park attraction where hijinks, presumably, will ensue. It was previously announced that the special would include all-new songs, kid-friendly spookiness, and celebrity cameos. But, to my delight, I didn't realize until now that Ed Asner would be one of them. Check out the announcement tweet below:

Again, this is just perfect. Already a Disney veteran with his voice acting in 2009's "Up," I can just imagine how well he plays off the colorful personalities of the Muppets. I firmly believe every near-universally beloved actor of a certain caliber should act opposite the Muppets at least once in their careers. Tim Curry stole the show in "Muppet Treasure Island" and Sir Michael Caine still receives regular praise for his near Oscar-worthy performance as Scrooge in "A Muppet Christmas Carol," managing to convince kids (and adults!) of all ages that he genuinely hated all those lovable Jim Henson creations. 

While this only promises to be a cameo, I'm ready to watch a new and fresh Ed Asner appearance on my TV screen.

"Muppets Haunted Mansion" comes to Disney+ on October 8, 2021.