Steve Martin - Episode 32
Dates: Week of July 19, 1977.
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."
Steve Martin does some last minute mental preparations.
The balcony: Waldorf says, "I like the old opening better."
Gonzo's horn: Green smoke comes out of Gonzo's trumpet.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kermit compliments the girls and Fozzie worries what that means for regular talent.
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.
The Swedish Chef and Floyd commiserate over the acts they were supposed to do tonight that won't be seen.
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".
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.
Next up, according to Scooter, is one of the world's greatest comics.
Baskerville the Hound comes on stage complete with Fozzie's intro music, set, voice impersonation, and costume...and Fozzie's cane dragging him off.
Kermit tells Fozzie he's taking this all too personally.
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.
Fozzie enjoys throwing Kermit's words back at him, and Kermit is anxious to move on to the next ORIGINAL act...
Direct from the planet Koozebane, an alien quartet play themselves as instruments!
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.
[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.
[This UK spot is also included on the video Muppet Weird Stuff.]
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).
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".
Sam wonders if they have any good, old-fashioned entertainment.
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.]
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.)
Floyd shows interest in the act apparently not finding it as "tasteless" as Kermit does.
GUEST STAR SPOT
Steve again comes out to provide some professionalism with some juggling oranges and The Swedish Chef standing by for the remains.
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!")
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.)
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.
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.
Video Captures by