Mummenschanz - Episode 24
Dates: November 23-26, 1976
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."
Fozzie's joke: "Thirty days has September, April, June, and my cousin Fred who gets out on Wednesday."
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!"]"
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.
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.
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
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!]
Waldorf sneezes and his face is sucked inward! Statler has to blow in his ear to set him back to normal.
Kermit almost calls off the talk spot since the Mummenschanz are mute. However the trio finds alternate ways to communicate.
Kermit conspires with Gonzo to get Piggy to agree to a date with him.
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.]
Statler visits the Vendaface to have his looks rearranged. The machine doesn't accomplish anything that Waldorf couldn't have done though!
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.
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.
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.
Miss Piggy apologizes for her temper tantrum but is angered into one final demonstration of Pig Power! The Mummenschanz trio take an unmasked bow.