Cloris Leachman - Episode 48Taping Dates: December 5-9, 1977
Original Airdates: May 22, 1978 (New York) and May 20, 1978 (LA)
DVD Release: Buena Vista Home Video, 2007
GENERIC INTRO: FOZZIE'S JOKES
Brian Henson: "Hi, I'm Brian Henson. Fozzie Bear was originally conceived as a Bear who just told terrible, horrendously bad, unfunny jokes. But when Frank Oz got a hold of the character he added a layer of empathy so that Fozzie is always telling terrible jokes, but he's just trying so hard you've got to love him."
"The Muppet Show head writer Jerry Juhl points to one Fozzie sketch that crystallizes the Fozzie we all know and love. In this sketch there are more laughs in the interaction between Fozzie and Kermit than there are in the actual punch lines. Here's that fabulous, furry funny-man, Fozzie Bear in another episode of The Muppet Show."
Several...but not all...members of the ensemble are pleased with Cloris' vegetarianism.
The balcony: Waldorf says, "Quit while you're ahead."
Gonzo's horn: Blows orange smoke. [Same as episode 33 with Madeline Kahn, but fades out sooner.]
Kermit is kidnapped by some pigs declaring they're taking over the show and is immediately replaced with a green pig with bulgy eyes and a pointed collar. Miss Piggy demands to know what happened to her frog until Kermit the Pig tells her she's starring in the opening number.
OPENING NUMBER - "THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT"
All-singing, all-dancing, all-oinking. An all pig production number!
[Even though Kermit Pig assured Miss Piggy she's starring in the opening number, she's really not featured anymore than any of the other pigs considering she only delivers one line and joins in the flag-waving chorus at the end...though the prop of the Statue of Liberty in Piggy's image does put things in her favor. Miss Piggy would later sing this song - with her own lyrics - in the "Miss Piggy's Hollywood" episode of the 1989 series "Jim Henson Hour".]
Kermit is locked up with Fozzie in the boiler room. Fozzie's already prepared a plan (unfortunately using items not in the boiler room) and even started a calendar. Kermit suggests using the telephone but this also turns out not to be an option.
[The boiler room set is the prop room with all the props cleared from it and with a boiler, pipes and other appropriate set dressing added.]
Cloris interrupts Kermit Pig to let him know that her duet with Sweetums he's about to introduce is supposed to be at the end of the show. Kermit calls Sweetums back - and the six foot ballerina pig from the Rudolf Nureyev episode walks by in furs! Cloris can't withhold her suspicions any longer.
MUSICAL NUMBER - "OPERETTA MEDLEY"
Cloris is joined by Link Hogthrob dressed in mountie costume as they sing "My Hero", "Ah Sweet Mystery of Life", and "Serenade From Student Prince". A pig chorus joins in on "Stout Hearted Men" (not SNOUT Hearted Men?!)
[Link Hogthrob usually appears as a live-hand puppet although a rod puppet version is occasionally used for him. The rod version appears here.]
Fozzie prepares to club the guard pig when he opens the door but ends up conking Gonzo, the latest hostage to be locked in the room. Though that plan failed, Gonzo has one of his own...he starts scraping at the wall with a spoon he smuggled in!
Kermit Pig brings on the lovable ham who's really a boar.
FOZZIE'S COMEDY SPOT
A brown pig with bow tie and porkpie hat (what else?) does a monologue. Statler and Waldorf praise his material but chide his haircut.
[This is Jerry Nelson's second opportunity to do a Fozzie impression this year, having previously performed Baskerville's comic take-off in the Steve Martin episode.]
As expected, the Swedish Chef has his own pig version who wisely stays away from pork products and prepares popcorn by throwing an ear of corn in the air and shooting at it with a blunderbuss ("poopcorn pooper!")
[Frank Oz usually performs the Chef's hands to Jim's character. Here Frank does the pig itself and it wouldn't be too surprising if Jim was doing the hands as a switch.]
UK SKIT: VEGETARIAN'S HOSPITAL
Miss Piggy and her two pig replacements examine a dish of fruits and vegetables.
UK SKIT: NEWS FLASH
The Newspig reports on Dr. Bunsen Honeypig's latest triumph, converting a sow's ear to a silk purse.
Gonzo has actually succeeded in starting a serviceable tunnel with his teaspoon (he's already digging from the other side of the wall!) Miss Piggy enters and assures Kermit that she's had nothing to do with the pigs taking over the show and refuses to cooperate - until the guard pig threatens to replace her.
[When faced with a similar choice between her career and her frog in "The Muppet Movie", her reaction is just about the same.]
PIGS IN SPACE
The ship is under attack by the Chopped Liver monster from the galaxy Zabor. Link is more concerned with a spot on his uniform.
As Gonzo continues to make progress, Scooter bursts into the room to let the cast know they're free - someone was holding a hog calling contest and all the pigs ran off!
Kermit resumes his rightful place as he brings on Cloris Leachman for her finale.
CLOSING NUMBER - "JUST IN TIME"
Cloris is stuck on a stranded island with Sweetums and the two argue over lack or resources. Her cries for help are answered by Doglion who sails by with a boat.
As Gonzo breaks though the theatre wall, Kermit brings on Cloris Leachman and they marvel over the show's events.
[Kermit must be getting tired of repairing the wall Gonzo busts through - it's already been destroyed by a cannonball and a Zucchini Brother this year!]
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