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EPISODE NOTES

Jim's love of jazz is evident in the performance of "Hugga Wugga". This sketch had evolved from a longtime favorite Henson sketch originally titled "Sclrap Flyapp" in the early sixties. It was originally performed on "The Today Show", "The Tonight Show" and "The Ed Sullivan Show". Jim played with the idea of combining eerie music, visual imagery and special effects. He tied-in one of his favorite songs, "You Are My Sunshine" with this sketch. It was renamed "Hugga Wugga" for Nancy Sinatra's early seventies' Las Vegas show.

WRITTEN BY Jack Burns, Marc London, Jim Henson, and Jerry Juhl

THE MUPPET PERFORMERS:

Frank Oz (Fozzie Bear, Mildred, George, Hugga Wugga, Miss Piggy)

and Jim Henson (Kermit, Waldorf, Rowlf, Newsman, Dr. Teeth)

with Jerry Nelson (Jug-band member, Sunshine alien, announcer)

Richard Hunt (Jug-band member,
Statler, Scooter, pigs)

Dave Goelz (Zoot, Bunsen, Gonzo)

Eren Ozker (Hilda, Janice)

John Lovelady (Gloat, alien)

PUPPET MAKERS: Bonnie Erickson and Don Sahlin and Caroly Wilcox, Mari Kaestle, Dave Goelz, John Lovelady, Rollin Krewson, Faz Fazakas, Larry Jameson

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER FOR HENSON ASSOCIATES, INC/MUPPETS: David Lazer

THEME MUSIC: Sam Pottle

ORCHESTRA CONDUCTED BY Jack Parnell

MUSIC CONSULTANT: Larry Grossman

MUSICAL ASSOCIATE: Derek Scott

FLOOR MANAGER: Richard Holloway

VISION MIXER: Carole Legg

PRODUCTION ASSISTANT: Sue Taylor

VISION: John Crane

CAMERAS: Roy Simper

VTR EDITOR: John Hawkins

SOUND: Ted Scott

LIGHTING: Phil Hawkes

DESIGN: David Chandler

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Jim Henson

PRODUCER: Jack Burns

DIRECTOR: Peter Harris

Phyllis Diller - Episode 18

Taping Dates: October 11-14, 1976
Original Airdates: February 14, 1977 (New York) and March 5, 1977 (LA)
DVD Release: Buena Vista Home Video, 2005

GENERIC INTRO: ACTION UNDERNEATH

Brian Henson: "Hi, I'm Brian Henson. When you watch The Muppet Show, it's the only show on air where you're actually only seeing the top 18 inches of the action. And in a lot of ways, what goes on underneath the camera frame is just as exciting and sometimes more exciting than what's going on in front of the camera."

"You think about it. This is the way it is. The camera's shooting basically from the top of your head up to your hand and that's the way all the performers are working. They're all watching monitors to see what the camera can see and it's great fun watching the performers underneath, watching them jockeying for position and people reaching between each other trying to get to an arm rod. It's really a bit like watching a pit stop at an Indy 500 race. It's really quite impossible which is what makes it so much fun to do. Here's The Muppet Show."

OPENING THEME

Fozzie's joke: "Hey, did you hear the one about the kangaroo that comes into a store and a hippopotamus comes out and he says to the kanga..." (Curtains close) "...HEY, I WASN'T FINISHED!"

Gonzo's gong: Crazy Harry sets off an explosion.

CURTAIN

Fozzie welcomes the audience to the show much to Kermit's surprise. Claiming the frog's working too hard, Kermit has a surprise of his own for Fozzie when he activates the trap door.

OPENING NUMBER - "MISSISSIPPI MUD"

Three members of the Gogolala Jubilee Jug-band perform a tongue-twistin', hand-clappin', mud stompin' number. [This song appears on the original Muppet Show Soundtrack & Muppet Hits Take Two.]

BALCONY

STATLER: Bravo! Oh bravo! Wonderful! Just wonderful!

WALDORF: How would you know? You're not even facing the stage?

STATLER: Why did you have to tell me? I was having such a good time!

BACKSTAGE

The Jug-band races offstage (not wiping their feet) and trample Kermit in the process [All five come by even though only three were onstage for the number!] Inspired by Phyllis Diller's freewheeling attitude about her facelifts, Hilda decides it's time for her to look her best.

SCOOTER: Is it possible Hilda's 35?

FOZZIE: Only around the waist!

CURTAIN

Kermit brings on the zany Phyllis Diller noting that she makes the Great Gonzo look like Sir Lawrence Olivier!

SKETCH

Phyllis walks into piano bar hoping to drown her sorrows. But with Rowlf at the piano, she's not going to be able to do so in solitude or silence! The two commiserate with self-depreciating one-liners.

ROWLF: You think that's bad? The first three months of my life there was a newspaper strike!

BALCONY

STATLER: That was fantastic!

WALDORF: What a performer she is!

STATLER: What's her secret?

WALDORF: What's her magic?

STATLER: What's her NAME?

WALDORF: You've forgotten too huh?

STATLER: Whoever she is, she's every bit as funny as Phyllis Diller!

WALDORF: Who is?

STATLER: I forget.

BACKSTAGE

Hilda tries on a long red wig.

HILDA: They won't even recognize their old wardrobe mistress!

KERMIT: Hi, Hilda! Hey the opening number costumes are downstairs - could you bring them up here please?

NEWSFLASH

The Newsman interviews Beverly Shepherd (Diller) who flew to Dallas Texas from Mobile Alabama after strapping homemade wings to her body and finds her secret to be less than astonishing.

AT THE DANCE

Zoot blows his own horn and offers unsolicited romantic advice/health tips to some pigs while Waldorf surprises Statler with some dips.

UK SKIT: MUSICAL NUMBER - "LAZYBONES"

Dr. Teeth plays piano and sings a nice smooth jazz piece backed by the other members of The Electric Mayhem (except for Animal).

TALK SPOT

Fozzie takes over from the frog (this time with permission) and receives comedy tips from Phyllis. Phyllis discovers that Fozzie's main problem is that he's afraid to tell any jokes that aren't true-life because he doesn't like lying to the audience.

PHYLLIS: Small apartment joke...I live in an apartment so small the mice are hunchback!

FOZZIE: I've got a mouse but he's not hunchback. He's got the gout. OH WAIT WAIT! I understand now! ... I live in an apartment so small...my mouse has the gout!

MUSICAL NUMBER - "HUGGA WUGGA"

In a wonderfully weird piece, a smoke-blowing monster tries to bully other aliens into singing his "Hugga Wugga" song. He meets his match with a carefree alien who prefers "You Are My Sunshine". [This song appears on the UK version of the original Muppet Show Soundtrack.]

BALCONY

WALDORF (singing): You are my sunshine, my only sunshine...

STATLER: Why you old fool!

WALDORF: What?

STATLER: I'm not your son and my name's not Shine!

WALDORF: And he calls ME an old fool!

BACKSTAGE

Wearing makeup and a new wig, Hilda is excited over the beauty tips she received from Phyllis. Unfortunately the towels are the only changes the other Muppets seem to notice.

FOZZIE: Hilda, Hilda! It is great. The change is wonderful! ... Oh sure, those dressing room towels have been dirty for a week. It is wonderful you changed them.

MUPPET LABS

Dr. Bunsen Honeydew demonstrates and personally models his new line of exploding clothes. (Perhaps after blowing himself up in this last Muppet Labs of the season, he's inspired to find an assistant...! Note his near-orgasmic reaction to his exploding earmuffs though!)

ONSTAGE

Phyllis shows Gonzo the results of her pocket camera.

VETERINARIAN'S HOSPITAL

Dr. Bob discovers his patient is a loaf of talking bread.

NURSE JANICE: Dr. Bob, what do you make of it?

DR. BOB: What else? Toast!

BACKSTAGE

Hilda finally succeeds in turning Kermit's head with more makeup, longer wig, red dress, and "very tight foundation garments". Unable to withstand the pressure, they finally end up resembling Bunsen's explosive clothing.

CURTAIN

Kermit introduces Phyllis Diller in concert with the Muppet Orchestra.

MUSICAL NUMBER - "THE ENTERTAINER"

Backed by the orchestra, Phyllis attempts to play saxophone, obviously after having little or no training. (At least she knows how to get it to her mouth whereas the Trumpet Lady manages to jam by blowing her trumpet through her upper lip!) Zoot finally steps up to the front of the stage to show her how it's done. (Hilarious interplay between Phyllis and Zoot!)

CURTAIN

While Kermit attempts his goodnights, Phyllis finally helps Fozzie find comedic success with a physical slapstick turnaround.

CLOSING THEME

BALCONY

WALDORF: I loved it!

(Statler pulls rope sending Waldorf down another trap door.)

WALDORF: OOOHHH!! I HATED IT!!!

Guide Written by
D. W. McKim and Phillip Chapman

With contributions from
Ryan Dillon, Jogchem Jalink and Dave Ebersole

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