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Episode 103: Joel Grey

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The Muppet Show
Guest Starring Joel Grey
Production Dates May 18-20, 1976
Home Video Season One
Joelgrey

Fozzie works on a new act -- jokes on any subject -- and drives everyone crazy. Finally, he gets on stage and asks for any word. Statler and Waldorf call his bluff by yelling out: "Amoeba!"

Songs/Sketches

Episode

Picture Description
103-1
"The Muppet Show Theme": Gonzo swings and misses the O, toppling over out of frame.
103-2
The Muppets perform a rather violent version of "Comedy Tonight." Frackles and Whatnots run around threatening each other and capturing Mary Louise (and a clown), and Crazy Harry blows things up.
103-4
Backstage, Fozzie Bear tries to impress Kermit with his new act: Jokes on any subject. He throws out jokes based on any word Kermit gives him, on subjects as diverse as dressing rooms and tired frogs. Kermit leaves Fozzie to work on the act.
JaniceZootATD

103-5
At the Dance: Zoot and Janice discuss The Five Temptations. George the Janitor and Mildred argue over whose family is older. Miss Piggy's partner tells of his brother who has girls eating out of his hand (he's a waiter), and a Green Frackle reveals to his dance partner that he is "stuck" on her. And, in the end, Mildred gets stuck in the chandelier.
Newsman Season 1
Muppet News Flash: The Newsman reports on Boffo the Human Cannonball, the daredevil who fired himself into a crowd of holiday shoppers. No one was hurt, except for Boffo, whose wife must "pick up the pieces and move on."
103-6
Joel Grey and the Muppets perform "Willkommen."
103-7
When Hilda loses her glasses, Fozzie tries his new act out on her: "I once knew a minister who was so religious, when he read the Bible, he wore stained glasses!" Nothing stops the old Fozzie Bear! Though, Hilda wishes something would.
103-8
Talk Spot: Kermit tries to talk to Joel about his life, but ends up telling everything for him.
103-9
A tourist visiting Turkey sings "Pachalafaka," spurred on by a "lovely Eastern maiden."
103-10
Wayne and Wanda perform "Stormy Weather."
103-11
Hilda, Piggy and George gather to get Kermit to put an end to Fozzie's jokes on any subject. Kermit suggests that they just stop talking around Fozzie. Unfortunately, this just leads to jokes about silence.
103-12
Blackouts: Gonzo takes things too literally, so Joel tries to explain to him about "figures of speech." He explains that one doesn't bite the hand that feeds him, nor does one talk through one's hat. His hat then chimes in, saying that he can speak for himself.
103-13
Fozzie's Comedy Acts: Fozzie finally gets to perform his jokes on any subject, but is nearly stumped when Statler and Waldorf shout out "amoeba."
103-14
UK Spot: Rowlf the Dog appears in Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Disappearing Clues. A murder has been committed, but as Gorgon Heap continues to eat all of the clues (and eventually Miss Piggy and Baskerville the Hound), Rowlf determines that without any clues, no crime could have been committed.
103-15
Muppet News Flash: The Newsman reports that New York is being held hostage, and has only enough food and water for ten more days.
TMS.103.GonzoAct

103-16

Razzle-dazzle edited
Gonzo's stunts: Gonzo demolishes an automobile to the tune of the "Anvil Chorus." When the audience boos, Gonzo is ready to give up show business for good, but Joel teaches him how to give 'em "Razzle Dazzle."
103-17
At the closing, Kermit tells Joel that he is always "willkommen" on The Muppet Show.

Notes

  • During the opening sequence, Kermit sings, "Our show tonight will feature some stuff that looks like this." A scene from the opening number, "Comedy Tonight", is then shown. It is unknown what the reason for this was, but it was most likely a warning regarding the violent nature of the scene. No matter the reason, this makes this episode the only episode of The Muppet Show to have an extra verse in the theme song.
  • While "Pachalafaka" was taped as the UK sketch, the actual original airing of this episode in the States included this number and instead took out the Sherlock Holmes sketch. [1]
  • Jane Henson, once quoted as having stopped puppeteering when it was time to do voices, does a rare puppeteering stint in this episode, but with no voices. It's also the only episode where she is credited as a performer in the broadcast version (she was credited in the original pilot version of episode 101).
  • Because this was in some regard the first "official regular" episode of The Muppet Show, the show runs 30 seconds longer than most (partly due to the extra verse in the opening.) This is pretty typical with Henson productions - Episode 101: Home Is Where the Bear Is of Bear in the Big Blue House is a minute longer as is the first filmed episode of Farscape, "Exodus From Genesis". Some strange edits also appear in the episode as well with one-frame shots popping up in a couple of places as if some revisions were being made to the order shots were appearing in and weren't done well. The first time this happens is in the opening theme - a frame of Zoot/Crazy Harry can be seen after Animal's shot. Then a frame of Kermit in front of the curtain is seen before the second Newsman spot.
  • This is the first episode that features various Muppet characters coming out for the closing as well as the guest star.
  • In this episode, Janice wears a brown wig during the At the Dance sketch. This was the first time she was seen with a wig, aside from the opening theme.
  • This is the final episode to feature Miss Piggy as a chorus girl, not counting the first season's opening sequence.
  • This was the first episode to air in the United Kingdom.
  • The running gag of Fozzie doing "jokes on any subject" and attempting to fire off one liners is likely inspired by comedian Morey Amsterdam, who had this schtick as a trademark, and was known as "The Human Joke Machine"

Edits

  • This episode's UK Spot, the Sherlock Holmes sketch, was cut when the episode aired on Nickelodeon. Nickelodeon also moved "Stormy Weather" to after the second Muppet News Flash segment.

Cast

Muppets:

Kermit the Frog, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Rowlf the Dog, Baskerville the Hound, Gorgon Heap, Miss Piggy, Statler and Waldorf, Hilda, George the Janitor, Mildred Huxtetter, Whatnots, The Newsman, Janice, Zoot, Dr. Teeth, Sexy Muppet, Sam the Eagle, Wanda, Wayne, Frackles, Beautiful Day Monster, Miss Kitty, Lenny the Lizard, Mary Louise, Crazy Harry, Svengali, Pigs, Banana, Hat, Dancers

Background Muppets:

Animal, Floyd Pepper, Nigel, Trumpet Girl, Jerry Nelson Muppet, Catgut, Muppy, Droop, Green Heap

Performers

Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog, Dr. Teeth, Waldorf, Rowlf, Green Frackle (At the Dance), Beautiful Day Monster, Whatnots and The Newsman
Frank Oz as Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, George the Janitor, Mildred (At the Dance), Sam the Eagle, Gorgon Heap, Green Frackle (Willkommen), Banana and Whatnots
Richard Hunt as Miss Piggy, Wayne, Statler, Blue Frackle, Mildred and Joel's Hat
Dave Goelz as Miss Kitty, Lenny the Lizard, The Great Gonzo, Zoot and Whatnot
Eren Ozker as Hilda, Wanda, Janice, Green Bird Frackle, Mary Louise and Sexy Muppet
John Lovelady as Snake Frackle, Baskerville, Whatnots, Svengali and Crazy Harry
Jane Henson

Gallery

Sources

  1. The Muppet Show: Season One Muppet Morsels


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