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Little things we've noticed

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by Mary Louise, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. Mary Louise Active Member

    I saw that "Classic Sesame Street" has a thread called "Little Things We've Noticed." Well, how about one for "Classic Muppets"?

    Here's one for a starter: the UK bit on the Carol Channing episode of the Muppet Show. Floyd, on guitar, and Beauregard, on harmonica, play "Wave" for some penguins. Partway through the number, Beau's harmonica seems to have grown to twice its former length!
    Muppet fan 123 likes this.
  2. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Thank you for starting a Muppet equivilient. I've been wanting to mention some little things I've noticed in Muppet productions recently.

    Something that I noticed long before I joined the forum but had forgotten about until last week was at the end of the "You Can't Take No For an Answer" number in MTM there is a human actor sleeping in one of the bottom lockers (he sort of looked like Steve Whitmire).

    Also regarding that number in MTM, and I've commented on this elsewhere, during the scene in the montage where the Muppets stop by Bernard Crawford's office and his secretary just laughs and shakes her head in rejection it looks like she actually kept the script regardless. That would explain how Ronnie obtained the script, but I wonder if she just kept it to consider giving to Bernard expecting him to reject.

    I was watching the Madeline Kahn episode recently, and noticed that there seems to be a hole in Gonzo's tux, near the color. I guess that was there for that trick at the end when several clothes get pulled out of Gonzo's pocket.
  3. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    In the Kaye Ballard episode, the band (especially Floyd) express their dislike for the theme song... Yet does anybody else think it's odd how most of the band wears purple tuxedos? Somehow I'd expect Floyd and Animal to be the types that wouldn't want to wear purple tuxedos (black tuxes, sure, but purple?), or to even be in an orchestra (I wonder how we'd all feel if the whole orchestra was a seperate band). Out of the whole orchestra I think Rowlf would look the most appropriate in a tuxedo... and yet he's the only one who didn't wear a tux in the orchestra. In fact I don't think Rowlf ever wore a full tuxedo until after TMS ended. The few times he wore anything similar he just wore a black tie and white flap/vest/whatever it's called.

    And in the Rudolph Nureya episode, it seems they didn't want to make full tuxedos for any of the live-hand characters. Sam wore a sleeveless tuxedo (and Sam doesn't seem like the kind of person who'd wear a tux like that), while Rowlf and Fozzie were outfitted in the black bow ties and white vest. Though Mahna Mahna's tuxedo attire was also the same as theirs.

    Whenever Scooter brings up his uncle who owns the thearer, he only refers to him as "my uncle who owns the theater", but when JP Grosse is around, he refers to him by name. In the Jaye P. Morgan episode he refers to him as "my uncle, JP Grosse, the man who owns this theater". So he didn't just say "My uncle who owns the theater is here".

    In most cases where Scooter brings up his uncle who owns the theater, it seems like he doesn't realise he gets his way just by mentioning him. Though by the Jaye P. Morgan episode it seems like he has finally realised this, when he worns Kermit. In fact in that episode Kermit didn't seem to have a problem with telling Scooter how he doesn't like it when JP Grosse is around. I don't know if he was too stressed to care if Scooter heard him or what.

    In the Sylvester Stallone episode, Kermit gets mad because Scooter sells backstage passes. He tells Scooter that he wants to talk to him but then has to introduce Sylvester and tells him to stay there. But then Kermit waits until after Sylvester's number to have his talk with Scooter. Also, at first Scooter seems unaware of why Kermit wanted to walk to him, but somehow figured it out by the time Kermit did, giving him time to come up with an excuse for selling passes. It is interesting that he didn't just say something about his uncle.
    MuppetLuver2000 likes this.
  4. dwmckim Well-Known Member

    Dang - i know i saw something i noticed for the first time after how many previous viewings earlier this week but don't remember right now what it specifically was!

    In the first season At the Dances, you can see a hole in George's jacket - i've always wondered if that was a deliberate thing in his design or if it's an exposed armwire hole.

    Always love how Marvin Suggs loses his moustache during Witch Doctor!

    Love how Fozzie reprises his role as the train conductor for Gladys Knight's number (after doing the same thing for Teresa Brewer)

    Animal always is a fun character to watch when he's in the background. I love how fascinated he seems to be with Kaye Ballard's tuba! And how he blinks his eyebrows in time with the music on Kris K/Rita C's closing number.
  5. bingboingcutie Active Member


    He DOES? Cool; wonder where it went.

    That was quite detailed, I must agree. F. Oz, T. Patchett, and J. Tarses did well piecing everything together like that. I wonder if the other muppet movies had details like that...

    He certainly seems to know in Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie...like when he tries to get those girls to like him when he says his uncle used to own the theater. Too bad he had the lamp shade on his head! :)
  6. David French Member

    Considering that Scooter walks around backstage counting money in front of Kermit (by accident of course), I think Scooter is only too well aware of the reason why Kermit wants to talk to him.

    The Teresa Brewer is set on a paddleboat, not a train. Think the MGM musical "Show Boat".

    It simply fell to the floor; it comes unstuck during the modulation.
  7. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    At the end of The Great Muppet Caper, when the Muppets are on the airplane before being thrown off, I noticed that Lips is sitting with a generic rat, while Rizzo is in the other side of the room. Considering Steve Whitmire performed both Lips and Rizzo, it's a wonder they didn't have those two sit together, so Steve could perform both at once.
    DramaQueenMokey likes this.
  8. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    While watching some Geri and the Atrics clips recently, I've noticed that the guitar player played guitar with her left hand, yet she was performed by the left-handed Louise Gold. This gets me wondering if Louise Gold just did the voice while somebody else did the puppetry. Of course there are other explanations I can think of; she could have performed the body right-handed for once, or she could have performed the left hand with her right hand (I have noticed quite a few instances where characters with right-handed performers moved their right hands but not their left hands), or a second performer could have done the left hand.... Unless there are behind-the-scenes photos or footage out there we may nevver know.
  9. Skekayuk Member

    There are probably many more instances than we know about on TMS when one performer did another's character, either because that puppeteer was needed for another of their character's, or (as I think happened with Louise, particularly during Season 2 and Season 3, she has a brilliant singing voice, but at that time wasn't too experienced as a puppeteer, so there were occassions when they might want to use her for a character, but her puppetry wasn't always actually good enough (at that time) for what the wanted the puppet to do. (Epsiode 302 - 'Carbon Paper' being the mahor example here).

    I think we'll never know who was performing or why. I think the theory that Louise was doing the head and someone else was doing the left hand of the character is possible, or that someone else is puppeteering altogether, for whatever reason.
    I get the impression that she always does the head with her left-hand, though.
  10. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Of course Geri and the Atrics were introduced in season 4.

    I've noticed that when Christopher Reeve was the guest, all of his on-stage acts were as sudden replacements for other characters. He replaced an injurred Gonzo for the Shakespear sketch, and replaced Rowlf in two different acts (both because of Miss Piggy). We never see Christopher Reeve do an act that was supposed to have him.

    Lorretta Switt was a similar situation. Most of her on-stage bits were as a replacement for Miss Piggy. I guess her first number shouldn't really count, but they did put her on when Miss Piggy was fired and her act cancled. And then Lorretta replaced Piggy in Vets Hospital and Pigs in Space. The episode had so much backstage focus that the opening number was the only act to not feature the guest star.
  11. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I watched the Marissa Berensen episode tonight, and noticed this line in the cold open: "This isn't some weird Muppet luggage that'll explode or turn into cheese, is it?" And I'm thinking, when have things in the Muppet world turned into cheese? In the Shirley Bassey episode Bunsen invented a device that turned gold into cottage cheese, but that came a few seasons later. It might have been more appropriate to check and make sure it wasn't luggage that'd explode or eat people (though with it being alligator luggage it probably would).

    I also noticed that in The Muppet Movie Gonzo wore a light blue shirt and black vest, and then this became a semi-regular outfit for Gonzo starting in season four. But The Muppet Movie was filmed halfway through production of season three. Why not have him wear that in some season three episodes?

    And you know, it makes sense for them to have switched Gonzo's clothes in that movie from a purple tuxedo to something casual... But since it's Gonzo it might have been funnier and more in character if he did wear his purple tux there. Of course now that I think about it it may have been funny if he wore his purple tux while doing daredevil stunts.

    Also noticed that in TMM he wore a visor, but it seems the visor was dropped when he'd wear that outfit on the show.
  12. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    After seeing Childrens Songs and Stories with the Muppets on YouTueb recently (it's listed there as "The Muppets' Songs and Stories"), I've noticed that the video focuses more on the "Children's Songs" aspect of the title; The video only includes two stories (Alice in Wonderland, which includes two songs in it, and The King's Breakfast), in addition to a Muppet Sports segment which is neither a song or a story.

    Not to suggest what it should have had, but I feel it could have had a few more story segments. Perhaps some of the Robin Hood scenes from the Lynn Redgrave episode (perhaps all of the on-stage stuff until the archery contest), the two Pinnocchio segments from the Senor Wenches episode (I know, one is a song...), and maybe one of Rowlf's poems.

    While I like the black background used, it seems it'd be better suited for a compilation video themed around horror sketches than children's songs. It is a rare instance where a black background is used but there's no reason for performers to dress in black (unless you count those fish who make an appearance, but I see it as them unintentionally being held above the bottom of the screen). It seems it would have been more practical to have just had the video take place in the attic (I've read that it was mentioned in Fozzie's Muppet Scrapbook that the attic was located above the stage, so it's not like it was at Kermit or Fozzie's house; Hmmm, could the location from this video have been the basement of the theater?).

    In that video, Richard Hunt performs Scooter, and Jim Henson performs every other character who appears in the linking footage. But when The Swedish Chef appears, it's obvious that an extra performer was there to operate the hands. I wonder whose it was. I assume both fish were performed by Jim, with one on each hand (only one of them speaks), and as far as I can tell no other character had a "right hand performer". Odd they'd have a performer operate the chefs hands and do nothing else. I wonder if maybe it was an uncredited performer (the compilation videos tend to only credit the main 8 from The Muppet Show). Frank Oz performed in many of the videos, but by the time this was made I doubt they'd have Oz only perform hands (why not have some of his characters make requests? Though I don't know what childrens songs or stories Miss Piggy would request... Honestly I feel it wouldn't be out-of-character for Sam to have requested Inchworm). Dave Goelz performed in some of the videos, but by 1985 would they have just had him perform hands? And as far as I know there's no sign of whether Whitmire, Mullen, or Gold (most likely not, as I think they were recorded in New York) worked on these, but I'm pretty sure Jerry Nelson didn't (Richard Hunt performed Camilla in Muppet Weird Stuff, after all).

    Watching the scene with Waldorf, I wonder if maybe they wanted to use Pops but used Waldorf instead because Jerry Nelson wasn't available. Somehow I feel like Waldorf acted a little different in that scene (especially since Statler wasn't there, because Hunt was busy with Scooter), and i feel it would have been a little better suited for Pops to have been used there (and as far as I know, none of the compilation videos featured Pops).

    The promo at the end of the Playhouse Video was different depending on the video, with the main difference being the length and number of videos advertised. I assume this means that a different batch of videos were released at different times (according to Muppet Wiki the first four have a 1984 copyright in the credits, even though all ten have a 1985 copyright on the packaging). But from what I can remember, whenever the promo would expand they'd show the Muppet Video logo before advertising another batch of videos, between videos 4 and 5 (even in the one advertising all ten) and videos 7 and 8.

    I was thinking that it would have made sense for The Muppet Revue, Muppet Treasures, Fozzie's Muppet Scrapbook, and Muppet Moments to have been made at the same time (either on the same day or week), since they all took place in the attic and all were hosted by Kermit and Fozzie. After all, the set was set-up, Jim Henson and Frank Oz were available, and the puppets were ready. But considering The Muppet Revue has a 1984 copyright and the others have a 1985 copyright, this wouldn't be the case.
  13. Fraggline Active Member

  14. Fraggline Active Member

    Whoops! Sorry about that---I'm still learning how to post on the new forum. Anyway, I just wanted to ask a question: Richard Hunt played Camilla in Gonzo Presents Muppet Weird Stuff? Wow, I'll have to see that.
  15. heralde Well-Known Member

    Richard Hunt also plays the voice of the off screen land lord who yells at Gonzo, lol.

    Btw I also wrote a Blog entry on the Children's Songs & Stories VHS awhile back, hehe: http://herald7.wordpress.com/2007/06/11/5/
  16. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    That was a very good blog post. Though I never noticed Scooter showing any resentment towards Robin. Robin may have been in most of the songs requested, but he wasn't in "I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly" (requested by The Swedish Chef) or "Inchworm" (requested by Waldorf). And it is ironic because Robin doesn't appear in any of the new footage.
  17. heralde Well-Known Member

    Thanks! Well it's not a big part of the show or anything, just a slight annoyance when Scooter keeps wanting to do his song and can't, but they still have time for a Robin song, lol.
  18. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I haven't seen that video in a long time, but it was a great compilation. Too bad most of them aren't on YouTube. The ones I have found on YouTube (The Muppet Revue, Children's Songs and Stories) are actually hard to find if you search the titles (the person who uploaded Children's Songs and Stories listed it as "The Muppets' Songs and Stories", and the person who uploaded The Muppet Revue split it into many parts, titling them "Muppet Show 1" (and 2, and so on) and adding some title, though the best bet for finding them would be to type "the muppet show" and the name of a guest star from that video, and you'll likely find one of the clips, with the introductions made in the video). Somebody uploaded The Kermit and Miss Piggy Story a few years ago, but it seems to have gotten removed.

    Watching various clips from The Muppet Revue (which I'm pretty sure is the first of the Playhous Video compilations), at times it seems Kermit is trying to promote the show, sort of like an informercial might. Before introducing the first guest star clip, Kermit says "We don't only have silliness, but we also have great guest stars, like Linda Ronstadt!" When introducing Geri and the Atrics, he says "We not only offer things for kids, but we also offend the older folks!" After Fozzie comments on how weird the "Mahna Mahna" number was, Kermit says "Well think about all the normal stuff we have, too!" (now I guess he meant that even the more normal stuff are weird, but at the time thought he was oblivious to the next sketch, Muppet Labs, being weird) After the "For What It's Worth" clip is shown, he says "We at the Muppet Show are concerned with all causes supporting animals. On the other hand, Sam Eagle is concerned with all sorts of causes." Makes me think, are Kermit and Fozzie just remembering things, or trying to pitch the show (or its reruns) to audiences?
  19. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I've noticed that while Statler and Waldorf were pretty much recast right away after Richard Hunt's casting, they weren't used much between 1993 and 1996.

    They were both recast in The Muppet Christmas Carol, having big parts and sounding nothing like they'd been known for (it sounds like Jerry Nelson even used a different voice than the one he gave Statler in his first appearance). Then they were gone for the next few major productions: Muppet Beach Party, Kermit Unpigged, and Muppet Classic Theater. Though I think it was a wise decision to leave them off those albums.

    Considering the performers pretty much made the characters their own, I'd be surprised if they'd been practicing the characters during that time between MCC and MTI. It's a shame we never really hear Goelz or Nelson talk about what it was like taking over them, and the other Henson people don't seem to discuss it. Heck, Statler didn't need to play Jacob Marley, and they didn't need a second Marley for Waldorf. Jacob Marley could have been played by JP Grosse or Pops (though it seems less in character for Grosse to learn his lesson, and less in character for Pops to have been mean and greedy in the past).

    I do wonder, what if Richard Hunt lived longer and performed Statler to Dave Goelz's Waldorf? I wonder if Hunt would have had any problems adjusting. I know that Hunt and Henson aren't known as a team in the same way as Henson and Oz or Nelson and Hunt were, but still...
  20. Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    Can someone please explain for me about a scene in MTM. In the earliest scene at Pete's Luncheon, Kermit asks Pete for eleven bowls of soup, but there were twelve Muppets present (not counting Rizzo). Was Kermit not going to eat? Or were Gonzo and Camilla going to share a bowl? :confused:

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