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Episode 202: Zero Mostel

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The Muppet Show
Guest Starring Zero Mostel
Production Dates May 31 - June 2, 1977
Home Video Season Two
Mostel01

Kermit can't make payroll ($27.14), but Muppet Theater owner J. P. Grosse says he'll give him the money if he puts "good old-fashioned entertainment" back in the show -- meaning lady wrestlers. Only one shows up, an old (but very tough) lady named Granny the Gouger. But when Miss Piggy refuses to wrestle her, Kermit is forced to step into the ring, disguised as "The Mysterious Ms. Mask." When Granny body slams him, however, an enraged Piggy knocks her out.

Songs/Sketches

Episode

Picture Description
202-1
Cold Open: Scooter gets no response from Zero Mostel when he knocks on his dressing room door, and so asks Fozzie Bear where he is. Fozzie answers, "He's in his dressing room eating." Zero finally calls out, "I'm not in my dressing room eating! I'm in my dressing room being eaten" as it shows him being attacked by Behemoth.
202-2
"The Muppet Show Theme": Gonzo's trumpet goes off like a firecracker.
202-3
Sam the Eagle can hardly contain his excitement when Kermit the Frog announces a concert pianist will perform the opening number. Unfortunately (for Sam), Fozzie stops by to tell Kermit of the pianist's cancellation. And so...
202-4
... Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem perform Chopin's "Polonaise in A Flat."
202-5
Waldorf plans to enjoy himself; he has brought along a television. As he and Statler do, they come across programming such as Beach Blanket Frankenstein and two ancient old guys sitting in a theater box watching television.
202-6

202-7
On the way backstage, Floyd Pepper stops to remind Kermit that today is pay day (despite the fact that it was pay day last year). Kermit checks the cash box, but its only contents are three moths and a washer. At the same time that Scooter overhears of Kermit's trouble, he receives a phone call from his uncle. Scooter tells his uncle of their money woes, who agrees to cover payroll, provided they add some good, old-fashioned entertainment into the show: Lady wrestlers.
202-8
Zero Mostel, dressed as King Henry the VIII, sings "What Do the Simple Folk Do?" with his Queen. When the Queen suggests that "simple folk" sing to escape their blues, Zero bursts out singing Pagliacci.
202-9
Kermit tries calling for lady wrestlers, but is having difficulty finding any. When there is a knock on the door, Kermit is too busy with the phone to bother answering it, and so sends Animal to "get the door." He gets the door, all right.
202-10
At the Dance: The dancing partners offer several different tennis jokes, concluding with a "big racket" from Crazy Harry.
202-11
UK Spot: Kermit talks with Sam about the eagle's role on the show. Sam states that he is there to make sure the show is "morally upright and cultural and wholesome." Beautiful Day Monster informs Sam that he has his work cut out for him. Kermit then gives a run-down of the "cultural" offerings tonight's show has in store. This list includes, to Kermit's embarrassment, lady wrestlers. Sam is outraged, and claims that one day he will get his just desserts. Beautiful Day Monster is all to happy to oblige, hitting him in the face with a pie.
202-12
Muppet Labs: Dr. Bunsen Honeydew has invented magnetic carrots, perfect for storing on the ceiling of your refrigerator. The only issue being that magnetic carrots tend to attract steel rabbits.
Zero02

202-13
Guest Star's Dressing Room: Sam the Eagle lectures Zero on dignity, while Zero mocks him behind his back.
202-14
Kermit gets around to speaking with an elderly woman. She turns out to be Granny the Gouger, a lady wrestler looking to audition. When Kermit laughs at this seemingly silly notion, she teaches the frog that it's not nice to make fun of Granny.
202-15
Zoot and Rowlf the Dog play "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes." Slowly, smoke begins to billow out of Zoot's saxophone until, by the end of the song, the room is filled with smoke.
202-16
Zero reads the poem "Fears of Zero," relating how he is able to conquer those fears.
202-17
The show is almost over, and Kermit is still looking for another lady wrestler. It is at this time that Miss Piggy enters. Kermit informs her of this "special" part. Naturally, Piggy is not thrilled about his suggestion.
202-18
Animal plays a solo, but his drum catches on fire before he can finish.
202-19
Lady Wreslting: Granny the Gouger takes on the Mysterious Ms. Mask! But when Granny knocks Ms. Mask out of the ring, an enraged Miss Piggy knocks her out.
202-20
By the closing, Zero has joined the ranks of the Muppet Monsters, but Sam will not stand for it.

Notes

202 beaker
Beaker makes his first appearance. Things don't get any easier for him later.
  • This is the first of three consecutive episodes in which a different female performer auditioned. The performer in this episode was Richenda Carey, who performed the voice of the Queen (a full-bodied, female version of the Featherstone puppet). She did not, however, perform the puppet.
  • Although J. P. Grosse plays an important role in the plot, he does not appear in this episode. Grosse makes his physical debut in episode 205.
  • Zero Mostel died in September 1977, three months after he filmed this episode, and before it aired.
  • Beaker makes his debut in the Muppet Labs sketch on this episode.
  • During the UK Spot, Kermit mentions a sketch involving Zero and Fozzie acting out a pantomime as part of the show. Though photos show this could have been on recorded for the show, no footage of this sketch exist.

Gallery

Cast

Muppets:

Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Scooter, Rowlf the Dog, Statler and Waldorf, Sam the Eagle, Dr. Teeth, Floyd Pepper, Zoot, Animal, The Queen, Muppy, Whatnots, Svengali's Assistant, Granny the Gouger, Crazy Harry, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Beaker, Behemoth, Beautiful Day Monster, Steel Rabbit, Timmy Monster, Mean Mama, Blue Frackle, Tennis Balls

Background Muppets:

Janice, Shakey Sanchez, Purple Heap, Green Heap, Snerfs

Performers

Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog, Rowlf, Dr. Teeth, Waldorf, Girl Dancer, and Tennis Balls
Frank Oz as Miss Piggy, Sam the Eagle, Fozzie Bear, Animal, and Whatnot Dancers
Jerry Nelson as Granny the Gouger, Floyd Pepper, Crazy Harry, Behemoth, and Beautiful Day Monster
Richard Hunt as Scooter, Statler, Janice, Beaker, Whatnot Dancers, and Blue Frackle
Dave Goelz as Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Zoot, Muppy, Marvin, Whatnot Dancer, and Mean Mama
Richenda Carey as the Queen (voice, uncredited)


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