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EPISODE NOTES

This episode was nominated for an Emmy for "Outstanding Directing for a Comedy-Variety or Music Series".

Even though Dave Goelz doesn't end up having any lines in this show aside from contributing backing vocals on music numbers, this episode still stands out in his memory due to his admiration for the guest. He remembers being in awe at the recording session where Elton sat down at the piano and sang his numbers since Elton had an amazing musicianship and was able to sing and play perfectly take after take.

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 (crocodile, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Sam)

Jerry Nelson (food, crocodile, chicken announcer, Floyd, Strangepork)

Richard Hunt (Scooter, Statler, Janice)

Dave Goelz (crocodile)

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

[uncredited] Louise Gold: (crocodile, whatnot)

PUPPETS AND THEIR COSTUMES BY Caroly Wilcox, Mari Kaestle, Dave Goelz, 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 K. Frith

MUSIC CONSULTANT: Larry Grossman

ART DIRECTOR: David Chandler

ORCHESTRA CONDUCTED BY Jack Parnell

MUSICAL ASSOCIATE: Derek Scott

LIGHTING DIRECTOR: John Rook

AUDIO: Ted Scott

VIDEO TAPE EDITOR: Tim 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: Roy Simper

VISION MIXER: Moyra Bird

COSTUMES BY James Dark

MAKE-UP BY Marion Phillips

THEME MUSIC: Sam Pottle

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER FOR HENSON ASSOCIATES, INC.: David Lazer

Elton John - Episode 38

Taping Dates: Week of October 25, 1977
Original Airdates: February 6, 1978 (New York) February 10, 1978 and (LA)
DVD Release: Time-Life, 2002;
Columbia Tri-Star, 2002; Columbia Tri-Star (UK HMV Exclusive), 2003; Buena Vista Home Video, 2007

ELTON JOHN INTRO

Brian Henson: "Hi, I'm Brian Henson. This episode of The Muppet Show stars Elton John. At the time that we did this show, he was just coming out of a phase where he was doing those flamboyant costumes, the most big crazy glasses and feathers everywhere and it was wonderful and that particularly excited The Muppets, the idea of having Elton on the show doing all that crazy stuff until they called him and asked him what he wanted to do and he said, "You know I'll do anything but what I really don't want to do is I don't want to do those crazy, flamboyant costumes with all big feathers and big glasses and stuff" so naturally that was a bit of a problem for The Muppets because that's what we were really looking forward to so this whole episode is about The Muppets really wanting him to do that flamboyant crazy look and him not wanting to but as always The Muppets always sort of win out in the end. Here it is, Elton John and The Muppets."

DRESSING ROOM

Elton John finds his lunch to be agreeable.

OPENING

The balcony: Statler and Waldorf are just arriving

Gonzo's horn: Water comes out of Gonzo's trumpet (same as episode 27 with Milton Berle).

CURTAIN

Kermit brings out of one the world's greatest recording stars.

OPENING NUMBER - "CROCODILE ROCK"

In an elaborate set with Elton John singing in a crocodile infested swamp, Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem perform in all-new costumes while Elton wears a huge elaborate get-up perhaps to serve as some camouflage to fool the crocs. The crocodiles nonetheless manage to pull him from his piano into the swamp, perhaps annoyed at having to sing the falsetto chorus.

BALCONY

STATLER & WALDORF: See you later alligator!

BACKSTAGE

After reprimanding the crocs for eating the guest at the beginning of the show, Kermit bumps into a piano that Scooter's moving to Elton's dressing room. The go-fer has a song that Elton's just "gotta hear" and convinces Kermit to abide since he has his uncle's backing.

SWEDISH CHEF

Once again, The Swedish Chef has a chicken with him that he tries to get to lay eggs for his Egg Du Chef. Thankfully instead of laying bombs, the chicken passes off a closer decoy...ping pong balls. Finally realizing he won't have the essential ingredient for Eggs Du Chef, he decides to prepare Chickie Du Chef instead and an intense chase ensues.

BALCONY

WALDORF: Hey, let's sneak out and have a pizza.

DRESSING ROOM

Elton asks about the piano in the dressing room (which all things considered is hardly all that unique for a singer for purposes of warming up) and Kermit explains ... and begs ... Elton to hear Scooter's song. Scooter and a bunch of Elton-ized Muppets pour in the dressing room at sing a "la la la" song that sounds horrible...but it's actually Elton's "Bennie & the Jets" which he performs the way it should be done. (Why exactly Scooter wanted Elton to hear one of his own songs is a bit unclear.)

[Among the wigged-out Muppets is a young female pig in a curly pink wig - the first appearance of the puppet that would be Annie Sue Pig.]

VETERINARIAN'S HOSPITAL

Baskerville is this week's patient and the hospital staff try to figure out what kind of breed he is.

DR. BOB: Of course he could be a guard dog. You know I know a woman who was once attacked by her own guard dog.

NURSE PIGGY: Doberman pinscher?

DR. BOB: No, Doberman bit her!
UK SKIT: MUSICAL NUMBER - "ANY OLD IRON"

Kermit and Fozzie do a classic music hall song.

[One of the backing singers is missing an eye! The staff was aware of this while taping but it was the last piece of the day and they didn't have time to do a retake or an extensive search for the pupil so since it was just the UK sketch, they let it fly.]

CURTAIN

Scooter fills in for Kermit (and is briefly interrupted by The Chef still chasing the chicken) and explains that he promised not to get carried away despite his fandom... ("Here he is, the greatest talent in the history of the universe...")

MUSICAL NUMBER - "GOODBYE YELLOW BRICK ROAD"

Elton and Dr. Teeth's band are back to the more traditional (and less dangerous) Electric Mayhem stage. Floyd and Janice (and Elton - but that goes without saying!) don some more snazzy outfits.

PIGS IN SPACE

The crew is suffering the inevitable case of space boredom until an alarm sounds...they're being attacked by two creatures. The Swedish Chef runs through the set chasing the chicken and the crew return to their malaise.

LINK: At least we could have brought a TV set. I'm missing all my favorite bowling shows!

PIGGY: You and your bowling shows! He cries at the sad parts.

BACKSTAGE

The chase resumes but the chicken has managed to grab the cleaver and is now after The Chef. Sam expresses his outrage over Elton's appearance ("I have seen some pretty weird guests on the show but this Elton John borders on the REVOLUTIONARY!")

KERMIT: Sam, Elton John is a very important musician.

SAM: Then why does he dress like a stolen car?

Kermit goes on to explain how musicians have always been fancy dressers. Sam refuses to believe Mozart would wear such things as wigs, high heels, and silk stockings and the two place a bet. Scooter settles the bet with a picture of Mozart Elton John just gave him.

[The Muppets who help get Sam in his new wardrobe are the same two Muppets that provided backing vocals in Any Old Iron...this time with all eyes intact.]

CURTAIN

Having lost the bet, Sam introduces Elton in a flashy outfit and dines on his hat.

CLOSING NUMBER - "DON'T GO BREAKIN' MY HEART"

Once again, won over by the relative safety, Elton performs on the Dr. Teeth set (with a costume change) and sings a much-anticipated duet with Miss Piggy ("Eatcher heart out, Kiki!")

BALCONY

Statler and Waldorf have even gotten into the fashion craze!

STATLER: We look like members of the rock age!

WALDORF: Nah, we look more like members of the stone age!

CURTAIN

Kermit has also joined in the costume capers looking somewhat like a cross between Elton and a psychedelic bumblebee as the rest of the Muppet cast show off their threads. Elton takes his curtain call in a more traditional suit.

SCOOTER: Boy, Elton - you look WEIRD!

ELTON: Well you guys are all dressed like stolen cars!

CLOSING

STATLER: Well, what'd you think?

(The chicken and Chef run through their box - the chicken still with the cleaver!)

WALDORF: I hate running gags!

Guide Written by
D. W. McKim

Video Captures by
James Carroll

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