Kermit the Frog is the manager of a cabaret-style theatre house, which invariably has more drama behind the stage than on it. He has to contend with wannabe-comedian bears, the smothering advances of Miss Piggy, crabby regular theatre patrons, homicidal chefs, livestock, not to mention making the weekly guest star feel welcome. Written by
Murray Chapman <email@example.com>
easily my favorite 'variety' show of the 1970s; so many memories, laughs, songs, and strange creatures and friends
I used to watch the Muppet Show a lot when they re-ran old episodes on Nickelodeon in the 90s, and saw a large variety of episodes, some that they released on DVD in patches a few years ago. It made me very, very happy though when I got my hands on the season 1 DVD set (albeit with some cuts made due to song rights and whatnot, which is a little disappointing but nevertheless a collector's item) and could get into the predictable- which is part of the fun- and great oddities and regulars on the show. Maybe I might be partly biased, as I've always loved the Muppets, particularly the movies and other little diddies they've done. But the show could be either a superb show for the whole family, or a little hit or miss depending on the audiences of today. For kids- as the original 'pitch' on the DVD says- there are a lot of quirky, odd, and assuredly original creations aside from the common muppets (Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo, Ms. Piggy, Rowlf, Stanter & Waldorf, etc), but there's also some really, really weird moments on the show, such as dancing slinkies and a character like Crazy Harry who's only function is to make things explode with a Peter Lorre-esquire expression.
For adults and older teens, such bizarre things and the assorted lot of memorable guests ranging from musicians (Elton John, Alice Cooper, Paul Williams, etc etc) comedians (John Cleese, Harvey Korman, Peter Sellers), and many other surprise types like Vincent Price and Harry Belafonte, are appealing, but what about the really goofy gags and infinite lot of bad puns? For me though, everything about the show is terrific in its sort of low-budgeted TV 70s way. It's very nutty, but it's alive in a way that makes shows of today pale in comparison. In the first season it establishes itself as a wild lampooning of variety shows of the period in general, with the guests almost as a given being apart of the jokes, and with running gags, a quasi central 'storyline' going on backstage, and like on any variety show giving full-time for jokes, musical numbers sometimes with upside down chins making faces, and just very unexpected bits with the Muppet creatures and puppets that you will never see again. And the wit that goes through the entire series, from episode to episode, sometimes varies, but is always with a great wink and a nod to how silly it is, but at the same time it's also very smart-being-stupid humor too. An example of this would be when CLeese was on, and having to help Gonzo fix his long-arm problem after catching a cannonball. It's at equal turns overall cartoonish, exciting, whimsical, and it usually attempts to work best for young and old alike.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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