- The Muppet Show
The Muppet Show
Kermit the Frog as seen on the show's opening sequence.
Format Live-action, Puppet show, Comedy, Variety Created by Jim Henson Theme music composer Jim Henson
Opening theme "The Muppet Show Theme" Country of origin United Kingdom No. of series 5 No. of episodes 120 + 2 pilots (List of episodes) Production Location(s) ATV Elstree, Borehamwood, England Camera setup Multi-camera Running time 30 minutes Production company(s) ITC Entertainment
Distributor Disney-ABC Domestic Television Broadcast Original channel ITV Picture format 576i Audio format Stereo Original run 5 September 1976– 15 March 1981
The Muppet Show is a British television programme produced by American puppeteer Jim Henson and featuring Muppets. After two pilot episodes were produced in 1974 and 1975, 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 programme became popular, many celebrities were eager to perform with the Muppets on television and in film: by the end of its run over one hundred guest stars had appeared.
Many of the puppeteers also worked on Sesame Street. Muppet performers over the course of the show include Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Louise Gold, Kathryn Mullen, Karen Prell, Brian Muehl, Eren Ozker, and John Lovelady. Jerry Juhl and Jack Burns were two of the show writers.
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 program that could be enjoyed by young and old. Two specials 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.
"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 show's five seasons, the musical composition remained sequentially the same.
For the first season, each episode began with a shot of the title card. As the camera zoomed in, the spotlight immediately lit up the O, the center 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. 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 attempts to tell a joke but is interrupted every time. 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.
For the second season, 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 onstage, 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 hiccup that changed every week.
For the third season, 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 season, 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 season, the opening underwent some changes. The shot of Rowlf and Zoot were replaced with a shot of a new Zoot puppet. This opening reverted back 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.
- Kermit the Frog (performed by Jim Henson): A frog who is the theatre director and host of the Muppet Show. He served as the main protagonist of the series, specials, and films.
- Miss Piggy (performed by Richard Hunt occasionally in Season One, Frank Oz occasionally in Season 1 and full time in Seasons Two-Five): An arrogant, self-centered, and glamorous diva pig in dual pursuit of stardom and Kermit. In the first season, her puppeteering duties were shared between Frank Oz and Richard Hunt. Starting with the second season, Oz took over the character full-time.
- Fozzie Bear (performed by Frank Oz): A dubiously talented but irrepressible stand-up comic bear and Kermit's unofficial second-in-command.
- Scooter (performed by Richard Hunt): The gofer whose uncle, J. P. Grosse, owns the theatre.
- Gonzo (performed by Dave Goelz): Also known as The Great Gonzo or Gonzo the Great, he is a stunt performer, performance artist and the Muppet Show's resident oddball of unknown species. His puppet was previously used for Snarl in The Great Santa Claus Switch.
- The Swedish Chef (performed by Jim Henson): A chef with peculiar culinary habits who speaks a Scandinavian-sounding gibberish called "mock Swedish". Seeing as Swedish Chef is a Live-Hand Muppet, Jim Henson is assisted in operating him by Frank Oz who provides Swedish Chef's hands.
- Rowlf the Dog (performed by Jim Henson): The show's resident wisecracking pianist dog. Besides being seen in the Muppet Orchestra, Rowlf also plays Dr. Bob in the recurring 'Veterinarians Hospital' sketch. Seeing as Rowlf is a Live-Hand Muppet, Jim Henson is occasionally assisted in operating Rowlf the Dog by either Louise Gold, Jerry Juhl, Jerry Nelson, Frank Oz, and/or Steve Whitmire with either one performing Rowlf's right hand.
- Dr. Bunsen Honeydew (performed by Dave Goelz): The head of Muppet Labs, scientist, and inventor.
- Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem: A rock band that works at the Muppet theatre.
- Dr. Teeth (performed by Jim Henson): The ultra-hip band leader and keyboardist for the Electric Mayhem.
- Animal (performed by Frank Oz with the drumming performed by Ronnie Verrell): The Band's savage and frenzied drummer.
- Sgt. Floyd Pepper (performed by Jerry Nelson): The bassist and all around hip person of the Electric Mayhem.
- Janice (performed by Eren Ozker in the first season, Richard Hunt for the remainder of the run): The Band's hippie-chick lead guitarist (and Floyd's main squeeze).
- Zoot (performed by Dave Goelz): The sleepy saxophone player in the Electric Mayhem and the Muppet Show's orchestra.
- Lips (performed by Steve Whitmire): The trumpet player for the "Mayhem" added in the fifth season.
- Camilla the Chicken (performed by Jerry Nelson): A chicken and Gonzo's true love (though Gonzo had a love for Miss Piggy in some episodes).
- Sam the Eagle (performed by Frank Oz): An eagle who is an American super-patriot, resident Grouch, and self-appointed censor of the Muppet Show.
- Lew Zealand (performed by Jerry Nelson): A boomerang fish thrower and generally fish-obsessed performer. He was originally a Whatnot before a permanent puppet was made for him.
- Robin the Frog (performed by Jerry Nelson): A frog who is Kermit's small nephew.
- Statler and Waldorf (performed by Richard Hunt and Jim Henson): Two old men who occupy the box seat at every show and heckle the performances with the exception of one second season episode where Miss Piggy bought off the audience in an effort to further her own career.
- Link Hogthrob (performed by Jim Henson): A hunky but dim-witted pig who is the star of "Pigs in Space" and Captain of the USS Swinetrek. He also stars in "Bear On Patrol" with Fozzie Bear.
- Rizzo the Rat (performed by Steve Whitmire): A sarcastic inner-city rat appearing in the fourth and fifth seasons.
- Afghan Hound (performed by Louise Gold): An Afghan Hound who appeared occasionally.
- Annie Sue (performed by Louise Gold): A young pig who is Miss Piggy's innocent rival.
- Baskerville the Hound (performed randomly by Jerry Nelson, John Lovelady, and Dave Goelz): A hound who made many appearances on the show. He once auditioned a comedy act which caused Fozzie Bear to hook him off the stage.
- Beauregard (performed by Dave Goelz): The dimwitted janitor and stagehand.
- Behemoth (performed randomly by Dave Goelz, Richard Hunt and Jerry Nelson): A Full-Bodied Muppet who made various appearances on the show.
- Billy the Bear (performed randomly by Richard Hunt, Dave Goelz, and Brian Muehl): A bear who appeared occasionally. He later won a Fred Award for "Best Bear Comedian".
- Bobby Benson (performed by Richard Hunt): The leader of the Baby Band.
- Butch the Tiger (performed randomly by Jim Henson and Jerry Nelson): A tiger who appeared occasionally.
- Chickens: Outside of Camilla, a bunch of chickens are often seen performing with Gonzo. Named Ethel and
- Crazy Harry (performed by John Lovelady in 1976–1977, Jerry Nelson for the remainder of the run): A pyrotechnician and bomb expert who enjoys blowing things up far too much.
- Doglion (performed randomly by Jerry Nelson, Frank Oz, and Jim Henson): A Full-Bodied Muppet Monster with horns. He is sometimes paired with Sweetums and the other Full-Bodied Muppets.
- Dr. Julius Strangepork (performed by Jerry Nelson): A pig who serves as the chief science officer in "Pigs in Space".
- Droop (performed by Jerry Nelson): A green creature who was previously used as a Frackle in The Great Santa Claus Switch.
- Fletcher Bird (performed by Graham Fletcher, voiced by Steve Whitmire): A giant bird who appeared occasionally. He is named after Graham Fletcher.
- Foo-Foo (performed by Steve Whitmire): Miss Piggy's dog. A real dog that Foo-Foo is based on would be used for full shots.
- Forcryingoutloud Bird (performed by Frank Oz): A green bird with a yellow beak who appeared occasionally.
- George the Janitor (performed by Frank Oz): The crotchety old janitor. He is seen primarily in the first season occasionally in the "At the Dance" segments dancing with Mildred Huxtetter.
- The Gills Brothers: A quartet of fish singers who appeared occasionally. They are a parody of The Mills Brothers.
- Gladys (performed by Richard Hunt): She works as a cafeteria lady in the Muppet Theatre's canteen delivering the food made by the Swedish Chef to its customers.
- Gorgon Heap (performed randomly by Frank Oz, Richard Hunt, Dave Goelz and Jerry Nelson): A Muppet Monster who made many appearances in the show. He is one of the Muppets who eat other Muppets.
- Hilda (performed by Eren Ozker in an Eastern European accent): She is the seamstress/wardrobe mistress on The Muppet Show. For the most part, she only appears in the first season of the show. She makes rare appearances as a background character later.
- J. P. Grosse (performed by Jerry Nelson): Scooter's uncle who owns the Muppet Theatre.
- Lenny the Lizard (performed randomly by Dave Goelz, Jerry Nelson, Jim Henson and Richard Hunt): A turquoise lizard who made many appearances on the show. He once auditioned for an emcee only to be dismissed by Kermit.
- Luncheon Counter Monster (performed randomly by Dave Goelz, Richard Hunt, and Jerry Nelson): A hungry purple monster.
- Lydia: A bespectacled red-haired pig.
- Marvin Suggs (performed by Frank Oz): The sadistic, crazed and flamboyant Muppaphonist.
- Mary Louise (performed randomly by Fran Brill, Eren Ozker and Louise Gold): A young Whatnot girl. She once auditioned with an unnamed frog three times only to be hooked off stage by Miss Piggy who states that she's the only one who can sing with a frog.
- Mean Mama (performed randomly by Richard Hunt, Jim Henson, and Jerry Nelson): A voracious brown monster who is a Full-Bodied Muppet.
- Mildred Huxtetter (performed randomly by Dave Goelz, Richard Hunt, and Frank Oz): George's dancing partner in the "At the Dance" segments who was seen primarily in the first season.
- Miss Kitty (performed randomly by Dave Goelz and Richard Hunt): A purple monster who appeared occasionally. She was previously used in The Great Santa Claus Switch as one of Cosmo Scam's henchmen.
- Miss Mousey (performed by Jerry Nelson): A mouse who was Miss Piggy's rival for Kermit's affections. She would sometimes be paired up with Kermit in the "At the Dance" segments.
- The Muppet Orchestra: The show's orchestra that plays the theme song music and the music during the credits. Rowlf the Dog, Animal, Zoot, Lips, Floyd Pepper, and Crazy Harry have performed in this group.
- Nigel (performed by Jim Henson in 1975-1976, John Lovelady in 1976-1977): The conductor of the Muppet Orchestra.
- Ohboy Bird (performed by Richard Hunt): A blue bird that various appearances on the show.
- Ohreally Bird (performed by Fran Brill): An orange bird who appeared occasionally.
- Penguins: These characters also make recurring appearances on the show.
- Pops (performed by Jerry Nelson): The elderly doorman who greets the guest stars with a friendly "Who're you?"
- Quongo the Gorilla: A wild mountain gorilla who appeared occasionally.
- Righton Bird (performed by Dave Goelz) A purple bird who appeared occasionally.
- Sopwith the Camel: A bactrian camel who appeared occasionally. He is one of the Full-Bodied Muppets and was built by Caroly Wilcox.
- Sundance the Lion (performed randomly by Dave Goelz and Jerry Nelson): A lion who appeared occasionally. Although he is a Full-Bodied Muppet, he does have a Live-Hand Muppet counterpart that was used in Season 4 and 5.
- Sweetums (performed by Richard Hunt): A 7-foot-tall ogre-like monster who is one of the Full-Bodied Muppets. He is sometimes paired up with the other Full-Bodied Muppets.
- The Frackles: They have been previously seen in The Great Santa Claus Switch and have been recycled here in various roles.
- The Mutations: A trio of purple Full-Bodied Muppets. They are a parody of the music group The Temptations.
- Thog (performed by Jerry Nelson): A friendly 9 1/2 ft. blue monster who is one of the Full-Bodied Muppets. He is actually the biggest Muppet character on the show. His ears often go up if he's startled or excited about something. Despite his size, Thog is actually a gentle soul. He was previously used in The Great Santa Claus Switch as one of Cosmo Scam's henchmen.
- Timmy Monster (performed randomly by Dave Goelz, Jim Henson, and Steve Whitmire): A large green monster who is one of the Full-Bodied Muppets.
- T.R. (performed by Jerry Nelson): A rooster who made various appearances on the show.
- Trolls: Three trolls appeared occasionally. One has red hair, one has green hair, and one has gray hair.
- Trumpet Girl (performed by Eren Ozker): The female trumpet player of the Muppet Orchestra. Due to the addition of the trumpet player, Lips, she switched to trombone during the show's fifth season.
- Uncle Deadly (performed by Jerry Nelson): Also called "the Phantom of the Muppet Show", Uncle Deadly is a sinister blue dragon-like character who lurks around the theatre and appears occasionally on the show.
- Wayne and Wanda: Wayne (performed by Richard Hunt) and Wanda (performed by Eren Ozker in Season One, Kathryn Mullen in Season Four) sing songs that inevitably end in disaster. It is considered an accomplishment for them to get to the chorus. They are usually introduced by Sam the Eagle as part of his idea of "good, wholesome entertainment". After a recurring run in the first season, they disappeared after Eren Ozker quit the show. Wayne still appeared occasionally as a background character or as the hero in a series of Melodrama sketches co-starring Miss Piggy and Uncle Deadly, but soon vanished as well. It was eventually revealed in the Linda Lavin episode that Kermit had fired them, but forgot why he did and decided to rehire them. Unfortunately, seconds after they started to sing, Kermit remembered why he fired them (because they were terrible) and instantly fired them again and forced them off the stage. Wayne and Wanda would reappear in The Muppets Take Manhattan as guests at the wedding of Piggy and Kermit, and Wanda was seen participating in a choir. They are a slapstick tribute to Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald.
- Whaddayasay Bird (perfromed by Jerry Nelson): A red bird who appeared occasionally.
- Whatnots: A bunch of customizable puppets whose blank faces can be customized for each act. They are similar to the Anything Muppets from Sesame Street.
- Winny (performed by Richard Hunt): A bird who was a canteen waitress in Season Four replacing Gladys.
- Woodland Animals: Some Woodland Animals have appeared in different sketches of this show. Among the featured Woodland Animals are:
- Youknow Bird (performed by Jim Henson): A pink bird who appeared occasionally.
- Zelda Rose (performed by Louise Gold): A tall pink Muppet.
- At the Dance – The sketch was a regular during the first series but was used less frequently from the second series onward. Muppet characters 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.
- Bear on Patrol – Fozzie 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.
- Fozzie's Act – Fozzie Bear gets on stage and performs his infamously 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 series episode however, Fozzie turned the tables on his rivals with help from Bruce Forsyth, and they waved the white flag in surrender.
- 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 the second series; during the first series Bunsen hosted Muppet Labs by himself, but the writers soon realised that another character was necessary to show Bunsen's failings.
- Muppet News Flash – A news announcer, gives a newsbrief 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 News Man 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 news reporter. As the scene goes, he was reported directly above the Muppet News Room and he landed on and crushed the news reporter.
- 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 takeoff 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.' 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 the third series, and the announcer would simply claim it was 'time for...Piiiiiigs...iiiin...spaaaaaaace!'
- Swedish Chef – 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.
- Veterinarian's Hospital – Parody of the soap opera General Hospital and other medical dramas, consisting of Dr. Bob (Rowlf) 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 to the "continuing stooory". 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 series 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."
No guest star ever appeared twice on The Muppet Show, although John Denver appeared both on the show and in two specials (John Denver & the Muppets: A Christmas Together and John Denver & the Muppets: Rocky Mountain Holiday). Additionally, several guest stars from the show had cameos in one of the first three Muppet theatrical films.
Many episodes featured people most British viewers had barely heard of at the time, such as Linda Ronstadt; 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 007 actor Roger Moore.
When the show first started, the producers would call upon friends in the entertainment business. However, about half-way through the second series when Rudolf Nureyev appeared, his appearance gave the show so much positive publicity, that other celebrities came to the producers instead of the other way around.
The Muppet Theater
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 Donald McDonald 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.
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 Show was nominated for a total of 21 Primetime Emmy Awards, winning 4, including the 1978 award for Outstanding Comedy-Variety or Music Series. The program was also nominated for 11 BAFTA Awards during its run, winning 2, and was presented with a Peabody Award in 1978.
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 1992 to 1998, the show had aired reruns on Cartoon Network. 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 2005-2007.
Time-Life began marketing 'best of' volumes of The Muppet Show for mail-order in 2001, with six initial volumes with 3 episodes on each 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. (There were five additional Time-Life 'best of' volumes released only on VHS.)
Walt Disney Studios 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 24 9 August 2005
- Season 1 (1976–1977) episodes
- The original pilot,
- The original pitch reel of the show
- Muppet morsels viewing mode with pop-up facts
- Promo gag reel
Season Two 24 7 August 2007 Season Three 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 24 TBA
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 Jim Henson Hour featured many of the same characters, plus new and boldly different content. The Muppets appeared as toddlers in the long-running animated series Muppet Babies. 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.
In 2005, the Muppets launched an award-winning webseries titled Statler and Waldorf: From the Balcony. The biweekly webshow 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".
There is talk of a new revival of the format, with FOX being the initial serious contender. Disney considered using the America's Next Muppet mini-series to test the viability of a full-fledged series.
The hit Broadway and West End Musical Avenue Q is loosely based on The Muppets as well as Sesame Street but is required to provide disclaimers stating that it has nothing to do with the characters, particularly due to the musical's adult theme.
The Muppets were brought back in 2008 for a short on the Disney Channel called Studio DC: Almost Live.
On Disney Junior, they launched on February 14, 2011.
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 cancelled the program after only a few months.
The cast of The Muppet Show appeared on the Kenny Everett show at lunchtime on Capital Radio in 1976.
- Adult puppeteering
- Le Bébête Show
- List of television programs
- "Mah Nà Mah Nà"
- Meet The Feebles
- Muppet Babies
- Palisades Toys
- Sam Pottle
- The Muppet Show (album)
- The Muppet Show: Music, Mayhem, and More (audio CD)
- Muppets: The Green Album
- ^ "Speaking Of Dvds: Lisa Henson, 'The Muppet Show'". The San Francisco Chronicle. 14 August 2005. http://articles.sfgate.com/2005-08-14/entertainment/17386359_1_muppet-show-jerry-juhl-sesame-street. Retrieved 2010-12-19.
- ^ "Following in the Frog's Footsteps". The New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0DE7D61F39F933A25750C0A960958260. Retrieved 2010-12-19.
- ^ "Emmy Awards Official Site". Emmys.com. http://www.emmys.com/. Retrieved 2010-08-12.
- ^ "BAFTA Awards Official Site". Bafta.org. http://www.bafta.org/awards-database.html?pageNo=1&sq=Muppet. Retrieved 2010-08-12.
- ^ "Peabody Awards Official Site". Peabody.uga.edu. http://www.peabody.uga.edu/winners/search_results.php?f=sf&keywords=muppet&submit=Go&all=1. Retrieved 2010-08-12.
- ^ "Muppets Take Nickelodeon The syndicated series, now available on cable, is as fresh and funny now as when it was produced in the '70s and '80s.". The Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/1994-04-06/entertainment/ca-42771_1_muppet-show. Retrieved 2010-12-19.
- ^ "Best of the Muppet Show - Muppet Wiki". Muppet.wikia.com. 2010-02-01. http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Best_of_the_Muppet_Show. Retrieved 2010-08-12.
- ^ "listing for Season Three". Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0013527I4. Retrieved 2010-08-12.
- ^ "Avenue Q U.S". Avenueq.com. http://www.avenueq.com/. Retrieved 2010-08-12.
- ^ "Avenue Q U.K". Avenueqthemusical.co.uk. http://www.avenueqthemusical.co.uk/. Retrieved 2010-08-12.
- ^ "Disney Xtreme Digital - Muppet Wiki". Muppet.wikia.com. http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Disney_Xtreme_Digital. Retrieved 2010-08-12.
- The Muppet Show on Muppet Wiki, an external wiki
- The Muppet Show at the Internet Movie Database
- The Muppet Show at TV.com
- "Of Muppets and Men," a 1981 documentary on the making of the show
- The Jim Henson Works at the University of Maryland 70+ digital videos available to students, scholars and visitors at the University of Maryland (College Park, MD)
- A chart of muppet characters arranged by performer
PBS Kids shows Current shows PBS Kids GO! See also
PBS network shows · Educational television
Jim Henson's The Muppets CharactersAndy and Randy Pig · Animal · Annie Sue · Beaker · Bean Bunny · Beauregard · Bobo the Bear · Bubba the Rat · Camilla the Chicken · Clifford · Crazy Harry · Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem · The Elvises · Foo-Foo · Fozzie Bear · The Frackles · George the Janitor · Gonzo the Great · Bunsen Honeydew · Johnny Fiama · Kermit the Frog · Lew Zealand · Link Hogthrob · Mildred Huxtetter · Miss Piggy · Mr. Poodlepants · The Muppet Newsman · Pepe the King Prawn · Pops · Rizzo the Rat · Rowlf the Dog · Sam the Eagle · Scooter · Statler and Waldorf · Steel Rabbit · Dr. Julius Strangepork · Marvin Suggs · Swedish Chef · Sweetums · Uncle Deadly · Waldo C. Graphic · Yolanda the Rat Television
seriesSam and Friends (1955–1961) · Our Place (1967) · Sesame Street (1969–present) · Saturday Night Live (1975) · The Muppet Show (1976–1981) · Fraggle Rock (1983–1987) · Jim Henson's Muppet Babies (1984–1991) · Jim Henson's Little Muppet Monsters (1985) · Fraggle Rock: The Animated Series (1987) · Sesame Park (1987–2002) · The Storyteller (1988–1991) · The Jim Henson Hour (1989) · The Ghost of Faffner Hall (1989) · Jim Henson's Mother Goose Stories (1990) · Dinosaurs (1991–1994) · Dog City (1992–1995) · CityKids (1993–1994) · Secret Life of Toys (1994–1996) · Jim Henson's Animal Show (1994–1997) · Big Bag (1996–1998) · Muppets Tonight (1996–1998) · The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss (1996–1997) · Bear in the Big Blue House (1997–2007) · Construction Site (1999-2003) · Mopatop's Shop (1999–2004) · The Hoobs (2001–2006) · Play with Me Sesame (2002–present) · Animal Jam (2003) · Jim Henson's Pajanimals (2008–present) · Panwapa (2008)
Henson AlternativePuppet Up! (2006–present) · Late Night Buffet with Augie and Del (2006) · Tinseltown (2007) · Alt/Reality (2008) · Simian Undercover Detective Squad (2011) Feature filmsThe Muppet Movie (1979) · The Great Muppet Caper (1981) · The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984) · Sesame Street Presents Follow That Bird (1985) · The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) · Muppet Treasure Island (1996) · Muppets from Space (1999) · The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland (1999) · The Muppets (2011) Television
specialsHey, Cinderella! (1969) · The Great Santa Claus Switch (1970) · The Frog Prince (1972) · The Muppet Musicians of Bremen (1972) · Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas (1977) · John Denver & the Muppets (1979) · The Muppets Go Hollywood (1979) · The Muppets Go to the Movies (1981) · The Fantastic Miss Piggy Show (1982) · Don't Eat the Pictures (1983) · Rocky Mountain Holiday (1983) · The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years (1985) · The Tale of the Bunny Picnic (1986) · The Christmas Toy (1986) · A Muppet Family Christmas (1987) · Big Bird in Japan (1989) · Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue (1990) · The Muppets at Walt Disney World (1990) · The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson (1990) · Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree (1995) · Elmopalooza (1998) · CinderElmo (1999) · It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (2002) · The Muppets' Wizard of Oz (2005) · Studio DC: Almost Live (2008) · A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa (2008)
Direct-to-video Discography Other media Related
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