Lou Rawls - Episode 39Taping Dates: Week of November 1, 1977
Original Airdates: May 1, 1978 (New York) and March 3, 1978 (LA)
DVD Release: Buena Vista Home Video, 2007
GENERIC INTRO: PERFORMING
Brian Henson: "Hi, I'm Brian Henson. Let me tell you a little bit about how we train to perform the Muppets. It's kind of an interesting process, because what we do is, we watch a monitor. It shows us what the camera is seeing and we reach up and we work the puppet with our other hand. It's a complicated process but the idea is, that you're meant to look into the monitor and bring to life that character and be the audience and the audience's point of view."
"Course it's real difficult, because when the character turns to the right, but the camera you see, is turning to the left which means you always have to think backwards. Of course it's the Muppets so thinking backwards comes naturally. Here's The Muppet Show."
Sam pays Lou a post-mortem compliment.
The balcony: Statler declares "We're old men!" and Waldorf replies, "Give us a break!"
Gonzo's horn: Green smoke comes out of Gonzo's trumpet (same as episode 32, Steve Martin).
Fozzie's still getting the hang of his roller-skating act so Lou Rawls is called upon to do the opening.
OPENING NUMBER - "GROOVY PEOPLE"
Lou Rawls opens the show backed by The Sleeze Brothers, a quartet of sleepy-eyed, frizzy hair lounge singers.
Kermit contemplates whether to further adjust the running order and is answered by Fozzie's out-of-control skating.
Newsman reports on an outbreak of mallarditis.
After performing their act, the announcer attempts to close but is questioned by the cast.
...and the cast do their entire routine all over again!
Lou Rawls steps outside the theatre and chats with Floyd (taking Animal for a walk.) Floyd helps Lou with some translation and the singer considers using Animal for a road trip.
[Despite some past subtle hints, this is the first obvious indication we have that Animal is basically in Floyd's care. There's some incontinuity in this scene as Animal eats through his chain and then it's immediately repaired.]
The Swedish Chef protests that he's not ready to go on...but due to Fozzie's being even more not ready, the Chef has to be moved up.
The Chef, still resentful that he has to be dragged on stage so early throws his utensils at Kermit and Scooter after his song and prepares a revenge dish of frog's legs - Robin the Frog being held hostage! Kermit and Scooter get the Chef off the stage as quickly as they put him on.
AT THE DANCE
Gonzo searches for the monster that ate his harmonica while a chicken discusses the health of her kids.
[The chicken joke is reused for a special "At The Dance" recorded for The Muppet Show 2 album.]
MUSICAL NUMBER - "UKULELE LADY"
A true sign that Miss Piggy is reaching superstar status...she gets her turn being posed in a crescent moon as Kermit serenades her with a hawaiian number.
UK SKIT: MUSICAL NUMBER - "SONNY BOY"
Link sings and gives some words of encouragement to a live baby pig.
Kermit inquires about the secrets of jazz singing and asks for a demonstration but the mood isn't quite right and there's no band - so Kermit immediately enlists the aid of Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. Lou grooves on "Bye Bye Blackbird" and each of the band members get a turn to scat along.
Fozzie is as ready as he'll ever be for his roller-skating act as the Swedish Chef enjoys his unscheduled second-half leisure time gracefully gliding around the backstage.
Dr. Bunsen Honeydew is set to display the Labs' new nuclear powered shaver. However the lead helmet is so heavy that it crushes Beaker's head down so much rendering a shave moot.
[Bunsen delivers a "tss-tss-tss" laugh at the end of this sketch which not only would become a trademark for the character but seems to hint at a slightly sinister comic pleasure the mad scientist gets out of Beaker's misfortunes.]
Kermit warns the audience that Fozzie will be performing his act on roller skates!
FOZZIE'S COMEDY SPOT
Fozzie actually seems to succeed somewhat in his skating and the gimmick provides some good fodder for his material - but he's still not proficient enough to carry it all the way through.
[A re-recorded version of this comedy spot appeared on The Muppet Show 2 album.]
Kermit brings on Lou along with the Big Band of Dr. Teeth.
CLOSING NUMBER "YOU'RE THE ONE"
As the Electric Mayhem band is enhanced with a brass section, Lou sings his closing song to Miss Piggy seated on stage at a table with flowers and champaign.
[One of the trumpet players is Bobby Benson who will emerge next year as the leader of his own Baby Band.]
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