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EPISODE NOTES

It's 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.

Later 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.

Kermit, 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!

Interestingly 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.)

Although 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?

The 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.

THE MUPPET PUPPETEERS FEATURING

Frank Oz (Muppy, George, Eric, male Koozbanian)

Jerry Nelson (Droop, frog, Miss Mousey, Thog, female
Koozbanian)

and Richard Hunt (Mildred, Big Mouse)

John Lovelady (Crazy Donald, frog)

Dave Goelz (Brewsters, crumpet)

Nancy McGeorge

Jane Henson

Jim Henson (Kermit, Wally, Ernie)

PRODUCED BY Diana Birkenfield

WRITTEN BY Jerry Juhl, Jerry Ross

DIRECTED BY Jim Henson

ART DIRECTOR: Tom H. John

MUSIC ARRANGED & CONDUCTED BY Keith Textor

MUSIC COORDINATOR: Alan Scott

MISS FARROW'S COSTUMES BY Donald Brooks

PUPPETS BY Bonnie Lewis, Donald Sahlin, Caroly Wilcox, Franz Fazakas, John Lovelady, Dave Goelz, Kermit Love

ASSISTANT TO THE PRODUCER: Audrey Peart Dickman

"REAL LIVE GIRL" CHOREOGRAPHY BY Christopher Lyall

ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR: Bill Mickley

PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS: Eric Jenkins, Rollie Krewson, Cindy Chock

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR: Paul E. Davis

TECHNICAL DIRECTOR: David Fee

LIGHTING DIRECTOR: Everett Melosh

AUDIO: Jack Kelly

VIDEO: Robert Shultis, Rudy Piccarillo

PRODUCTION COORDINATOR: Mario Vecchi

GRAPHIC ARTS: Hy Bley

MUSIC RECORDING: Jorgen Jorgensen

UNIT MANAGER: Morgan Barber

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Jim Henson

The Muppets Valentine Show
with Special Guest Mia Farrow

Original Airdate: January 30, 1974 on ABC
DVD Release: Buena Vista Home Video, 2007

The 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" mayhem.

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.

[The 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 the seventies.]

Wally 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".

The 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 maniacally.

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.

Wally: You see, George, now there's two people caring for each other.

George (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.)

[This 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.]

Wally 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.

Mildred: Some girls have all the luck.

Mia: Well, it takes a bit more than luck, Mildred.

Mildred: I KNOW, I know!

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!

Next 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.

Mia and 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.

The 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.

This 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.

Guide Written by
D. W. McKim and Phillip Chapman

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