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Favorite Season of the Muppet Show

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by Auberoun, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    4 and 5 didn't come out officially just let. I think some members have taped off of TV recordings when the episodes reran either on Nickelodeon, Ossney (forgot the channel's name) Channel, or the UK Disney Channel.
  2. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    It seemed like the characters basically finalized in the final two seasons. Though I think season 3 is when everything was falling into place, and the characters finally evolved. Plus also I think that the Muppet crew filmed one half of The Muppet Show, then The Muppet Movie and then the rest of season 3.

    What's very interesting was Season 1 didn't do so well in the ratings from my understanding and had a cult following back then, but when Season 2 came out the show sky-rocket towards success. 230 Million viewers I think? And this was internationally and syndication. I remember hearing that the reason why The Jim Henson Hour and Muppets Tonight didn't survive ratings was because they weren't syndicated. That would also explain why the latest Muppet movie beat their box office record because like The Muppet Show, it went international and syndicated. Funny thing is I knew someone who originally was from Egypt and he told me he used to watch The Muppet Show growing up in Egypt.
  3. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    And again, all episodes are on youtube.
  4. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    Syndication would have helped JHH and MT, yes. But also, both shows were placed in crummy timeslots (specifically the ever-popular "Friday Night Deathslot").

    As for Season 1 not doing well, that's understandable. The Muppets still weren't quite household names (outside of Sesame Street, and maybe Rowlf the Dog).

    And I'm not sure how people felt about primetime "puppet show" back then. But once the Muppets established themselves, they got bigger. More well-known guest stars would ask to be on the show.
  5. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    Though some episodes from Season 4 and 5 did end up on the Time Life Best of The Muppet Show releases, and that's official, but not all of them though.
  6. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    I can certainly say that Jim was probably the first to present adult puppetry to the mainstream. At the time of The Muppet Show's first season, there was a rather risky puppet movie that was, let's say it went beyond NC-17. I won't name it but I just wanted to point out that it wasn't a success and kind of a Muppet rip off, plus it wasn't really well done. And the funny thing about the 1970s was Ralph Bakshi was making adult animated features yet there wasn't anything for adults in animation except for The Flintstones and the Jetsons and reruns of Looney Tunes, Tex Avery, Woody Woodpecker and all the other theater shorts. Though puppetry was never considered except when Jim did it. Jim struggled to get The Muppet Show on the air, all the networks turned him down, and SNL wasn't going so well with the audience at the time. But thank Goodness that Lord Lew Grade stepped into the picture and made The Muppet Show a reality. Though the irony of it was the networks that turned The Muppet Show down took the syndication afterwords. :)
  7. cjd874

    cjd874 Well-Known Member

    Not only syndication, but once Rudolf Nureyev performed on the show, the Muppet Show became the new TV hot spot for famous musicians, actors, and comedians alike. In fact, after Rudolf's appearance (and possibly Elton John's as well), the Muppet producers, or whoever finds the guest stars, didn't have to ask as many people because now everyone wanted to appear on the MS. Once you get an international ballet star on your show, the show is in the bag, so to speak.
  8. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    Well, yes, Henson did bring about adult puppetry. But even in 1976, there were probably still people who had their minds set on "puppets are kids entertainment". While the Muppets had done more "adult things" prior to TMS, it wasn't until TMS really took off that a lot of people began to recognize what Henson had done.
  9. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    Totally but you know what's kind of said is that today lots of people still think puppets are for kids. And I think if The Muppets came back with a new Muppet show like Muppets Tonight, has a bit of an edge, risky, irreverent humor The Muppets have always had since the Sam & Friends days. That classic ireverent humor, slapstick and bad puns and of course the weirdness of monsters, explosions and Koosebanians, just pure craziness...And it being in the right time slot, syndicated, The Muppets would totally be back mainstream. And I think it would be cool if Brian Henson and Frank Oz came back to The Muppets and did directing, writing as well as performing. That would be really awesome. :)
    Auberoun and cahuenga like this.
  10. Auberoun

    Auberoun Member

    I read an interview at one time with Frank Oz, and he had said that they wouldn't be able to do a "new" Muppet Show without Jim because he was really the glue that held everything together. He went on to say that "he (Jim) was so vital that to attempt a reboot of The Muppet Show and make it relevant to today's audience just wouldn't work because TMS was a culmination of everything coming together perfectly. It was just the right talent, time and place that made it so special. You can't remake TMS anymore than you can I love Lucy".
  11. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    Though I thought Muppets Tonight was quite close actually, same with MuppeTelevision from The Jim Henson Hour. Sure it wasn't The Muppet Show and totally agree, it wouldn't be right to revive it without Jim, Jerry Juhl and the original Muppeteers. Technically Frank (who's of course retired from The Muppets except Sesame from time to time), Dave Golez and Steve Whitmire are left from the original Muppet Show Performers. Though what I liked about Muppets Tonight and MuppeTelevision was it was The Muppets but it was a different version of The Muppet Show. It still had it's weird, bizzare, yet campy sketches and great rock Musical Numbers but they all had a different feel to it.

    What I find fascinating with The Jim Henson Hour, around this time was that Jim Henson was experimenting a little bit with satire. For example the 2nd episode where there was the fish story and it had a very sad and grim ending where the fish from the opening Splish Splash musical number was going to die or swim away due to the trash in the water, sort of a Dr. Suess Lorax sort of thing and everything just ends with a calm Kermit looking at the TV monitors when seem like fish tanks and terns to the audience quietly and says "Goodnight Everybody" and fades to black. Which was amazing satire. It wasn't nessasary funny satire but kind of serious where it just leaves the audience with that environmental message. Wonderfully done. But the others that fallowed where more comical like the Barbie parody they had Bootsy, and their satirical take on too much sex and violence on Television, esspecially the Dog City episode where Bugsy Them's catch praise pointing out "Senseless Violence got here today and don't you forget it!" lol Though my favorite being the K.D. Lang episode (I love K.D. Lang, so awesome she was with The Muppets, same with Nickelodeon's Weinerville's very own Mark Wiener). The ending had a sea captian having the singing trash floating in the middle of the ocean singing "On the Road Again, COMING SOON TO A BEACH NEAR YOU!" lol I love it. And the satire would lead on to The Jim Henson Company's first and technically only satire show Dinosaurs which was Jim's original idea but was made the year after his passing.

    Muppets Tonight was a little strange not only Clifford without his Glasses but being the host instead of Kermit. Though I loved the new characters and the trademark Muppet humor was there. Bad pun jokes, the explosions, and well Carl was basicly the only Muppet monster that ate other characters but I thought it still had The Muppet feel to it. I loved it. Andy and Randy were probably my favorites from the show. lol That and Robot Lincon. lol
    Though those shows, and the two Disney / Henson Muppet movies of the 1990s were my all time favorites after The Muppet Show years. And I can't forget Muppets Take Manhattan of course. lol I watched It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie last night on tv and I love that special too. The new movie is good but it's not as great as the previous ones and of course The Muppets when Jim was around. :)
    Auberoun likes this.
  12. Auberoun

    Auberoun Member

    I do like Muppets Tonight, but it wasn't quite the same. (I felt it was too much like a cross between Saturday Night Live, and TMS.) As for JHH, I really missed that, and wish it would come out on DVD, but it won't due to licences being held by too many separate entities. :boo:

    Dog City was good, and I like some of the technical advances that Jim and Co. made. (Kind of like a technological return to Emmett Otter) I really miss the Muppet Babies and Little Monsters as well. IIRC, The Little Monsters segments were more of a trial run for what eventually came to be JHH.

    All in all, I don't know if you can re-capture the magic of TMS. I would love to see the Muppets coming back to the mainstream with a weekly show. And, if done right could really work. But, forgive my skepticism. I don't know if Disney has a vested interest enough in the Muppets to give them a weekly timeslot on ABC like back in the day, or if all of the talent could pull it off. Muppets Tonight was a short run, if the Muppets did come back, I would hope it would last more than 2 seasons. If by some chance Disney did do it, that it would focus more on cross generational comedy like Jim did. Because as I watch TMS today, there were one-liners and other bits of humour that I totally get now that I didn't then. Bottom line: TMS would be a hard act to follow so to speak.
  13. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    Interesting that you mentioned about The Jim Henson Hour on DVD because I suggested it to Lionsgate a few weeks ago. I told the person right on the phone that if they can release Dog City and Song of The Cloud Forest then why not contact The Jim Henson Company and Disney so they can release The Complete Jim Henson Hour. The person on the phone said that they don't take unsolicited requests and I said it's not like I'm trying to get my own film to them, this is just a request from fans and I told them there's lots of Muppet fans on the internet who are a part of internet communities like this and Tough Pigs who would love to get this on DVD and even myself would love to buy it for my DVD library and the person on the phone said "okay, I'll pass the suggestion along". So I guess we got to wait and see. Even a Brian Henson intro would be just great and a feature with people who worked on the show, commentaries, and of course the goof wrap tape they made. lol


    (Jim and his crew always had fun on the job, lol I love it :) Especially Jerry Juhl with the chair at the end lol)

    Though I remember reading fans comments on Muppets Tonight from time to time on how the full sketches were never seen in full and other things that differ from The Muppet Show. Though I liked it because it was edgy like The Muppet Show. I don't remember if it was Brain Henson, Frank Oz or Kirk Thatcher that said this quote but I remember someone saying that due to standard The Muppets could have only gotten away with certain stuff and was quite limited unlike the 1990s. Anyway, I've loved the edgy irreverent humor because a great thing about puppetry is that puppets as well as cartoons can get away with stuff a human being can't. Which is great creative freedom right there. lol :)

    But yeah I totally agree, I often wondered too that Disney has lots of money and could easily bring The Muppets back to television but at least we got a new movie that came out and another one coming in the summer. As much as I love the main characters, I love The Muppets best when they have a huge cast of gag characters and background Muppets from various productions. Because I'm the kind of fan who always loves looking around in the background and pointing out "Oh cool, that's Lenny the Lizard from The Muppet Show, oh wow, that monster is from The Jim Henson Hour" stuff only us Muppet fans would know right away. lol :)

    Though for Muppets being in the mainstream, I have no idea how that can happen other then marketing because the more money that goes into marketing, the more people would know about it. Plus syndication which was probably the reason why The Muppet Show and the new Muppet Movie did very well in viewer ratings while The Jim Henson Hour and Muppets Tonight were put in unknown TV time slots and weren't advertised and marketed as well. Though The Muppets hayday of mainstream success was the 1970s and 80s both The Muppets and Sesame Street (well Sesame is still successfully mainstream today) though being a Muppet fan all my life and growing up in the 90s, I've always noticed it being sort of a cult following but was okay with that. Basicly being the only kid that I know who loved The Muppet Show 24/7 while the other kids where oridary bland and nothing uniqe that standed out of their interests. In fact, my best friend who I knew for over ten years, I got him interested in The Muppets a bit within the reason years and now I got a friend who I can watch The Muppet Show and the movies with :)
    Though for universal humor, it's probably the slapstick screwball situation comedy that might work though it's probably hard with puns if translated. lol Though if The Muppets don't become mainstream like they did in the 1970s, it's like what's been said. They were in the time when show biz was very show bizy with the variety shows and big musical broadway style musical numbers and slapstick. Totally not like today. Though I just hope in the future things won't get as crazy as The Muppets following trends because if you look at their history, they were quite the trend setters. Though what's so ironic about it all is that The Muppet Show got turned down by everyone, but as soon as Lord Lew Grade stepped into the picture, those networks or at least CBS aired The Muppet Show in syndication and it was an overnight success. Though I heard season 1 got a cult following but everything started to bloom after season 2.
  14. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    There was a wrap tape?
  15. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    Well I guess I was just referring to the staged outtake. Not sure if there's a wrap tape. Sorry for the miswording on that. lol
    Mo Frackle likes this.
  16. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    Though one of my favorite episodes from the final season was the Marty Feldman episode where The Muppet Show cast and the Sesame Street cast unite probably for the first time since 1970.

    http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Henson_and_Muppets_pictures?file=EarlyMuppetsandJim.JPG

    I can still remember Muppet Family Christmas where The Muppets, Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock all came together but of course it would be sort of hard for that to happen again. Then again wasn't there recently a performance in the New York Music Hall called The Musical World of Jim Henson?
  17. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    I don't recall any "untiting" in 1970. :confused: Also, don't forget Bert and Ernie were in the Connie Stevens episode, and the two pilots. And Big Bird was in the Leslie Uggams episode.
  18. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    Well not on film in 1970, mainly the group picture within the link I posted. That was the first picture of the Sesame Muppets and the regular Muppets together I believe.

    Yes your right, Ernie & Bert's appearances. By the way, I wanted to ask this question for a long time. Wasn't Ernie and Bert going to be a part of The Muppet Show in the early purposals?

    [​IMG]

    For example Ernie & Bert are included in the Sex & Violence pilot promo poster.
    I've heard rumors about Ernie and Bert was going to be a part of The Muppet Show but the idea being dropped and passed because they were doing so well on Sesame. Though links are this poster and being guests on 2 Muppet Show episodes and both pilots. Though it would have been interesting, yet Kermit had never really communited with Ernie & Bert much on screen being kind of hard since Jim is also Ernie. Though there was a line from Ma Bear in Muppet Family Christmas "Bert & Ernie can bunk out with the lizard here." and I think they were seen together (Kermit with no collar) in the German Sesame Street special from the 1970s. And Kermit and Bert did sing together in a huge crowd on a Sesame Street special. Not sure if it was the special from 1989 which was going to be the first Jim Henson Hour episode. Anyway, I figure I'd ask while I still had the question on my mind.

    I love Ernie & Bert, they are probably my favorites on Sesame Street. The Connie Steven's episode is hilarious. Bert singing Some enchanted evening (his nose was slightly slower then usual, not as low as the current Bert from what I remember) to Connie.
    Bert: One you have found her Neeeeeveeeer allleeeet aheeer a gooooo!
    Then Bert just realizes that he got too carried away
    Bert: Ernie, come here. Did I just make a complete fool of myself?
    Ernie (cheerfully): Absolutely Bert.
    lol

    I'd love The Muppet Show to come on iTunes, I've been bugging Disney about that and the other 2 DVD sets for quite sometime.
  19. sesamemuppetfan

    sesamemuppetfan Active Member

    It looks like I have the great honor of bumping this thread. While there's a good number of moments from all 5 seasons of The Muppet Show that I enjoy, I will have to say that Season 3 has to be my favorite. The writing was absolutely brilliant, most of the chosen guest stars were awesome, and a lot of the songs were catchy! So, in the end, Season 3 is probably the most enjoyable for me!
  20. Muppet Master

    Muppet Master Well-Known Member

    Note: I've Only Seen Two Episodes of Seaso 3 (Liberace and James Coco) so I'm not puting them on my list. I loved the James Coco one, but Liberace was eh so-so. My absolutely favorite season is Season 4, it just has so many great episodes, just to name a few Crystal Gale, Christopher Reeve, Dudely Moore, and the infamous Star Wars episode. Then comes Season 2 which is nearly just as good with Don Knotts, Milton Berle, Steve Martin, Peter Sellers, Jaye P Morgan, Zero Mostel, Bob Hope, John Cleese, the list goes on. Then Season 5 which is great nevernthless with Gene Kelly, Lorretta Swift, the awesome Rooger Moore episode, but it felt like the writers were just trying to quickly write some episodes so their work would be done. My least favorite season (for obvious reasons) is Season 1. It's not bad, I mean it's a great season, but everything ( and everyone) was deformed and a lot of the backstage plots don't hold up like in the Rita Moreno one the backstage plot is jsut a few phone jokes. Even with that, I still love a handful of episodes mostly the ones at the end like Episodes 19-24.
    Season 1 Favorite Episode: Ethel Merman
    Season 2 Favorite Episode: Peter Sellers
    Season 3 Favorite Episode: James Coco
    Season 4 Favorite Episode: Christopher Reeve
    Season 5 Favorite Episode: Lorretta Swit


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