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Max is the secondary antagonist of the 1979 live-action film The Muppet Movie. He is the naive assistant and chauffeur of Doc Hopper.
He was portrayed by Austin Pendleton.
Max is the naive chauffeur who aids Doc Hopper in his villainous plan to employ Kermit the Frog as a spokesman. He supervises the construction of the latest fast food franchise known as Doc Hopper's Frog Legs. He brings Kermit to Doc Hopper's attention as a prospective spokesperson.
Max turns out to have little knowledge of the actualities of the fried frog leg business, and the moral stand of Kermit brings about a crisis of conscience, especially when Doc begins to hire criminals to threaten Kermit into being his spokesman.
In the third act of the film, after Doc hires assassin Snake Walker to kill Kermit, Max disguises himself as a motorcycle cop and pulls the Muppets’ bus over to warn them. Kermit tells Max to go back to Doc and tell him to meet him in a nearby ghost town.
Kermit and Doc have a final standoff, backed up by their respective groups. Kermit tries to reason with Doc and asks him who his friends are, leading Doc to say Max is one; Max shakes his head, further angering Doc. Hopper, who is now beyond redemption, is unmoved by Kermit’s words and orders his men to kill them all. Before they can open fire, Doc and the other men are ultimately scared away by Animal, who has taken more than enough of Dr. Honeydew's Insta-Grow Pills and appears as an oversized monster. Max then cheers for the Muppets before following Doc and his men out of the ghost town.
It is unknown what happens to Max afterwards, but it is unlikely that he continues working for Doc after denouncing him in the ghost town.
- Austin Pendleton refused the role of Max until the late James Frawley wrote more for the character to do, because he really wanted Pendleton for the role.
- According to Austin Pendleton, James Frawley was not very good for directing the movie, and did not get along with the Muppeteers.
- Austin Pendleton was born on March 27, 1940 in Warren, Ohio, 39 years before the film's release.