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Episode 122: Ethel Merman/transcript

< Episode 122: Ethel Merman

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Theme

Kermit appears in the show's O.
Kermit It's The Muppet Show, with our special guest star, Miss Ethel Merman!
The banner rises, and the theme begins.
Chorus girls

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!

Male chorus

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!

The curtain opens on Fozzie with a piece of paper.
Fozzie Hey, I went to a diet doctor, and in just two months I lost $300. (looks at the paper) What?
The audience laughs. The curtain closes. As Kermit sings, Fozzie re-emerges and tosses the paper.
Kermit

To introduce our guest star,
That's what I'm here to do!
So it really makes me happy
To introduce to you —
Miss Ethel Merman!

The curtain opens on Ethel, surrounded by Muppets.
Kermit But now let's get things started
Kermit & gang

On the most sensational, inspirational
Celebrational, Muppetational
This is what we call The Muppet Show!

117-01
Before Gonzo can hit the gong, the Green Frackle hits him with a mallet.


Opening number

Main stage. Kermit enters to applause.
Kermit Thank you, thank you, thank you. Welcome, dear friends, to another edition of The Muppet Show. And we're very honored to have as our special guest star one of the true giants of the Broadway musical stage, Miss Ethel Merman.
Miss Piggy Oh, Kermit, my love. Since Ethel Merman is our guest, as a tribute I plan to sing a medley of all her great hits.
122 intro
Kermit Uh, Piggy, why would anyone wanna hear you sing Miss Merman's songs when Miss Merman is here to sing them herself?
Miss Piggy Well, since I've rehearsed them, why don't I just do 'em and call it a tribute to Irving Berlin?
Kermit Piggy, will you get outta here? (she walks off in a huff) Out, out, out, out, out! OK. Having settled that, let's kick off the show with a little number we call "Java."
122 java
The opening number, "Java," is performed.
Waldorf That song had a nice beat.
Statler No, no. I don't want to eat.
Waldorf I said "beat." "Beat," you old fool! Why don't you turn up your hearing aid?
Statler There's gonna be a raid? Well, let's get outta here! (tries to exit the balcony)
Waldorf (shakes head) I give up.

Backstage

Two medics haul away the big slinky creature on a stretcher.
Kermit OK. Nice. Nice number, you guys. Good opening.
Fozzie Kermit. Kermit. Kermit. Hey, uh, my agent is dropping by a little later in the show.
Kermit OK, fine.
Fozzie Yeah.
Kermit Hey, stand by for the next number.
Scooter Everything's ready, boss.
Kermit Good boy, Scooter. (to viewer) That kid's doing a great job.
Fozzie Hey, d-do you think you'd have time to talk to him?
Kermit Of course. I always have time to talk to Scooter. His uncle owns the theater.
Fozzie No, no, no, no, no, I mean my-my agent.
Kermit What does he own?
122 fozzie and kermit
Fozzie (proudly takes off his hat) Ten percent of me.
Kermit OK. OK. What does he want to talk about?
Fozzie My contract.
Kermit Fozzie, you don't have a contract.
Fozzie That's what he wants to talk about.
Kermit Will you get outta here?
Fozzie Yes, sir. Yes, sir.
Fozzie runs away. Kermit goes onstage.

Duets with Ethel

Kermit Uh, ladies and gentlemen, ordinarily I'd just introduce the guest star and get out of the way, but tonight I personally get to participate. You see, everybody wanted to sing a duet with Ethel Merman, and because she's introduced so many Broadway hits, we thought that some of us could do a few of them, or a few of us could do some of them. Anyhow, I now take great pleasure in introducing Miss Ethel Merman, and some of her songs, and some of us, and uh, me. I'd better hurry. (goes behind the curtain) Oh — uh, ladies and gentlemen, Miss Ethel Merman!
Open on Ethel in a dressing room setting. She sits in front of a hollow mirror; Kermit appears on the other end.
Ethel and Kermit You're the top.
Kermit You're the Colosseum.
Ethel and Kermit You're the top.
Ethel

You're the Louvre Museum.
You're a melody of a symphony by Strauss!

Kermit You're a Bendel bonnet, a Shakespeare sonnet …
Ethel You're Mickey Mouse!
Kermit Is that — is that a compliment?
Ethel You called me a colosseum.
Kermit Sorry about that.
He ducks out. Fozzie appears behind Ethel.
Fozzie If you're ever in a jam, here I am.
Ethel If you're ever in a mess, SOS.
Fozzie If you ever feel so happy you land in jail, I'm your bail.
Ethel and Fozzie

It's friendship, friendship,
Just a perfect blendship.
When other friendships have been forgot,
Ours will still be hot.
La-da, la-da, la-da, dig, dig, dig.

Exit Fozzie, enter Scooter and Gonzo.
Scooter

The night is young, the skies are clear,
And if you want to go walking, dear …

Ethel

It's delightful, it's delicious,
It's de-lovely!

Gonzo

I understand the reason why
You're sentimental, 'cause so am I!

Ethel It's delightful…
Scooter It's delicious…
Gonzo It's de-lovely.
Exit Scooter and Gonzo, enter a two-headed Whatnot.
Two-headed Whatnot

Wherever we go,
Whatever we do…

Ethel We're gonna go through it together!
The Whatnot exits. Uncle Deadly appears behind Ethel.
Uncle Deadly I hear singing and there's no one there.
Ethel You would.
Deadly sinks down. Piggy enters the mirror.
Miss Piggy

Anything you can do, I can do better.
I can do anything better than you.

Ethel No you can't.
Miss Piggy Yes I can.
Ethel No you can't.
Miss Piggy Yes I can.
Ethel No you can't.
Miss Piggy Yes I can, yes I can.
Ethel

Anything you can be, I can be greater.
Sooner or later I'm greater than you.

Miss Piggy No you're not.
Ethel Yes I am.
Miss Piggy No you're not.
Ethel Yes I am.
Miss Piggy No you're not.
Ethel Yes I am, yes I am!
Miss Piggy I can be a racer, quite a steeplechaser!
Ethel I can jump a hurdle, even with my girdle!
Miss Piggy I can do most anything.
Ethel Can you bake a pie?
Miss Piggy No.
Ethel Neither can I.
Miss Piggy

Any note you can reach, I can go higher.
I can sing anything higher than you.

Ethel No you can't …
Miss Piggy Yes I can.
Ethel No you can't …
Miss Piggy Yes I can.
Ethel No you can't …
Miss Piggy Yes I can.
Ethel No you caaaaan't …
Miss Piggy Yes I caaaaaan!!
Ethel Oh, yes you can.
The Muppets all gather around Ethel.
Muppets We belong to a mu-tu-al ad-mi-ration society.
Kermit Miss Merman and me.
122 medley
Ethel & Muppets We belong to a mutual admiration soci…e…ty!
Applause.
Waldorf Yeah. Wonderful, wonderful! I remember Ethel Merman in the opening of Panama Hattie.
Statler You're old enough to remember Teddy Roosevelt and the opening of the Panama Canal. Heh.

Backstage

Fozzie Hey, Kermit. Kermit. Kermit. Remember I told you my agent was coming?
Kermit Yeah.
Fozzie Well, he is here.
Kermit Where?
Fozzie Uh, here. (points downwards) He's a little short, Kermit.
Kermit (chuckles) He certainly is.
Fozzie Uh, he's very sensitive, so uh, no short jokes. OK?
Kermit OK, I'm sorry. Just introduce us.
Fozzie OK. Ahem. Uh …
Fozzie sets Irving, a top-hat with a pair of shoes, on the table.
Fozzie Kermit, this is Irving Bizarre, my agent.
Irving Eh, hiya, Kermit. How are you doing, sweetie?
Kermit This is an agent?
122 irving&#039;s intro
Kermit Where's your office, Irving? In your hat?
Irving Ha ha. Very funny. Very funny.
Kermit Hey, who else do you handle? Rich Little? (laughs) Tiny Tim? (laughs)
Irving I wouldn't handle you. I'd get warts.
Kermit (offended) Warts? What kind of talk is that? Will you get out? Take this guy and get outta here, Fozzie! (storms off)
Fozzie I don't think this negotiation is going too well.
Irving Hey, don't worry, sweetie, Fozzie. We got him right where we want him.
Fozzie Yeah. Yeah. (carries Irving away)

Blackout

Hilda passes by Ethel.
Ethel Oh, Hilda.
Hilda Yes, Miss Merman.
Ethel I don't wish to complain, but there's a mouse in my dressing room.
Hilda Oh, yes. We'll move her tomorrow. But for now it's the only place she has to change.
Ethel Change?
Hilda Yes. She sings in the band. (exits)
Ethel Is this a show or a zoo?
122 blackout
Animal Hiya, honey.
Ethel It's a zoo.
Animal Boo.
Ethel (screams)
Animal Perfect pitch.
BONK! She knocks him on the head.

UK Spot

Talk Spot

Guest puppeteer

Main stage. Kermit enters.
Kermit Uh, we on The Muppet Show are very interested in puppets, for some strange reason. Anyway, tonight we're really delighted to have with us a man who produces the world's funniest shadows. Here he is from Australia - our guest puppeteer, Mr. Richard Bradshaw!
Richard performs shadow puppetry. In the first act, an ostrich slides down a slide, then a mouse. When a hippo climbs up the ladder, he breaks the slide.
Statler More! More!
Waldorf Hey, wait. Look, there is more.
Statler Oh, good grief. They heard me.
In the second act, the three animals balance on a tightrope.
122 bradshaw

Backstage

Fozzie's comedy act

Backstage / "There's No Business Like Show Business"

Goodnights

What do you take in your tea?

- Oh, milk, two sugars, one mouse

One what?

- Mouse.

Take a look.

Oh, I may be your dish of tea

But, baby, don't you sugar me

Don't stir me, boy

Or try to spoon

Don't sugar me

'Cause us is throon

Oh, I won't sip a lip with you

Less you want a

granulated lump or two

Just roll them eyes

Right out the door

Them saucer eyes

Ain't square no more

Now all them things,

them diamond rings

Them stuff you promised me

Were figments. Newton

Sure as shootin'

Shootin' sure as A, B

See, the teapot spouts

that the kettle's blue

It don't work out,

that spout is true

Just boil away, boy

Don't sit and brew

Don't sugar me

'Cause us is through

Well, Miss Merman, I'm

kind of at a loss for words.

I mean, for me, a frog, to be sitting

here with one of the greatest performers

ever to grace the American musical stage

- a legend

Oh, relax, Kermit.

Relax.

And you can call me Ethel.

- Huh?

But I'd like you to take it easy on that

"legend" and "the greatest" stuff.

Sounds like a eulogy. After all,

I'm not quite ready to go yet.

No, no, no, no, no. I

I didn't mean it like that.

Well, I-I mean, I admit that I've

been around for quite a while,

but there are some things on

this show that are older than I.

Like Fozzie's jokes.

- You're right there.

It just seems that you've always been

a part of the Broadway musical scene.

I remember the opening

night of Gypsy, you know?

Kermit, you were at the

opening night of Gypsy?

Sure.

Come to think of it, I did hear

some croaking in the audience.

Excuse me, Miss Merman. I do not wish to

intrude, but I too am a singer of note.

What note?

- Who knows? It's always flat.

Watch it, flipper face.

As a sister singer, I

gratefully admire your talent,

and so I would like to

propose a toast in your honor.

Oh, how nice of you,

Miss Piggy. - Mm-hm.

To Ethel Merman, a great

woman and a great singer

whom we can all learn

something from. Got any tips?

All that for one free singing lesson?

- Well

Now, look, Miss Piggy. Let's face it,

You either got it,

or you ain't. - Mm-hm.

And all the singing lessons in the world

ain't gonna help you if you ain't got it.

Now, let's hear you hit that

high note of yours again.

Ah

Well, it shows promise.

- See, Kermit?

But it it's a bit subtle.

Now, this is the way I would do it.

Ah

Did you also make some recordings

as an air-raid siren during the war?

Kermit.

- Wah!

Ah, she and Kermit make a nice pair.

Well, she certainly is a peach.





Hey, come on, Kermit. The

kid's worth twice the price.

Yeah, well, I don't know

- Oh, Kermit, my love. My

What is that?

Well, this is Fozzie's agent, Irving

Bizarre. We're negotiating a contract.

Hey, how you doing.

baby, kiddo, sweetheart?

Not bad-looking for a

pig. Want me to handle you?

I already have an agent, Shortstuff.

I don't wanna be your agent.

I just wanna handle you.

Well, handle this. Hiiii-yah!

Right now it's time to present

a comic who, even as I speak,

is in danger of negotiating

himself right out of work.

Ladies and gentlemen, the funniest

bear since Maxie, Mr. Fozzie Bear!

Oh, boy, oh, boy, oh,

boy. Yes, yes, yes.

Oh, I get a feeling you're a great bunch,

not like the audience we had last week.

They weren't an audience,

they were a jury. Ha ha.

Ha ha ha.

The bear's funny, huh?

He's he's my cousin.

Wanna leave a wake-up call?

Uh, if you don't mind,

cousin, I will do the jokes.

Let him roll. He's funnier than you.

Can you guys hold it down up there?

Uh, you don't want them

interrupting my act. right?

No, I don't want 'em

interrupting our sleep.

Hey, bring on the comic!

I am the comic.

- Then bring on the girls!

This is not that kind of show.

Then bring on the girl comic!

Now, listen. I am not gonna be heckled by

some clown who just came off the street.

I-I'm a pro, buddy. A real pro.

Look, OK. I tell you what.

Everybody, I am gonna turn my back.

and when I turn around again, I only wanna

see real Fozzie Bear fans in the audience.

OK? Here we go.

OK, I'm gonna turn around

now!

Even my cousin?

Ohh! It's a cruel world.

Hey, hey. How come you two

guys are still there, huh?

Did you lose your bed

at the old fools' home?

Ah, it's too late.

All right, Kermit, my client won't work

unless you give him twice as much money.

Uh, yeah. I just saw how

he handled that audience.

But to show you what a good guy I

am, I'll give him three times as much.

We won't settle for less

than four times as much.

Uh, how about a compromise?

Five times as much money.

Six times as much.

- Don't push it, Irv.

Uh, seven times as much.

- Eight times.

This is my final offer. Ten

times as much as he's making now.

You got a deal.

- Good.

Oh, Irv!

Irv!

Congratulations, kid. You're

making ten times as much money.

Yeah, yeah, and I and

I used to make nothing!

Right. And and ten

times nothing is

Nothing.

Yeah, right. And don't forget,

I get ten percent of that.

You're worth every penny, Irv.

Could you give me a hand down, kid?

Hey, Fozzie.

Yeah.

Listen, Fozzie. Don't be discouraged.

Even if you don't make a lot of money,

you're doing what you love to do.

Just look around you.

The costumes, the scenery,

the makeup, the props.

The audience that

lifts you when you're down

The headaches, the heartaches,

the backaches, the flops

The sheriff who

escorts you out of town

The opening when your

heart beats like a drum

The closing

When the customers don't come

I've said this before.

But there's no business

Like show business

Like no business I know

Everything about it is appealing

Everything the traffic will allow

Nowhere could you

get that happy feeling

When you are stealing

That extra bow

There's no people

Like show people

They smile

When they are low

Yesterday they told

you you would not go far

That night you open

And there you are

Next day on your dressing room

They've hung a star

Let's go

On with our show

There's no business

like show business

Like no business I know

Everything about it is appealing

Everything the traffic will allow

Nowhere could you

get that happy feeling

When you are stealing

That extra bow

There's no people like show people

They smile when they are low

Even with a turkey

that you know will fold

You may be stranded out in the cold

But still you wouldn't

change it for a sack of gold

Let's go on with our show

Let's go

On with our

Show

Well, another half-hour has flown by,

made most enjoyable by our very

special guest star, Miss Ethel Merman!

Oh, thank you, Kermit.

This has been the most fun

I've had in a long, long time.

You know, you really don't have

to be crazy to do this show.

But it helps.

Miss Merman, from all of us to you.

Oh, how kind of you, Miss Piggy.

They won't explode, will they?

No, no, of course not. Real roses for

a real lady. Thank you for joining us,

and you too out there, we'll see

you all next time on The Muppet Show.

I wonder why I'm so itchy.

Maybe the show's starting

to get under your skin.

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