Muppet Show (and movies) -- Search and Destroy

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Having fraggled, the obvious corollary. This is *not* a Classic or Dud thread, in that anyone who claims _The Muppet Show_ to be a Dud is not worthy of being acknowledged.

Okay, Destroy is easier -- _The Muppets Take Manhattan_ didn't do it for me at all, while _Muppets in Space_ should have worked a lot better than it did. So promising, though! And I'm sure there were a few episodes on the original show that were semi-misfires, but time has obscured those memories.

Search -- man, where to begin? Okay, movies -- _Muppet Movie_, duh, both for overall performances and best use of cameo appearances ever (Steve Martin in particular -- "Our finest vintage wine from Idaho! Would you like to sniff the cap?"), _The Great Muppet Caper_ in a close runner-up, _Muppet Christmas Carol_ works too, a couple of the overtly mawkish songs aside (Paul Williams was peerless with "The Rainbow Connection," though).

Shows -- endless. Offhand, three killers:

* Alice Cooper as guest star (he talks on the phone with Satan, gets Gonzo to sign a demonic contract and turns Miss Piggy into an evil reptilian creature -- all this on KIDS TV! you aren't going to see Marilyn Manson on _Rugrats_ any time soon)

* Mark Hamill as guest star (playing both obsessed hyper Luke-as-fanboy and regular guy self, and loving every minute of it, not to mention that bizarre sequence with the 'real' guest star, the Scottish muppet who gurgled. And of course, the Pigs in Space bit with the Darth Vader-style muppet looming in the view scope:

NARRATOR: "Who can this mysterious force of evil be?"

*close up on Muppet Vader, who turns to reveal a distinctly Gonzo nose*

GONZO AS VADER: "No-one will ever know my true identity!")

* All I need to say is the opening sequence:

KERMIT: "Hi-ho, Kermit the Fro...*murfle*"

*three rough and tough pigs gang rush him*


Not to mention all the great running bits: _Vetenarian's Hospital_ ("a continuing story..."), _Pigs in Space_, "THIS IS A MUPPET NEWS FLASH!", Statler and Waldorf in the balcony (the MST3K crew of its day), Dr. Teeth and the band, and above all else:

"Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and my assistant Beeker."

The fact that Beeker was *designed* to look constantly scared, put upon and on the verge of a violent death is just brilliant.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 26 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Oh my god, you have probably just saved poor Paul from a really really shit day at work. When he gets home, I'll set him on this, and then you'll be sorry. I mean, he's such an obsessive he's got all the albums and everything.. ;-)

masonic boom, Tuesday, 26 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Search - my mate Paul's Beeker imitation, which is awesome and also frightened a trainee on her induction day so much (she claimed to have Beeker phobia and was genuinely scared) that she didn't turn up for work.

Destroy - Muppet Treasure Island really wasnt very good, because Treasure Island isn't.

Tom, Tuesday, 26 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Uh... I think Rainbow Connection is pretty...

JM, Tuesday, 26 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Search - Muppet Movie, especially for the puns (Drinks are on the house! or If frogs couldn't hop I'd be gone with the Schwinn!) and for Dr. Teeth and the Electic Mayhem. Also, great sing along songs.

Destroy: The last one...what was it? Muppets in Space? The one where Gonzo finds out he is an alien. All the Muppet charm was lost in that one.

Search: Beeker, The Swedish Chef Destroy: Sam the Eagle

michele, Tuesday, 26 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Search - the two old guys in the balcony, singing It was a very good year - "Do you remember when you were 73?" "yeah, it was a great year, my wife left me. Huh! What about when you were 76?" Oh, it was an awful year, I had my prostate taken out.' "I know, terrible, my wife came back!"

Geoff, Tuesday, 26 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Useless Fact: My brother can sing the Rainbow Connection absolutely note perfectly, *as* Kermit. It's surreal. He's also a very good Elvis impersonator - his being blond and curly puts a crimp in it tho.

Yeah, that band was so cool... Dr. Teeth, Janice, Zoot, ANIMAL (Woman! Woman! Womannnnn!) did I miss anyone?

Can't forget to mention those lesser knowns like Camilla the chicken and those sarcasta-rats. Loved the giant monster muppets too...

Kim, Tuesday, 26 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Jaime Pressly looks like Kermit the Frog.

AP, Wednesday, 27 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

What was the name of Kermit's little relative who sanf "Halfway down the stairs"?

Andrew L, Wednesday, 27 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Do you mean Robin, his nephew? I think that's his name, anyway.

michele, Wednesday, 27 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I think I have mentioned this before, in regards to Debbie Harry and my balls dropping, by The Muppet Show was made in my home town. Often you would wait in line at Tesco's behind Miss Piggy buying a pack of 20 Rothmans.

Destroy: Muppet Babies. Especially the female Scooter.

Pete, Wednesday, 27 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

But the Muppet Babies Star Wars episode stays. Please.

michele, Wednesday, 27 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Search - The episode featuring Rudolph Nureyev as a special guest, when Sam The Eagle tried everything in order to look sophisticated, erudite and dignified whilst simultaneously getting more and more pissed off when Nureyev got dragged into a series of ludicrous acts. Plus the one with a pirate Glenda Jackson who ended up hijacking the show and making Gonzo walk the plank.

Destroy - The whole of that last series, especially the new characters, and the lack of Scooter and Rolf.

Turnipfish, Wednesday, 27 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

one year passes...
Ooh this is way before I discovered the joys of ILX but I wanna revive it, I heart The Muppet show, it will never be beaten. Jim Henson was a genius, gawd rest 'is soul...

Plinky (Plinky), Wednesday, 30 October 2002 17:06 (eighteen years ago) link


Matt DC (Matt DC), Wednesday, 30 October 2002 17:13 (eighteen years ago) link

i <3 joe raposo

chaki (chaki), Wednesday, 30 October 2002 17:14 (eighteen years ago) link

Beaker sings 'Feelings'

koogy, Wednesday, 30 October 2002 18:27 (eighteen years ago) link

Search: Muppets From Space on DVD -- the commentary track. The in-character, done by Gonzo and Kermit and the director, commentary track, in which they discuss things like "wasn't it a nice coincidence that Ray Liotta happened to be working as a security guard?", i.e. talking about the making of the movie and yet at the same time pretending it actually happened.

Even if I absolutely hated the movie -- which I don't -- the commentary track would make it worthwhile. Also, while it doesn't hold up to the Jim Henson ones, it also leaves out the one thing which always bugged me in those: the Kermit/Piggy love plot.

Tep (ktepi), Thursday, 31 October 2002 09:28 (eighteen years ago) link

Search: Muppet Treasure Island songs
"On occasion there may be someone you have to execute/But when you're a professional pirate/You don't have to wear a suit"

Destroy: That buggery little kid. Boil him in oil!

Miss Laura, Thursday, 31 October 2002 09:47 (eighteen years ago) link

Search: the 3D muppet movie at MGM, anything muppet on TV, any muppet specials, and of cource Labyrinth and Dark Crystal are the two best 'childrens' movies ever made.

Sadly I would say destroy (not totally): anything made after Henson died.
He was one of the great geniuses of the 20th century.

A Nairn (moretap), Thursday, 31 October 2002 20:07 (eighteen years ago) link

I managed to record 11 of the 12 episode of Muppets Tonight that were show in this country. The best episode featured Pierce Brosnan, being totally clumsy and inept, then at the end saving the studio from Terrorist Shrimps by firing clocks at them with a catapult (He was dressed in a huge shrimp outfit). Whilst Johnny Fiama sings to the tune of Goldfinger "Pierre's Brosnan, he's the guy, the guy with the clocks that fly, he just clocked that guy... Ooh"
Why did they cancel it? It was ace!

Celeste, Thursday, 31 October 2002 21:39 (eighteen years ago) link

Here's a treasure:

Make me a copy if you get it. ;-)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 31 October 2002 22:32 (eighteen years ago) link

two years pass...
Search: Harry Belafonte!
Search: Peter Sellers!

Ken L (Ken L), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 00:56 (fifteen years ago) link

Search: Muppet Treasure Island
Destroy: Muppets from Space

Adamdrome Crankypants (Autumn Almanac), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 01:00 (fifteen years ago) link

Gonzo Presents Muppet Weird Stuff

(Jon L), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 01:06 (fifteen years ago) link

god the muppet show is so amazing

s1ocki (slutsky), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 01:06 (fifteen years ago) link

I have the DVDs on my Netflix queue!

tokyo rosemary (rosemary), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 01:31 (fifteen years ago) link

I must watch The Muppet Movie again, I got a copy of the soundtrack and was amazed by how cynical and bitter I Hope That Something Better Comes Along is.

Search above all: that incredible opening song/scene.

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 01:32 (fifteen years ago) link


chaki in charge (chaki), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 01:33 (fifteen years ago) link

The Muppet 3D thing that Disney shows in the theme parks is half brilliant half clunky but half brilliant is better than no brilliant at all. Miss Piggy singing "Dream a Little Dream of Me" and eventually doing some involuntary waterskiing = classic.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 01:37 (fifteen years ago) link

I have been watching the Muppet Show (I downloaded all 5 seasons) and I'm enjoying it far more now than I did when I was a kid (the color scheme was frankly upsetting). I especially love the pug-ugly men who would be treated as sex gods -- truly this was the 70s.

Casuistry (Chris P), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 01:55 (fifteen years ago) link

Search: Show
Destroy: movies

gabbneb (gabbneb), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 01:55 (fifteen years ago) link

Search: Sweetums

Ken L (Ken L), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 02:04 (fifteen years ago) link

Anyone have the second Muppet Show album? (from 1978)

Gator Magoon (Chris Barrus), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 02:16 (fifteen years ago) link

i might have that around gator, i'll check!

s1ocki (slutsky), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 02:22 (fifteen years ago) link

I've got the second Muppet Show album on vinyl . . . . . somewhere . . .

It contains the best version of For What it's Worth done by anyone and the versions of Time in a Bottle and New York State of Mind are utterly superb.

Bernard the Butler (Lynskey), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 02:43 (fifteen years ago) link

Who exactly were those guys who were in that Muppet Show Band? It was made in England, right? Were they English studio musicians?

Ken L (Ken L), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 02:46 (fifteen years ago) link

it was dr. teeth, animal, janis, and the rest! duh

s1ocki (slutsky), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 02:57 (fifteen years ago) link

You forgot floyd! OK, glad that we've gotten that out of the way so quicky.

Ken L (Ken L), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 02:59 (fifteen years ago) link

Should have been more specific... Anyone have the second Muppet Show album on some sort of digital format?

Gator Magoon (Chris Barrus), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 03:06 (fifteen years ago) link

Maybe I did it that way on purpose, to allow somebody else to make the joke.

Ken L (Ken L), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 03:09 (fifteen years ago) link

By the way I hate Ned, Adamdrome Squarepants, and gabbneb for not loving Muppets From Space, that shit rocks.

Haibun (Begs2Differ), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 04:10 (fifteen years ago) link

You are mean.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 04:13 (fifteen years ago) link

Best thing ever is Animal vs. Buddy Rich drum battle.

Hurting (Hurting), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 04:15 (fifteen years ago) link

This dude did was animal in a drumming duel with Buddy Rich.


Ken L (Ken L), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 04:18 (fifteen years ago) link

That's amazing. If only there was a video clip of it.

Hurting (Hurting), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 04:20 (fifteen years ago) link

It's truly, truly wonderful.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 04:23 (fifteen years ago) link

It was THE reason that at age 11, I decided to play drums, I kid you not.

Hurting (Hurting), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 04:29 (fifteen years ago) link

Hurting (Hurting), Wednesday, 12 January 2005 04:31 (fifteen years ago) link

also, WTF was up with the clip the Daily Show played the other day, with the two sesame street muppets talking to Bill Frist?

kingfish completely hatstand (Kingfish), Thursday, 11 August 2005 16:40 (fifteen years ago) link

A good collection of pre-Muppet Show Muppet stuff is Muppets Magic, which is a collection of Muppet appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show. And which, despite its horrible cover art, contains some of the more awesome Muppet stuff I've seen. It showcases more of Henson's artistic side and allows you to see why a person might select puppetry as a creative endeavour.

Deric W. Haircare (Deric W. Haircare), Thursday, 11 August 2005 16:40 (fifteen years ago) link

that looks awsome! I didn't even know that had been collected...

kyle (akmonday), Thursday, 11 August 2005 17:45 (fifteen years ago) link

It's worth your money for the "Instant Rock Band" sketch alone. It is a thing of beauty and genius.

Deric W. Haircare (Deric W. Haircare), Thursday, 11 August 2005 17:50 (fifteen years ago) link

and now I own it. thank you ebay.

kyle (akmonday), Thursday, 11 August 2005 17:51 (fifteen years ago) link

It's Dearth Nadir!

walter kranz (walterkranz), Thursday, 11 August 2005 17:53 (fifteen years ago) link

I've ripped my original vinyl muppet alibums 1 and 2 to mp3, so if anyone wants them, I've got them. I've also got an interesting pre-muppets Jim Henson audio...well, story really, about being trapped inside your own brain or something. It's on a Raymond Scott compilation album.

Too much hate for Muppets from Space upthread! The new characters really make it. Pepe the Prawn: "I got this jello, nnkay?" and Bobo the Bear: "Baby steps sir, baaaaaabsy steps" are both GREAT.

Take Manhattan is better than people seem to think too. Some very good and sweet songs. And kermit with amnesia, becoming Phillip Phil! Watch it again.

Christmas Carol is probbaly my favourite actually, but I'm a sucker for christmas films, and for Michael Caine, so I might be wrong about it.

JimD (JimD), Thursday, 11 August 2005 19:59 (fifteen years ago) link

I'd love those mp3s if you're offering to email them to people. That track you mention from the Raymond Scott compilation is so funny and vaguely creepy.

As for movies, it's hard to beat the first one. The appearance of Paul Williams is a highlight as is the great scene with Orson Welles "draw up the standard Rich and Famous contract!"

walter kranz (walterkranz), Thursday, 11 August 2005 20:02 (fifteen years ago) link

Pepe the Prawn is definitely the best of the new muppet characters; his attempts to chat up Katie Holmes and hook with up with Joan Cusack in the past few films were hilarious.


carson dial (carson dial), Thursday, 11 August 2005 20:03 (fifteen years ago) link

The Muppet Movie and The Great Muppet Caper are two of my absolute favorite movies. No shit.

Pepe is really about the only good thing to happen to the Muppets since Jim Henson's death.

Deric W. Haircare (Deric W. Haircare), Thursday, 11 August 2005 21:30 (fifteen years ago) link

The Muppet Movie is an endless classic, mainly b/c they wrote for both the adults & the kids. The GMC had Charles Grodin & Kermit professing their love for miss piggy in a duet. MTM i saw once at the theaters in 1988, and i have yet to see a muppet flick since.

i did apply to be a beta-tester for the Muppets Treasure Island licensed PC game, tho.

kingfish completely hatstand (Kingfish), Thursday, 11 August 2005 21:50 (fifteen years ago) link

I'd love those mp3s if you're offering to email them to people

Sure, give me an email address (my one here is real) and I'll send them.

JimD (JimD), Thursday, 11 August 2005 22:36 (fifteen years ago) link

Or else you can grab them off me via slsk, username Jimdoo. Pm me and I'll give you a download slot.

JimD (JimD), Thursday, 11 August 2005 22:44 (fifteen years ago) link

I haven't been able to get slsk to work on the mac but if you could email them to I would be very happy!

walter kranz (walterkranz), Thursday, 11 August 2005 23:14 (fifteen years ago) link

the muppet movie is one of the best movies, as in ever.

s1ocki (slutsky), Friday, 12 August 2005 00:52 (fifteen years ago) link

gmail albums here too pleeease! (delete obvious spamblock)

kit brash (kit brash), Saturday, 13 August 2005 00:48 (fifteen years ago) link

I seriously almost agree w/you, s1ocki.

Deric W. Haircare (Deric W. Haircare), Saturday, 13 August 2005 01:55 (fifteen years ago) link


(also, UK tips for DVD purchase please - i don't want to miss anything out, and i want to do it all chronologically)

CharlieNo4 (Charlie), Sunday, 14 August 2005 09:57 (fifteen years ago) link

"They don't look like Presbyterians to me!"

huell howser (chaki), Sunday, 14 August 2005 10:41 (fifteen years ago) link

bravo, chaki! more please!

dammit, perhaps i'll just print them all off and make an actual magazine...

CharlieNo4 (Charlie), Sunday, 14 August 2005 12:03 (fifteen years ago) link

Here's a YSI link for those first two muppet LPs, if anyone else wants to grab them...

JimD (JimD), Wednesday, 17 August 2005 11:46 (fifteen years ago) link

one year passes...
OK, I've lightened up on Scooter recently, if only for his rendition of "Six String Orchestra" and for singing lead on "Mr. Bassman" with Floyd.

James Redd and the Blecchs, Tuesday, 20 March 2007 14:32 (thirteen years ago) link

I want to call all my kids Scooter

peteR, Tuesday, 20 March 2007 14:35 (thirteen years ago) link

Waht was the name of the guy that blew up dynamite all the time?

Hurting 2, Tuesday, 20 March 2007 23:28 (thirteen years ago) link

Search: classic Swedish Chef recipes (from wiki):

• Chocolate Mousse
The Chef announces he will be making chocolate mousse, for which he first prepares some liquid chocolate ("Yom-yom-yooom, ze chocolad!"), then proceeds to acquire the other ingredient: a moose (whose name is actually Mickey: Mickey Moose, a parody of Mickey Mouse).

• Lobster-Bandidos
The Chef's attempt to cook a lobster is ambushed by a gang of pistol-wielding moustachioed lobsters wearing sombreros and muttering in a quasi-Mexican dialect. They manage to free the victim from the pot, and intimidate the Chef by shooting the cleaver out of his hand.

• Fish Chowder
The chef attempts to cook a still alive fish, who steals his pepper shaker and also bites his nose.

• Spaghetti
The chef makes spaghetti, which comes to life and tries to run away, until the chef puts it back on the plate. The spaghetti tries to run away again, but the chef calls it back. The spaghetti then attacks the Swedish chef by strangling him.

Huey in Melbourne, Tuesday, 20 March 2007 23:46 (thirteen years ago) link

one year passes...

just got season three on dvd. soooo good. watch harry belafonte and alice cooper last night. alice cooper is such a shnook! in the best possible way.

also, i enjoy this:

s1ocki, Thursday, 22 May 2008 18:30 (twelve years ago) link

The Season 3 Gilda Radner episode is one of my all time favorites.

- Gilda sings "I Am The Very Model Of A Modern Major General" with a 7 foot tall carrot (she wanted a parrot but...well, you know the rest)

- Muppet Labs! Gilda helps Dr Bunsen & Beaker test their new super-strong all goes pearshaped and everyone gets stuck to the glue.

- Gilda does her tap dance number stuck to practically every muppet on the show...proving beyond a doubt what a shining star she was for comedy.

If you've forgotten how much you love Gilda, this one'll remind you.

VegemiteGrrrl, Friday, 23 May 2008 01:54 (twelve years ago) link

All this made me go and watch the Peter Sellars one on Youtube. Lovely stuff.

James Morrison, Friday, 23 May 2008 02:39 (twelve years ago) link

eight months pass...


Matt DC, Friday, 23 January 2009 00:34 (eleven years ago) link

whatevs get one Meet the Feebles

Courtney Love's Jew Loan Officer (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 23 January 2009 00:42 (eleven years ago) link

one year passes...

RIP Muppet Show bandleader Jack Parnell

Ned Raggett, Monday, 9 August 2010 14:13 (ten years ago) link

one year passes...

My wife is getting to see the movie today! Jealoussssss

I AM HAVING A HARD TIME FINDING REASONS TO INVEST IN YOUR BUSINESS (admrl), Thursday, 6 October 2011 20:00 (nine years ago) link


Ned Raggett, Thursday, 6 October 2011 20:08 (nine years ago) link

I will totally be taking my daughter to see this

at the same time I kinda wish the PR materials didn't feature Segel so heavily, I can't remember them ever doing that w/humans for the other movies

unorthodox economic revenge (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 6 October 2011 20:10 (nine years ago) link

Might get to review it, I hope at least one of the cameos is frightening (bet Mickey Rooney)

incredibly middlebrow (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 6 October 2011 20:16 (nine years ago) link

I am looking forward to this movie to an extent I find sad.

DaTruf (Nicole), Thursday, 6 October 2011 20:17 (nine years ago) link

nine months pass...

Search: Tales from Muppetland. I probably watched The Frog Prince and Hey, Cinderella! about 100 times growing up. Both were pretty great; I do not think they have been released on DVD yet, which is a shame.

Also, Muppets Take Manhattan rules.

cwkiii, Wednesday, 1 August 2012 14:49 (eight years ago) link

nice review Marcello. great record.

giallo pudding pops (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 1 August 2012 17:03 (eight years ago) link

is known to me

oh go on then.

¥╡*ٍ*╞¥ (sic), Thursday, 2 August 2012 00:12 (eight years ago) link

eight years pass...

Destroy: Whoever at Disney decided to give the Swedish Chef human hands in the last one.

Matt DC, Friday, 16 October 2020 20:52 (two weeks ago) link

The Swedish Chef has always had human hands!

OrificeMax (Old Lunch), Friday, 16 October 2020 20:54 (two weeks ago) link

Yeah, I was going to say.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 16 October 2020 21:27 (two weeks ago) link

Is that really true?

Matt DC, Friday, 16 October 2020 22:21 (two weeks ago) link

*Does quick YouTube search*

Yes you are quite right, it just looks much creepier in HD.

Matt DC, Friday, 16 October 2020 22:24 (two weeks ago) link

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