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Episode 202: Zero Mostel/transcript

< Episode 202: Zero Mostel

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Cold open

The outside of the dressing room. Scooter is knocking on the door.
Scooter Zero Mostel, 25 seconds. Stand by. Mr. Mostel?
Camera zooms out to the floor below Scooter, where Fozzie is.
Scooter Hey, Fozzie, where's Mr. Mostel?
Fozzie Oh, he's in his dressing room eating.
The dressing room. Behemoth is chewing on Zero Mostel's arm.
Zero I'm not in my dressing room eating! I'm in my dressing room being eaten!
Zero tosses various objects on the table in front of him, and a glass of water, into Behemoth's mouth.


Kermit It's The Muppet Show with our very special guest star, Mr. Zero Mostel!
The curtain opens and the theme begins.
Waldorf Oh, please let them be funny this once.
Gonzo's trumpet goes off like a firecracker with a high-pitched squeaking.

Opening number

Main stage. Kermit enters.
Kermit Thank you, thank you. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to The Muppet Show. Tonight's special guest star has many, many talents. Let's see... He acts, he sings, he dances, he does comedy, and they all add up to a great big zero for Zero Mostel. But first, in an attempt to placate the culture lovers of our audience...
Sam (in the wings) Oh, at last, at last!
Kermit ...and in the wings, uh, we open tonight's show with a little classical music. Here is Chopin's Polonaise in A-Flat.
Fozzie peeks through the curtain.
Fozzie (whispering) Psst! Psst! Kermit, Kermit, the concert pianist could not make it.
Kermit Yeah, but, I just introduced the Polonaise.
Fozzie It's okay. Here. Here, I got a whole new intro written. (hands Kermit a paper) Read that. Good luck, kid.
Kermit Let's see, uh... Oh. OK, ladies and gentlemen, Chopin's Polonaise in A-Flat, as performed by... Dr. Teeth?
Sam What.
The Electric Mayhem plays a funk version of Chopin's Polonaise in A-Flat.
Dr. Teeth Yeah, yeah! Oh, yeah! (to Zoot) Honk it, honk it! Yeah, yeah! (etc.)
Animal Chopin! Chopin!
Dr. Teeth Cookin', cookin'!
Animal Chopin! Chopin!
When the band finishes, Sam, in the wings, buries his face in a handkerchief and cries.
Waldorf You know, I'm really gonna enjoy tonight.
Statler You plan to like this show?
Waldorf No, I plan to watch television.
Waldorf sets up a television set in front of them.


The band comes offstage.
Kermit OK, good ol' Chopin. You can't beat the classics. You can only destroy 'em.
Floyd Hey, frogis amphibious.
Kermit Yeah?
Floyd Yeah, don't forget today is payday.
Animal Payday! Payday!
Kermit Payday, again? It was payday last year. It seems to be getting to be a habit around here. Well, I'll see what's in the old cash box here.
Kermit goes further backstage to another desk and opens the cash box. Moths fly out of it.
Kermit Three moths and a washer. Well, that's more than we usually have. Oh, where am I going to get the payroll money?
Scooter comes through the door behind Kermit.
Scooter Oh, how much do you need, Kermit?
Kermit Oh Scooter! Twenty-seven dollars and fourteen cents.
Scooter Wow! That's high finance.
A telephone rings.
Scooter I'll get it. (goes to Kermit's desk and picks up the phone) Hello? Oh, hi, Uncle J.P.
Kermit That's Scooter's uncle, J.P. Grosse, the bloodless old tightwad who owns this theater.
Scooter Yeah, yeah. Well, listen, uh...
Smoke puffs out of the phone.
Scooter Could you put your cigar out, please?
It stops. Kermit tries to listen in on the conversation as Scooter continues talking.
Scooter Thanks. Oh, everything's fine. Yeah, except Kermit needs some money to make the payroll. Uh-huh... Uh-huh... Uh-huh... Uh-huh.
Kermit Uh, what'd he say?
Scooter He said, "Uh-huh."
Kermit Terrific!
Scooter If...
Kermit Uh, if what?
Scooter If you put some good old-fashioned entertainment back into the show.
Kermit Oh. You mean like an Irish tenor?
Scooter No.
Kermit A dog act? Jugglers? Spoon players? What?
Scooter shakes his head "no" at every suggestion.
Scooter Lady wrestlers. (exits)
Kermit Terrific. I was afraid he wanted something tasteless.

"What Do the Simple Folk Do?"

Main stage. Kermit enters.
Kermit OK, now it's time for our special guest to do something special. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Zero Mostel.
Zero Mostel, dressed as King Henry the VIII, sings "What Do the Simple Folk Do?" with his Queen and Muppy. When the Queen suggests that "simple folk" sing to escape their blues, Zero bursts out singing Pagliacci.
Statler and Waldorf are watching their television.
Waldorf Yeah, what's the name of this movie?
Statler Beach Blanket Frankenstein.
Waldorf Hmm. Awful.
Statler Terrible film.
Waldorf Yeah, well, we could watch The Muppet Show instead.
They peek over the balcony to look at the stage, then shake their heads and return to their television.
Statler Wonderful.
Waldorf Terrific film.


Kermit is holding the phone at his desk.
Kermit Aw, where am I gonna find a couple of lady wrestlers at this late date? (on the phone) Hello, Killer Katie, Terror of Toledo? How'd you like to work on The Muppet Show tonight? ... I see. Transcendental meditation. That's too bad.
Animal enters. Someone is heard knocking on the door.
Kermit Hey, Animal, would you get the door?
Animal Wha?
Kermit I say, would you get the door? Get the door!
Animal Ah, get the door! (growls)
Kermit Maybe I could try Mother the Mauler...
A cracking is heard. Animal has ripped the door off its hinges and brings it to Kermit.
Animal Here door.
Animal leaves and Granny the Gouger enters.
Granny the Gouger My, what a dynamic doorman you have here.

At the Dance: Tennis

Female Whatnot How was your tennis game today? Have a rough match?
Her partner turns his head around to reveal a tennis ball lodged in his mouth.
Female Whatnot I see you did.
Female Whatnot Do you play tennis?
Male Whatnot Of course.
Female Whatnot How's your backhand?
Male Whatnot Uh, fair.
Female Whatnot How's your forehand?
Male Whatnot Oh, they're terrific.
He lifts up two extra arms.
Svengali's Assistant You say you watched six tennis matches today? How do you feel?
Her partner turns his head around to reveal his pupils pointing in opposite directions.
Male Whatnot Uh, fine. Just fine.
Two tennis balls are dancing together.
Tennis ball #1 What'd you do today?
Tennis ball #2 Just spent the day in court.
Female Whatnot My tennis instructor says I've been using too small a racket.
Male Whatnot Oh, why not get a big racket?
Crazy Harry You say you want a big racket?
Female Whatnot Yeah.
Crazy Harry sets off an explosion and cackles.

Prop room

Kermit is at the desk in the prop room. Sam enters.
Sam Excuse me, Kermit, may I speak with you?
Kermit Sure, Sam. What you want?
Sam I think you know why I am here.
Kermit Well, actually, Sam, to tell you the truth, I've never known why you're here.
Sam I feel my job is to make sure this program is morally upright and cultural and wholesome.
Beautiful Day Monster approaches them from behind.
Beautiful Day Monster You got your work cut out for you, bird. (leaves)
Sam Now THAT was unwholesome. THAT was not cultural.
Kermit Uh... uh, fine, fine. But what can I do for you, Sam?
Sam I want to know who is going to be on tonight's show.

00:11:44 Uh, excuse me, Kermit, may I speak with you?

00:11:46 Sure, Sam. What you want?

00:11:48 I think you know why I'm here.

00:11:51 Well, actually, Sam, to tell you the truth, I've never known why you're here. - I feel my job is to make sure this program is morally upright and cultural and wholesome.

00:12:02 You got your work cut out for you, bird.

00:12:07 Now that was unwholesome. That was not cultural.

00:12:11 Uh... uh, fine, fine. But what can I do for you, Sam?

00:12:15 I want to know who is going to be on tonight's show.

00:12:19 Oh, well, let's see, tonight's show is very classy,

00:12:22 it's very highbrow, you'll like this show.

00:12:24 Good. Yes, yes. Tell me more.

00:12:26 Let's see. We got... Fozzie is doing a pantomime with Zero Mostel.

00:12:29 - Got a musical number... - Musical number? Good, good.

00:12:32 ...with Zoot and Rowlf. And then of course we've got...

00:12:35 Uh, we got the lady, uh...

00:12:38 ...the lady wrestlers.

00:12:41 - The what? - Uh... Oh, nothing, Sam.

00:12:43 It's just... We got, uh, some lady, uh... lady wrestlers.

00:12:47 Stand by for the pantomime number!

00:12:50 - Lady what? - Uh...

00:12:54 Lady wrest... [whispers]

00:12:55 - Wrest... What? - Lers.

00:12:59 Lady wrestlers?!

00:13:02 Lady wrestlers!

00:13:05 - You don't understand. - Have we no shame?!

00:13:09 [Groans] I... Kermit, something, something must be done here.

00:13:13 Someone must work for integrity and decency.

00:13:17 Someone, someone must do this.

00:13:19 I shall continue to speak out,

00:13:22 knowing someday I will get my just desserts.

00:13:26 Uh, Sam, you will someday get your just desserts.

00:13:30 [Monster chuckling]

00:13:32 - What was that? - Just dessert.

00:13:38 The road is long. The path is steep.

00:13:45 Oh. Dr. Bunsen Honeydew here at Muppet Labs,

00:13:48 where the future is being made today.

00:13:51 Well, we've had a major breakthrough here at the laboratory.

00:13:54 Beaker, come on in here and let's show them

00:13:56 Muppet Labs' brand-new magnetic carrots.

00:13:59 Come on, Beaker. Just pick up the lid there.

00:14:02 - [Moaning] - It's all right.

00:14:05 Isn't that snazzy?

00:14:07 Now these carrots are perfectly ordinary in every way,

00:14:10 - except that they are magnetic. - [Gasping]

00:14:12 Yes, friends, you can carry these new magnetic carrots home

00:14:15 on the roof of your car and store them on the ceiling of your refrigerator.

00:14:19 [Grunting]

00:14:20 Oh, of course, to be perfectly honest, there is one slight drawback.

00:14:24 Sometimes the magnetic carrots tend to attract steel, uh, rabbits.

00:14:29 Huh?

00:14:35 [Metallic springing]

00:14:37 Tune in next time for news of our research

00:14:40 into the feasibility of cast-iron watchdogs.

00:14:44 Beaker.

00:14:46 Uh, let's switch channels. This show is dull.

00:14:49 - You bet. [groans] - [Clicks]

00:14:52 What is that?

00:14:54 It looks like two ancient old guys sitting in a theater box

00:14:57 - watching television. - That's crazy!

00:14:59 No one would watch junk like that.

00:15:04 - Uh, excuse me, Mr. Mostel. - Yes?

00:15:07 - I am Sam the Eagle... - I'm so glad to know you.

00:15:10 Mmm, yes, glad to know you.

00:15:12 I am the upholder of decency and dignity for this show.

00:15:16 - Are you really? - Mmm, yes.

00:15:18 I believe this program is trivial,

00:15:21 and... and not fit for family viewing.

00:15:27 It is... It is disgracefully lacking in culture.

00:15:31 It is disgracefully lacking in culture.

00:15:33 Mmm, I'm glad you agree with me, yes.

00:15:35 I, personally, have always felt that this program

00:15:39 must... must, I say,

00:15:42 be cleansed of all nonsense and silliness.

00:15:46 - Mmm. Don't you agree with me, sir? - Of course.

00:15:49 - Yes. - Must be cleansed.

00:15:50 Now, it seems to me that you and I think alike.

00:15:55 Well, it's been a pleasure...

00:15:57 A pleasure talking to you, sir. A man of dignity.

00:15:59 Dignity. Always dignity.

00:16:01 Dignity, dignity... [squawking]

00:16:05 - [Clears throat] - I'm sorry to keep you waiting, ma'am.

00:16:08 What can I do for you?

00:16:09 I understood you're looking for lady wrestlers.

00:16:12 You see, I'm Granny the Gouger and I'd like to audition.

00:16:15 [Chuckles] You want to audition?

00:16:17 That's very funny. Is this some kind of a joke or something?

00:16:20 Joke? Funny?

00:16:22 Young man, it's not nice to make fun of an old lady.

00:16:25 You're going to be old yourself someday.

00:16:30 And when that day comes,

00:16:32 you're going to be sorry you weren't nicer to Granny.

00:16:38 I think I'm sorry already.

00:16:42 [# Smoke Gets Ln Your Eyes]

00:17:17 [Coughing]

00:17:23 [Coughing]

00:17:26 [Coughing]

00:17:40 [Both coughing]

00:18:01 Late, late at night

00:18:03 The world sleeps... [snoring]

00:18:06 And I am here alone

00:18:08 And here I come some nights

00:18:10 To confront my fears

00:18:13 [monsters growling]

00:18:16 They're here, my fears

00:18:18 They are always with me

00:18:20 Lurking, scurrying, hiding and waiting

00:18:23 They come!

00:18:25 And they go

00:18:27 But though they are gone they are never far

00:18:32 And here, alone at night...

00:18:34 ...I can confront them

00:18:41 There they are, confronted fears Fears of hunger, fears of pain... Ow!

00:18:46 Fears of missing the last train

00:18:49 Fear of dentists always drilling

00:18:51 Fear that no one will be willing

00:18:54 To see me as I know I really am

00:18:58 Once they are counted and compelled

00:19:00 They can quickly be dispelled [squeaks]

00:19:04 Like figments of my own imagination

00:19:10 But always... There are other fears

00:19:17 Fears of snakes, fears of cats

00:19:19 Fears of maître d's and rats

00:19:21 An irrational black terror that someday I may get fat

00:19:28 Fear of elevators falling

00:19:30 And the taxman someday calling

00:19:33 And the accidental walling of myself

00:19:37 Up inside a clammy, dank old dingy cellar

00:19:43 Where the spiders weave around my tummy

00:19:46 And the worms and bugs and crawly things

00:19:50 Squirm and squiggle at my person

00:19:53 [cackling] Oh, I love it!

00:19:57 Once they are counted and compelled

00:19:59 They can quickly be dispelled [squeaks]

00:20:04 But then...

00:20:06 There are other fears

00:20:09 Fears of bullets, there's a dread

00:20:12 Fear of baldness on the head

00:20:14 Fear of waking up one morning

00:20:16 To discover that you are dead

00:20:19 Once they are counted and compelled

00:20:22 They can quickly be dispelled [squeaks]

00:20:26 Like figments of my own imagination

00:20:30 Then there is the last fear

00:20:33 Just about the time I'm past fear

00:20:37 The one that really is final

00:20:40 It will come yours... and mine'll

00:20:43 In the darkest of the night

00:20:45 It will come without a fight

00:20:47 It will count me and compel me

00:20:52 It will casually dispel me

00:20:56 [cackling]

00:20:57 For I am just a figment

00:20:59 Of its own imagination

00:21:10 Oh, look at that.

00:21:11 The show's almost over and I still haven't found another lady wrestler.

00:21:15 Oh, where in the world am I gonna find another heavyweight, aggressive,

00:21:19 tough female with a killer's instinct?

00:21:22 Hello, Kermit.

00:21:25 Oh... Oh, hi, Miss Piggy.

00:21:27 And, pray tell, what is my wonderfulness doing?

00:21:30 Oh, you see, I was just thinking that you'd be perfect

00:21:33 for a special spot in tonight's show.

00:21:36 You have created a spot just for moi?

00:21:40 [Gasps] Oh, tell me about it, my little green ball of passion.

00:21:44 - Uh... - Yes, yes, yes.

00:21:45 Yeah. Well, you see, this is a spot that requires an actress

00:21:48 - with tremendous strength... - Yes.

00:21:50 ...versatility, uh... - Yes.

00:21:52 ...and someone who's all female.

00:21:54 - Oh. Oh, what is it? Joan of Arc? - Uh, no.

00:21:58 - Naughty Marietta? - Uh, no.

00:22:01 Oh, Lady Macbeth.

00:22:04 Well, it's more like a lady wrestler.

00:22:12 Lady... wrestler?

00:22:17 Well, yeah. It's a sort of thing

00:22:19 where you, uh... You have to have the ability to...

00:22:23 - I mean, wrestlers are... - Lady wrestler?!

00:22:26 [Both screaming]

00:22:32 - What do you make of that, man? - Ten to one on the pig.

00:22:35 [Screaming continues]

00:22:38 - Right. - [Miss Piggy] Lady wrestler?!

00:22:44 [Growling]

00:22:56 [Rhythmic growling]

00:23:02 [Surprised growling]

00:23:07 Tonight we're gonna present you with a cultural demonstration

00:23:10 of female grace and dexterity.

00:23:13 So here they are, direct from the Bali Hai Bowl-A-Drome,

00:23:15 Granny the Gouger and the Mysterious Miss Mask.

00:23:18 One fall, no holds barred.

00:23:21 [Breathing heavily]

00:23:28 Hope your insurance is paid, frog.

00:23:33 [Bell ringing]

00:23:38 [Mumbling indistinctly]

00:23:43 [Grunting]

00:23:46 Hiyah!

00:23:48 [Gasping]

00:23:51 [Crowd booing]

00:23:54 [Jeering and whistling]

00:23:56 [Grunts and laughs]

00:24:01 Alley-oop!

00:24:06 I think you'd better give up, frog.

00:24:08 What, and leave show business?

00:24:11 [Chuckling]

00:24:13 - What did you do to my frog? - Hmm?

00:24:16 - I'll show you. Hiyah! - [Yells]

00:24:20 [Crowd cheering and applauding]

00:24:24 Well, that's about it for another Muppet Show.

00:24:27 Some of us have taken great pains to bring you this show.

00:24:30 Uh, but right now I'd like to thank our special guest star,

00:24:33 who has joined the ranks of the Muppet monsters, Mr. Zero Mostel.

00:24:36 - Come on out! - [Applause]

00:24:40 Now you stop that, Mr. Mostel.

00:24:43 Uh, well, that's about it.

00:24:45 We'll see you all next time on The Muppet Show.

00:24:47 Must there be a next time?

00:25:25 What do you think of television?

00:25:27 - [crackling] - [Groaning]

00:25:29 Shocking, isn't it?

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