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>
[the phone rings]
I'll get it!
Muppet Show backstage.
[Thick white smoke comes out of the phone]
Fozzie, who was that?
The fire department.
[Towards the camera]
I think this is what's called a running gag.
[At that the Muppet Newsman runs by towards the stage]
[Pointing at him]
No, THAT'S what's called a running gag.
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Occasionally, the end theme would be performed in a different way. Kaye Ballard show: All the band members, except Rowlf, quit the show. Rowlf is left to play a piano-only version of the theme tune. Loretta Lynn: Both the opening and closing credits in this show are done differently. The show is performed at the local railway station and, as such, the lyrics to the opening theme are appropriately changed - Cast: It's time to get things started, on the most sensational, inspirational... Fozzie Bear: This week's sort of, railroad stational. The band play an off-key version of the end theme. Rowlf explains the reason to the audience - "No wonder this sounds bad. We're playing a timetable!" Harry Belafonte: The cast sing the song "Turn the World Around" while the end credits roll. Spike Milligan: The cast sing the song "It's a Small World" while the end credits sing. Guest Spike Milligan tells them to keep quiet as he's trying to sleep. At the same time, the end theme is played down and Kermit the Frog, who is still on stage, yells out that the music be stopped. Roger Miller: The whole cast, except Dave Goelz, have turned into chickens. As a result, all the band play the end theme as chickens. Animal pecks at his drums, while Rowlf and another chicken play the piano. Dudley Moore: Dudley's Music Machine plays a bizarre rendition of the end theme. It sounds off-key and is done in various styles including jazz, stripper music, chase music. Mac Davis: This is the episode where Beaker gets duplicated by Dave Goelz's duplicator machine. During the last song "I Believe in Music", the band and even the hecklers Statler and Waldorf are changed into Beakers. The Beakers play the end theme. See more »
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.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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