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EPISODE NOTES

Madeline Kahn flirted with Kermit in 1979's The Muppet Movie and made several appearances on Sesame Street including playing a bird watcher (with Richard Hunt as her partner) and most memorably encouraging Grover to "Sing After Me".

A continuation of the saga of Gonzo's love life. His crush on Miss Piggy had only been referred to once before in the Mummenschanz episode of The Muppet Show. It's ended here and aside from a line in The Muppet Movie where he jumps in on an offer she's making Kermit of a romantic dinner (to his then girlfriend Camilla's chagrin), it's never referred to again - in fact his view of Miss Piggy becomes a bit more in line with those of his other male co-stars where he has a realistic view of her ego and often shares a laugh at her expense.

However, in the animated '80's series Muppet Babies, Gonzo's obsession with Miss Piggy is oddly a major recurring theme.

Aside from being a classic Swedish Chef piece, the Lobster Banditos bit left its mark in Muppet history in another way...the guns shot off real charges - four in each gun. Two takes of the lobsters' shooting were edited together to make it look like the shots were being fired over 50 times. One of the charges hit The Chef's face (on his left lower cheek) and the puppet carried the "scar" for the rest of the season.

Pigs in Space was created as a star vehicle for Miss Piggy and whether intended or not, in the few episodes that's aired so far, there's a strong emphasis on women's lib that adds a redeeming quality to Piggy's nature - which is a welcome feature given the lack of female representation in the show as a whole. Although as First Mate, she's subservient to Captain Link, the casting of a female astronaut First Mate was a major thing to begin with in 1977 where there wasn't much visibility of women in the space program. Furthermore, it's clear that she's more on the ball (though still not without fault) than the other two males even though they practice a fair amount of chauvinism (well - they ARE pigs!) dismissing her idea that a light in the distance looks like a motorcycle headlight, and leaving her to do the ironing. Where in her pursuit of Kermit and stardom, her assertiveness has tended to be bullying and self centered, her role in Pigs in Space in particular allows some of her more positive aspects to come out as she's seen as an aggressive female in the better sense of the concept.

PRODUCED BY Jim Henson

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

DIRECTED BY Philip Casson

THE MUPPET PERFORMERS FEATURING

Frank Oz (Sam, Animal, Miss Piggy, Fozzie)

with Jerry Nelson (Eric, lobster, Floyd, announcer, Strangepork, Doglion), Richard Hunt (Scooter, Statler, lobster)

Dave Goelz (Gonzo, lobster)

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

[uncredited] Louise Gold (lobster)

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: David Chandler

CHOREOGRAPHER: Norman Maen

ORCHESTRA CONDUCTED BY Jack Parnell

MUSICAL ASSOCIATE: Derek Scott

LIGHTING DIRECTOR: Phil Hawkes

AUDIO: Roger Knight

VIDEO TAPE EDITOR: Tim Waddell

ASSISTANT TO THE PRODUCER: Joan Chaplow

SENIOR FLOOR MANAGER: Richard Holloway

FLOOR MANAGER: Martin Baker

STAGE MANAGER: Caryl Cruickshank

SENIOR VIDEO ENGINEER: Gerry Taylor

SENIOR CAMERAMAN: Roy Simper

VISION MIXER: Carole Legg

COSTUMES BY James Dark

MAKE-UP BY Shirley Muslin

THEME MUSIC: Sam Pottle

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER FOR HENSON ASSOCIATES, INC.: David Lazer

Madeline Kahn - Episode 33

Taping Dates: July 26-28, 1977
Original Airdates: October 3, 1977 (New York) and September 30, 1977 (LA)
DVD Release: Time-Life, 2002; Buena Vista Home Video, 2007

MADELINE KAHN INTRO

Brian Henson: "Hi, I'm Brian Henson. This next episode of The Muppet Show stars Madeline Kahn. This show also features two timeless Muppet favorites, "Happy Feet" which is a classic tap-dance number that Kermit does. If you watch closely, you never actually see his feet; you don't ever see his legs or his feet which is the most ridiculous way to approach a tap dance number but it's a great piece. The other piece that's become a huge hit is a piece where The Swedish Chef is trying to cook a lobster and then these Bandito Lobsters come and save the lobster that the Chef is trying to cook. Here it is, Madeline Kahn and The Muppet Show."

DRESSING ROOM

Sam refuses to let an artist of Madeline's caliber appear on the show, until he sees just what her caliber is.

OPENING THEME

The balcony: Waldorf faces away from the stage and says, "This helps but I can still hear them."

Gonzo's horn: Foul smelling orange smoke comes out of Gonzo's trumpet.

CURTAIN

A tuxedoed Kermit chooses to address a question on Muppet fans' minds...can the frog tap dance?

OPENING NUMBER - "HAPPY FEET"

Kermit does a Fred Astaire tribute number. The camera honors him by showing multi Kermits filling up the screen...all of them from the waist up.

[This song appears on The Muppet Show 2, Muppet Hits, and The Muppet Show: Music, Mayhem and More.]

BACKSTAGE

Gonzo takes some time out of his rehearsal with Eric the Yodeling Clam to chat with Madeline Kahn. She rescues his nose when it gets caught in the clam's clutches and her compliments (something he's not used to) makes him fall instantly in love.

CURTAIN

Kermit announces Madeline will be continuing the feet motif.

MUSICAL NUMBER - NEVER FORGET YOUR FEET

Madeline sings a musical tribute to her foot fetish with the Mutations providing some big feet for her to admire...the bigger to trample her with.

BALCONY

WALDORF: Hey I just bought a new hearing aid.

STATLER: Oh how much was it?

WALDORF: About four dollars.

STATLER: What kind is it?

WALDORF: Hmm?

STATLER: I said what kind is it?

WALDORF: It's about quarter after 12.

ANIMAL'S DRUM SOLO

Animal both drums and sings Gershwin's "Foggy Day". The audience is not too impressed.

[This bit appears on The Muppet Show 2 and Muppet Hits with a specially recorded intro from Kermit.]

PIGGY'S DRESSING ROOM

Picking up (and ending) a plot thread from the end of last season, Gonzo stops by Miss Piggy's dressing room to tell her he's gotten over his crush on her. Piggy's relieved though a bit taken aback by hearing he's already moved on with a crush on someone else.

GONZO: Well she's nothing like you at all. She's BEAUTIFUL! And she's got this cute little nose and she's intelligent and talented...

SWEDISH CHEF

The Chef puts a lobster in a pot but is surprised by the sound of a trumpet fanfare and the arrival of pistol-wielding Lobster Banditos who rescue the Chef's dinner.

[The lobsters were created by Cheryl and Lisa Henson. This piece took 5 hours to dub in post production. The Lobster Banditos would be immortalized in figure form by Palisades Toys.]

BALCONY

STATLER: You know, I think they were trying to make a point with that sketch.

WALDORF: What's the point?

STATLER: You're right - forget it.

UK SKIT: MUSICAL NUMBER - NEW YORK STATE OF MIND

Dr. Teeth and Zoot backup Floyd on bass and lead vocals singing the Billy Joel tune. The Muppet team must have liked this bit so much that they reused it in the "regular" part of the show in season 3 so the rest of the world could see it.

[Aside from appearing on The Muppet Show 2 album, this number was also performed on "The Tonight Show" when The Muppets hosted in 1979.]

PIGS IN SPACE

The steering mechanism has lost power and Piggy watches as Link works the controls pointing out one he missed. A power play ensues when Link insists he already did and then escalates into a gender war when Strangepork backs him up, amplified by Link's insistence that Piggy has her own controls and Link has his that only he should touch.

PIGGY: But my controls are just for the hot plate, the air conditioning, and the stereo! They have nothing to do with steering!

LINK: That's right!

Despite Link's protestations, Piggy takes it upon herself to try it anyway causing her captain to view his First Mate as a headache.

BALCONY

STATLER: You know that was almost funny.

WALDORF: They'd better be careful, they'll spoil a perfect record.

CURTAIN

Kermit introduces Fozzie with his "magic ukulele" with a music theatre classic.

MUSICAL NUMBER - PIG'S SONG

Trading in his comedy spot for music hall (yet another branching out of the bear's talents), Fozzie shows himself to be more successful with his song than his jokes...but the pigs in the cast still find his act to be of offense.

[In a nice bit of continuity, Link and Strangepork aren't yet changed out of their Pigs In Space outfits.]

BALCONY

STATLER: That bit they just did reminds me of broccoli.

WALDORF: Why?

STATLER: I HATE broccoli!

CURTAIN

Kermit brings on Madeline for an encore.

SKETCH - BEAUTIFUL DAY

Madeline meets a monster in the park in a sketch based on one of The Muppets' '60's variety show appearances. Instead of meeting Beautiful Day Monster who had previously been associated with this piece, she comes face to face with a brand new full size monster - Doglion. While she admires all the beautiful things in the park, Doglion systematically destroys them. He can even control the weather among other things Madeline doesn't think he can affect...

MADELINE: Just listen - listen to that lovely little bird singing!

(Doglion shoots it down with a pistol.)

Madeline eventually cuts the monster down to size by making him feel very small.

[The opening music in this sketch is the same as the Sandy Duncan sketch - where she too met a monster in a park. The idea of a "Dog-Lion" beast had been one Jim has had since the '50's when he sketched one in a story board for a Wilkins Coffee ad.]

BACKSTAGE

Kermit asks Gonzo what the occasion is when he sees him in a tux. Gonzo replies he's getting married to Madeline Kahn. Upon probing, Kermit finds out Gonzo hasn't even asked her yet. He also finds out that the tux is an old one of Gonzo's back when he had a magic act as things pop out of it. (Wonder if that's where his trumpet comes from?)

NEWSMAN

NEWSMAN: Reports are coming in from all over the world that television news reporters are blowing up. These unlikely rumors have... (BLAM!)

ROWLF'S PIANO

Rowlf (and his candelabra) perform "Up Up And Away".

BACKSTAGE

Gonzo overhears Kermit giving Madeline a heads up about his proposal plans. As the pair head off to find Gonzo, he smashes his rose to the ground heartbroken that Madeline would not be accepting his offer. He pours out his heart with "The Wishing Song" and this time it's Madeline's turn to overhear. She talks with Gonzo and is moved by the ending to his song...and surprised by his tux.

[Gonzo's "Wishing Song" appears on The Muppet Show 2 and The Muppet Show: Music, Mayhem and More with a talking chicken filling in for Madeline in the middle. Rowlf also sang "Wishing Song" on his 1993 CD, Ol' Brown Ears Is Back.]

CURTAIN

The cast (and Gonzo) says goodnight to Madeline.

CLOSING THEME

STATLER: We got our money's worth tonight.

WALDORF: But we paid nothing.

STATLER: That's what we got!

Guide Written by
D. W. McKim

Video Captures by
James Carroll

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