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Episode 117: Ben Vereen

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The Muppet Show
Guest Starring Ben Vereen
Production Dates October 4-7, 1976
Home Video Season One
117 ben vereen
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Fozzie gets stuck in a magician's trick cabinet. The cabinet is dragged onstage so that he can perform his act -- and at the end of the act, two pig stagehands tip the box over so he can take a bow. Crazy Harry blows up the cage before the end of the show so that Fozzie can escape.

Songs/Sketches

Episode

Picture Description
117-01
"The Muppet Show Theme": The Green Frackle whacks Gonzo with his own mallet.
117-02

117-03
A Two-Headed Singer croons "Jump Shout Boogie" while some Whatnots "jump, shout and knock [themselves] out." Mid-way through the song, Ben Vereen appears and dances.
117-04
Waldorf claims the show is starting to "grab him", when a pair of fuzzy hands grab him and drag him under his seat.
117-05
Backstage, Fozzie Bear finds Marvel the Magician's magic box and enters inside, despite Kermit's warnings. The door shuts and since it's a trick box, he's stuck inside. Marvel can't help; he's in Toledo!
117-06
Kermit tries introducing Ben's next number, but Crazy Harry sets off two explosions in the balcony and presents him with a "short fuse."
117-07
Ben sings "Mr. Cellophane" and plays the titular, unseen character.
117-08
Kermit tries breaking Fozzie out with a hammer, but to no avail. Fozzie feels bad that the show is now ruined, since the show will have to be canceled if he can't do his act. Kermit offers an alternative: replace Fozzie. He doesn't take the news well.
117-09
Muppet News Flash: The Newsman reports on Mr. Cosgrove, who tried breaking the world record in flagpole-sitting, passing away in the process. His wife announces she will fly him at half-mast for 10 days in memorial.
117-10
At the Dance: The Rolling Stones visit the ballroom.
Rowlffurelise
UK Spot: Rowlf plays "Für Elise."
117-11

Benvereenceiling
Talk Spot: Kermit talks with Ben about dancing. ben explains he needs to dance with great explosive power. Crazy Harry hears his cue word and sets off an explosion that sends Ben up to the rafters.
117-12
Waldorf says it's time for a tea break. Statler complies by knocking the tea cup off the ledge.
117-13
Fozzie tries to convince Kermit the show needs him. He says "A Muppet Show without Fozzie Bear is like Gilbert without Sullivan, ham without cheese, Poca without Hontas." Kermit asks what a "poca" is when Miss Piggy and George the Janitor dance to polka music.
117-14
Veterinarian's Hospital: George reluctantly visits the operating room to help with his cold sweat.
Florence04
Talking Houses: One house tells the other of his uncle's fondness for Edgar Guest; he's a Guest house!
117 harry
Blackout: Ben tells Hilda he's getting a big charge from the show, cuing Crazy Harry again...
117-15
Wayne sings a line of "I'll Know", until another lady captures his eye.
117-16
Hilda tries comforting Fozzie, but ends up shutting the door he peeps out from. Kermit then tells Fozzie he can go on after all.
117-17
Fozzie does his act from inside the box, with the help of two pigs who will him in and out (and help with his bow).
117-18
Ben cheers up Droop by singing "Pure Imagination" and is soon surrounded by some bizarre creatures.
117-19
Fozzie is finally freed from the box with Crazy Harry's help, who begins setting more explosions off.

Notes

  • This is the last episode in which Richard Hunt performs Miss Piggy. As of the next episode, Frank Oz becomes Piggy's full-time performer.

Edits

Cast

Muppets:

Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Scooter, Rowlf the Dog, Statler and Waldorf, Crazy Harry, Two-Headed Singer, The Newsman, George the Janitor, Mildred Huxtetter, Zoot, Janice, Trumpet Girl, The Shouting Lady, Herman, The Houses, Hilda, Sam the Eagle, Wayne, Wanda, Droop, The Muppaphone, Pigs, Whatnots

Background Muppets:

Red-Haired Woman, Baby Koozebanian Creatures, Timmy Monster, Gawky Bird, The Fazoobs, The Eel

Performers

Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog, Rowlf, Whatnot Dancers, Newsman and Waldorf
Frank Oz as Fozzie Bear, George the Janitor, Sam the Eagle, and Mildred
Jerry Nelson as Droop, Shouting Lady, Herman, one of the Houses, Whatnot Girls, and half of the Two-Headed Singer
Richard Hunt as Scooter, Wayne, Miss Piggy, Statler, Pig Dancers, and half of the Two-Headed Singer
John Lovelady as Crazy Harry, one of the Houses, and the Announcer
Dave Goelz as The Great Gonzo and Zoot
Eren Ozker as Hilda, Janice, and Wanda


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