Muppets Tonight (1996–1998)
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The Gary Cahuenga Episode 



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Himself (as Penn)
Lori Fetrick ...
Raye Hollitt ...
Registration Clerk
Rizzo the Rat / Kermit the Frog / Andy Pig / Beaker (voice)
Bobo the Bear / Big Mean Carl / Pepe the King Prawn / Johnny Fiama (voice)
Clifford (voice)
Gary Cahuenga / The Great Gonzo / Waldorf / Randy Pig (voice)
Nigel / Thor / Seymour / Sal Minella (voice)
Statler / Mama Fiama (voice)
Leslie Carrara ...
Spamela Hamderson / Additional Muppets (voice)
Brad Abrell ...
Additional Muppets (voice)
Phil Baron ...
Additional Muppets (voice)


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Comedy | Family | Music



Release Date:

28 December 1997 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Did You Know?


Ventriloquist dummy Gary Cahuenga is supposed to have been locked away in a trunk since 1956, yet he repeatedly mentions that he and his partner were about to do a "Sputnik" routine at the time he was isolated from the world. However, the Russians did not launch the first Sputnik Earth satellite until 1957. See more »

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User Reviews

A Ventriloquist Dummy Gets a Solo Act
31 July 2011 | by See all my reviews

I really think Muppets Tonight was an underrated effort by Henson & Co., even if the show was a little weighed down by the attempts to stay "hip." "The Gary Cahuenga Episode" has always been my personal favorite, even if it never lived up to its potential. The basic premise

  • a '60s Rat Pack era ventriloquist dummy rescued from a long neglected
suitcase and adjusting to life with he Muppets in the'90s - is terrific. Unfortunately, the Gary Cahuenga character never got a chance to develop or find a niche within the show. The presence of crooner Johnny Fiama, another swinging '60s character, only made it harder.

This is too bad, because he looks great, a realistic ventriloquist dummy with a retro tux and graying hair. There's also a generally moving moment when he contemplates suicide rather than going it alone without his human partner. This is resolved with just the right balance between humor and drama when guest stars Penn & Teller impersonate the ghost of his partner to lift Gary's spirits.

I think the main reason I like Gary is that he's a tribute to the ventriloquist acts like Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy who helped inspired Henson and his cohorts in their early days. It's nice to know that they aren't forgotten.

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