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EPISODE NOTES

This episode marks the debut of one of Gonzo's trademarks. Him rapidly rushing on camera with a "WHOOSH" sound effect.

This is John Lovelady and Eren Ozker's final episode. Only the core five of Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, and Dave Goelz will return for season two joined later in the second year by an uncredited Louise Gold.

Behind the scenes, Jack Burns will retire from the show bumping longtime Henson Associate Jerry Juhl up to the position of head writer. We'll see the significant effects these changes have on the show when The Muppet Show Episode Guides returns with its look at Season Two.

Eren leaves the show to have a child and John will resurface in the '80's as a puppeteer for a non-Henson puppet show called "The Great Space Coaster" along with some guy named Kevin Clash.

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, Miss Piggy, Mildred, George, Animal, Sam)

with Jerry Nelson (Floyd, Vendaface)

Richard Hunt
(Scooter, Statler, pigs, Wayne)

Dave Goelz (Gonzo), Eren Ozker (Hilda, female whatnots)

John Lovelady (Nigel, whatnots)

Jim Henson (Kermit, Waldorf, Rowlf, eel)

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: David Chandler

ORCHESTRA CONDUCTED BY Jack Parnell

MUSICAL ASSOCIATE: Derek Scott

LIGHTING DIRECTOR: Phil Hawkes

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: Mike Whitcutt

VISION MIXER: Felicity Maton

COSTUMES BY Ann Hollowood

MAKE UP BY Mary Southgate

SENIOR FLOOR MANAGER: Richard Holloway

FLOOR MANAGER: Martin Essex

STAGE MANAGER: Caryl Cruickshank

Mummenschanz - Episode 24

Taping Dates: November 23-26, 1976
Original Airdates: Unknown
DVD Release: Time-Life, 2002; Buena Vista Home Video, 2005

GENERIC INTRO: THE AUDIENCE

Brian Henson: "Hi, I'm Brian Henson. The Muppet Show was originally shot in Elstree just north of London and it was a wonderful process to watch. You'd walk out of these dingy London streets and then you'd go inside the station - this brightly colored crazy, frenetic energy. The way the show was shot, it took three frantic days to shoot each episode."

"One thing that was amazing is the audience for some reason always thought that the show was shot live which always astounded me because if you watch The Muppet Show, every shot is a special effect, there's a little trick going on everywhere and it took a lot of time and a lot of effort to pull that together. Of course the real audience for The Muppet Show as you see in the show is a bunch of Muppet monsters and various creatures. We always knew they would laugh at the right times. The monsters in the audience particularly enjoyed this show and I hope you do too. Enjoy."

OPENING THEME

Fozzie's joke: "Thirty days has September, April, June, and my cousin Fred who gets out on Wednesday."

Gonzo's gong: Gonzo fires a gun at the "O". [Same as episode 19, Vincent Price.]

CURTAIN

Kermit welcomes the crowd, announces tonight's guests are the masked theater group, the Mummenschanz and introduces Floyd and Scooter with "Mr. Bassman".

MUSICAL NUMBER - "MR. BASSMAN"

Scooter sings a duet with Floyd where he asks him to teach him how to be a bassman by simulating the bass notes vocally.

[Jerry Nelson uses a different voice for Floyd on this song perhaps because it was easier to do the vocal bass parts. This song appears on the original Muppet Show soundtrack, Muppet Favorites, and Muppet Hits where Scooter celebrates learning how to be a bassman with a high-pitched "YEAH!"]"

BALCONY

STATLER: Genius! Genius!

WALDORF: Author! Author!

STATLER: A work of art!

WALDORF: Brilliant!

STATLER: Uh - what was that about?

WALDORF: Oh it was about - uh - a minute and a half.

BACKSTAGE

Miss Piggy is elated to find a love note on her dressing room door stating that the author can no longer hide his feelings and is waiting inside. Ecstatic at finally being able to be with her frog she flings open the door to find a lovestruck Gonzo.

CURTAIN

Kermit introduces the Mummenschanz, "distant cousins of the Muppets".

MUMMENSCHANZ' OPENING ACT

A man and a woman express their feelings for each other by tearing off pages of notepads on their faces featuring different eyes and mouths.

BALCONY

WALDORF: Fantastic! Incredible! They remind me of puppets.

STATLER: Puppets! I've always hated puppets.

WALDORF: You're a traitor to your class!

STATLER: What class? I never even graduated!

BACKSTAGE

Oblivious to the fact that Gonzo's pursuing Piggy with the same frightening obsessive zeal in which the pig chases the frog, she reacts quite violently to being an unwanted object of affection.

SKETCH - "THE LIBRARY"

In a hilarious sketch with no dialogue, a group of Muppets have a hard time being quiet in the library in between Fozzie's pencil tapping, Piggy's coughing, Hilda's newspaper turning and Nigel's chewing. Librarian Zelda Rose finally takes charge, grabs a ruler and "conducts" the Muppets to sound their various noises to the tune of "The Blue Danube". Wayne & Wanda attempt to dance and are hushed by the others.

[PUPPETEER SPOTTING: Wanda's puppeteer's face can be seen briefly underneath her. This sketch was later marketed on its own as a Muppet Meeting Film.]

SHORT MUMMENSCHANZ BITS

Kermit introduces three quick pieces from The Mummenschanz doing strange looking things: a buglike creature uprighting itself, a Mummenschanz fly, and a huge ball that eats a jumping jack.

AT THE DANCE

MILDRED: There is such riffraff here? Wouldn't you rather be associated
with a higher class of people?

GEORGE: Yeah, but you were the only one not dancin'.

UK SKIT: MUSICAL NUMBER - "WHEN I'M NOT NEAR THE FISH I LOVE"

A Muppet eel proclaims his love for fellow fish in song surrounded by a background of real fish. [Jim Henson delivers such lines as "For herring, I'm caring/For tuna, I swoon-a" in such a manner as only he can!]

BALCONY

Waldorf sneezes and his face is sucked inward! Statler has to blow in his ear to set him back to normal.

TALK SPOT

Kermit almost calls off the talk spot since the Mummenschanz are mute. However the trio finds alternate ways to communicate.

BALCONY

WALDORF: Bravo! Bravo!

STATLER: What are you bravo-ing about?

WALDORF: That performance! It was first rate.

STATLER: Yes, it was good. But only one act I've ever seen deserved a bravo.

WALDORF: Oh really, who was that?

STATLER: Lady Beth Macintosh and her singing parakeet. I'll never forget her closing night at the Palace.

WALDORF: Really? What happened?

STATLER: Well, she fell into a box of birdseed just before going on stage and she was pecked to death by the parakeet!

WALDORF: That's a hard act to follow.

STATLER: Yeah well, I was there and I cried.

WALDORF: Really? What did you cry?

STATLER: Bravo! Bravo!

BACKSTAGE

Kermit conspires with Gonzo to get Piggy to agree to a date with him.

KERMIT: ...A quiet candlelit meal with soft music, perhaps some wine...and then go dancing and walk by the river in the moonlight...

PIGGY: Oh I would love those things, my dear!

KERMIT: GOOD! So would Gonzo here...

CURTAIN

Sam quotes Lenard Bernstein's assessment of Wayne & Wanda..."'These two are a manifestation of the musical mediocrity that passes for talent in our troubled times'...hmm...nice review!"

WAYNE & WANDA

It's only a paper moon, but it falls down on Wayne nonetheless. [This is the duo's last appearance on the show - we learn later in Season Four that Kermit had fired them. Wanda won't be seen again until a special guest appearance in that episode - mainly due to puppeteer Eren Ozker's departure from the cast - but Wayne will remain on the show as a solo performer.]

VENDAFACE

Statler visits the Vendaface to have his looks rearranged. The machine doesn't accomplish anything that Waldorf couldn't have done though!

BACKSTAGE

Piggy coerces an apology out of Kermit, but stops short of getting Kermit to kiss and make up. All the while, Gonzo still follows her around like a homeless puppy. Exasperated by both men, Piggy simultaneously karate chops them with one arm each.

NEWS FLASH

The Newsman reports on Sergei Lenofsky's 196th birthday celebration in a piece that was obviously held over from earlier in the season since The Newsman appears without glasses and his original deeper voice.

CURTAIN

Kermit brings on the Mummenschanz for their final performance.

MUMMENSCHANZ' CLOSING ACT

In a rather elegant conceit on conceit, two creatures with clay faces attempt to shape themselves into attractive beings - one with more initial success than the other.

CURTAIN

Miss Piggy apologizes for her temper tantrum but is angered into one final demonstration of Pig Power! The Mummenschanz trio take an unmasked bow.

CLOSING THEME

BALCONY

WALDORF: That was a funny show.

STATLER: Yes, it was. I wonder if they meant it that way.

Guide Written by
D. W. McKim and Phillip Chapman

With contributions from
Jogchem Jalink and Dave Ebersole

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characters are copyright of The Muppets Studio. Sesame Street characters are copyright of Sesame Workshop.
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