Bruce Forsythe - Episode 13
Dates: July 27-28, August 5, 1976
GENERIC INTRO: PERFORMING
Brian Henson: "Hi, I'm Brian Henson. Let me tell you a little bit about how we train to perform the Muppets. It's kind of an interesting process, because what we do is, we watch a monitor. It shows us what the camera is seeing and we reach up and we work the puppet with our other hand. It's a complicated process but the idea is, that you're meant to look into the monitor and bring to life that character and be the audience and the audience's point of view."
"Course it's real difficult, because when the character turns to the right, but the camera you see, is turning to the left which means you always have to think backwards. Of course it's the Muppets so thinking backwards comes naturally. Here's The Muppet Show."
Kermit admits to sounding a little British due to the fact that Bruce Forsythe is the guest and takes time to cringe at the name of the Snerfs.
OPENING NUMBER - "IN A LITTLE SPANISH TOWN"
A group of long blue fuzzy creatures with horns for noses that can contract and expand vertically play a tune while dancing...one of the Snerfs isn't quite up to par with the others, trying not to get stepped on by the others and often finding himself out of step.
A squeaky voiced duck rehearses her big punch line for later in the show while Fozzie assures Kermit that he's ready to face Statler and Waldorf tonight. However, when he demonstrates his razor-sharp wit for Kermit, his comeback is more sappy then snappy.
Kermit encourages a warm "Muppet Show welcome" to Bruce Forsythe.
MUSICAL NUMBER - "ALL I NEED NOW IS THE GIRL"
Bruce attempts an elegant song-and-dance amid a stylish and minimalistic set but is soon interrupted by the presence of an enormous (twice his size when extended) Gawky Bird. He tries to escort it out of the way but the Bird proves herself to be a fair (if somewhat libidinous) dance partner. By the end of the number as he's being chased by the Gawky Bird and her sister, he screams for Mr. Hitchcock!
Fozzie assures Kermit he's worked more on his comebacks and has Kermit heckle him again.
Fozzie's response? Hit Kermit with a rubber chicken!! (How he expected to reach Statler & Waldorf with such a technique is unknown).
AT THE DANCE
A running gag occurs of the following variety:
UK SPOT: MUSICAL NUMBER - "I'M MY OWN GRANDPA"
The Gogolala Jubilee Jug-Band perform a classic novelty song about the joys of inbred family trees. The lead vocals of Pa are voiced by Peter Friedman. Jim Henson performed the puppet of Pa for this UK sketch. [This song was included on 1984's Silly Songs, Muppet Hits Take Two from 1994, and the video Children's Songs and Stories.]
A pun on Bruce's being able to buy a talking frog and a chicken sharing his dressing room leads to a complex barter of barnyard animals between Kermit and Bruce. Bruce's jokes on the exchange rate of pigs prompts some karate protestations from Miss Piggy.
Fozzie receives the good news that Statler and Waldorf will not heckle him tonight. The bad news being that the reason for the lack of harassment is due to Fozzie's act being cut because of time constraints.
Sam introduces Wayne and Wanda - decent, DECENT people.
WAYNE & WANDA - "TREES"
Fozzie tries to persuade Kermit that the audience expects a comic, but Kermit replies that they have that tonight in Bruce Forsythe.
Bruce Forsythe does stand up comedy on the Fozzie Bear set. Statler attempts to heckle him but is aptly buried by Bruce's sharp comebacks. Fozzie wanders on stage in awe and Bruce gives him pointers on how he too can handle the geezers. Fozzie successfully gets Statler and Waldorf to admit the defeat and smoothly cues Bruce's and Fozzie's musical number "Side By Side".
Dr. Bob confuses his mallard patient for a chicken, prompting loud protests of "DUCK!" causing Bob and the Nurses to duck down. The duck receives ample applause at the end of the sketch justifying her earlier practice.
CLOSING NUMBER - "LET THERE BE LOVE"
Backed by a pig chorus, Bruce and Miss Piggy sing a tender duet as Bruce plays piano. Bruce is sure to note that he "doesn't want that big one back" when Piggy gets to the "Let there be birds" verse.
A newly confident Fozzie interrupts Bruce's curtain call by getting in some digs at Kermit. Bruce: "Kermit, you're a wonderful emcee."