Saturday, December 9, 2017


   The Muppet Show kicked off a long series of projects featuring the assembled characters of Kermit the frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, and the rest of the gang. Prior, Raulph the dog had appeared on The Jimmie Dean Show and the public access educational program Sesame Street had found it's legs, but The Muppet Show finally brought the inventive antics of Jim Henson and Co. to prime time in a regular series devoted to their talents. The format of the show was that a celebrity guest star would be performing at a live stage theater which was being rented by the Muppets. Kermit was MC, as well as the level head that tried to keep the weirdos in his employ from going completely wild. The Muppet Show only used the theater concept as a backdrop, and more frequently acted as a spoof of television in general (a 90's update of the show called Muppet's Tonight actually took place within a Muppet-controlled television station). Running skits included "Veterinary Hospital", a spoof of daytime soaps, and the popular send-up of space serials "Pigs In Space." Comedy skits, musical numbers, and surreal art pieces swirled together with parodies of news broadcasts, kiddie science shows, and stand-up comedy. And then there were the guest stars, which included some of the biggest stars of the moment. Pictured is Vincent Price, discussing with Kermit what it takes to play a vampire (which, oddly, Price never actually played on the screen). One infamous episode had as it's guests the cast of STAR WARS in character as their big screen counterparts! Watching all this and making droll comment was perennial box-seat patrons Statler and Waldorf, elder coots who delighted in tearing down the entertainment. Comic Fozzie Bear in particular drew their ire. A delightful show, to say the least. The Muppet Theater setting would become the location of later features, including IT'S A VERY MERRY MUPPET CHRISTMAS MOVIE.