Cleo Laine - Episode 40Taping Dates: Week of November 8, 1977
Original Airdates: May 15, 1978 (New York) and May 27, 1978 (LA)
DVD Release: Buena Vista Home Video, 2007
GENERIC INTRO: ROWLF
Brian Henson: "Hi, I'm Brian Henson. Not many people know that Rowlf the Dog was actually the Muppets first network television star. Rowlf was originally built for a Purina Dog Food commercial. But he later gained fame with weekly appearances on The Jimmy Dean Show in the 1960's. Back then Rowlf was a quiet philosopher with a lot of punch lines."
"When The Muppet Show came along Rowlf became known more for his piano playing expertise. Kermit was my father's best known character, but a lot of people think he was more like Rowlf in real life except he couldn't play the piano as well. Here is another classic episode of The Muppet Show."
Animal boosts Cleo's ego.
Balcony: Statler & Waldorf peek out from behind the side curtains.
Gonzo's horn: The horn flies away from Gonzo! [For some reason, the first season Gonzo puppet is used here.]
Fozzie takes it upon himself to "share" the intro with Kermit since his mother is watching the show in the audience tonight.
OPENING NUMBER - "LIMBO"
A calypso number featuring a limbo stick...Baskerville seems to beat Boppity and Gloat until Kermit takes a crack at it...scrunching himself down and staying that way.
The cast exit offstage still playing steel drums [the music is the same music that begins the "Pig Calypso" number in the Bob Hope episode]. Fozzie's concerned that he wasn't in the opening number but Kermit could care less being that he's still scrunched up! Fozzie "inflates" Kermit back up by using his arm like a pump!
Fozzie pushes Kermit out of the way and introduces Cleo Laine.
MUSICAL NUMBER - "AIN'T GOT THAT SWING"
Cleo cooks on the jazz classic and takes some time out to individually acknowledge each member of the Electric Mayhem.
Fozzie figures it must be time for him to go on by now but Pigs In Space is up next.
PIGS IN SPACE
Captain Link calls the crew together for an inspection. Fozzie enters with a group of pigs dressed in a Pigs In Space outfit and long blond wig!
Link berates First Mate Piggy for not shaving this morning in between Fozzie's mugging and Piggy like French. Captain Link dismisses the crew with the exception of "Piggy"...who he wishes to smooch with!
Fozzie finds himself being chased by both Link and Miss Piggy and talks them into venting on the frog as he slips away to the stage...
Once the stage is bare, Kermit introduces special guest puppeteer Bruce Schwartz.
The guest performer demonstrates some Japanese influenced puppetry with a delicate ballerina doll.
UK SKIT: MUSICAL NUMBER - "MAD DOGS AND ENGLISHMEN"
Rowlf, Baskerville, and a Kaftan dog sing some music hall.
Fozzie keeps demanding to know when he's going on...even though he's already "been on" practically everything so far!
Cleo Laine approaches The Swedish Chef after he finishes his introductory theme. She says he looks like an understanding person and may be able to help her...then she bursts into song singing "You're Just In Love". The Swedish Chef accompanies her with her song as Cleo lends a hand to his salad.
peeks out from behind the curtain to see if it's finally time for
FOZZIE'S COMEDY SPOT
Since it's a special night, Fozzie has a special act - phrenology...the art of reading someone's fortune by feeling the bumps on his head using Kermit as an unwilling volunteer. After scrunching Kermit around almost as much as in the opening number, he improves on the frog's intelligence bumps...with a sledgehammer.
Robin fills in for his uncle who's chasing Fozzie after being no friend to phrenology.
CLOSING NUMBER - "IF"
Cleo provides the soaring vocals as puppeteer Bruce Schwartz provides the moving visuals of a grieving lover.
[The set design here is particularly effective as the centerpiece is a tiered row of white steps which Cleo sits on. This doubles in image as a wedding cake that the doll-like puppets perform atop.]
Fozzie checks up to his mom to see how she enjoyed the show to discover she's fast asleep.
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