"Cowboy Time," also referred to by Kermit as "the Western sketch," is performed in episode 101 of The Muppet Show. Set in Snake City, the roughest town in the West, the sketch follows Rowlf, a saloon piano player, who narrates the story of the time that Kid Fozzie came to town.
Fozzie makes several misguided attempts to hold up the bar, first telling everyone to "reach for the floor" and then telling them that "this is a stickdown." Worse yet, he is packing two pickles instead of pistols, and is derided as the "fastest gherkin in the West" by the bartender. After he is mocked by the saloon's patrons and staff, Fozzie fires off the loaded pickles, shoots down the chandelier, and traps the bartender, who then concedes a large bag of cash to the villain. Just then, Rowlf turns his own gun on Fozzie, who trades his pickles for a carrot before ultimately settling on an apple, which unfortunately turns out to be a live grenade that blows the saloon to smithereens.
In addition to Rowlf and Fozzie, the sketch features Miss Kitty and Snake Frackle as customers, as well several Whatnots (a bartender performed by Richard Hunt, a cowboy performed by John Lovelady, and a waitress performed by Eren Ozker).
The sketch was included in The Muppet Show Book.
Rowlf's opening narration makes reference to several sets of famous outlaws that he claims to have seen come through the Snake CIty saloon. These include the Clanton Brothers (Ike and Billy), who fought Wyatt Earp at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona; as well as the Younger Brothers (Cole, Jim, John, and Bob) and the James Brothers (Jesse and Frank), who were all part of the infamous James-Younger Gang. He's even seen the Osmond Brothers.
The character of Miss Kitty, who is represented here as a rather threatening, not to mention masculine, monster, is a parody of the fictional character of the same name who served as the kindhearted proprietress of a saloon in the long-running television series Gunsmoke. Rowlf's narration is also representative of the series.
In the unaired pilot version of this episode, the "Cowboy Time" sketch is largely the same but includes a longer exchange between Rowlf, Fozzie, and the bartender between when Fozzie announces the stickdown and the bartender points out that the guns are pickles. The bartender's line "You're confused, Kid, you ain't got no guns! Those are pickles!" was redubbed by Richard Hunt, because the beginning of the original line ("As a matter of fact, Kid...") didn't make sense after the exchange was abbreviated.
In the pilot, the sketch is also said to be presented by "The Muppet Players," who would only be called out as such in one other instance, the "Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Disappearing Clues" sketch in episode 103.
The backstage scene in which Fozzie asks Kermit if he sounds like John Wayne was added to the final episode to explain why Fozzie's voice was so deep in the "Cowboy Time" sketch, when the real reason is that Frank Oz changed the voice he would use for the character between the time the sketch was filmed as part of the pilot and the time the episode was finalized.