that Richard Hunt is still grasping the character, Janice
is onstage during the opening number playing with the rest
of the band but has no lines throughout the episode nor is
seen with the others leaving the stage.
other recasts, Jerry Nelson makes his debut as Crazy Harry
(previously played by John Lovelady). The voice and mannerisms
are very close to what was previously established.
In an effort to fill the now-void female Muppeteer role, actress/voiceover
artist Richenda Carey provides the voice for "Queen Featherstone"
in an uncredited performance. Starting here and with the following
two episodes, a different female performer is publicly "auditioned"
to join the repertoire. Carey only does voiceover work and
no puppeteering (unlike the other two) in her episode which
is probably why she didn't get the job. The third to audition
in the Rich Little episode will
be Louise Gold who wins the open slot and would remain with
The Muppet Show for the rest of its run.
The Dance", an almost constant sketch in the first season,
is seen less each subsequent year. It returns for year two
with a successful gimmick used in last year's Vincent
Price episode, all the jokes revolve around a theme. Some
future At The Dance spots will still be random jokes, but
a common motif starts becoming more evident.
returning sketch is "Muppet Labs". After his last encounter
with exploding clothes, it appears Bunsen Honeydew has wised
up and hired a full-time assistant, er guinea pig, Beaker.
He's a tall thin creature who looks like he might be related
to Zelda Rose. One of Beaker's trademarks would become his
limited vocabulary. Most of his dialogue consists of "mee
mee meeps". In his first appearance, it seems that the original
concept of the character is of a being that is so terrified
of what he's experiencing that he isn't able to spit any words
out and communicates mostly in wordless gasps - this will
quickly evolve in future appearances into his more famous
new set is introduced in this episode's UK skit, the prop
room. The function appears to be as a place where backstage
action can occur that might not necessarily be appropriate
for the regular backstage set, though why it's used in this
particular episode is unclear as the scene itself would have
worked perfectly in the regular backstage set and ends up
looking odd precisely because it's in a different place. Kermit
has his call sheet on a table in front of him as he would
be expected to reference at his standard desk and when he
calls out for Fozzie and Zero to get ready for the pantomime
number, it's unclear where is this particular location. Mostly,
it just seems like the set is used in this episode simply
because it was built so it may as well be seen. In future
episodes, scenes that take place here seem more apt for a
rehearsal room, which may be why the third season will debut
a canteen/green room set.
episode heavily features Sam the Eagle. Although he was a
major character in the Sex
& Violence pilot where he was introduced as someone who
kept things from getting out of hand, this role was never
really addressed or officially mentioned during the first
season of the show proper; Sam was mostly seen introducing
Wayne and Wanda and as being an overall grumpy character.
With the absence this year of Wayne and Wanda (Wanda having
been an Eren Ozker character), Sam's function as a self-appointed
censor is redefined in this episode, with Sam even reminding
Kermit in the prop room scene what the heck he's doing hanging
around the theatre: "I feel my job is to make sure this program
is morally upright and cultural and wholesome." For those
outside the UK who missed this scene, he later introduces
himself to Zero as "the upholder of decency and dignity for
the monsters featured in "The Fears of Zero" are the Snerfs,
making a rare Muppet Show appearance (seen here without the
horn noses from the Bruce
Forsythe episode) as well as Timmy Monster who was previously
only seen at the end of Ben
Vereen's closing number (and in a group publicity shot
that would be used for the cover of The
Muppet Show LP). The costumed Muppet is given some more
distinct facial features giving him a meaner looking appearance
which would be redesigned later in the season to a more benevolent
BY Jim Henson
BY Jerry Juhl, Joseph A. Bailey, Jim Henson and Don Hinkley
BY Peter Harris
MUPPET PERFORMERS FEATURING Frank Oz (Fozzie, Sam Eagle,
Animal, dancers, Miss Piggy)
Jerry Nelson (Behemoth, Floyd, Granny the Gouger, Crazy
Harry, Beautiful Day Monster)
Hunt (Scooter, Statler, whatnots, Beaker, Boppity)
Dave Goelz (Muppy, whatnot, Marvin, Bunsen, Zoot, Big Mama)
Henson (Kermit, Waldorf, Dr. Teeth, female whatnot, tennis
AND THEIR COSTUMES BY Caroly Wilcox, Mari Kaetle, John Lovelady,
Rollin Krewson, Amy Van Gilder, Calista Hendrickson, Faz
Fazakas, Larry Jameson and Bonnie Erickson
PUPPETS BY Don Sahlin
CREATIVE CONSULTANTS: Frank Oz, Michael K. Frith
CONSULTANT: Larry Grossman
DIRECTOR: Bryan Holgate
ORCHESTRA CONDUCTED BY Jack Parnell
ASSOCIATE: Derek Scott
DIRECTOR: Phil Hawkes
TAPE EDITOR: John Hawkins
TO THE PRODUCER: Joan Chaplow
FLOOR MANAGER: Martin Baker
MANAGER: Caryl Cruickshank
VIDEO ENGINEER: John Crane
CAMERAMAN: Mike Whitcutt
MIXER: Felicity Maton
BY James Dark
BY Sheila Mann
MUSIC: Sam Pottle
PRODUCER FOR HENSON ASSOCIATES, INC.: David Lazer
Mostel - Episode 26
Dates: May 31-June 2, 1977
Original Airdates: December 13, 1977 (New York) and December
9, 1977 (LA)
DVD Release: Buena
Vista Home Video, 2007
Henson: "Hi, I'm Brian Henson. This episode of The Muppet Show
stars Zero Mostel. At the time, Zero was an acting and comedy phenomenon.
One of the funniest pieces in this episode is a classic monologue
he performs called "The Fears of Zero" in which Zero's greatest
anxieties appear to him as Muppet Monsters who gang up on him and
eventually do away with him. Here it is, The Muppet Show."
Zero eating or being eaten?
is one of only two dressing room cold openings that begin with a
shot of Scooter on the outside of the dressing room door.]
balcony: Waldorf says, "Oh, please let them be funny this once!"
horn: Sparks fly out.
is excited that Chopin's "Polonaise In A Flat" is to be
performed as the opening number - until it's revealed that Dr. Teeth
& the Electric Mayhem will be subbing for the planned concert
NUMBER - "CHOPIN'S POLYNAISE"
the Electric Mayhem in all its raucous glory perform a wildly up
tempo version of the classic.
watching the Muppet band is quite fun and the puppeteers give their
all, real credit must be given to Jack Parnell's orchestra for continually
having to pull off such feats throughout the show's history!]
You know, I'm really going to enjoy tonight!
You plan to like this show?
No, I plan to watch television! (Pulls out a television set!)
the band passes through backstage, they remind Kermit that it's
payday ("Again, it was payday last year! It's starting to be
a habit around here.") Unfortunately, Kermit's a bit short
of the required $27.14. (Imagine that divided among the scores of
Muppet characters!) Scooter comes to the rescue as he chats on the
phone with his uncle, JP Grosse the theatre owner. JP will provide
the payroll money as long as Kermit puts on some old-fashioned entertainment...lady
It's time for our special guest to do something special.
NUMBER - "WHAT DO THE SIMPLE FOLK DO?"
plays Henry VIII who poses the musical question to his queen (the
Featherstone-esque queen from the Twiggy
episode!) and his scene-stealing, kiss-stealing dog Muppy.
What's the name of this movie?
Beach Blanket Frankenstein.
Yeah, well we could watch The Muppet Show instead.
two peek over the set onto the stage, shake their heads and return
their gazes to the television screen.)
tries to work his way through the phone directory on female wrestlers
and asks Animal to get the door ("HERE DOOR!")
(on phone): Hello, Killer Katy - Tara Toledo, how'd you like to
work on The Muppet Show tonight? I see - transcendental meditation...oh
that's too bad...
jokes are served.
SKETCH: PROP ROOM
tries to dodge Sam's inquiries as to the contents of the show.
Kermit describes what's coming up, he mentions a musical number
with Zoot and Rowlf and a pantomime with Fozzie and Zero. The musical
number does appear later on, but there's no act between Fozzie and
Bunsen Honeydew introduces magnetic carrots - and a new lab partner,
carrots attract a steel rabbit. A replica
of this rabbit is included as an accessory with the 2002 Palisades
action figure of Bunsen!]
Let's switch channels, this show is dull!
WHAT is THAT?!
It looks like two ancient old guys sitting in a theatre box watching
That's crazy! No one would watch junk like that!
having the best of days, Sam vents his grievances with the show
to Zero who he believes shares his outrage, totally unaware of Mostel's
thinks his grandmotherly old lady visitor is joking when she mentions
she'd like to audition for the lady wrestler spot. She turns out
to be Granny the Gouger.
NUMBER - "SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES"
out of Zoot's saxophone.
- "FEARS OF ZERO"
recites a poem about confronting his fears - his fears being embodied
by all manner of Muppet Monsters.
fan favorite, many viewers assume the poem was written by Edgar
Allen Poe. But it was actually penned by head writer Jerry Juhl
on a yacht during a working vacation.]
Oh where in the world am I going to find another heavyweight,
aggressive, tough female with a killer's instinct?
PIGGY: Hello, Kermie...
not too thrilled with Kermit's casting brainstorm.
burns up on the drums.
introduces the "cultural demonstration of female grace and
dexterity", a bout between Granny the Gouger and the Mysterious
soon learn what's so mysterious about Ms. Mask and why Scooter introduces
the match - Kermit returns to his Sam & Friends drag roots in
a desperate attempt to take on Granny.
bandaged Kermit brings on Zero who's joined the ranks of the Muppet
Monsters. As the camera cuts away to the closing theme, Zero is
starting to bite Sam as Big Mama closes in on Zero!
Well, what do you think of television? (Waldorf touches the set
and is electrified.) Shocking
D. W. McKim
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