Charles Aznavour - Episode 9
Dates: June 29 - July 1, 1976
GENERIC INTRO: LEW GRADE
Brian Henson: "Hi, I'm Brian Henson. When people look at the Muppets, they think what a huge phenomenal success. But the truth is my father had to work very hard to get The Muppet Show to really work. In fact they shot two pilots for the series. Both times all the American networks looked at the shows and thought a puppet show can't work for adults. It's all too zany and crazy anyway."
"A very visionary entrepreneur in England contacted my father. His name was Sir Lew Grade and what he did was he invited The Muppets and my father to England to shoot a full season of the show. [Lew Grade:] "All we were doing is taking the chance with 24 episodes. I had no idea it would be such an extraordinary phenomenal success." The show ran five seasons and was seen in a hundred countries by more than 235 million children and adults. Now with special thanks to the late Lew Grade, here's The Muppet Show."
Fozzie's joke: "I don't approve of belly dancers. Why can't they dance on the floor like everyone else?"
Gonzo's gong: Gonzo hits the "O" and it makes a Big Ben sound.
Fozzie checks the house, Kermit allows some French to slip into
his introduction when announcing tonight's guest is Charles
A beautiful woman prepares for her date by transforming herself into a hideous monster. Her date, Beautiful Day Monster, is enamored.
inquires about how he's not been on the show recently to which
Kermit gently but firmly replies his acts just aren't working.
Gonzo protests that he doesn't entertain for the masses, that
he's an artist, to which Kermit replies, "Then you should
have got my Van Gogh joke." Kermit advises Gonzo to seek
a manager who can guide his career.
introduces Charles singing one of his favorite songs.
Charles sweeps Mildred off her feet as he serenades her while dancing in an elegant ballroom. (Considering Mildred's used to dancing with George, this probably isn't too hard to do.)
staging of this number is particularly effective as it opens
with a shot of full-bodied costumed Muppets dancing. Charles
then glides into frame in front of the other dancers on the
same level with what initially looks to be another full bodied
puppet but turns out to be Mildred in a flowing dress. One of
the full-bodied dancers is Rita Moreno's
Scooter informs Kermit that in addition to serving as the show's "go-fer", he's also taken up the task of being Gonzo's manager. The first goal on Scooter's agenda is expanding Gonzo's repertoire which now includes a rock act.
this installment of the pun-filled soap, Dr. Bob (Rowlf) loses
a patient. ("No pulse, no heartbeat, no hope.") The
doctor assures his nurses that his previous record of saving
nine out of ten is still good, "this week he was Number
Hilda presents Charles with an exquisite catered meal which includes French (speaking) bread.
[The bread says, "Oh, voyons, cherie! Mais j'ai l'accent Français!" Which means, "Oh, look, honey, but I have the French accent!"]
AT THE DANCE
As a banana shows a rat its appeal, Animal's dancing partner demonstrates what it's like following his lead. [Pay close attention to Rowlf's dancing partner; it's the flattened Beautiful Day Monster from the previous episode with a blond curly wig.]
UK SKIT: MUSICAL NUMBER - "DOES YOUR CHEWING GUM LOSE ITS FLAVOR ON THE BEDPOST OVERNIGHT?
Gogolala Jubilee Jug-band perform the classic novelty hit. [This
UK skit is included on the 1985 Playhouse video, Country
Music with the Muppets.]
Kermit wonders why Frenchmen are so lucky in love, Charles reveals
the secret as the beauty of the language. He demonstrates using
Miss Piggy as an example. After whispering a few French phrases,
Piggy goes completely hog wild over Charles unaware that he
just told her, "Your oil filter has a leak and your transmission
is infuriated that Scooter and Gonzo have raided the wardrobe
for a costume act. Gonzo pops in dressed as a little girl convinced
that female impersonation is a noble art. Kermit proclaims "of
all the dumb ideas Gonzo's come up with, this is the dumbest!"
[Obviously forgetting that he donned many a dress himself during
"Sam & Friends."]
Tonight's topic: "What is man's role in the universe?" Panelists include moderator Kermit, Sam the Eagle ("Peace and courage!"), Gonzo ("Art and culture!"), Hilda ("Pins and needles!"), and Mildred Hockstadder, MA, BA, PHD, OBE, and RSVP. Gonzo continually takes everything said literally. When Sam suggests they "look carefully at what's before us and break it down into separate pieces", Gonzo smashes the table with a mallet. Mildred attempts to get back to the main question: "As to man's role in the universe...I don't think he can. I don't think he can roll! In the universe!" [The only Muppet-only discussion panel, this one is the series' funniest!]
declares "great comedy" can only mean Fozzie Bear.
Fozzie warns Statler and Waldorf that if they continue to heckle him, he'll bury them back with just one line.
goes on with his act, but Statler and Waldorf remain silent
- they're enjoying it. So much that they start beating Fozzie
to the punch lines and doing his act. When Fozzie asks them
to stop, Waldorf retorts, "Please, we work alone."
Fozzie declares that was his line: "See how well it buried...me?"
tells Gonzo he's quit managing Gonzo after he ate his contract.
In front of a schoolhouse with silhouetted teacher Zelda and students in the window singing the "Two and two are four" chorus, Charles sits underneath a tree outside with an inchworm crooning the verses. [A practically identical arrangement of the song is done at the end of the third season Danny Kaye episode, inchworm and all.]
thanks Kermit for having him on the only show where he's been
able to befriend bread.