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EPISODE NOTES

Steve Martin puts in a memorable cameo as a sarcastic waiter in 1979's The Muppet Movie.

When Muppeteer Frank Oz would pursue a second career as a film director, Steve Martin would be a frequent star of his movies, appearing in "Housesitter", "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels", "Bowfinger", among others.

As mentioned in Brian Henson's intro, the regular laugh track is replaced with sparse laughter from the Muppet performers (most notably Richard Hunt). In regular editions of The Muppet Show it's not too uncommon to hear laughter from the cast and crew...since the show normally does have a laugh track, it's no big deal if the sound of someone laughing on set is caught during taping. Here, natural laughter was encouraged and the performers overdubbed laughter as well to represent the reaction of the cast watching the auditions.

In a rare glimpse of the behind the scenes life of The Newsman, we see him cuddled up next to a good looking female whatnot in the audience.

Marvin Suggs had previously been a one-time gag character, appearing once in the Rita Moreno episode. It was a wonderful surprise to see this absolutely hysterical character brought back with a new act. Even though he doesn't display any of his sadistic streak, the character is still very true to what's been established as someone who thinks he's the world's greatest performer despite the tasteless nature of his acts. Though in all credit, singing food is not that far out for The Muppet Show and the choir is very good. It's as much a thrill to listen to the Muppet performers doing some nice harmonizing while Marvin is gleefully enjoying both the act and himself as the conductor dancing around manically as he waves his baton. His Muppaphone hasn't been forgotten though - he'll come back with them in season 3.

Janice is heard in the audience but not seen.

PRODUCED BY Jim Henson

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

DIRECTED BY Peter Harris

THE MUPPET PERFORMERS FEATURING

Frank Oz (Fozzie, fazoob, Miss Piggy, Sam, Marvin Suggs, Animal, Zucchini Brother)

with Jerry Nelson (frog,
Floyd, Baskerville, fazoob, onions, scallions, artichoke)

Richard Hunt
(Scooter, Statler, Janice, big balloon, Lenny Lizard, asparagus, Zucchini Brother, Bubba)

Dave Goelz (Gonzo, cabbage, Zucchini Brother)

Jim Henson (Kermit, Waldorf, Swedish Chef, Rowlf, fazoob, string beans)

[uncredited] Louise Gold (Mary Louise, tomato)

PUPPETS AND THEIR COSTUMES BY Caroly WIlcox, Mari Kaestle, Dave Goelz, John Lovelady, Rollin Krewson, 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

ORCHESTRA CONDUCTED BY Jack Parnell

MUSICAL ASSOCIATE: Derek Scott

LIGHTING DIRECTOR: John Rook

AUDIO: Ted Scott

VIDEO TAPE EDITOR: Tom Waddell

ASSISTANT TO THE PRODUCER: Sue Taylor

SENIOR FLOOR MANAGER: Richard Holloway

FLOOR MANAGER: Martin Baker

STAGE MANAGER: Sara Paul

SENIOR VIDEO ENGINEER: Jim Reeves

SENIOR CAMERAMAN: Bill Brown

VISION MIXER: Moyra Bird

COSTUMES BY James Dark

MAKE-UP BY Marie Roche

THEME MUSIC: Sam Pottle

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER FOR HENSON ASSOCIATES, INC.: David Lazer

Steve Martin - Episode 32

Taping Dates: Week of July 19, 1977.
Original Airdates: October 31, 1977 (New York)
DVD Release: Time-Life, 2002;
Columbia Tri-Star, 2003; Columbia Tri-Star (UK HMV Exclusive), 2003; Buena Vista Home Video, 2007

STEVE MARTIN INTRO

Brian Henson: "Hi I'm Brian Henson. This episode of The Muppet Show stars Steve Martin. It was a very different kind of Muppet Show. There was no laugh track so you can actually hear the Muppet performers laughing along at what's going on. The episode features the talents of such legends as the strange alien Fazoobs and the Flying Zucchini Brothers, Marvin Suggs and his all-food glee club. All this and of course Steve Martin's balloon animals. Here he is, the wonderful Steve Martin in the Muppet Show."

DRESSING ROOM

Steve Martin does some last minute mental preparations.

OPENING THEME

The balcony: Waldorf says, "I like the old opening better."

Gonzo's horn: Green smoke comes out of Gonzo's trumpet.

CURTAIN/BALCONY

Kermit apologizes to the audience that tonight's show is cancelled (much to Statler & Waldorf's delight). Turns out the show was inadvertently scheduled to be on during what was supposed to be an audition night. Kermit mentions people can stay to watch if they want, but there probably won't be anything exciting (no one stays). Steve Martin, already in costume for his opening number, is not happy that no one bothered to tell him.

BALCONY

WALDORF: Well, should we stay or go?

STATLER: I feel the same as I do every week. I paid good money for this ticket and I'm going to use it.

WALDORF: Uh, the tickets are free.

STATLER: Oh..yes...well and overpriced at that too!

HOUSE

The regular Muppet cast start to take the departing audience's seats. Fozzie asks Kermit if he's really auditioning new acts or replacements but Kermit can't give him a definitive answer.

WINGS

Scooter, manned with clipboard, has a rundown of the auditions and tells Kermit the first act is The Lautrec Sisters and the Garbage Can-Can.

HOUSE

FOZZIE: Oh please, don't let them be funny.

MUSICAL NUMBER - GARBAGE CAN-CAN

In an act resembling something from the talent show in Emmett Otter's Jug-band Christmas, four rats do a spirited kick line.

HOUSE

Kermit compliments the girls and Fozzie worries what that means for regular talent.

WINGS

Scooter announces the next act is Mary Louise and Friend.

MARY LOUISE AND FRIEND

Mary Louise's friend turns out to be a frog (no big surprise considering her numbers in season one). They attempt to sing "Swannee Ribbit", but quickly get the cane.

HOUSE

The Swedish Chef and Floyd commiserate over the acts they were supposed to do tonight that won't be seen.

WINGS

Kermit calls for quiet in the house and is surprised to hear that Steve Martin is next on Scooter's list.

GUEST STAR SPOT/HOUSE

Steve explains that as long as he's made the trip, he may as well provide some entertainment to the cast watching the proceedings. The Muppets overwhelmingly approve. Steve decides to entertain the cast with balloon animals - but since this isn't exactly a new idea he adds a twist by initially not blowing them up. The regular balloon animal type fun follows but aided by Steve's unique "twists".

STEVE: What I do is, the adult balloons that guard [the baby balloons] are very stupid and it's easy to trick them. I go, 'Hey look at that inner tube over there'. They go, 'Wheeeere? Gosh!' and I load up my pockets.

WINGS

Scooter brings on...Terry Louise and Friend.

TERRY LOUISE AND FRIEND

Terry Louise is of course Mary Louise with her frog trying again with a patriotic number. She still gets caned off.

WINGS

Next up, according to Scooter, is one of the world's greatest comics.

COMEDY SPOT

Baskerville the Hound comes on stage complete with Fozzie's intro music, set, voice impersonation, and costume...and Fozzie's cane dragging him off.

FOZZIE: NEXT!

HOUSE

Kermit tells Fozzie he's taking this all too personally.

KERMIT: Listen, it's very healthy to see what other people in your field are doing. It's an enriching experience. Hey, Scooter, what's next?

SCOOTER: Oh, it's a guy named Lenny the Lizard. He's an emcee.

KERMIT: What the hey?

CURTAIN

Backed by The Muppet Show theme song, Lenny shows that he's looking to replace Kermit as America's favorite amphibian, having already filled in for Kermit in his classic Inchworm sketch earlier in the season during the Rich Little episode.

KERMIT: Next!

Fozzie enjoys throwing Kermit's words back at him, and Kermit is anxious to move on to the next ORIGINAL act...

FOUR FAZOOBS

Direct from the planet Koozebane, an alien quartet play themselves as instruments!

HOUSE

Kermit puts his flippers up on the seat calling for a break leading into the midpoint fade.

UK SKIT: HOUSE/GREAT GONZO

Gonzo tells Kermit he has a new act but the frog brushes him off saying he's seen enough of them and doesn't need to see any more. Gonzo proceeds to try to tell Kermit about the act while Kermit does his best to ignore him. The sheer absurdity breaks Kermit's resolve: dancing cheese.

GONZO: Oh Kermit, she's a great dancer.

KERMIT: She? It's a female cheese?

GONZO: OF COURSE it's a female! You don't expect me to dance with a MALE do you? That'd look WEEEIRD!

[Although Gonzo has no problem dancing with Kermit in season five's Carol Burnett dance marathon episode...he may have become more open-minded over the next few years.]

Gonzo leaves Kermit to think as Scooter announces the next act, "Gonzales and Yolanda".

Sure enough, in similar staging to his dancing chicken act, Gonzo appears in Spanish garb (spitting out a rose and all) while his cheese puts his former fowl to shame with a high-spirited Mexican dance.

GONZO: Arrrrrreiba! Ole! El toro! Enchilada! Dance you little firebrand, dance!

[This UK spot is also included on the video Muppet Weird Stuff.]

HOUSE/WINGS

Kermit resumes his flippers-up-on-seats pose as he looks forward to the second half (for those countries that don't get the UK skit, it looks like he's been there since breaking for the commercial). Scooter brings on "Carrie Louise and Friend."

CARRIE LOUISE AND FRIEND

Once again, it's Mary Louise and her frog, appearing rather nervous. Her rendition of "Old Man Ribbit" fails to impress the keeper of the cane...Miss Piggy who's not about to let another female singer on the show (especially one singing with frogs).

HOUSE/WINGS

Kermit insists Scooter must have some good acts ready to go - Scooter brings on a "Ramblin' Guy".

GUEST STAR SPOT

Steve Martin entertains the assembled with his banjo for an off-the-cuff bilingual rendition of "Ramblin' Guy".

HOUSE

Sam wonders if they have any good, old-fashioned entertainment.

SCOOTER: I can only vouch for the old part...Statler and Waldorf.

MUSICAL NUMBER - VARSITY DRAG

At last it's revealed...Statler and Waldorf are critical of the show since they're closet performers. The two appear in full-shot Vaudeville uniforms and sing and tap away. Fozzie takes the opportunity to heckle them for a change from the balcony.

[Palisades Toys would release a two-figure set of Vaudeville Statler & Waldorf with hats and canes in the summer of 2003.]

HOUSE

Sam is absolutely elated that The Muppets can provide nice normal entertainment until he hears the next act is Marvin Suggs and His All-Food Glee Club.

MUSICAL NUMBER - YES, WE HAVE NO BANANAS

Marvin Suggs (of Muppaphone fame) puts in a return engagement this year with a rather impressive choir of fruits and vegetables - which he actually conducts instead of striking music out of them. (Let's not think of what the rehearsals must have been like.)

HOUSE

Floyd shows interest in the act apparently not finding it as "tasteless" as Kermit does.

WINGS

SCOOTER: Remember Ramblin' Guy? Here's Jugglin' Guy!

GUEST STAR SPOT

Steve again comes out to provide some professionalism with some juggling oranges and The Swedish Chef standing by for the remains.

HOUSE/WINGS

Kermit assures Fozzie and the rest of the cast that no one will be losing their jobs as Scooter brings on the last act.

[Floyd and Mahna Mahna are seated together in the audience which is kind of an interesting pairing given their design similarity.]

FLYING ZUCCHINI BROTHERS

One last act auditions that would actually be used later on in the show - The Flying Zucchini Brothers, a group of Italian acrobats that attempt a human cannonball (or "booma booma") act. Unfortunately the cannon doesn't seem to want to cooperate leaving the trio cursing their misfortune. ("Annette Funicello!")

HOUSE/BALCONY

As Kermit wonders if the auditions are over with, the cannon finally explodes sending the human cannonball flying through the wall next to Statler & Waldorf's balcony (after that same spot had been fixed from the Nancy Walker opening number mishap.)

HOUSE

Steve laments that he didn't get the chance to do the number he rehearsed with the jug-band. Picking up on Kermit's apology, he brings them out to do one last number for anyone who's left watching, joined in by some of the former auditions while the Zucchini Brothers try one last time.

[The jug-band is an all new jug-band than the one used in season one...Lubbock Lou and His Jug Huggers. Although some of them bear a resemblance to their Googalala predecessors, most notably the spittoon player and a "Gramps" replacing "Pa".]

Kermit thanks Steve and says goodnight to anyone who may actually still be left viewing the show.

STEVE: I can't tell you what a pleasure it's been for me not being on your show tonight.

CLOSING THEME

Though initially it looks like this may be another episode with a specially recorded closing theme as Steve starts to strum his banjo and we hear some (dubbed) pickin', the scene does eventually cut to the stock footage.

BALCONY

STATLER: Well, that was different.

WALDORF: Yes...lousy...

STATLER & WALDORF: ...but different!

Guide Written by
D. W. McKim

Video Captures by
James Carroll

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