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EPISODE NOTES

As Brian mentions in his intro, in addition to having the Muppets as his own guests in his specials, Bob Hope appeared in 1979's "The Muppet Movie" as an ice cream vendor and also put in a memorable cameo as himself in the "Miss Piggy's Hollywood" installment of 1989's "Jim Henson Hour."

Superman star Christopher Reeve (who would later be a guest in the fourth season) was hanging around the studio during some of his downtime and was able to assist in the manipulation of the Pole Vaulters.

The UK spot presents a nice tableau of the Muppet Cast as a happy family in a cozy living room setting, many of the Muppets being shown full figure sitting on chairs and love seats, Miss Piggy seated happily next to Kermit. This powerful sing-along image is mirrored all throughout the fourth season's Arlo Guthrie episode and even the grand finales of the 1979 special "John Denver & The Muppets: A Christmas Together" and the 1987 special "Muppet Family Christmas".

Perhaps the oddest part of this family setting is the inclusion of J.P. Grosse in his last on camera appearance in the series. Being that his relationship with the Muppet cast has been established as antagonistic, he seems out-of-place in this cozy family-like setting (even though he is Scooter's uncle, Scooter also being present). However he is in his own separate chair sitting apart from the rest of the cast so there is still the sense of his character included in the tableau. The producers may have decided to include him in the medley to help soften his image/character a bit (which must have worked...he would act right along with the rest of the cast in the 90's films "Muppet Christmas Carol" and "Muppet Treasure Island" and even be a benevolent part of the production team throughout the 1996 series "Muppets Tonight"). Of course it's also possible that he appears here to fulfill his singing contract that he haggled over in the Jaye P. Morgan episode! In a final interesting observation, Baskerville the Hound lays down by J.P.'s feet, which must mean he's supplanted Muppy as his "favorite pet".

An epilogue of sorts is provided in a mention from 2002's "It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie". A scene was deleted for time (but available on the DVD) where Kermit mentions in his interview with Carson Daly that The Muppets inherited the Muppet Theatre from Scooter's uncle...the implication being that J.P. Grosse has passed away!

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 (Animal, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Zucchini Brother)

Jerry Nelson (pig, Floyd, Zucchini Brother, possum, Gramps, pole vaulter, wastebasket, horse)

Richard Hunt (Scooter, Statler, pig, animal, George, pole vaulter, J.P. Grosse, Beaker, Zucchini Brother)

Dave Goelz (Gonzo, pig, Zucchini Brother, whatnot, Ronald Duck, Bunsen), Jim Henson (Kermit, Waldorf, Newsman, Swedish Chef), (uncredited:) Louise Gold (Crazy Harry, Annie Sue, opera singer)

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: Malcolm Stone

ORCHESTRA CONDUCTED BY Jack Parnell

MUSICAL ASSOCIATE: Derek Scott

LIGHTING DIRECTOR: John Rook

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: Jim Reeves

SENIOR CAMERAMAN: Mike Whitcutt

VISION MIXER: Carole Legg

COSTUMES BY James Dark

MAKE-UP BY Marie Roche

THEME MUSIC: Sam Pottle

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER FOR HENSON ASSOCIATES, INC.: David Lazer

Bob Hope - Episode 45

Taping Dates: Week of November 22, 1977
Original Airdates: February 13, 1978 (New York) and February 17, 1978 (LA)
DVD Release: Time-Life, 2002; Columbia Tri-Star (UK HMV Exclusive), 2003;
Columbia Tri-Star, 2004; Buena Vista Home Video, 2007

BOB HOPE INTRO

Brian Henson: "Hi, I'm Brian Henson. This episode of The Muppet Show stars the legendary Bob Hope. Bob Hope and The Muppets worked together quite a lot over the years. The Muppets were guests on several of his specials and Bob did cameos in "The Muppet Movie" and the special, "Miss Piggy's Hollywood". In this episode Bob was always on his way in or out of the theatre going from one benefit engagement to another. His schedule in real life was so tight that he only had time for one production number and a few talk spots. The show ends with that production number "Don't Fence Me In" between Bob and his Muppet horse. It's a very funny effect where the puppeteers who were working the feet and the head were dressed in blue and then matted out of the scene so that you don't see them. It's a great sequence; here it is and Bob Hope in The Muppet Show."

DRESSING ROOM

Gonzo and Bob Hope compare status and noses.

OPENING

The balcony: Statler & Waldorf shout, "Why us?"

Gonzo's horn: Crazy Harry sets off an explosion. [This is the same bit that appears in the Jaye P. Morgan episode with one minor exception. Louise Gold had performed Crazy Harry during the taping and she can be heard here as Harry where in the Jaye P. Morgan episode, Jerry Nelson's laughing is dubbed in.]

CURTAIN

Animal picks up on Kermit's enthusiasm regarding the guest star and bounces about the stage. Kermit brushes him off by suggesting he channel his energy into a hobby.

KERMIT: Our guest star is Bob Hope!

ANIMAL: YEAH! BOB HOPE! BOB HOPE! BOB HOPE! BOB HOPE! BOB HOPE! ... Who Hope?"

OPENING NUMBER - "PIG CALYPSO"

A group of pigs (including a bikini clad Annie Sue) entice Miss Piggy to dance and sing about her love for her frog. Unfortunately they also invite the frog on to provide some dissenting opinion.

[This number appeared on The Muppet Show 2 album and Muppet Hits Take 2.]

BALCONY

STATLER: I like the steel drums.

WALDORF: What?

STATLER: The Pigs' steel drums!

WALDORF: I believe it. They take anything that's not nailed down.

BACKSTAGE

Fozzie worries that Bob Hope is absent from his dressing room but Kermit assures him that he's doing a benefit and will be back to perform for them. Their discussion is interrupted by Floyd and Zoot cheering Animal on in his new hobby - alligator wrestling.

CURTAIN

Kermit is encouraged to stall his introduction of Bob Hope when Fozzie tells him he still hasn't arrived.

KERMIT: Ladies and gentlemen, er, there really is no need to go into Bob Hope's past triumphs in film, radio, and television...but we may have to...

Thankfully Bob Hope does soon arrive but only to say goodbye as he's on his way to another appointment! But before he can even leave for that, he's dragged away by the Flying Zucchini Brothers whose benefit appearance he cancelled to do The Muppet Show!

BALCONY

STATLER: Well, Bob Hope is gone.

WALDORF: I'm not surprised. It's what I've always said about this show: There's no Hope.

STATLER: Would you repeat that?

WALDORF: Of course not, I'm sorry I said it in the first place.

STATLER: I should hope so.

MUSICAL NUMBER - "FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH"

A group of woodland animals sing some alternate lyrics calling for preservation in between hiding their hydes from hunters (including George the Janitor).

[This song appeared on The Muppet Show 2 album and Muppet Hits Take 2 (athough the Muppet Hits release edits out the dialogue). The number makes use of the various realistic forest animal puppets built for the "Emmett Otter's Jug-band Christmas" special. The lead vocalist in this song originally appeared as Old Lady Possum.]

NEWS FLASH

In keeping with the hunting theme, the Newsman announces today is the first day of fishing season as offstage rifle shots bring down fish falling onto his desk.

CURTAIN

Scooter tells Kermit the Zucchini Brothers are sending Bob Hope back...via cannon! ("I love traveling by cannonball, after all I am a high caliber performer!") The alleged guest doesn't have time to do a monologue though since he has yet another benefit for the Japanese Pole Vaulters Retirement Fund.

KERMIT: Er, there goes our guest star. There goes EVERYBODY'S guest star.

SWEDISH CHEF

The Swedish Chef's recipe this week is pressed duck, with a steam iron as the "duck presser."

NEWS FLASH

The Newsman announces it's opening night of the opera season...as offstage rifle shots bring down a viking horned diva onto the desk!

ROWLF'S PIANO

Rowlf needs to find a way to bring Beethoven's "Pathetique" to a snappy close when the first half of the show runs long.

UK SKETCH: MUSICAL NUMBER - "FOLK MEDLEY"

In a very homey setting, the Muppet cast are seated around a fireplace looking very familial as they sing folk songs "Long Long Ago", "Aura Lee", "Endearing Young Charms", and "Genevieve".

MUPPET LABS

Bunsen introduces the new automatic wastebasket, a robotic cylinder that Beaker feeds trash ... and keeps demanding more!

Bunsen: Order your wastebasket today - it comes in both regular and housebroken models.

BALCONY

STATLER: It's the most consistent show I've seen.

WALDORF: Yes, they get worse every single week.

CURTAIN

Bob Hope surprises Kermit by telling him that he's finished with all his other engagements and he can be their guest for the rest of the evening. Unfortunately there's no more time for a comedy monologue (the slot's taken up by Gonzo's bread impersonations) but Kermit allows Bob to take his place for the cowboy closing number.

GONZO: Kermit, cancel my bread impersonation act! ... They didn't deliver my poppy seeds. You wouldn't want me to walk out there NAKED would you?

BACKSTAGE

Animal has a new, more challenging hobby: bowling. The only trouble is he bowls overhand and tends to mistake Muppets for pins.

ROWLF'S PIANO

Rowlf makes use of a third hand as he plays "Nola".

CURTAIN

KERMIT: Growing up on the lily pad, I never thought I'd be standing on a stage introducing Bob Hope. But, er, by the same token I bet he never thought he'd be introduced by a frog...

CLOSING NUMBER - "DON'T FENCE ME IN"

Bob exchanges banter and sings with his full-sized swayback Muppet horse (wearing socks and tennis shoes!)

HORSE: Your spurs are as cold as ice and why don't you lose some weight?

BOB: Now I know why they call them nags.

[The horse took four Muppeteers to operate.]

CURTAIN

Bob Hope's convinced he's experiencing a hangover as he's surrounded by Zucchini Brothers, pole vaulters, and Animal pursuing his latest hobby - hunting a rabbit with a bazooka.

CLOSING

WALDORF: Hey, doesn't Hope usually sing 'Thanks For The Memories?'

STATLER: Why would he want to remember this?

Guide Written by
D. W. McKim

Video Captures by
James Carroll

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