The Muppet Show


The Muppet Show Information

The Muppet Show is a comedy-variety television series produced by puppeteer Jim Henson and featuring the Muppets. After two pilot episodes produced in 1974 and 1975 failed to get the attention of America's network heads, Lew Grade approached Henson to produce the programme for his ATV Associated Television franchise in the UK. The show premiered on 5 September 1976, and five series were produced until 15 March 1981, lasting 120 episodes. The series shows a vaudeville or music hall-style song-and-dance variety show, as well as glimpses behind the scenes of such a show. Kermit the Frog stars as a showrunner who tries to keep control of the antics of the other Muppet characters (and his temper), as well as keep the guest stars happy. The show was known for outrageous physical slapstick, sometimes absurdist comedy, and humorous parodies. Each episode also featured a human guest star. As the show's popularity rose, many celebrities were eager to perform with the Muppets on television and in film.

Many of the puppeteers also worked on Sesame Street. Muppet performers over the course of the show include Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, Dave Goelz, Fran Brill, Eren Ozker, Steve Whitmire, Louise Gold, Kathryn Mullen, Karen Prell, Brian Muehl, Bob Payne, and John Lovelady. Jerry Juhl and Jack Burns were two of the show writers.

Plot

Opening sequence

Main article: The Muppet Show Theme
"The Muppet Show Theme" was played at the beginning and end of every episode of The Muppet Show. Although it evolved visually over the course of the series' five seasons, the musical composition remained sequentially the same.

For the first series, each episode began with a shot of the title card. As the camera zoomed in, the spotlight immediately lit up the O, the centre of which swung back to reveal Kermit, who introduced the "Very special guest star" from this position before retreating behind the sign. The title card then lifted up to reveal the curtains, and the camera pulled back to reveal the Muppet orchestra with Crazy Harry playing a triangle. Two chorus lines, one of four chorus girls and one of four chorus boys then took turns crossing the stage, the former group entering from stage right and the latter from stage left. The curtains then parted to reveal Fozzie Bear who each week tells a joke before the curtain abruptly closes on him. As the curtains close, Kermit appeared in front of them to visually present the guest star. The last verse was then performed from a set of cake layer-like risers. Kermit and the chorus of Muppets raised their arms as the song finished and the logo once again lowered into place with Gonzo trying to use the O as a gong, swinging at it with a mallet before some incident occurs.

For the second series, each episode began with a shot of the title card and Kermit introducing the guest star from inside the O. He stayed perched in the sign as it was lifted into the rafters. The curtain was then raised, revealing a series of arches. Next, a group of full-bodied monsters walked on-stage, followed by a group of females singing a verse, followed by the males singing the following verse. Statler and Waldorf followed with a new wisecrack each week in place of Fozzie's joke except a couple of instances where they merely sit down in their seats. Kermit was shown seated in the arches with the rest of the cast. The camera changes shots further and further away before the logo is lowered before them. Kermit and Fozzie run to the left and right sides of the logo respectively behind the arches so they wouldn't get hidden out of the shot. Gonzo is inside the circle and plays a note on his bugle, often wrongly or with some kind of incident that changed every week.

For the third series, the opening remained the same except for two differences: initial shots of Zoot and Rowlf and an additional shot where the audience asks, "Why Don't You Get Things Started?" Also, some episodes featured had a special scene during the opening that took place either backstage or the orchestra pit, in place of a comment by Statler and Waldorf.

For the fourth series, the opening was shortened. The shots of women and men singing in the arches were replaced with a single shot of men (on the top row of arches) and women (on the bottom row of arches) singing one short verse. The rest of the opening remained unchanged from the third season's opening.

For the fifth series, the opening underwent some changes. The shot of Rowlf and Zoot were replaced with a shot of a new Zoot puppet. This opening reverted to having the men and women sing two different verses, but they were re-shot. The arches appear to be slightly thicker and wider than previously. Statler and Waldorf then sang a new verse expressing their hatred toward The Muppet Show. This was followed by a shot of the orchestra and then a shot of a few rows of arches filled with characters saying, "And now let's get things started", before the audience says, "Why don't you get things started?". The rest of the opening remains the same from previous versions.

Ending sequence

Each episode ended with an extended instrumental performance of "The Muppet Show Theme" by the Muppet orchestra before Statler and Waldorf gave the last laugh of the night. Some last laugh sequences featured other Muppets on the balcony. For example, in one episode, the Muppets of Sesame Street appeared behind the duo, who told them, "How should we know how to get to Sesame Street? We don't even know how to get out of this stupid theater box!"

Setting

The Muppet Theater is the setting for The Muppet Show, a grand old vaudeville house that has seen better days. In episode 106, Kermit identifies the name of the theater as The Benny Vandergast Memorial Theater, although by the time of It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, it is simply called "The Muppet Theater." It is then that the theater becomes registered as a historical landmark.

According to The Phantom of the Muppet Theater, the theater was built by a stage actor named John Stone in 1802. At some point a production of Hamlet ran in the theater, with Stone playing the title role. An alternate exterior is also shown in the book.

Locations seen in the Muppet Theater include backstage right (which includes Kermit's desk), the dressing rooms, the attic (featured in four compilation videos released in 1985), the canteen, the prop room, the stage, the house, the stage door lobby, and the back alley. A replica of the theatre serves as the setting for the Muppet*Vision 3D attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney California Adventure.

Scooter's uncle J.P. Grosse owns the theater, and rents it to the Muppets, as Scooter is only too happy to remind Kermit. In a deleted scene from It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, Kermit reveals that J.P. has died and left the theater to the Muppets in his will. This would have taken place sometime after 1996, as J.P. can be seen (and referred to as such by the head of the KMUP network) in episode 107 of Muppets Tonight, the 1990s reworking of The Muppet Show. The Muppet Theater is shown to be in New York City as Rachel Bitterman plots to tear down the Muppet Theater and build a club. She is thwarted when Pepe the King Prawn manages to get the Muppet Theater to be made into a national landmark.

In The Muppets, a version of the Muppet Theater is seen in Los Angeles and is located next to Muppet Studios. It is the main storyline of the movie that the Muppets reunite to raise money to buy back the Muppet Theater deed from an oil magnate named Tex Richman.

Recurring skits

  • A Poem by Rowlf - Rowlf the Dog would recite a classic poem while other Muppets end up interrupting him. Only appeared in the first season.
  • An Editorial by Sam the Eagle - Sam the Eagle gives an editorial on a specific topic which ends up occurring during the editorial. Only appeared in the second season.
  • At the Dance " The sketch was a regular during the first season, but was used less frequently from the second season onward. Muppet characters (some of them being Whatnots) circulated on a semi-formal dance floor offering rapid fire one-liner jokes and come-backs as the couples passed in front of the camera. Debuted in The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence, and played a large role in the plot for a season five episode.
  • Bear on Patrol " Fozzie Bear is an unlucky police officer and Link Hogthrob is his incompetent superior who always get into the silliest situations with the criminals brought in. The voice of the announcer was performed by Jerry Nelson. Debuted in the third season.
  • Blackouts - A bunch of short, comic sketches traditional to vaudeville that end with the lights turning off or a quick closing of the curtain. Only appeared in the first season.
  • Cold Openings - The Cold Openings would appear at the beginning of each episode, and would officially introudce the guest star. During the first season, Kermit would introduce the guest star during the opening theme. His introduction would be followed by a clip of the guest star, usually surrounded by a group of Muppets. Beginning the second season, the Cold Openings would appear before the opening theme song. Scooter would visit the guest star in his/her dressing room, usually saying "Fifteen seconds to curtain". This would then be followed by a brief joke. In the fifth season, the guest star would enter the theater and would be greeted by Pops the Doorman. Pops would always say "Who are you?" as soon as he saw the guest star. After the guest star introduced himself/herself to Pops, a joke would follow.
  • Fozzie Bear's Act " Fozzie Bear gets on stage and performs his famously bad jokes. Statler and Waldorf heckle him, in a perpetual rivalry. The sketches became less frequent as Fozzie's off-stage presence became more prevalent. In one first season episode however, Fozzie turned the tables on Statler and Waldorf with help from Bruce Forsyth and they waved the white flag in surrender. Mainly appeared during the first season, but made occasional appearances in later seasons.
  • Gonzo's Stunts - These sketches detail the stunts of Gonzo the Great.
  • Muppet Labs " Segments featuring the latest invention from Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, with his assistant, Beaker, getting the worst of its inevitable malfunction. The character of Beaker was introduced in season two. During the first season Bunsen hosted Muppet Labs by himself, but the writers soon realized that another character was necessary to show Bunsen's failings.
  • Muppet Melodrama - A sketch where Uncle Deadly would capture Miss Piggy and put her in perilous plights in order to force her to marry him. Wayne would often have to be the one save her. Only appeared in the third season.
  • Muppet News Flash " The Muppet Newsman gives a news brief only to have some disaster befall him (typically the same disaster he was just describing), or another strange scenario: such as the time that he ran on, stated "There is no news tonight.", and ran off. In the first season, the Muppet Newsman read out news items that occasionally featured the guest star for that week playing a character that was somehow involved in the item. Muppet News Flashes often used absurdist humour; in one sketch, the announcer stated that the Atlantic Ocean had been kidnapped. Another example is this statement: "Reports are coming in from all over the world that Television News Reporters are blowing up. These unlikely rumors are... KA-BOOM!" A third example, a cross-over with the Swedish Chef, has the Swedish Chef open and cause a wine bottle "explosion" (if a bottle is shaken too much before opening it for the first time, fizz will shoot up and out of the bottle) and flies through the air, classified as a UFO by the Muppet Newsman. As the scene goes, he was reported directly above the Muppet News Room and he landed on and crushed the Muppet Newsman.
  • Muppet Sports - A sports sketch that features different sporting activities that are covered by Louis Kazagger. Debuted in the third season.
  • Musical Chickens - A bunch of chickens would peck the piano keys and play a classic song in order to show of their musical talents.
  • Panel Discussions - A sketch where Kermit the Frog, the featured guest star, and other Muppets discuss various topics. Only appeared in the first season.
  • Pigs in Space " Parody of science fiction programmes like Star Trek, but also 1930s sci-fi serials. The spacecraft is called USS Swinetrek and the title voice-over is a parody of Lost in Space. It features Captain Link Hogthrob, Miss Piggy as first mate, and Dr. Julius Strangepork (the name a take-off on "Dr. Strangelove"). Usually, the sketches would involve the long-suffering Piggy putting up with the wacko Strangepork and the brain dead Link treating her as an inferior because she is a woman. The early sketches also usually featured odd introductions for all the characters, such as calling Link the flappable captain, Miss Piggy the flirtatious first mate, and referring to Dr. Strangepork as "describable." Dr. Strangepork usually got the most unusual description out of the three during these introductions as he was the oddest member of the group. This portion of the introduction was dropped during season three, and the announcer would simply claim it was "time for...Piiiiiigs...iiiin...spaaaaaaace!" Debuted in the second season.
  • Planet Koozebane - A sketch about a planet containing strange alien lifeforms like the Koozebanian creatures, the Koozebanian Phoob, the Fazoobs, the Koozebanian Spooble, and the Merdlidops. This was a common stop for the Swinetrek crew. The planet would also be featured later on Muppet Babies, the "Space Cowboys" episode of Jim Henson's Little Muppet Monsters, and CityKids (which featured different Koozebanian aliens). Kermit the Frog would later report from Koozebane on a 1992 Good Morning America appearance. Planet Koozebane was also referenced in the Science Fiction episode of The Jim Henson Hour, and in the video game Muppets Party Cruise.
  • Rowlf at the Piano - Rowlf the Dog would sing classical songs and would be occasionally accompanied by the other Muppet characters.
  • Talk Spots - While sitting on a wall, Kermit the Frog would talk to the guest star and would occasionally be joined by the other Muppets. Mostly appeared during the first season, but made occasional appearances during the second season, and made two rare appearances in the third season (one of which featured Same the Eagle and the Swedish Chef in place of Kermit).
  • Talking Houses - A bunch of houses that tell jokes to each other. Only appeared during the first season.
  • The Electric Mayhem - A bunch of musical sketches featuring Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem.
  • The Swedish Chef " A cooking show parody. It consists of the Swedish Chef, who speaks mock Swedish, semi-comprehensible gibberish which parodies the characteristic vowel sounds and intonation of Swedish. He attempts to cook a dish with great enthusiasm, until the punch line hits. A hallmark of these sketches was the improvisation between Jim Henson, who performed the Chef's head and voice, and Frank Oz, who was his hands. One would often make something up on the spot, making the other puppeteer comply with the action. Famous gags include "chickie in du baskie" ("two points!"), meatballs that bounce, chocolate "moose", attempting to cook Kermit's nephew and perhaps most famously, repeatedly adding pepper to a recipe. The chef was frequently seen chasing a fraught-looking chicken around the set whilst stating 'Yur puurt der chir-ken in der bewl' or words to this effect. Debuted in the pilot, The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence.
  • UK Spots - Due to shorter commercial breaks in the United Kingdom, every episode of The Muppet Show lasted two minutes longer in the UK than in the United States. The extra segments that were filmed to cover this time differential have been referred to as "UK Spots." Most of these UK Spots consisted of a short song.
  • Vendaface - The Vendaface (voiced by Jerry Nelson) is a vending machine that can give any Muppet a facelift. The Vendaface was apparently only meant to be used once, but David Lazer said that they shouldn't build such an expensive puppet only to use him once. The writers then decided to have him on the show a few more times in the first season. The Vendaface later appeared in Episode 66 as the Vendawish (voiced by Jerry Nelson) which was a wish-granting machine.
  • Veterinarian's Hospital " Parody of the soap opera General Hospital and other medical dramas, consisting of Dr. Bob (played by Rowlf the Dog) cracking corny jokes in the operating room with Nurses Piggy and Janice, much to the bemusement of the hapless patient. Each instalment ends with Dr. Bob and his nurses looking around in puzzlement as a disembodied narrator tells viewers to "tune in next time, when you'll hear Nurse Piggy / Dr Bob / Nurse Janice say....", whereupon one of the three 'medics' will prompt a corny response from one of the others. On a number of occasions, the "Veterinarian's Hospital" sketch would crossover with the cast or set of another, such as "At the Dance" or "Pigs in Space." On one occasion, Dr. Bob was the patient while the guest star (Christopher Reeve) played a doctor going to operate on Dr. Bob. In the first season the narrator was usually voiced by John Lovelady, but Jerry Nelson performed the role in both the Harvey Korman and Rita Moreno episodes, before taking over the role permanently from the Phyllis Diller episode. In the introduction, Dr. Bob went from "a former orthopedic surgeon" to "a quack" who's "gone to the dogs."
  • Wayne and Wanda - Each sketch would feature Wayne and Wanda singing a song, only to be interrupted by some sort of pun relating to a lyric. Sam the Eagle introduced these sketches, as he felt that they were among the few cultured aspects of the show. Only appeared during the first season, however a few new sketches appeared in later seasons (with just Wayne).

Guest stars

No guest star ever appeared twice on The Muppet Show, although John Denver appeared both on the show and in two specials (John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together and John Denver & the Muppets: Rocky Mountain Holiday), while Dudley Moore reappeared in the special, The Muppets Go to the Movies. Additionally, several guest stars from the series had cameos in one of the first three Muppet theatrical films.

Many episodes featured actors, such as Dom DeLuise; some featured veteran performers like Ethel Merman and Rita Moreno; some featured well-known pop singers, including Elton John, Diana Ross, and Leo Sayer. Sayer's show used his hit "The Show Must Go On": he changed the lyrics in the second verse slightly, from "I wish I could tear down the walls of this theatre" to "I wish I could tear down the walls of this Muppet theatre". The last episode, in 1981, featured then-James Bond actor Roger Moore.

Characters

Many of the characters who appeared on The Muppet Show have previously appeared in earlier productions in various ways.

History

Since 1969, Sesame Street had given Jim Henson's Muppet creations exposure; however, Henson began to perceive that he was pigeonholed as a children's entertainer. He sought to create a programme that could be enjoyed by young and old. Two specials (The Muppets Valentine Show and The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence) were produced and aired that are considered pilots for The Muppet Show. Neither led to the sale of a prime-time network series. However, the prime-time access rule had just been enacted, which took the 7:30 to 8pm ET slot from the networks and turned it over to their affiliates. CBS suggested it would be interested in Henson's proposal as a syndicated series it could purchase for its owned-and-operated stations, to run one night a week in that time slot.

Lew Grade, head of the British commercial station ATV, offered a deal to Henson that would see his show produced at the ATV studios in Elstree, England. ATV, as part of the ITV network, would broadcast the show to other ITV stations in the United Kingdom, and its distribution arm, ITC Entertainment, would sell the show in the United States and around the world. Henson put aside his misgivings about syndication and accepted.

Episodes

See List of The Muppet Show episodes for more information

Pilots
The first pilot episode evolves around a character called Wally. The show develops while he is typing the script on his typewriter. In the second pilot, a new character called Nigel acts as the backstage boss. Statler and Waldorf grumble from a living room while watching the show on television. In both pilot episodes Kermit the Frog only plays a supporting role.

Series 1
Kermit becomes the host of the show from the start of the first series, while former host Nigel gets a part as the orchestra leader. Statler and Waldorf now watch the show from a balcony. Other characters from the pilots, including Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, Sam the Eagle, The Swedish Chef, George the Janitor, Mildred Huxtetter, Crazy Harry, Brewster, and Droop continue to make appearances. Characters from previous Jim Henson productions also make appearances, including Rowlf the Dog, Sweetums and Robin the Frog (from The Frog Prince), Miss Piggy, Gonzo the Great, and Thog (from The Great Santa Claus Switch). New characters include Fozzie Bear, The Muppet Newsman, Scooter, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, wardrome lady Hilda, Uncle Deadly, Marvin Suggs and his Muppaphones, Trumpet Girl, and the singing duet of Wayne and Wanda. Recurring sketches include "Veterinarian's Hospital", "At the Dance", "Talking Houses", "Pressing Questions", "Fozzie's Act", "Chatting with Guest Star", "Muppet Labs" and "Gonzo's Act".

Series 2
Several changes were made for the second season. Each week, Scooter would now greet the guest star in his or her dressing room before the opening theme song. The opening theme sequence was replaced with one involving the cast in arches. Sketches such as "At the Dance", "Talk Spot", "Panel Discussion", "Talking Houses", and "Fozzie's Monologue" either made fewer appearances or were dropped altogether. Several characters were rebuilt, with noticeable changes in Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, and Gonzo the Great. Characters like George the Janitor, Hilda, Mildred, and Wayne and Wanda were dropped from the series. New sketches include "Pigs in Space" and "An Editorial by Sam the Eagle". New characters include Bunsen Honeydew's assistant Beaker, Link Hogthrob, Dr. Julius Strangepork, Doglion, and Annie Sue. Muppet performers Eren Ozker and John Lovelady departed from The Muppet Show after the first season. In early episodes of the second series, female puppeteers were auditioned to replace Ozker. Louise Gold was eventually hired as Ozker's replacement. Jack Burns quit his role as writer after the first season.

Series 3
All of the characters and sketches from the previous season remained. New characters included dimwitted stagehand Beauregard, boomerang fish-thrower Lew Zealand, cafeteria lady Gladys, Bobby Benson and His Baby Band, and sports commentor Louis Kazagger. New segments included "Muppet Sports" and "Bear on Patrol". Two new puppeteers, Steve Whitmire and Kathryn Mullen joined the troupe of Muppeteers during this season.

Series 4
Most of the characters and sketches from the previous season remained. Canteen worker Gladys however, was replaced by a new character, Winny. Rizzo the Rat also made his earliest appearances.

Series 5
The cold open featuring Scooter visiting the guest star's dressing room was replaced by a new opening in which Pops, the doorman, would greet each guest as they entered the theater. New characters included Pops, Lips, and Gaffer the Cat.

Awards and nominations

The Muppet Show program was nominated for 11 BAFTA Awards during its run, winning 2, and was also nominated for a total of 21 Primetime Emmy Awards, winning 4, including the 1978 award for Outstanding Comedy-Variety or Music Series. and was presented with a Peabody Award in 1978. Also in 1978, the show received the Television Award of Merit by the Mary Washington Colonial Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Syndication

Reruns of The Muppet Show aired in syndication for many years and eventually turned up on TNT from the channel's sign-on in 1988 to 1992. From 1994 to 1996, reruns aired on Nickelodeon. In 1999, the reruns moved to Odyssey Network (which was co-owned by Henson's company), featuring new introductions by Brian Henson, until Odyssey shut down Henson's half of the channel in 2001; the show has not been seen on American television since.

Outside the US, The Muppet Show and MuppeTelevison segments and Muppets Tonight were all put into an umbrella syndication package called The Jim Henson Hour. Disney Channel UK picked up the original series from 2005 to 2007.

Home video

Compilation releases

In 1985, Playhouse Video released a collection of video compilations under the Jim Henson's Muppet Video banner. Ten videos were released, featuring original linking material in addition to clips from the show.

Videos included:

  • The Muppet Revue (titled Kermit and Fozzie's Favourite Moments in the UK) - Hosted by Kermit and Fozzie as they clean up the attic, with guest stars Linda Ronstadt, Paul Williams, Harry Belafonte, and Rita Moreno'.
  • The Kermit and Miss Piggy Story " Hosted by Kermit and Miss Piggy as they reminisce over their moments on the show, with guest stars Raquel Welch, Tony Randall, Cheryl Ladd, and Loretta Swit.
  • Childrens' Songs and Stories with the Muppets " Hosted by Scooter as he looks through a scrapbook of children's songs from the show, with interruptions by others as he constantly tries to introduce his favorite song, "Six String Orchestra", with guest stars Julie Andrews, John Denver, Twiggy, Judy Collins, and Charles Aznavour.
  • Rock Music with the Muppets " Hosted by Dr. Teeth with assistance by Beaker in a recording studio, with guest stars Debbie Harry, Linda Ronstadt, Alice Cooper, Ben Vereen, Helen Reddy, Leo Sayer, Loretta Swit, and Paul Simon.
  • Muppet Treasures " Hosted by Kermit and Fozzie as they once again clean out the attic, with guest stars Zero Mostel, Loretta Lynn, Paul Simon, Peter Sellers, and Ethel Merman.
  • Gonzo Presents Muppet Weird Stuff " Hosted by Gonzo and Camilla at Gonzo's trailer home, which Gonzo tries to pass off as a mansion, with guest stars John Cleese, Jean Stapleton, Dom DeLuise, Julie Andrews, Vincent Price, and Madeline Kahn.
  • Country Music with the Muppets " Hosted by Rowlf at a barnyard radio station, with guest stars Mac Davis, John Denver, Crystal Gayle, Loretta Lynn, Roger Miller, Roy Clark, Johnny Cash, Roy Rogers, and Dale Evans.
  • Fozzie's Muppet Scrapbook " Hosted by Fozzie in the attic as he looks through a scrapbook of his material from the show, with guest stars Raquel Welch, Beverly Sills, and Milton Berle.
  • Rowlf's Rhapsodies with the Muppets " Hosted by Rowlf, with guest stars Marisa Berenson, Peter Sellers, George Burns, and Steve Martin.
  • Muppet Moments " Once again hosted by Kermit and Fozzie as they clean the attic, with guest stars Pearl Bailey, Bernadette Peters, Andy Williams, Zero Mostel, and Liza Minnelli.
In 1993, Jim Henson Video released two compilations under the It's the Muppets banner, Meet the Muppets and More Muppets, Please! Later, three volumes of The Very Best of The Muppet Show were released on VHS and DVD in the UK (volume 3 was a release of full episodes as opposed to compilations). Unlike the Playhouse Video releases, It's the Muppets and The Very Best of The Muppet Show did not include any original footage or guest star clips, but all compilation collections did include material cut from the original US broadcasts.

Series releases

In 1994, Jim Henson Video released The Muppet Show: Monster Laughs with Vincent Price, featuring the episodes with Vincent Price and Alice Cooper. Both episodes were edited. In addition to replacing the first season opening and the ending logos with Zoot, the Vincent Price episode was edited to remove the songs "I'm Looking Through You" and "You've Got a Friend" (the latter of which would be removed again when released on the first season DVD) as well as a sketch with the talking houses, while the Alice Cooper episode removed Robin's performance of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow".

Time-Life began marketing 'best of' volumes of The Muppet Show for mail-order in 2001, with six initial volumes with three episodes on each VHS and DVD. Unique to each episode was an introduction by Jim Henson's son, Brian. Nine more volumes were added for 2002, the Muppet's 25th anniversary. The collection was available for retail in 2002 via Sony Pictures Home Entertainment by which time Time-Life had released its tenth volume.

Buena Vista Home Entertainment released the first season on DVD in Region 1 on 9 August 2005. The rights to the episodes and characters used in The Muppet Show, and subsequent film outings, were bought in February 2004 by the Walt Disney Company.

Several songs were cut from the Season 1 DVD release due to music licensing issues. There have also been some cuts in the intro sequence, and backstage scenes leading up to these songs. However, episodes that used Disney music remained unaltered (for example, episode 14 of Season 1 used "Never Smile at a Crocodile" from Peter Pan).

  • "Stormy Weather" (Joel Grey episode) Sung by Wayne and Wanda;
  • "Gone with the Wind" (Jim Nabors episode) Sung by Jim Nabors;
  • "The Danceros" (Jim Nabors episode) Sung by The Danceros;
  • "All Of Me" (Paul Williams episode) Sung by Two Monsters;
  • "Old Fashioned Way" (Charles Aznavour episode) Sung by Charles Aznavour with Mildred;
  • "You've Got A Friend" (Vincent Price episode) Sung by Vincent Price, Uncle Deadly and a chorus of Muppet Monsters
The only uncut release of Season 1 on DVD so far is the German DVD release by Disney's Buena Vista Home Entertainment division from 2010 (which also contains English audio). However, the intro and end credit sequences on this release are in German.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date Content
Season One (1976"1977) 24 9 August 2005
  • Season 1 (1976"1977) episodes
  • The original pilot, The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence
  • The original pitch reel of the show
  • Muppet morsels viewing mode with pop-up facts
  • Promo gag reel
Season Two (1977"1978) 24 7 August 2007
  • Season 2 (1977"1978) episodes
  • The original pilot, The Muppets Valentine Show
  • The Muppets on the Muppets (interviews)
  • Weezer & The Muppets (music video)
Season Three (1978"1979) 24 20 May 2008
  • Season 3 (1978"1979) episodes
  • "A Company of Players" (documentary)
  • "The Muppets on Puppets" (documentary)
  • Purina Dog Food commercials with Rowlf
Season Four (1979"1980) 24 N/A
Season Five (1980"1981) 24 N/A

Spin-offs

The cast of The Muppet Show appeared on the Kenny Everett show at lunchtime on Capital Radio in 1976.

The Muppet Show characters went on to star in The Muppet Movie, which was the first film to feature puppets interacting with humans in real-world locations, and later films such as The Great Muppet Caper, The Muppets Take Manhattan, The Muppet Christmas Carol, Muppet Treasure Island, Muppets from Space, The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, and The Muppets, the latter of which relied heavily on the The Muppet Show as a plot basis.

The Jim Henson Hour featured many of the same characters, plus new and boldly different content. The Muppet Show format was later revived as Muppets Tonight in 1996. The first 10 episodes aired on ABC, while the rest aired on The Disney Channel. Today, all three incarnations are syndicated together as a single package.

The Muppets appeared as toddlers in the long-running animated series Muppet Babies. Animated versions of the Muppets were also featured on the short-lived series Little Muppet Monsters.

In December 9, 2001, the MuppetFest celebration included The Muppet Show Live was staged at the Hollywood Palace in Hollywood, California. The special guest stars included Jon Voight, Brooke Shields, Joe Pasquale and Paul Williams. Lionel Richie was scheduled to appear in the show singing "Say You, Say Me" immediately after "Bein' Green," but Richie was unable to attend the show because of illness.

In 2005, the Muppets launched an award-winning web-series titled Statler and Waldorf: From the Balcony. The biweekly web-series created new episodes for 15 months on movies.com and starred Statler and Waldorf, along with many other popular Muppet characters from their theater box from The Muppet Show. Each episode featured the duo as they discuss upcoming films, watch movie trailers, and share the week's "balconism".

The Muppets were brought back in 2008 for two half hour television specials on the Disney Channel called Studio DC: Almost Live.

There was also a comic book adaption to The Muppet Show that was published in 2009 and was written and drawn by Roger Langridge.

For the Muppets.com channel on Disney Xtreme Digital, over 100 new, web-exclusive sketches have been produced as of January 2009, including a muppet performed version of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody.

In 2006, the first French private TV network TF1, with Walt Disney Television, produced a French version of the show called "Muppets TV" with original Muppets and French guest stars. Low ratings canceled the program after only a few months.

In the 2011 Children in Need special, Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy make a brief appearance for the original song "Mah N Mah N" with various guests and presenters.

In November 2011 it was reported that a pilot for a revival of the series had been ordered by NBC.

See also

  • Adult puppeteering
  • Le Bbte Show
  • List of television programs
  • "Mah N Mah N"
  • Meet The Feebles
  • The Muppets Valentine Show
  • The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence
  • Jim Henson's Little Muppet Monsters
  • Jim Henson's Muppet Babies
  • The Jim Henson Hour
  • Muppets Tonight
  • Palisades Toys
  • Sam Pottle
  • The Muppet Show (album)
  • The Muppet Show: Music, Mayhem, and More (audio CD)
  • Muppets: The Green Album

References and notes

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This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "The_Muppet_Show" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.
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