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Die Muppet Show

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DieMuppetShow-Season2-01
First aired December 3, 1977
Last aired June 5, 1982
Network ZDF
Seasons 5
No. of episodes 120
Dms mross-NEW
Mary Roos singing "Lean On Me."
MMW-WorldTour-Germany-DieMuppetShow-(2014)
Muppets Most Wanted's reenactment of the show's title in 2014.

Die Muppet Show is the German dub of The Muppet Show. The series aired on German network ZDF from 1977 until 1982.

Localization

As part of the partnership between ZDF and Henson/ATV, the original syndication package was not only dubbed but also contained a few specific alterations tailored to the German market, in some ways foreshadowing the international versions of Fraggle Rock. A new opening sequence was prepared, identical to the English language version but with a Die Muppet Show sign, and occasional new footage of Kermit was filmed to better match the German dialog. The show also used the full version of the first season closing (from the Juliet Prowse and Connie Stevens episodes) at the end of every episode (including the episodes with the alternate closings), instead of using the updated closings for later seasons.

The series also included one new guest star, singer Mary Roos, who performed a German version of "Lean on Me" with Rowlf the Dog, Animal, and others, in place of the "In My Life" number in episode 121. This was also one of the few episodes to feature a guest star's singing dubbed completely in German, with Twiggy's "Ain't Nobody's Business But My Own" translated. Another guest star's number that was dubbed is Zero Mostel's "What Do the Simple Folk Do?" The Muppets' solo numbers were mostly dubbed (often with different singing voices rather than the usual speaking voices), but as is common with Muppet Show translations, the guest star's musical sequences were mostly in English, as were many additional spoken dialog contributions within the song from the Muppets.

All new footage for Die Muppet Show was taped in London and later redubbed. Eberhard Storeck, who also supplied character voices, was the dialog director and translator. His contributions included changing the nationality of The Swedish Chef, becoming "The Danish Cook," and replacing his sing-song opening with a chant of "Smørrebrød, Smørrebrød røm, pøm, pøm, pøm," in reference to Danish butter bread.

The variety show Peter Alexander präsentiert Spezialitäten promoted the show two days prior to its premiere in 1977 by stopping by the original UK-set, and taping special footage.

For 2014's film Muppets Most Wanted, the show's title segment for their world tour stop in Berlin, Germany, was recreated using the German co-production's original title, complete with the German article.

Title inconsistency

DieMuppetShow-EndCreditsTypo
"Die Muppets Show"... a typo that has made the rounds for decades.

Despite the custom German logo clearly reading "Die Muppet Show," the show's title has regularly been misquoted in articles, in most TV guide listings, and even on tie-in merchandise as either "Die Muppet-Show" (hyphenated) or "Die Muppets Show" (with a plural "s") from the beginning.

Beside obvious neglect on the part of the press to assure the correct citation of a title, the hyphenation is explained by the fact that, while German words can be joined without any kind of punctuation mark, foreign words would indeed need a hyphen.

The most likely source for the latter misquotation, as can be seen used here, is most likely the show's own custom German end credits roll, which was inexplicably never corrected throughout the show's entire five season run.

Video releases

For a complete list of video releases, see Die Muppet Show Videography.

The first official home video release of Die Muppet Show was announced in 2005. After a five year waiting period during which the "unusually complex legal situation"[1] concerning the German dub was decided, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment Germany finally released Die Muppet Show: Season One on DVD on December 2, 2010. The second season box set was released on March 24, 2011. The third season box set was released on May 19, 2011.

Voices

English Name German Name German Voice Actor
Kermit the Frog Kermit der Frosch Horst Gentzen
Miss Piggy   Marianne Wischmann
Fozzie Bear Fozzie Bär Bruno W. Pantel
Gonzo Der große Gonzo/Gonzo der Große Werner Abrolat
The Swedish Chef Der dänische Koch Eberhard Storeck
Beaker  
Robin  
Crazy Harry Crazy Donald (first two seasons)
Crazy Harry (thereafter)
Scooter   Christina Hoeltel (speaking)
Eberhard Storeck (singing)
Rowlf   Michael Rüth
Statler and Waldorf   Manfred Lichtenfeld (Statler)
Walter Reichelt (Waldorf)
Dr. Bunsen Honeydew Dr. Honigtau Bunsenbrenner Kurt Zips
Sam the Eagle Sam der amerikanische Adler Wolf Ackva
Dr. Teeth Dr. Goldzahn Paul Friedrichs, Heini Göbel (speaking)
Manfred Lichtenfeld (singing)
Animal Das Tier Harald Baerow (early episodes)
Eberhard Storeck (later episodes)
Floyd Pepper   Paul Lasner
Janice   Helen von Münchhofen
Zoot   Harald Baerow
Beauregard   Donald Arthur
Link Hogthrob Kapitän Link Ringelschwanz Harald Baerow (early episodes)
Eberhard Storeck (later episodes)
Dr. Julius Strangepork Dr. Julius Speckschwarte Mogens von Gadow (first episodes)
Paul Bürks (later episodes)
The Newsman Der Nachrichtensprecher/Reporter Franz Rudnick
The Announcer Der Ansager
Annie Sue   Uschi Wolff
Lew Zealand   Michael Habeck
Pops   Peter Capell
Sweetums   Herbert Weicker
J. P. Grosse  
Wayne and Wanda   Harald Baerow (Wayne)
Monika Greving (Wanda)
Louis Kazagger   Reinhard Glemnitz
George the Janitor George der Hausmeister Walter Ofiera
Uncle Deadly Der tödliche Onkel/Onkel Tödlich Eberhard Storeck (first season)
Donald Arthur (from third season on)
Gladys   Mady Rahl
Hilda   Tilli Breidenbach
Talking Houses   Margit Weinert (House #2)

Broadcast Order

Season 1

German Episode Number Guest Star(s) Additional Voices Notes
Folge 101 Rita Moreno    
Folge 102 Ruth Buzzi    
Folge 103 Joel Grey Berno von Cramm (Joel Grey)
Eberhard Storeck (Pachalafaka Singer)[2]
As with existing The Muppet Show edits of this episode, two Muppet News Flash segments and the balcony segment after "Razzle Dazzle" never made it into the German version of this episode.
Folge 104 Bruce Forsyth    
Folge 105 Paul Williams Michael Habeck (Paul Williams)
Beate Granzow (Mary Louise)[2]
The complete backstage scene before Paul Williams' first number is cut, and the following "telephone pole joke" backstage scene appears in a later spot. During the talk spot, citing famous short people, Kermit mentions Mickey Mouse. In the English version, it was Mickey Rooney.
Folge 106 Jim Nabors Fred Maire (Jim Nabors)  
Folge 107 Charles Aznavour Erich Ebert (Charles Aznavour)  
Folge 108 Florence Henderson    
Folge 109 Harvey Korman Christina Hoeltel (Whatnot Panelist)  
Folge 110 Candice Bergen Kerstin de Ahna (Candice Bergen)  
Folge 111 Sandy Duncan    
Folge 112 Avery Schreiber Wolfgang Hess (Avery Schreiber)
Donald Arthur (Gorgon Heap)
 
Folge 113 Ben Vereen    
Folge 114 Phyllis Diller Carola Höhn (Phyllis Diller)
Gogalala Jubilee Jugband: Harry Friedauer, Manfred Ball, Michael Rüth[2]
 
Folge 115 Vincent Price Christian Marschall (Vincent Price)  
Folge 116 Valerie Harper    
Folge 117 Ethel Merman    
Folge 118 Twiggy & Mary Roos   Gonzo introduces Mary Roos, who joins Rowlf for "Lean on Me." As with the German Kermit intros, this footage was taped at ITV studios with Roos. It was performed by the usual puppeteers with mouths approximating the German dialog, and then dubbed.
Folge 119 Kaye Ballard   Since the episode uses the standard closing theme, Statler and Waldorf's closing comment is re-used from episode 103.
Folge 120 Juliet Prowse    
Folge 121 Connie Stevens Eberhard Storeck (Bert)
Leon Rainer (Ernie)
In his introduction, Kermit mentions Ernie and Bert as coming from Sesamstrasse.
Folge 122 Mummenschanz    
Folge 123 Lena Horne    
Folge 124 Peter Ustinov Günter Sauer (Peter Ustinov) Oddly, Miss Piggy and Fozzie are dubbed by different voice artists during "(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song."

Season 2

German Episode Number Guest Star(s) Additional Voices Notes
Folge 201 Peter Sellers Christian Marschall
(Peter Sellers)
 
Folge 202 Julie Andrews   The cow's moo at the end of the episode uses the regular "bum note" saxophone sound instead.
Folge 203 Rudolf Nurejew Michael Schwarzmeier (Rudolf Nureyev) Rudolf Nureyev is spelled "Rudolf Nurejew" in German, to properly transcribe his Cyrillic name without changing pronunciation.
Folge 204 Bob Hope Holger Hagen (Bob Hope) Hagen also dubbed Bob Hope as the ice cream vendor in the German dub of The Muppet Movie.
Folge 205 Elton John Jürgen Clausen (Elton John)  
Folge 206 Petula Clark    
Folge 207 Dom DeLuise Mogens von Gadow (Dom DeLuise) Similar to Folge 204, von Gadow also voiced DeLuise in the German dub of The Muppet Movie.
Folge 208 Cleo Laine    
Folge 209 Lou Rawls Wolfgang Hess (Lou Rawls)  
Folge 210 Nancy Walker Tilly Lauenstein (Nancy Walker)
Erich Ebert (Cannoneer Leader)
 
Folge 211 George Burns Franz Otto Krüger (George Burns)
Erich Ebert (Talking Machine)
 
Folge 212 Madeline Kahn    
Folge 213 Milton Berle Horst Sommer (Milton Berle)  
Folge 214 Steve Martin Manfred Seipold (Steve Martin) Steve Martin's bass solo at the beginning of the closing theme is retained and heard over the opening pan-out shot (whereas other foreign editions of the episode use the original closing theme audio).
Folge 215 Edgar Bergen    
Folge 216 Teresa Brewer    
Folge 217 Zero Mostel Donald Arthur (Zero Mostel)  
Folge 218 Judy Collins    
Folge 219 Rich Little   In the opening gag, when Little does his impersonation of W. C. Fields, Scooter instead identifies the personage as Bill Ramsey. Ramsey was an American born singer who had been popular in Germany since the late 1950s.
Folge 220 Cloris Leachman    
Folge 221 Bernadette Peters   In the opening, Bernadette Peters refers to the Swedish Chef's complimentary chicken sandwich as actually coming from the Swedish Chef, not the Danish Chef, as would be correct in the German version.
Folge 222 Don Knotts Erik Schumann (Don Knotts)  
Folge 223 Jaye P. Morgan    
Folge 224 John Cleese Reiner Schöne
(John Cleese)
 

Season 3

This is the first German season to use the original American broadcast order.

German Episode Number Guest Star(s) Additional Voices Notes
Folge 301 Kris Kristofferson & Rita Coolidge    
Folge 302 Leo Sayer Peter Ehret (Leo Sayer)  
Folge 303 Roy Clark    
Folge 304 Gilda Radner    
Folge 305 Pearl Bailey Mady Rahl (Pearl Bailey)  
Folge 306 Jean Stapleton    
Folge 307 Alice Cooper Michael Schwarzmeier (Alice Cooper)  
Folge 308 Loretta Lynn    
Folge 309 Liberace Paul Bürks (Liberace) This is one of the few German episodes to retain the audio of original background chatter during the beginning of the closing theme, despite that this bit of the regular ending sequence isn't heard nor seen for this co-production, due to the pan-out shot of the orchestra plastering it.
Folge 310 Marisa Berenson    
Folge 311 Raquel Welch    
Folge 312 James Coco Günter Sauer
(James Coco)
 
Folge 313 Helen Reddy    
Folge 314 Harry Belafonte Thomas Braut (Harry Belafonte)  
Folge 315 Lesley Ann Warren    
Folge 316 Danny Kaye Gerd Vespermann (Danny Kaye)  
Folge 317 Spike Milligan Horst Sommer  
Folge 318 Leslie Uggams Unknown female voice artist
(Big Bird)
In his introduction, Kermit mentions "Big Bird" (not "Bibo") as coming from Sesamstrasse.
Folge 319 Elke Sommer Elke Sommer as herself  
Folge 320 Sylvester Stallone Peter Thom (Sylvester Stallone)
Erich Ebert (Albert Flan)
 
Folge 321 Roger Miller Hannes Gromball (Roger Miller)  
Folge 322 Roy Rogers & Dale Evans Kurt E. Ludwig (Roy Rogers)
Fee von Reichlin (Dale Evans)
 
Folge 323 Lynn Redgrave    
Folge 324 Cheryl Ladd Dagmar Heller (Cheryl Ladd)  

See also

Sources

  1. Official Disney statement on the release struggles concerning the show
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 German album credits. Jim Henson's Redbook, December 2012.

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