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EPISODE NOTES

The Muppet Show was conceived not only as a showcase for Jim Henson's creations but also as a program where guest stars could show off talents they're not generally known for and Twiggy's stint is an excellent early example. One of the world's first "supermodels" before the term was phrased, Twiggy proves throughout the episode that she's a multitalented performer in her own right. She sings country convincingly and in her opening number, the temptation for the viewer may be to focus on the photo montage but it's also worth watching Twiggy's captivating performance on the other half of the screen. She also demonstrates a great comedic talent during her sketch with the Newsman.

Uncle Deadley is "introduced" in this episode even though he was already quite prominent in Vincent Price's show. While most of the Muppet monsters in the show's first season had evolved from pre-Muppet Show trunk puppets and Frackles from "The Great Santa Claus Switch", Deadley was created for The Muppet Show and his design is more elaborate and frightening. Many Muppet fans have confessed in the various fan forums to being scared of him when they were younger.

King Rupert is a classic Muppet that had evolved from a character named King Goshposh. Goshposh had appeared in "Tales of the Tinkerdee" and "Hey, Cinderella", and was given a makeover and name change when The Frog Prince was taped most likely to be able to use the same basic character but still be a "different" king.

And speaking of classic characters appearing in "The King's Breakfast", the sketch also features a cow who bears a notable physical and aural resemblance to Gladys the Cow from Sesame Street. Is it indeed supposed to be Gladys making a cameo? Aside from Kermit who was a well established character before Sesame Street made its debut, the few other characters who have also appeared on Sesame Street had been rebuilt with some design modifications for their Sesame Street appearances perhaps due to Children's Television Workshop's co ownership of the Sesame Street characters. (The exception being Ernie and Bert who were treated as "guest stars" in the Connie Stevens episode.)

The other characters who had appeared on both shows were the Snerfs, Beautiful Day Monster, and Mahna Mahna. (Rowlf had also made an appearance on Sesame Street, but this was more of a "star cameo" being that he had already gained fame in the Jimmy Dean Show.) Technically speaking, the version of Mahna Mahna that appears in the Muppet Show is the original design that had done the talk and variety show rounds before Sesame's debut and the Mahna Mahna used on the Street was built out of an Anything Muppet. Then later after Mahna was being viewed more of a member of the Muppet Show ensemble, the Sesame version was redesigned further with actual sunglasses and renamed Bip Bipadotta.

The difference between all of these characters and "Gladys" is that everyone else had been in existence before their Sesame Street appearances. Still whether it be due to contractual issues or perhaps the ease of rebuilding another character in London instead of searching for storage in New York, all the Muppets (except Kermit) who made the crossover were different puppets. Gladys however was a definite Sesame Street character created for the show. So whether the cow here was another example of a Sesame Street character crossing over with a different puppet design or just an inadvertent mindset from the puppet builders and Richard Hunt as to what a cow should look and sound like remains up for fan debate.

The German edition of this episode replaces Twiggy's opening number with German singer Mary Roos singing "Lean On Me" with The Electric Mayhem (with Rowlf filling in for Dr Teeth on piano). Floyd plays bongos. Since the German episodes of The Muppet Show also had specially shot openings with Kermit appearing in a "Die Muppet Show" logo, Kermit is able to announce the show's "two guest stars" here.

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Jim Henson

PRODUCED BY JACK BURNS

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

DIRECTED BY Peter Harris

THE MUPPET PERFORMERS FEATURING

Frank Oz (Fozzie, two-nosed whatnot, Sam, George)

with Jerry Nelson (fuzzball, Uncle Deadley, Queen, Screaming Girl,
Herman, Vendaface)

Richard Hunt (boa, Statler, Scooter, Wayne, "Gladys", jug-band member)

Dave Goelz (Gonzo)

Eren Ozker (Hilda, Wanda, Janice, female whatnot)

John Lovelady (boa, Nigel, pigs)

Jim Henson (Kermit, Waldorf, King, "Big" Mary Louise, Rowlf, Newsman, jug-band singer)

PUPPETS BY Bonnie Erickson and Caroly Wilcox, Rollin Krewson, Mari Kaestle, Dave Goelz, John Lovelady, Faz Fazakas, Larry Jameson

SPECIAL PUPPETS BY Don Sahlin

MUPPET COSTUME DESIGNER: Bonnie Erickson

MUPPET CREATIVE CONSULTANTS: Frank Oz, Mike Frith

ART DIRECTOR: Paul Dean

ORCHESTRA CONDUCTED BY Jack Parnell

MUSICAL ASSOCIATE: Derek Scott

LIGHTING DIRECTOR: John Rook

ASSISTANT TO PRODUCERS: Joan Chaplow

MUSIC CONSULTANT: Larry Grossman

THEME MUSIC BY Sam Pottle

AUDIO: Roger Knight

VIDEO TAPE EDITOR: John Hawkins

SENIOR VIDEO ENGINEER: John Crane

SENIOR CAMERAMAN: Dennis Bartlett

VISION MIXER: Moyra Bird

COSTUMES BY Sue Lecash

MAKE UP BY Mary Southgate

SENIOR FLOOR MANAGER: Richard Holloway

FLOOR MANAGER: Martin Baker

STAGE MANAGER: Caryl Cruickshank

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER FOR HENSON ASSOCIATES, INC: David Lazer

Twiggy - Episode 21

Taping Dates: November 9-11, 1976
Original Airdates: February 7, 1977 (New York) and February 12, 1977 (LA)
DVD Release:
Columbia Tri-Star (UK HMV Exclusive), 2003; Buena Vista Home Video, 2005

GENERIC INTRO: THE GREAT GONZO

Brian Henson: "Hi, I'm Brian Henson. The Great Gonzo is one of our most popular characters. He's also one of our weirdest. My father first built the original Gonzo for a special called The Great Santa Claus Switch. They called him Cigar Box Frackle because he lived in a cigar box."

"When The Muppet Show started, performer Dave Goelz turned this puppet into The Great Gonzo, a daredevil obsessed with both art and danger. But throughout the first season, Gonzo's drooping eyelids tended to made him look sad. So Dave Goelz rebuilt the puppet himself with moving eyelids, so that he could be the artistic maverick he was meant to be. From that point on the character literally took off. Here he is, The Great Gonzo and The Muppet Show."

OPENING THEME

Fozzie's joke: I went to a resort hotel for a change and a rest - the waiter got the change and the hotel got the rest.

Gonzo's gong: Gonzo hits Beautiful Day Monster who gets in the way of the gong.

CURTAIN

Kermit announces their guest has one name but many talents before setting things swinging on the show.

MUSICAL NUMBER - "DANCE"

An Aretha Franklin-ish sounding fuzzball sings a disco tune while feather boas dance in the color changing background. (Are they related to Juliet Prowse's boa?)

BALCONY

STATLER: Was that a great number?!

WALDORF: I don't know, I slept through it.

STATLER: Me too, that's why I asked.

BACKSTAGE

Scooter and Wanda are convinced there's a Phantom of the Muppet Show lurking in the dressing rooms. Hilda and Kermit are not convinced.

SCOOTER: Listen Kermit, I'm serious. There's something here that should be looked into!

HILDA: Yes, your head!

CURTAIN

Gonzo flubs his first introduction. ("Leafy! No - Barky! Branchy!")

MUSICAL NUMBER - "IN MY LIFE"

Twiggy fields some questions at a press conference of Muppet reporters. Kermit asks her about the people in her life and Nigel follows up inquiring about the places. Twiggy retreats to herself and reminisces about her career singing the Beatles' tune as a photo retrospective fills half the screen. [Gonzo presumably introduced this number since Kermit was in it as one of the reporters, however Gonzo himself is also one of the reporters. Oddly enough other journalists are portrayed by Floyd, Janice, and Nigel yet the Muppet Newsman is absent.]

BALCONY

WALDORF: That Twiggy makes my heart sing!

STATLER: Oh - let me hear! (PUTS EAR TO WALDORF'S CHEST) Nice song...pacemaker needs tuning.

BACKSTAGE

Fozzie and Gonzo join the list of frightened Muppets much to Hilda and Kermit's exasperation.

FOZZIE: There is something funny going on around here!

KERMIT: Fine! But there better be something funny going on OUT THERE!

CURTAIN

Sam introduces Wayne & Wanda singing "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow" ("Oh, let it work, let it work, let it work...")

WAYNE & WANDA

Cuddled together by a fireplace, the duo almost make it through the first verse but are cut off by a falling torrent of snow - indoors!

SKETCH - "THE KING'S BREAKFAST"

Gonzo and Muppy ask Twiggy for a bedtime poem. Twiggy recites and enacts A. A. Milne's "The King's Breakfast" with King Rupert from "Frog Prince" and a queen that largely resembles Featherstone from "Frog Prince" & "Hey, Cinderella" in drag. By the time she's finished, several other Muppets have squeezed in bed to listed to her recital.

AT THE DANCE

The dance floor is filled with several interesting pairs that are different from the typical cast of characters; Sam the Eagle brings a date, Statler & Waldorf make a second attempt, and Kermit meets an aggressive female named Mary Louise who could give Miss Piggy a run for her money!

[Note: This Mary Louise is a different Muppet than the little girl Mary Louise that typically sings with frogs. This character could easily be mistaken for a guy and somewhat resembles Sesame Street's Bruno in drag. For future reference, this episode guide will differentiate between the two Muppets by referring to this Muppet as "Big" Mary Louise.]

STATLER: Hey, hey - you said I could lead this time!

WALDORF: Okay, okay - but I thought you promised to wear the pink taffeta!

UK SKIT: MINUET IN G

Rowlf plays "Minuet In G" on the piano. He does admirably, but like "Fur Elise", he doesn't make it through perfectly. [This UK skit is also included on the video Rowlf's Rhapsodies.]

SKETCH - VENDAFACE

Fozzie comes across a large machine named Vendaface, the world's first automatic psychiatric machine. Urged to put a coin in the slot, the machine will tell Fozzie his problem. After losing several coins without any result the machine finally tells Fozzie he's much too generous.

[Note: Vendaface will appear two more times. Although the name and design of the character suggests that it's a vending machine dedicated to physical appearances, this first sketch has him serving the role as psychiatrist.]

BALCONY

WALDORF: I think that was great! Right, Statler? (NOTICES STATLER IS HANGING ONTO THE BALCONY LEDGE) STATLER! You fell!

STATLER: No, my upper plate fell. I jumped after it.

BACKSTAGE

Hilda switches over to the side of the believers in the Phantom. Even though Kermit seems a bit jumpier, he still protests skepticism, but is proven wrong himself as he comes face to face with Uncle Deadley.

KERMIT: You will notice that I did not fall for their joke. And if it isn't a joke, I mean if there's someone or something behind me, there is no doubt a logical explanation for it. So I shall now just turn slowly around and see what's going on here. (TURNS, SEES DEADLEY, GULPS) Uh, pardon me sir, but is there indeed a logical explanation for your presence here?

DEADLEY: EYAHHHHAHAHAHA EYOGGA YOGGA!

KERMIT: Apparently there is NO logical explanation...YEEEAHHHHH!!

NEWSFLASH

The Newsman interviews Lola Thomas (Twiggy) who has eaten a diesel tractor.

NEWSMAN: What an extraordinary feat! I mean, how was it done?

LOLA: Oh, medium rare or thereabouts.

BALCONY

STATLER: She didn't make a fool of him.

WALDORF: No, he managed it all by himself!

BACKSTAGE

Uncle Deadly explains his presence to Kermit - he's upset that the Muppets have taken over his theater. Years ago he was an acclaimed actor but was killed on his opening night performance of Othello - by the critics. After given an ultimatum to leave or be doomed, the other Muppets clue Kermit in to George the Janitor's having fun with an old mask and cape he found in the cellar. However, Uncle Deadley pops up again proving there is indeed a Phantom.

CURTAIN

Kermit alerts viewers in Enid, Oklahoma that they're about to hear a soul sister.

MUSICAL NUMBER - "NOBODY'S BUSINESS"

Twiggy sings an impressive country tune with the Gogolala Jubilee Jug-band.

CURTAIN

KERMIT: I do want to give an extra special warm thank you to our lovely and charming guest star...

DEADLEY: Ah - thank you so much!

CLOSING THEME

BALCONY

STATLER: Every week this show looks better to me.

WALDORF: Every week your eyesight gets worse.

Guide Written by
D. W. McKim and Phillip Chapman

With contributions from
Jogchem Jalink and Dave Ebersole

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