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Episode 117: Ben Vereen/transcript

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It's The Muppet Show, with our special

guest star Mr, Ben Vereen! Whoo!

It's time to play the music

It's time to light the lights

It's time to meet the Muppets

on The Muppet Show tonight

It's time to put on makeup

It's time to dress up right

It's time to raise the curtain

on The Muppet Show tonight

Hey, I wouldn't say that

The Great Gonzo is dumb,

but when he graduated from

schooI he didn't get a diploma,

he got a pension, Huh?

To introduce our guest star

That's what I'm here to do

So it really makes me happy

To introduce to you

Mr, Ben Vereen!

But now let's get things started

on the most sensationaI, inspirationaI

CelebrationaI, MuppetationaI

This is what we call

The Muppet Show

Hi-ho, hi-ho, and welcome

again to The Muppet Show.

Hey, our special guest

tonight is a young man

who soared to stardom on Broadway in

Pippin, had his own television series,

and is one of the really multitalented

performers in show business,

Mr, Ben Vereen,

He really moves and, speaking of

that, let's get things moving right now

on The Muppet Show!

Well, not too long ago in 1 944

When every mother's

son was going off to war

- # They had to lift their spirits high

- # High

For Uncle Sam,

motherhood and apple pie

Instead of spending

money that they didn't have

In hotspots in the Bronx

They went to hear that kind of

jazz you hear in funky honky-tonks

- # It made you wanna jump

- # Jump

- # Shout

- # Shout

Knock yourself out

Boogie-woogie beat is

what I'm talking about

If you had the heebie-jeebies

you could dance away

To the boogie-woogie music

the piano men were playing

- # You could jump

- # Jump

- # Shout

- # Shout

� Knock yourself out

� Boogie-woogie beat is

what I'm talking about

You could pull a switcheroonie

if you felt yourself down

With the boogie-woogie beat

of the piano man a-going to town

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr, Ben Vereen!

- # He really makes you wanna jump

- # Jump

- # Shout

- # Shout



- # You wanna jump

- # Jump

- # Shout

- # You wanna sock it to me now

- # You wanna jump

- # Jump

- # Jump - #

Fra-doy, fra-doy

To the boogie-woogie music

the piano man was playing

- # You wanna jump

- # Jump

- # Shout

- # Shout

Knock yourself out

A boogie-woogie beat

is what I'm talking about

You can pull a switcheroonie

if you felt yourself down

With the boogie-woogie beat

of the piano man a-going to town


No doubt about it, I'm

beginning to like this show,


- Yep, It's really starting to grab me,



Something's starting to grab you,

I don't care, Next

time, use a deodorant,

Nice, Nice number,

- I wear the pants in this act,

That was great, Really hep to the jive,

- Hey, Kermit, Kermit, What is this?

Oh, that belongs to MarveI the

Magician, It's for next week's show,

Oh, that's very interesting,

- Yeah, but Fozzie, don't go in there,

Oh, come on, Kermit, I'm a big

bear, I won't hurt anything,

Yeah, but Fozzie,

don't slam that door,

I didn't slam it,

I closed it very quietly,

Yeah, and you're never

gonna open it again,

What do you mean?

- Well, I tried to tell you it's a trick door,

Only MarveI the Magician can open it,

But but Kermit, I have

an act to do! Go get MarveI!

I can't, He's in Toledo,

And I'm in big trouble,

OK, right now I'd like to introduce

Ben Vereen, a blockbuster of a talent,

Did somebody say "blockbuster"?

- Hit the dirt!

Well, there's nothing like starting

off with an explosive opening,

Hey, listen, you wanna have George

the Janitor clean up that mess?

Now, as I was saying, we have

a reaI dynamite guest tonight

Did somebody say "dynamite"?

I'm beginning to get

a slight headache,

Will somebody throw a net over Crazy

Harry so we can get the show rolling?

Right now I'd like to

introduce our guest star,

and you better not interfere with his act,

Crazy Harry, because he has a short fuse,

Did someone send for a short fuse?

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr, Ben Vereen,

If someone stood up in a crowd

And raised his voice way out loud

Waved his arms

And shook his leg

You'd notice him

If someone in a movie show

Yelled, "Fire in the second row"

"This whole place is a powder keg"

You'd notice him

A human being is

made of more than air

With all that bulk you're

bound to see him there

Unless that personage should be





Mr, Cellophane

Shoulda been my name

Mr, Cellophane

You can look right through me

Walk right by me

And never know I'm there

I tell ya, Cellophane

Mr, Cellophane

Shoulda been his name

Mr, Cellophane

'Cause you can

look right through him

Walk right by him

And never know he's there

Name, Mr, Cellophane

You never know I'm there

I tell ya


Mr, Cellophane

Shoulda been my name

Mr, Cellophane

You can walk right by me

Or look right through me

And never know I'm there




I'm there

I hope I didn't take up

too much of your time,

I think the guests that come on

this show should get combat pay,

What about us?

- Well, we're volunteers,

Maybe you are, I was drafted

into this chicken outfit,

It's no use, Fozzie,

I don't think we'll ever get this

thing open before the end of the show,

Oh, I feeI awfuI,

- Yeah? Well, that's the way it goes,

I feeI so sorry for everyone,

- How do you mean?

Well, they'll all be so disappointed when

you tell them that today's show is canceled,


- Mm, yeah,

Well, obviously you cannot

do the show without me,

Um uh


How shall I break this to him?

- What?

Fozzie, there is one alternative

to canceling the show,

Oh, there is? Yeah?

- We can replace you,


He takes these things kind of hard,

Here's a Muppet news bulletin,

Dateline, New Brunswick, Mr, Melvin

Cosgrove climbed a 30-foot pole

and scrambled onto a

six-by-six-foot platform,

His goaI

- to break the world's record in flagpole sitting, That was 1 6 years ago,

and yesterday his wife started

wondering how Cosgrove was doing,

especially since he was 84

years old when he started,

Authorities climbed

the pole this morning

and found that he had

indeed passed away,

As a fitting tribute

to her brave husband,

Mrs, Cosgrove announced

that for the next ten days,

she will fly him at half-mast,

You know, I picked up a

hitchhiker the other day,

Oh, really?

- Yes, well, it's only right,

I was the one who knocked him down,

Tell me, do you like bathing beauties?

I don't know, I've never bathed one,

You know, last week my cousin was seen

on television by 30 million people,

Oh, what is he, a rock star?

- No, a football,

You know, I really got my eye on you,

Oh, really?


Herman, today I auditioned

as an announcer for a TV show,

Yeah, but they didn't

hire me, You know why?

Because I'm a woman, that's why,

Discrimination, Are

you listening to me?!

What kind of a program was it?


Did you know the Rolling

Stones are here tonight?

No kidding? They're my

favorite singing group,

No, these are the

other Rolling Stones,




Hey, you know, it's really

great to have you on the show,

Why, Ben, you're just

a bundle of energy,

Yeah, well, as a dancer, I

try to keep in shape, you know,

You're telling me, I've seen you dancing

on Broadway and television and movies,

Why, you must work out a lot,

Well, yes, because you see, Kermit,

as a dancer,

your body is one of the most

important things you have,

Did you ever stop to think where would

you be without your, um your body?


No, no, I never asked myself that,

but it's a darn good question,

You see, as a dancer, I've

gotta be able to go to a leap

with great explosive power, you see,

Did somebody say "explosive power"?


- No!

Nice, Nice leap,

Well, time for a tea break,

- All right,

LiteraI chap, isn't he?

Kermit? Kermit! Kermit!

- Mm? Oh?

Kermit, you can't do the show without me,

- Well, Fozzie, what choice have I got?

But a Muppet Show without Fozzie Bear?

It's like Gilbert without

Sullivan, ham without cheese,

Poca without hontas,

- "Poca without hontas"?

- Yeah,

What's a poca?

I know, I know, That's a polka,

Will you guys get out of here?

See? Even in a box I'm funny, You

need me, The show needs me, Kermit!

Who cares about a frog? I'm stuck,

And now

"Veterinarian's Hospital, "

the continuing story of a former

orthopedic surgeon who's gone to the dogs.

Hut-Sut Ralston on the rillerah

with a brawla, brawla sooit

Dr, Bob, you can't sing

at a time like this,

I'm not singing "At a Time Like

This," I'm singing "Hut-Sut Ralston,"

An oldie but goodie,

How'd I ever get

myself into this sketch?

Take it easy, George,

Dr, Bob, the patient is sinking,

Well, I

vonder vat he is sinking about,

Well, laugh it up, nurse,

These are the jokes,

The only joke around

here is you, Dr, Bob,

This patient needs your assistance,

- Well, you're my assistants,

but what he's gonna do with

the two of you, I'll never know,

Look, either give me some

help or let me outta here,

Well, what seems to be your trouble?

- I keep breaking out in a cold sweat,

Oh-ho! Well, I see,

You have a clear case

of Pentransitphobia,


That's a dread fear of traveling

through the state of Pennsylvania,

Enough of these

pitifuI jokes, Dr, Bob,

You've dedicated

yourself to saving lives,

You're right, I saved six lives this week,

- By operating?

No, by not operating,

Dr, Bob, you've given

this hospitaI a bad name,

You're right, Fred is a

terrible name for a hospitaI,

I'll have to give it a

better name, How about Eunice?

This is impossible,

Do you have a license?

Of course, Every dog has a license,

The leash laws are really rough,

You dummy, I mean, do you

have a license to practice?

Yes, and I'm going to

practice on you right now,


- Bongos, Dr, Bob,


And so Dr. Bob is about to

begin his bongo practice.

Tune in next week, when

we'll hear Nurse Piggy say.

Dr, Bob, it's too

late, You've lost him,

Well, he couldn't have gone far, He

was under the sheet just a second ago,

My uncle's into poetry,

He loves Edgar Guest,


- Why else? He's a guesthouse,

Ben, how are you enjoying the show?

Aw, Hilda

I'm getting such a

big charge out of it,

D'you say you want a big charge?

- No!

You know, I'm getting

a little tired of this,

Once again it is my great pleasure

to introduce Wayne and Wanda

and their stirring

version of "I'II Know,"

I'll know

When my love comes along



At least, Fozzie, you will be glad to

know that the show is dying without you,

Oh, really?

- Would I lie?

Did you hear them out there, Scooter?

They love me, Me, The Great Gonzo,

Boy, that's the greatest

show we've ever done,

So I lie,

Oh, it could be worse, Fozzie,

This little door could be shut,

Things are worse,

See you, babushka,

Hilda! Hilda!


- Hilda?

Fozzie, is that you?

- Who's that?

It's Kermit the Frog,

- Kermit!

Hey, listen, I've decided

not to cut you from the show,

Oh, thank you, Kermit,

- OK, get him onstage, fellas!

Well, folks, here comes the

act you've all been waiting for,

The Muppet Show's own great comedian,

here he is now, feeling

a little cagey tonight

but nevertheless still the old

master of mirth, Mr, Fozzie Bear!

Thank you, Thank you!

Hey, it's really great to be here,

I spent the whole day at the doctor, I

said, "Doc, it hurts when I do this,"

He says, "Don't do that,"

Are you laughing?

It's hard to hear,

Then the doctor said, "Have

you ever had this before?"

I said, "Yes," He says,

"Well, you got it again,"


Thank you, thank you, You

been a wonderfuI audience,

Please get me off,

Great, great, great, Let's

all hear it for Fozzie Bear,

Come on out and take a bow, Fozzie,

This is humiliating,



And now, folks, once

again, Mr, Ben Vereen,

Oh, boy, This place is so dull,

I hate it here, It's so dull,

Hi, Droop,

- Oh, hi, Ben,

Hey, look, I can take

you out of this place,

No, thanks, I'm not

allowed to cross the street,

No, no, that's not what I mean,

- Hmm?


Come with me

And you'll be

In a world of pure imagination

Take a look

And you'll see

Into your imagination

We'll begin

With a spin

Traveling in a world of my creation

What we'll see

Will defy explanation

If you want to view paradise

Simply look around and view it

Anything you want to, do it

You wanna change the world?

There's nothin' to it

There is no life I know

To compare to pure imagination

Living there, you'll be free

If you truly

Wish to be

If you want to view paradise

Simply look around and view it

Anything you want to, do it

Want to change the

world, there's nothing to it

There is no life I know

To compare with pure imagination

Living there, you'll be free

If you truly

Wish to be

Come with me

Gee, you sure have

some imagination, Ben,

OK, well, that about puts

a lid on it for this week,

We'd like to thank our special

guest star, Mr, Ben Vereen!

Hey, Kermit, you know, thank you,

I've done a lot of shows in my time, but

this has been one of the, um craziest,

Hey, Kermit, Kermit, Ben, Ben!

Yeah, what? What?

- Hey, I'm out! I'm out!

Fozzie, how'd you get out of the cage?

- Crazy Harry blew it up,

It hurt a little bit,

but, you know, I'm OK,

Well, Fozzie,

I just thought the show was just dynamite,

- Yeah,

Did somebody say "dynamite"?

- No!

We'll see you all next

week on The Muppet Show!

Would you cut that out?

Fantastic show,

- Brilliant show,

By the way, your pants are on fire,

- Hm?

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