interesting to note the makeup of the cast both in terms of which
characters lived on afterward as well as the mix of old and new.
The Muppet Show's first season had a fair mix of completely new
characters (Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Scooter), characters that originated
from the pilots (Swedish Chef, Statler and Waldorf, most of the
series' secondary characters), plus a sprinkling of Muppets from
previous projects (the Frackles, Robin, Sweetums, Kermit). This
is the case in the pilot with several new characters and Muppets
from other productions; Kermit (Sam & Friends, Sesame Street),
Rufus (Hey, Cinderella), Thog and Droop (Great Santa Claus Switch),
plus cameos from Rowlf, Bert and Ernie.
on, Muppets Tonight, an updated Muppet Show, would also incorporate
brand new characters, Classic Muppet Show members, and Muppets
from productions in between the two (Clifford, Bean Bunny, Andy
and Randy). Most of the cast of this pilot went on to The Muppet
Show although most would eventually become background characters
by the end of its run.
Rowlf, and to a lesser extent Crazy Donald (Harry) remained among
the core group of Classic Muppets. George and Mildred were featured
heavily in Muppet Show's first season but quickly faded to background
character status along with Droop, Miss Mousey, and Thog. Some
Muppets went onto the Muppet Show in different forms; Rufus became
Muppy, Crazy Donald's name was changed to Crazy Harry, and Brewsters
was turned into a wise guru character usually seen in the first
season's panel discussions. Crazy Donald was based on Muppet designer
and special effects guru, Don Sahlin, who had a habit of frightening
members of the workshop with various riggings, gags, and yes -
even explosions. He once blew up Dave Goelz' desk!
enough, the Muppet that DIDN'T live on after the special was the
host, Wally! (Well, okay, he COULD be seen as a member of the
audience, but that's really it.)
a general high quality standard exists throughout, there nonetheless
are a number of shots where heads and arms show on camera...even
in the first few seconds on the opening shot! (Crazy Donald) Another
odd moment usually beneath the Muppets' standard occurs during
the closing credits when a few Muppets (including Kermit and Rowlf)
go to walk off camera and are abruptly pulled down while still
in frame. Perhaps the puppeteers had limited access to monitors?
cast of puppeteers closely match the lineup of The Muppet Show's
first season, though Eren Ozker is absent. Jane Henson and Nancy
McGeorge also perform puppets, but not voices. Fran Brill would
later join this group in the second pilot, but aside from a few
episodes would not be a part of Muppet Show's regular cast.
MUPPET PUPPETEERS FEATURING
Oz (Muppy, George, Eric, male Koozbanian)
Nelson (Droop, frog, Miss Mousey, Thog, female
Richard Hunt (Mildred, Big Mouse)
Lovelady (Crazy Donald, frog)
Goelz (Brewsters, crumpet)
Henson (Kermit, Wally, Ernie)
BY Diana Birkenfield
BY Jerry Juhl, Jerry Ross
BY Jim Henson
DIRECTOR: Tom H. John
ARRANGED & CONDUCTED BY Keith Textor
COORDINATOR: Alan Scott
FARROW'S COSTUMES BY Donald Brooks
BY Bonnie Lewis, Donald Sahlin, Caroly Wilcox, Franz Fazakas,
John Lovelady, Dave Goelz, Kermit Love
TO THE PRODUCER: Audrey Peart Dickman
LIVE GIRL" CHOREOGRAPHY BY Christopher Lyall
ART DIRECTOR: Bill Mickley
ASSISTANTS: Eric Jenkins, Rollie Krewson, Cindy Chock
DIRECTOR: Paul E. Davis
DIRECTOR: David Fee
DIRECTOR: Everett Melosh
Robert Shultis, Rudy Piccarillo
COORDINATOR: Mario Vecchi
ARTS: Hy Bley
RECORDING: Jorgen Jorgensen
MANAGER: Morgan Barber
PRODUCER: Jim Henson
Muppets Valentine Show
with Special Guest Mia Farrow
Airdate: January 30, 1974 on ABC
DVD Release: Buena
Vista Home Video, 2007
Muppets Valentine show was the first of two pilots for The Muppet
Show. Valentine aired on ABC in 1974. Though the second pilot, The
Muppet Show: Sex and Violence would be a closer prototype of the
series, Valentine laid the groundwork with some characters, the idea
of having a guest star, appealing to both adults and children, and
the format of putting on a show with "behind the scenes"
The special wastes no time by introducing the cast and the concept
all within the first shot! The camera pans around a house with the
main cast scattered around preparing for the show as Wally, the show's
writer/host types the script in the foreground.
main set resembles a large house, yet in many ways marks a good prototype
of The Muppet Show's backstage set what with Wally's table in the
foreground and the staircase leading up to doors with stars on them
in the back. You'll notice a slight similarity in color and design
on this set as what was featured on "Captain Kangaroo" during
announces the show's about love and asks aloud what can be said about
love. Mildred, a purple birdish-looking quasi-elegant lady with long
nose says love is a simple thing which leads the cast into singing
the opening number, "LOVE IS A SIMPLE THING".
rest of the main cast includes dog Rufus (from "Hey Cinderella"),
George the Janitor, a long-nosed gloomy Frackle named Droop (Snivelly,
modified from "Great Santa Claus Switch"), old man Brewsters,
and everyone's favorite frog, Kermit. Midway through the song, Wally
introduces the show and the guest star, Mia Farrow, who sings a verse
in a cutaway heart. As the Muppets conclude the song, the final cast
member, Crazy Donald (who would later become Crazy Harry - the puppet's
the same, just an inexplicable name change) sings "love is to
do your thing" and sets off an explosion in the room, giggling
Wally tries to figure out more about love by consulting other members
of the cast with little success. Droop's too involved in self-pity
so Wally writes on his typewriter "George walks in." George
enters, unenthused: "You typed?" The janitor wants nothing
to do with the subject so Mildred and Brewsters add their input which
doesn't add up to more than Brewsters chasing Mildred around.
You see, George, now there's two people caring for each other.
(mocking): Caaaaring for each other. Dynamite!
At the mention of dynamite, Crazy Donald blasts a hole in the wall.
Kermit tries to philosophize about love but the rest of the Muppets
are too concerned over the hole to listen. Undeterred, Kermit hops
over to the piano (with a chorus of singing frogs with banjos popping
out of it) and sings a different-than-what-we're-used-to "Froggy
Went A Courtin'" as we witness Kermit's courting of Miss Mousey
and his duel with Big Mouse (Miss Mousey rides off with Droop on his
motorcycle after the two combatants thoroughly bruise each other.)
number marks the debut of Kermit riding a bicycle, a simple marionette
effect that would become the big deal about "The Muppet Movie".
Most Muppet fans know that Kermit rode a bike two years before the
film in "Emmett Otter's Jug-band Christmas" but only the
sharpest fans are aware that this is Kermit's premiere cycling appearance.]
figures it's time for the guest to arrive. Overhearing him typing
this in the script, Droop yells out that Mia Farrow's here and the
cast tramples over Wally rushing to the front door, then again to
the back door when they don't see her there. A disheveled Wally points
out the side door. Farrow enters, greeted by the cast who notice her
rather obvious pregnancy. Mildred sits Mia down to chat over crumpets,
to which Droop notes their crumpet died. The ladies chat more about
Mia's becoming a mother.
Some girls have all the luck.
Well, it takes a bit more than luck, Mildred.
offers some cookies and comes across a still alive crumpet (which
she tosses to Rufus to fetch). Wally arrives with a card to Mia from
Thog, "Be my Vallentune" The card turns into the background
of a set where Mia sings a vallentune to Thog (a giant blue monster
from "Great Santa Claus Switch"). They sing "Real Live
Girl", deliciously ironic since Mia of course IS the only real
live girl in the program!
on Wally's script, "Charming lady guest star has chat with lovable
dog type person". Mia asks Rufus to help her decide what kind
of dog to get. As Mia considers her options, Rufus mimes what Mia
says: tap-dancing when she mentions a showdog, donning a bus driver's
hat and steering wheel at the mention of a greyhound, etc. Finally
Mia concludes she doesn't want a dog...unless it could be a dog like
Rufus then sing "Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms".
[This song has been edited out of this special when it has re-aired
on television. In February 1993 when the pilot was shown on Nickelodeon
and February 2002 when it aired on YTV in Canada.]
As the Muppets chase Crazy Donald around in the background for another
blast, Wally ponders love on other planets. Cut to Kermit, reprising
his reporter's role from "Sesame Street" reporting from the
planet Koozbane on the time of courtship. A male alien meets a giggling
female and dances crazily around her. The female laughs and whips the
male with her long nose (!) signaling the legendary never-before-seen-on-television
Galleo Hoop Hoop.
two march far away from each other than run toward each other eventually
colliding, exploding into a quartet of baby Koozebanians. [This sketch
would be performed again in episode
7 of The Muppet Show, starring Florence Henderson.]
Wally wonders if George got anything out of the show but George sweeps
him away with his mop. Mia gets George to realize that he has love
in his life as well...he loves his mop.
realization prompts the closing number, "I've Got Love"
as all the Muppets from the special (even the Koozbanians and the
crumpet) join in. In
one rather interesting shot, Wally dances around with Kermit! Adding
a sense of parallelism to the opening number, Crazy Donald ends the
song with an explosion.
As the credits roll, the Muppets line up to kiss Mia good-bye (echoed
somewhat later during the end of the Paula Abdul episode of Muppets
Tonight). Before she can kiss Kermit, Brewsters cuts into line for
another kiss. At the end of the line, putting in some cameo appearances
are Rowlf the Dog (most famous for his regular appearances in the
Jimmy Dean Show) and Ernie and Bert (from Sesame Street). Rufus follows
Mia home as she exits.
D. W. McKim and Phillip Chapman