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EPISODE NOTES

Life imitated art during the taping of this episode when Jim Henson had to be away from the set for awhile. The crew would find themselves at a standstill trying to tape certain scenes wondering how exactly Jim wanted to do them and then laughing at the realization they were living their own script.

PRODUCED BY Jim Henson

WRITTEN BY Jerry Juhl, Joseph A. Hinkley, Jim Henson, and Don Hinkley

DIRECTED BY Philip Casson

THE MUPPET PERFORMERS FEATURING

Frank Oz (Fozzie, Miss Piggy, Sam)

with Jerry Nelson (commander, announcer, Floyd, female whatnot, Youknow Bird)

Richard Hunt (Scooter, Statler, Janice, chicken, Sweetums)

Dave Goelz (Gonzo, Luncheon Counter Monster, female whatnot, Ohboy Bird)

Jim Henson (Kermit, Waldorf, Swedish Chef, Rowlf)

PUPPETS AND THEIR COSTUMES BY Caroly Wilcox, Mari Kaestle, John Lovelady, Amy Van Gilder, Calista Hendrickson, Faz Fazakas, Larry Jameson, and Bonnie Erickson

SPECIAL PUPPETS BY Don Sahlin

MUPPET CREATIVE CONSULTANTS: Frank Oz, Michael Frith

MUSIC CONSULTANT: Larry Grossman

ART DIRECTOR: Bryan Holgate

CHOREOGRAPHER: Gillian Lynne

ORCHESTRA CONDUCTED BY Jack Parnell

MUSICAL ASSOCIATE: Derek Scott

LIGHTING DIRECTOR: Phil Hawkes

AUDIO: Henry Bird

VIDEO TAPE EDITOR: Tim Waddell

ASSISTANT TO THE PRODUCER: Joan Chaplow

SENIOR FLOOR MANAGER: Richard Holloway

FLOOR MANAGER: Stephen Springford

STAGE MANAGER: Sara Paul

SENIOR VIDEO ENGINEER: John Crane

SENIOR CAMERAMAN: Roy Simper

VISION MIXER: Moyra Bird

COSTUMES BY James Dark

MAKE-UP BY Shirley Muslin

THEME MUSIC: Sam Pottle

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER FOR HENSON ASSOCIATES, INC: David Lazer

Nancy Walker - Episode 30

Taping Dates: Week of June 28, 1977
Original Airdates: October 24, 1977 (New York) and January 20, 1978 (LA)
DVD Release: Buena Vista Home Video, 2007

GENERIC INTRO: KERMIT

Brian Henson: "Hi, I'm Brian Henson. How do you explain the success of The Muppet Show? Well there were certainly a lot of important factors: like the guest stars, the outrageous Muppet characters and some perfectly absurd stories and sketches."

"But at the center of all of it was Kermit. Kermit was my father. My father first made Kermit out of a coat that belonged to my grandmother and through the years Kermit changed a little bit, looked a little bit different. and eventually became the Kermit that we all know. But what's wonderful about Kermit is he's the glue that holds all of these crazy zany characters together. Here it is, The Muppet Show."

DRESSING ROOM

Scooter tells Nancy to stand by unaware it's hard for her to stand up.

OPENING THEME

The balcony: As he arrives with Statler, Waldorf says, "Hurry up, they're starting."

Gonzo's horn: Gunshots fire from Gonzo's trumpet.

CURTAIN/BALCONY

Fozzie nervously announces to the crowd that Kermit has gone home sick and left him in charge.

STATLER: Oh no, did you hear that? I wonder how sick the frog is?

WALDORF: Well, if he put the bear in charge, he's very sick.

Despite Fozzie's previous experience planning and co-hosting the show in the Don Knotts season opener and his attempts to take over for Kermit at various moments the year before, Fozzie is at a total loss as to what to do knowing Kermit's not there to back him up. He just bear-ly gets by with continual prompting from Scooter.

OPENING NUMBER - TARGET PRACTICE

An army (including Crazy Harry) attempt to hit a rather big bulls eye target with a cannon backed by a jazzy instrumental. To say they can't hit the side of a building wouldn't be fair - they quite successfully blow up a shack, trees, an overhead plane...and even a big hole next to Statler & Waldorf's balcony.

BALCONY

STATLER: Well at least for once we got a blast out of something on this show.

WALDORF: Yeah but how do you dig a foxhole in a theatre box?

BACKSTAGE

Fozzie tries to cover his nervousness as he talks to Kermit on the phone. His efforts to assure Kermit that everything is okay is interrupted by Gonzo's news that nothing's on stage and the audience is starting to leave.

CURTAIN/BALCONY

Fozzie assures the vacating audience that there's still lots more show and it's time for the guest star (Statler & Waldorf have to remind him who it is). Fozzie then realizes that he's in the next sketch as well! He brings Scooter on to stall while he gets into costume. Scooter attempts to sell magazines to the audience for his school's fundraiser (he can potentially win a skateboard...something we'll see he eventually gets by season 4!)

SKETCH - LUNCHEON COUNTER

Fozzie works the counter of a diner where Nancy Walker takes a seat next to a purple threatening looking monster (who would be named Luncheon Counter Monster due to this being his debut appearance).

NANCY: I'd like a menu, some water (looks at monster) and a whip.

The monster eats various items that Fozzie places on the counter when no one is looking which causes Fozzie and Nancy to engage in Abbott and Costello-esque arguments about where the missing dinnerware is.

FOZZIE: I know I put a pitcher right here!

NANCY: Maybe you just think you did.

FOZZIE: I don't 'think'. I KNOW!

NANCY: I don't think you know either!

Eventually the pair catch a clue as to the most likely suspect and hatch a plan. Fozzie gets a tray of material from The Swedish Chef and puts it on the counter as the two set off and observe in hiding. They discover Luncheon Counter Monster's scheme and are naturally upset, especially Nancy since the monster's hogging the whole place to himself.

BALCONY

WALDORF: Oh boy, that Nancy Walker's a great actress, isn't she?

STATLER: Yeah, but I wouldn't want to take her to dinner.

BACKSTAGE

Fozzie discovers Gonzo's taken over the phone call and is telling Kermit what a terrific job he's doing...of course Gonzo's interpretation of a great job is not doing the bear any favors. Fozzie grabs the phone back and saves face. He then rushes out to introduce At the Dance. Miss Piggy takes the opportunity to pick up the phone and let Kermit know she's dedicating her performance in Vet's Hospital to him, but Rowlf tells her that Fozzie brought on the wrong skit - but Piggy insists they do the hospital sketch for Kermit.

VETERINARIAN'S HOSPITAL

Piggy rushes onstage to find the Vet's Hospital stage in place - but it's been taken over by dancers and the At the Dance music! The cast tries their best to ad lib around the situation (Dr. Bob: "Maybe it's RHUMBA-tism!") as the dancers do the same.

FLOYD: Hey, by the way how come we're dancing in an operating room?

FLOYD'S PARTNER: Because although the song will soon be over, the malady lingers on.

BACKSTAGE

Fozzie can't believe all the things that have been going wrong (the actors coming off stage aren't too thrilled either). But his problems aren't over...the stage crew is threatening to quit.

FOZZIE: Who do you think I should talk to first?

SCOOTER (noticing lights dim): Maybe you'd better start with the lighting man!

UK SKIT: MUSICAL NUMBER - "MY OLD DUTCH"

Burlington Bertie takes to the stage backed by Rowlf on the piano in the first act to go smoothly. He even gets Statler & Waldorf to sing along and weep at his sad song.

SKETCH - BIRD CHORUS

A man enjoys his domestic bliss as he sits quietly in his living room chair reading a book to the sound of his pet bird chirping away in its cage. The bird attracts a woodpecker outside the window who sings along...then a chicken...and eventually a whole slew of birds. The man enjoys the song until a giant chicken crashes through the walls and puts the man in the birdcage and the pet bird in his chair with his book.

DRESSING ROOM

Fozzie assures Nancy that despite a shaky first half, the show has started to pull itself back together. But Nancy deflates Fozzie's ego when she kids him about forgetting her name. She needles him further...

NANCY: The audience all like it, they came back - they stayed...very clever of you to lock the doors.

Once Fozzie's confidence is totally shot again, Nancy cheers him up by singing "Pick Yourself Up".

[When Fozzie was rebuilt for season 2, an eyebrow mechanism that allows him to raise and drop his brows was built. The effect wasn't that great and is really only noticeable when Fozzie has his hat off. This scene's really the only time where the audience can get a good look at it.]

SAM'S EDITORIAL

Despite quitting the week before, Sam can't resist the lure of his podium (and soapbox) and lectures the crowd on a massive worldwide nudity problem. ("Did you know that underneath their clothing, the entire population of the world is walking around completely NAKED?!") Sam extends his outrage to the animal kingdom which includes birds...which includes eagles such as himself.

[A re-recorded version of this sermon appeared on The Muppet Show 2 and Muppet Hits Take 2.]

BALCONY

WALDORF: How do you feel about nudity?

STATLER: Well personally it always left me cold.

DRESSING ROOM

Miss Piggy borrows a brush from Nancy and is overjoyed that her hunch that she'd be as nice and motherly as her television roles would suggest is correct. Nancy tells her the roles are just an exaggerated typecast and then dispenses maternal advice and an offer of chicken soup to Kermit over the phone when he calls. Miss Piggy's admiration is broken when she hears Kermit's sick with the Swine Flu.

BACKSTAGE

Fozzie can't bring himself to go out on stage again until Scooter hands him a flattering note of encouragement from Nancy Walker.

FOZZIE: I feel great! There - you can read it if you want too. (Exits)

SCOOTER: I don't have to read it, I wrote it.

CURTAIN

Fozzie tries to introduce the guest but finds it impossible due to Gonzo's continual reminders not to forget her name.

GONZO: That's Nancy - rhymes with 'Fancy' - Walker - rhymes with 'Talker'...and it's Nancy Walker, not 'Fancy Talker'.

CLOSING NUMBER - THEY CAN'T TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ME

Nancy and Sweetums (both in tuxes) do a song and dance.

CURTAIN

Kermit, still in bedclothes, arrives to make sure that Nancy gets at least one decent introduction.

KERMIT: Ladies and gentlemen, a big round of applause for Miss Nancy ACHOO!

FOZZIE: Ah - you blew it too! It's Nancy Walker!

CLOSING THEME

WALDORF: Wonderful! I loved it!

STATLER: Who was your favorite?

WALDORF: Who else? The frog.

Guide Written by
D. W. McKim and Phillip Chapman

Video Captures by
Alex Taylor

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