G U I D E S
   The Muppet Show
   Trivia Quizzes



Shop for Muppet DVD's,
Replicas and Puppets

 

New Collectibles

8/12 - Muppets Most Wanted Blu-ray: The Unnecessarily Extended Edition and Muppets Most Wanted DVD

3/20 - Muppets Most Wanted Exclusive 7-Piece PVC Figurine Playset, Muppets Most Wanted Constantine Plush, Muppets Most Wanted Rowlf Plush, Muppets Most Wanted 75 Sticker Pack

3/20 - Muppets Most Wanted Deluxe Edition CD (Original Soundtrack)

2/11 - Muppets Most Wanted Read-Along Storybook and CD and Muppets Most Wanted: Kermit's Double Trouble Book

2/07 - Muppets Character Encyclopedia Collector's Book

 
     

 

Join the Muppet Central Mailing List

 

 

EPISODE NOTES

This was the second pilot for The Muppet Show, in many ways much closer in tone to what would eventually become the series, although in some ways, The Muppets Valentine Show also resembles more closely what the final version would entail. The most notable elements retained from "Valentine" would be the regular appearance of a human guest star and the show taking place in a centralized location. "Sex & Violence" used the Control Room as a base, but still much of the show was random and jumped around to different settings...At The Dance for example, was automatically assumed to take place in a ballroom totally outside of whereever the "Control Room" was located.

By changing the locale of The Muppet Show series to a vaudeville theater, most sketches were then presumed to be taking place "onstage". "Valentine" took place in a house-like looking set, although many elements of the set would be incorporated into the main backstage set of The Muppet Show series.

Sex & Violence, in most other ways, does however offer a workable prototype of what the series would be. Most of the main supporting characters are first introduced here, though interestingly the characters that would eventually became the most closely associated with the series are either absent or in cameo stage.

Scooter and Fozzie Bear would be created for The Muppet Show series; Kermit and Rowlf, already existing characters, have one-line cameos in At The Dance. Gonzo (a puppet that was first used in the 1970 Great Santa Claus Switch" special as a Frackle, a type of Muppet Monster) is seen only as an audience member in the first shot of the wrestling match. The puppet that would become Miss Piggy (with different eyes) appears in the "Return to Beneath the Planet of the Pigs" sketch, both sporting the "Miss Piggy hair", and later converted to a different female pig character with a shorter brunette curly wig.

Aside from the supporting characters, many of the recurring segments of The Muppet Show first debut from here. Such as Dr. Teeth & The Electric Mayhem (Their musical number, "Love Ya To Death" would later be performed in episode ten), the Swedish Chef spots, and At The Dance, which itself is a continuation of an idea originally used in the 1968 special "Hey, Cinderella", which contained an extended sequence of characters exchanging quick jokes during the ball.

Floyd Pepper, in his original design, has lenticular eyes that reflect rotating spirals when focused on a particular angle and lighted in a certain way. During The Muppet Show, this would eventually change into eyes that could blink.

Zoot, though not having any lines, already displays the saxophone style he would be associated with...often blurting short notes throughout a song. This would be the focus of the "Sax & Violence" sketch that appears in episode two of The Muppet Show (guest Connie Stevens) and would become the signature aspect to the series' closing theme, Zoot's final solitary note.

Statler, in his debut, is performed by Jerry Nelson. The character will later be inherited by Richard Hunt when the series begins, due to Nelson's fleeting availability during the first half of the first season. Jerry Nelson will later start performing Statler again starting with the 1993 film, "The Muppet Christmas Carol" (due to the passing of Richard Hunt.)

Not only does Miss Piggy appear in prototype form, but the recurring Muppet Show sketch, "Pigs In Space" also sees some initial inspiration here. Pigs In Space would debut during the series' second season and along with Miss Piggy and new character Link Hogthrob, would feature Dr. Julius Strangepork, who looks and sounds very much like Dr. Nauga.

In hindsight, it's interesting to note some frightening similarities between the scifi sketch and "Farscape" a successful serious science fiction drama series that the Jim Henson Company would debut in the late '90's. The Muppet human hero, Hudson, could actually resemble a Muppet version of Farscape's human lead, John Crichton (Ben Browder). Both characters are the only human in a strange new world and just as Hudson will don a pig disguise and infiltrate his new society, Chrichton would often pose as a Sebacean Peacekeeper. Perhaps the oddest foreshadowing of all comes at the sketch's climax which bears an uncanny plot resemblance to Farscape's season two cliffhanger!

The interplay between Floyd and Sam Eagle is hilarious and sets up a great comedic pairing that would lay dormant until around the third season of The Muppet Show.

In their 1987 video for "It's A Sin", music group Pet Shop Boys featured characters based on the Seven Deadly Sins, some of which seem interestingly similar in concept to the versions presented here.

In a bizarre coincidence, the Muppet likeness of Thomas Jefferson ends up looking eerily like a grown up Brian Henson... even though Brian would have been a kid when the special was made.

Keep a sharp eye in the background during the end when the Sins, Sam, Nigel, and Crazy Harry are chasing each other for Boppity, the Blue Frackle (Muppet Monster) - in drag - being chased off the set by Sam.

PRODUCED BY Jim Henson

CO-PRODUCED BY Jon Stone

WRITTEN BY Marshall Brickman, Jon Stone, Norman Stiles, Jim Henson

DIRECTED BY Dave Wilson

MUSIC & LYRICS BY Joe Raposo

ART DIRECTOR: Alan Compton

THE MUPPET PERFORMERS

FEATURING Jim Henson (Nigel, George Washington, Swedish Chef, Dr. Teeth, Kermit the Frog, Youknow Bird, Heap, Hudson)

Frank Oz (Animal, Sam, Theodore Roosevelt, Forcryingoutloud Bird,
Ruler, Heap, Bert, pig, George the Janitor, Ernie girl)

Jerry Nelson (Sgt. Floyd Pepper, Thomas Jefferson, dancers, Announcer, Statler, Whaddayasay Bird, Melg, Envy, Pencil, Gluttony, Gene Shalit, Dr. Nauga, Sloth)

with Richard Hunt (Crazy Harry, Ohboy Bird, pig, Lust)

Dave Goelz (Averice, Zoot, Righton Bird, Brewsters, Vanity)

Fran Brill (Receptionist voice, Janice, Ohreally Bird, Leafy
Green Vegetables, Piggy, dancer)

John Lovelady (Abraham Lincoln)

Rollin Krewson

Caroly Wilcox

Jane Henson

PUPPET BY Bonnie Lewis and Caroly Wilcox, Dave Goelz, John Lovelady, Rollin Krewson, Janet Lerman, Mari Kaestle

SPECIAL FABRICATOR: Don Sahlin

COSTUME DESIGNER: Bonnie Lewis

COSTUMES EXECUTED BY Cindy Chock, Christopher Lyall, Marianne Harms, Nancy
Dickenson

SPECIAL PROPS: Faz Fazakas and John Orbes, Larry Jameson

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER: David Holman

ASSISTANT TO THE PRODUCER: Audrey Peart Dickman

PRODUCTION ASSISTANT: Nancy Domoff

MUPPET CREATIVE CONSULTANTS: Mike Frith, Bob Taylor

LIGHTING CONSULTANT: Dave Clark

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR: Lynn Klugman

TECHNICAL DIRECTOR: Edmund Bezares

LIGHTING DIRECTOR: Carl Gaiti

FLOOR MANAGER: John Scott

SOUND EFFECTS: Barbara Wood, Richard Maitland

VIDEO TAPE EDITOR: Al Muller

PRODUCTION COORDINATOR: Robert Levy

FACILITIES PROVIDED BY Metrotape East

The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence

Original Airdate: March 19, 1975 on ABC
DVD Release: Buena Vista Home Video, 2005

"LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, PRESENTING THE END OF SEX AND VIOLENCE ON TELEVISION!"

With those words, Crazy Donald from the first Muppet Show pilot, The Muppets Valentine Show (now inexplicably renamed Crazy Harry) blows up block letters reading "Sex and Violence". And so begins the absolute madness of this second pilot for The Muppet Show!

A quick instrumental riff serves as the theme song, playing over clips from the following half hour, punctuated by a sharply dressed sleepy-eyed Muppet announcing the show's been prerecorded as he stamps "Do Not Erase" on the screen.

Upon returning from commercial, we learn the Muppet's name is Nigel and will be serving as the host for tonight's proceedings as he shows us around the conference room which serves as a "nerve central" for the show

We see some familiar faces from The Muppets Valentine Show. Brewsters is asleep in the corner and Crazy Harry is warned to cool it on the explosions. Then we see some intriguing newbies, a dungeon holds a raging beast named Animal, a hipster dressed like he's just come off the cover of the Beatles' "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album cover. Floyd is "the musician of the group". There's an eagle playing solitaire named Sam, who's function is to keep things from going out of control. After expressing concern about the Seven Deadly Sins Pageant scheduled for later, Sam starts on a rant about needing good old fashioned American values and the wisdom of our forefathers.

MOUNT RUSHMORE

The statuettes are noble...majestic..and telling itself jokes (which George Washington doesn't get).

AT THE DANCE

In an elegant ballroom Muppets are dancing away. Nigel, dancing, assures the audience that the show jumps from place to place..."you'll get used to it."

As dancers tell jokes (quite reminiscent of "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" ballroom segments), we see some more familiar faces in the crowd. From the first pilot, we see Mildred dancing with a Muppet Gene Shalit, Miss Mousy dancing with Mahna Mahna (who himself hales from classic Muppet guest appearances and "Sesame Street"). Speaking of Sesame Street, is that Bert in the background?

WRESTLING MATCH

Another jump cut, this time to a crowd of Muppets eagerly watching a wrestling match. Two Muppet wrestlers in the center ring are all over each other. Among the large crowd are Kermit the Frog, Rowlf the Dog, and various Frackles (monsters) from the 1970 "Great Santa Claus Switch" special.

Just as it seems something really exciting's about to happen, all of a sudden we cut to...

THE SWEDISH CHEF

A chef, rambling in Swedish tongue, starts preparing a submarine sandwich along with CHINESE SUBTITLES! (The transition here is especially masterful since the cut is so unexpected and the viewer is instantly presented with bouncy accordion music and a Swedish opening title that it actually appears for a moment that an errant satellite feed just cut into what we were just watching.

The Swedish Chef himself is so wonderfully human in appearance, that it even takes a split second for a viewer not paying attention to realize that this indeed another part of the show! In fact, the hands themselves ARE real human hands.)

CONTROL ROOM

After Nigel beats Sam at checkers, the first guests for the Seven Deadly Sins Pageant start to arrive.

Talking cash register: "Money, money money! I just love the stuff! Don't know how much you're paying but I know it's not enough."

Nigel: "You must be Avarice, right?"

Floyd: "Freak City!"

Sam: "Nigel, where IS 'Freak City'?"

[Keep your eyes on the background of the control room for slight changes every time we see it. A bust now sports a beret and a photo on the wall by Brewsters has changed from a 30's starlet to the Mona Lisa.]

MUSICAL NUMBER: ONSTAGE - "LOVE YA TO DEATH"

Floyd introduces his band. "The very wonderful, the very exciting, the very violent, and the financially very successful, Dr. Teeth & the Electric Mayhem."

Consisting of Dr. Teeth, a Dr. John-esque vocalist and keyboardist with VERY long skinny arms, Sgt. Floyd Pepper on bass, Janice, with large lashed eyes and long blond hair on lead guitar, sunglassed saxophonist Zoot - and the previously seen "Animal" playing the drums, the group launches into a rocking psychadelic number with lyrics:

I'm gonna light some dynamite
And blow open your heart
I'm gonna light some dynamite
And blast a tunnel to your love
I'm gonna explode an atom bomb (ooh-ooh-skiddely-bam!)
And blow a hole in your soul (ooh-ooh-skiddely-bam)

STATLER AND WALDORF'S DEN

The wild cheers from the audience slowly fade to the contrasted monotony of a large den with grandfather clock ticking slowly in the back. Two slow-talking, elderly gentlemen (Statler & Waldorf) sit in their chairs as the world outside seemingly passes them by.

Statler: You know, Waldorf, I've been thinkin'.

Waldorf: Yeah, what'cha been thinkin'?

Statler: About the younger generation.

Waldorf: What about them?

Statler: Don't know where they're goin'!

Walford: You can say that again.

Statler: Don't know where they're goin'

Waldorf: Neither did the Kaiser.

Statler: He comin' too?

Waldorf: Statler...my foot's asleep.

AT THE DANCE

Kermit (to beatiful female dancing partner): Well, uh, I might be able to get you a job on an educational show for kids.

In the background, Sam dances nose-to-nose with Mildred, and Statler trips the light fantastic with Janice!

WRESTLING MATCH

The San Francisco Earthquake is redesigning his opponent's entire left leg!

In the crowd, we can now make out Catgut from the "Muppet Musicians of Bremen" special and three puppets who bear a striking resemblance to Muppeteers Jim Henson, Frank Oz, and Jerry Nelson.

THE SWEDISH CHEF

His sandwich has grown quite large (among the ingrediants is a rubber glove and a 7" vinyl record). He starts to place a rubber chicken on top, but then decides it needs tenderizing first. ("SMICK du burd wit der sludgenhammer!")

FOR THE BIRDS

To the sound of a bass-centric jazz piece by the Electric Mayhem, several male birds try to attract two females. Each has its own distinctive call..."WHATTAYA SAY", "FOR CRYING OUT LOUD", "OH BOY". The females (whose calls are "OH REALLY" and "YOU KNOW") finally settle for a bird with a "RIGHT ON RIGHT ON!" mating call.

CONTROL ROOM

Sam (not faring too well at cards) takes a call...

Sam: Do we want an eighth Deadly Sin for the Pageant?

Nigel: Uh...which one?

Sam: (into phone:) Who's your eight? (to Nigel:) Wearing Funny Pants to a Funeral.

Envy arrives ("Oh, I love this room! Is that your hat? Wish I had a shirt like that.")

Nigel: Dressing Room Number Eight upstairs.

Envy: Couldn't I have Nine? I bet it's nicer.

[The bust now has sunglasses, a toupee, and moustache. The photo next to Brewsters is of Little Orphan Annie.]

MOUNT RUSHMORE

Knock knock jokes continue to fly over George Washington's head. ("Roosavelt nice but Gladys felt nicer!")

THEATER OF THINGS

A ruler makes an impassioned speech to a group of pencils. ("I'm STRAIGHT and I'm gonna tell you where to draw the line! Now get the lead out!")

MONSTER SKETCH

Two Heaps, tarantula like monsters talking in gibberish, interupt their sleep to club each other before napping again. Another two long-nosed creatures with their own nonsensical (but Refined English sounding) language curiously examine the monsters.

The monsters aren't too taken with the interuption and mock the long-nosed creatures. Undeterred, the male taps the monsters irritatingly with his nose probing "COO PAR DOO?" which earns him a harsh club beating by the monsters, completly twisting up his nose. As the alarmed female runs off after the humilated male, the monsters laugh and mock their language.

AT THE DANCE

Yep, it WAS Bert we saw in the background earlier! In the foreground now, he address his parner, "You know, you REALLY look familiar!" The female turns to face the camera revealing an Ernie-esque face and laughs an Ernie laugh!

STATLER & WALDORF

Statler: ...and so the waiter said, "Excuse me, but you're dancing with my umbrella"!

(Both laugh hysterically, practically choking in the process)

Waldorf: I told it funnier yesterday.

WRESTLING MATCH

The wrestlers are a knot of arms wrapped around each other...one tries to bite his opponent but chomps his own arm instead.

Announcer: Just listen to that crowd...we have a fantastic bunch of sadists here tonight!

CONTROL ROOM

Floyd beats Sam at chess. Vanity (a mirror) and Gluttony (covered in food) arrive along with Leafy Green Vegetables looking for the Seven Basic Foods Pageant. Gluttony chases her out the door. [The bust now sports a top hat, bowtie, and eye patch.]

FILMS IN FOCUS

The Gene Shalit Muppet we saw earlier is giving a scathing review to "Return to Beneath the Planet of the Pigs", the seventh in its series of pseudo-epics. We see a clip of a human Muppet trapped by a bunch of pigs (one of which will become the puppet for Miss Piggy in "The Muppet Show" series, presently with beady eyes).

Upon hearing his protestations that he's a scientist from Earth, the pigs decide to take him to Dr. Nauga so they can drill a hole in his head and look inside. Dr. Nauga (who resembles Dr. Julius Strangepork, who will make his debut in The Muppet Show's second season) suggests the addition of a hinge so they can flip up and down the brain to view whenever they like. At the end of the film clips, Gene is replaced by a pig with bushy hair and glasses who gives the film Five Oinks.

CONTROL ROOM

Sam and Nigel play Scrabble.

SAM: Gribbaziggy? What kind of a word is Gribbaziggy?

NIGEL: You know, like, "I Gribbaziggy you", you know, like that?

Floyd suggests Sam challange him; they turn to Brewsters and his dictionary. (Brewsters: "A medieval form of Gribbazoogum")

Lust arrives, all tongue and arms

Lust: Love 'em and squeeze 'em, love 'em and leave 'em.

[The picture by Brewsters is now of Big Bird from Sesame Street.]

SWEDISH CHEF

The sandwich, now completed (birthday candle on top and all), starts to fly away. The Chef shoots it down with his blunderbuss.

MOUNT RUSHMORE

George, thinks he has the hang of knock knock jokes now...

Lincoln: George Who?

Washington: George Washington!

AT THE DANCE

Sam dances with another long-nosed lady, Zelda Rose. Dr. Nauga approaches them with scalpel ("May I cut in?") Rowlf the Dog complains to his partner: "I was with Jimmy Dean but nobody remembers me anymore."

WRESTLING MATCH

Now over, stadium empty, the wrestlers are motionless in the ring, a mess of arms completely obliterating them. George the Janitor from The Muppets Valentine Show, reminds them as he closes up, "Just want you guys to know, noon tomorrow, we got an ice hockey game in here." The wrestlers lie there helpless to the sound of a ticking clock which fades into the clock in...

STATLER & WALDORF'S DEN

It ticks some more beats, then stops.

Statler: Waldorf, either that clock stopped or we just died.

PAGEANT

The Sins are all lined up and Nigel is set to announce the winner when it's discovered they're out of time. The Sins start getting Deadly when asked if they can come back next week, so Crazy Harry (who's behaved himself since the beginning when Nigel asked him to) sets off an explosion diverting their attention from attacking Nigel. As the credits start to roll, the Electric Mayhem (now joined by the puppet resembling Jim Henson on banjo, looking a bit confused as why he's there) play the closing theme - as Crazy Harry sets off explosions on thier set as well. The credits continue over the Muppets on the Pageant set chasing each other as the camera rolls back to show the puppeteers running around underneath.

As the credits end, a final Sin enters ("I'm Sloth, am I late?")

Guide Written by
D. W. McKim and Phillip Chapman

Search:
Keywords:
In Association with Amazon.com

home | news | collectibles | articles | forum | guides | radio | cards | help

Fan site Muppet Central created by Phillip Chapman. Updates by Muppet Central Staff. All Muppets, Bear
characters are copyright of The Muppets Studio. Sesame Street characters are copyright of Sesame Workshop.
Fraggle Rock, Creature Shop and similar likenesses are copyright of The Jim Henson Company.