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Episode 201: Don Knotts

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The Muppet Show
Guest Starring Don Knotts
Production Dates May 23-25, 1977
Home Video Season Two
Knotts01

Kermit lets Fozzie help plan the show, and the band is so happy with Fozzie's scheduling of "Lullaby of Birdland" as the closing number that they elect him an honorary hip person. Floyd gives him a pair of shades, which cause Fozzie to stumble around in the dark for most of the episode. Unfortunately, Fozzie has asked Don Knotts to play bass for the closing. Disappointed by his ultimately explosive performance, the band votes to "de-shade" Fozzie.

Songs/Sketches

Notes

  • As the first episode of season 2, this is the first episode with many of the notable changes in the production of the show in production order. The new version of the opening is first used in this episode, preceded by the first "Cold Opening" where Scooter interacts with the guest star prior to Kermit in the opening.
  • The first two songs performed in this episode were co-written by Marilyn and Alan Bergman, and Michael Legrand. The last two songs performed were co-written by George Weiss.
  • The first shot during the closing of this episode is a shot of Floyd, as opposed to a shot of Animal.
  • "Sweet Gingerbread Man" is the only song in the series in which Frank Oz is given the lead vocal on a song not sung by one of his regular characters.
  • "Windmills of Your Mind" is referred to as the opening number, even though "Sweet Gingerbread Man" aired before it.

Episode

Picture Description
Donknotts01
Cold Open: Scooter finds guest star Don Knotts cowering in the corner, scared of Gorgon Heap that shares his dressing room. "What's the matter, sweetie?" Gorgon Heap growls. "You don't like chorus girls?"
Donknottsgonzo
"The Muppet Show Theme": As Gonzo plays the final note, flames shoot from his trumpet.
Character.gingerbread
The Gingerbread Men sing "Sweet Gingerbread Man".
Donknotts2
In the introduction for the next number, Fozzie Bear announces that he's helping Kermit plan tonight's show. Kermit comes out and jokes that Fozzie plans his parts and Kermit plans the good parts.  Fozzie then introduces a trip into "inner space"...
Screamingthing
A Screaming Thing says that on the outside he's very calm... but on the inside... He sings "The Windmills of Your Mind" to describe the endless turmoil in his brain. He ends up running off the stage and through Statler and Waldorf's box, and falls down into the audience. Two pigs carry him away.
Donknotts03
Backstage, Floyd Pepper wants to talk to Kermit about the closing number. Fozzie hides behind his clipboard as Kermit happily tells Floyd that the bear was the one who came up with the idea of playing "Lullaby of Birdland" to close the show. To their surprise, Floyd is happy with the number -- it's a jazz classic. Fozzie is thrilled.
Knotts02

Donknotts04
Don presents "Beast of the Week" -- a children's program presenting hideous and grotesque creatures. Don unveils a baby creature that was just discovered -- a cute little furball who's never been away from its mother before. To Don's surprise, the baby bites its way out of the "escape-proof" cage, and proceeds to trash the studio and bite Don on the shoulder. Don wrestles the baby under control -- and just in time, because if the mother discovers that the baby is missing, she could get very upset. But then Don hears a growl -- it's the Mean Mama, come to collect her child. She breaks through the studio wall, grabs her child and pushes past the flustered Don, who's left stammering in the wreckage.
Donknotts05
Floyd tells Fozzie that the band is so pleased with Fozzie's choice for a final number that they've decided to elect him an honorary hip person. Floyd presents Fozzie with his own pair of shades.
Vets201
"Veterinarian's Hospital": The Screaming Thing is Dr. Bob's patient. He has three left feet, but also left two feet in Cincinnati.
Bertie
UK Spot: Bertie sings the classic Music Hall song, "Burlington Bertie from Bow".
Donknotts06
Fozzie has a hard time coming onstage to talk to Don... he's wearing his shades, and he can't see where he's going. Don proves that he's cool by wearing his own pair of shades... and falls off the stage.
Wonderfulworld
Rowlf the Dog sings "What a Wonderful World" to a puppy.
Donknottsanimal
Floyd tells Fozzie that one of the band members wants to thank him personally for planning the "Birdland" number. To Fozzie's horror, the band member is Animal, who knocks the bear down with gratitude.
SCfishiechowder
The Swedish Chef attempts to make fishie chowder with a live fishie.
Donknotts07
The "Lullaby of Birdland" number is up next. Since Floyd is playing vibes for this number, who's going to play bass? Fozzie says not to worry -- he's found the perfect bass player.
Lullabyofbirdland
The Electric Mayhem is surprised to find that Don is the bass player that Fozzie's recruited -- especially when he sets up his music stand. "Sheet music!" Dr. Teeth notes. "I haven't seen that stuff for years." Don insists that he's hep enough to play with them -- but his bass playing is wrecking "Lullaby of Birdland". "Sounds like the bird died," Dr. Teeth sighs. Don tries again -- but he's going too slow. He speeds up, faster and faster, until the bass explodes.
Donknotts08
Kermit thanks Don for being on the show. Fozzie joins them onstage, still tottering behind his dark shades. Floyd breaks the sad news -- after the "Birdland" disaster, the band has decided to de-shade the bear. Don comforts Fozzie, telling him, "Square is beautiful!"

Edits

  • Nickelodeon: The Swedish Chef's sketch was cut.

Cast

Muppets:

Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Scooter, Rowlf, Statler and Waldorf, Dr. Teeth, Floyd Pepper, Zoot, Janice, Animal, The Swedish Chef, Gorgon Heap, The Gingerbread Men, Screaming Thing, Mean Mama, Mean Mama's Baby, Burlington Bertie

Background Muppets:

Pigs, Fish, Whatnots, The Announcer (unseen)

Audience Muppets:

Baskerville the Hound, Beautiful Day Monster, Brewster, Miss Mousey, Pigs, Svengali's Assistant, Zelda Rose

Performers

Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog, Dr. Teeth, Rowlf, Waldorf, The Swedish Chef and a Gingerbread Man
Frank Oz as Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, Animal and lead Gingerbread Man
Jerry Nelson as Floyd Pepper, Screaming Thing, Gorgon Heap, Burlington Bertie, a Gingerbread Man and the Announcer
Richard Hunt as Scooter, Janice, Statler, Mean Mama, and a Gingerbread Man
Dave Goelz as Zoot and a Gingerbread Man


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