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Episode 203: Milton Berle/transcript

< Episode 203: Milton Berle

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Cold open

The dressing room. Scooter knocks on door.
Scooter Milton Berle. Twenty seconds to curtain. Stand by for makeup.
Milton Berle Stand by for what?
Timmy Monster Makeup!
Timmy Monster whacks Milton with a gigantic powder puff.
203-1

Theme

Kermit It's The Muppet Show with our very special guest star Mr. Milton Berle!
The curtain opens and the theme begins.
Statler Another show, another headache.
203-2
Water squirts out of Gonzo's trumpet.

Opening number

Main stage. Kermit enters.
Kermit Thank you, thank you. Hi-ho, and here we go again with another edition of The Muppet Show. Tonight's a special one for us because our guest star is one of the truly great comedians, Milton Berle. Mm-hmm. So now, for tonight's opening number, here he is, one of the beautiful people.
203-3
The Muppet Monsters sing "Ugly Song." A few Frackles and Mean Mama sing the praises of such ugly creatures as the crocodile and the warthog.
Waldorf Eh, there's something wrong with this hearing aid.
Statler What's wrong?
Waldorf I can't hear with it.
Waldorf accidentally knocks it off the balcony.
Statler Oh. No wonder. It's too far away.
Statler laughs, and Waldorf punches him in the face.

Backstage

The monsters from "Ugly Song" exit the stage.
Kermit OK, beautiful opening number. Beautiful. Very pretty, very pretty. Uh... or pretty ugly... uh, anyhow.
Kermit sees a lump of fabric by the wall and approaches it.
Kermit What is that?
203-4
The lump turns around. It's Fozzie, holding a green mask on a stick.
Fozzie Shh!
Kermit Fozzie!
Fozzie Yeah.
Kermit What are you doing?
Fozzie I'm hiding from Milton Berle.
Kermit Hiding from Milton Berle? But he's your idol. Don't you want to meet him?
Fozzie Meet him? Why do you think I'm hiding, Kermit? What could this lowly bear say to the king of comics?
Kermit How about "hello"?
Fozzie Hello? I just couldn't say "hello." No, I'd have to make a little speech and grovel a lot.
Kermit Uh, whatever you say, but, uh, I think there's one thing you should know about Milton Berle.
Fozzie What?
Kermit He's coming down the stairs.
Fozzie Aaah!
Fozzie drops his disguise and runs away. Milton Berle indeed comes down the stairs.
Kermit Hi there, Milton. You ready for your monologue?
Milton All ready.
Kermit OK. I'm gonna go introduce you.
Milton Thank you very much.
203-5
Kermit exits and Gonzo enters.
Gonzo Hey, Uncle Miltie, I hope you really knock 'em dead out there.
Milton Listen, kid, don't worry about the king.
Gonzo I'm not. I'm worried about you. (leaves)
Milton How do you like that? I'm not even on the stage and I'm in trouble.

Milton's monologue

Main stage. Kermit enters.
Kermit In the golden age of television, our guest star earned the title of "Mr. Television," and he deserves it to this day. Here he is, the incomparable Milton Berle!
The curtains open and Milton enters.
Milton Thank you. Thank you, thank you and good evening. Uh, and I wanna thank you, Kermit, thank you for your wonderful introduction. First time I've ever been introduced by an amphibious emcee. Because you know what "amphibious" means... it means he can be dull on land or water.

I feel great. I really, I feel wonderful. I just got back from a pleasure trip. I took my mother-in-law to the airport. I really did. And while I was there...

Statler and Waldorf Funny! Funny! Funny!
203 balcony
Milton Oh-ho, oh-ho! I heard about them. It's beginning. You're the two guys that I heard about that heckle from the box, aren't you? There they are, ladies and gentlemen. Get a good look at 'em. Starsky and Crutch. Yeah, don't start with me, boys. Don't start with me.
Statler Hey! Hey, Berle!
Milton What?
Statler You know what? I've just figured out your style.
Milton Really?
Statler You work like Gregory Peck!
Milton Gregory Peck's not a comedian.
Statler Well...
Milton Now just a minute, please. I have been a successful comedian half of my life.
Waldorf How come we got this half?
Milton Look, did you come in here to be entertained or not?
Statler That's right.
Milton What's right?
Statler We came in here to be entertained and we're not.
Milton Oh, yeah? I'd like to see you come down here and be funny.
Waldorf You first!
Milton (mock laughing) Ha ha ha, the audience. Don't pay any attention to him, folks. He's the ninth child of a family of eight. Let me tell this story...
Statler Hey, Berle!
Milton (groans) Yes, what is it? What is it?
Statler You know what you're doing wrong?
Milton What am I doing wrong?
Statler You're standing too close to the audience.
Milton Oh, I am? Well... how's this? (takes a step back)
Statler You're still too close.
Milton Oh, I'm sorry. Is this OK? (takes another step)
Statler A little more.
Milton How far back do you want me to go?
Statler You got a car? (Waldorf laughs)
Milton Let me tell you something, if you don't stop I'll have the usher throw you out.
Waldorf He can't, he's too busy.
Milton Doing what?
Waldorf Keeping people in! (He and Statler crack up, as does the audience.)
Milton (to the audience) And you're encouraging him! (to Statler and Waldorf) You know, I got a good mind to punch you in your nose.
Waldorf Please, not while I'm holding it. (They chuckle to each other)
Milton (chuckles) That's pretty funny.
Waldorf Ah, you can use it.
Milton ... You can use it. I don't need your material, pal. I got a million funny lines in the back of my head.
Statler Yeah, how come they never reach your mouth?
Milton Gentlemen, would you please? Would you take it easy? Do you think I'm doing this for fun?
Statler Not so far.
Milton I've... Oh, I see. You think you can do better?
Statler I couldn't do worse.
Milton Alright. OK. I dare you both to come down here and entertain.
Waldorf Eh, we should.
Milton Oh yeah? You sing?
Waldorf No.
Milton Do you dance?
Statler No.
Milton Can you get laughs?
Waldorf No.
Milton Then what would do you?
Waldorf Just what you're doing. (They and the audience laugh.)
Milton (claps hands) OK, that's it. That's it. I'm gonna call the police.
Statler Good idea. You need all the protection you can get.
Milton (to the laughing audience) Don't! (to Statler and Waldorf) I've had it with you guys. I'm not going to put up with you anymore... anymore. Not anymore.
203-6
Gonzo enters the stage.
Gonzo Hey, how's it going, Mr. Berle?
Milton Oh, I'm gonna start with you now? How's it going? It's going terribly. It's going... These guys have been picking on me, insulting me ever since I started.
Gonzo Well, can I help you out?
Milton Please, huh?
Gonzo Which way did you come in?
Milton I would... (realizes what Gonzo said, grabs Gonzo's nose and yanks him offstage) Get out of here! I've had it, I've had it! Here we go again.

Muppet News Flash

203-7
Newsman Here's a Muppet news flash. Dateline, London. The will of the late Mary Crandall, which has been bitterly contested by her son Charles and her cat Cuteypie, was settled today. A special court has ruled Charles is the sole heir and he will be awarded the entire estate... ten thousand rubber mice.

Pigs in Space

Announcer And now... Pigs... in... Space! Featuring the master of the Swinetrek, the intrepid and well-fed Link Hogthrob. And his first mate and second in command, the very cute and extremely dangerous Miss Piggy. And the super brain behind this whole ghastly mistake, the inexplicable Dr. Julius Strangepork. As you recall, last week the spaceship Swinetrek was on a suicidal collision course with a mysterious celestial object.
Shot of said object, then of the crew.
Link It's coming straight at us but I can't tell what it is.
Piggy It looks like the headlight on a motorcycle.
Link We know what it looks like, we want to know what it is!
Piggy Testy, testy, mon capitain.
Link Doc, would you look this thing up in your book?
Strangepork goes to his seat and looks through the book there.
Strangepork Mm-hmm. Ah, yes, yes.... No, no. It's not listed here under any known objects.
Link Look under unknown objects.
Piggy How could it be in that book if it's unknown?
Link There are some things even pigs don't know.
Piggy Oh, brother.
Link Doc, how long before we collide with this thing?
Strangepork Exactly 17 hours.
Link Good. (to Piggy) Now that's the kind of man I like to have on my crew.
Piggy (mocking) La-di-da.
Strangepork Excuse me, captain, it's not exactly 17 hours.
Link No?
Strangepork No. It's 17 seconds. I have trouble with those little decimals.
Link 17 seconds...
Piggy Nice going, Doc.
Link Prepare for collision!
Strangepork Oh! (grunts)
The pigs go to their seats. Cut back to the mysterious object, which is, in fact, Gonzo riding on a motorcycle.
Link It... It was a motorcycle!
Piggy I told you that at the beginning of this dumb sketch!
Link leaves the bridge. He stands in the doorway.
Link Lucky guess. Anyway... I got us out of that tight pinch.
203-8
The doors slam closed on his snout. Piggy and Strangepork laugh hysterically.
Strangepork Stuck pig alarm! Stuck pig alarm!
Tune in next week for last week's chapter of... Pigs in Space!

Backstage

Fozzie is sulking around the backstage door.
Fozzie Uh, this is a good place to hide from Milton Berle. (sigh) Gee, I never realized how funny he really is, in relation to certain bears I could mention.
203-9
Fozzie lifts up the panel on the door and peeks through.
Fozzie I think I'll just stay here until the end of the show.
The panel falls down on his nose. Fozzie groans in pain. Enter Kermit.
Kermit Uh, hey, Fozzie, that won't work. We already used that joke on Pigs in Space.

"The Entertainer"

Rowlf is softly playing "The Entertainer." Milton Berle enters.
Berle01
Milton The Entertainer, right?
Rowlf Yep. That's the name of the song.
Milton You know, most people don't know that there are words to that song.
Rowlf Yeah, that's true.
Milton You know what they're about?
Rowlf Hmm?
Milton They're about... the stars and the performers and the entertainers that appeared during the heyday of vaudeville.
Rowlf Hey, you used to be in vaudeville, didn't you?
Milton Yeah, sure I was, but when I was a kid.
Rowlf Yeah. How many performances did you do in vaudeville?
Milton Oh, I'd say between eighty thousand and one hundred thousand.
Rowlf Wow. You were really The Entertainer, weren't you?
Milton One of them, yeah. One of them. Many, many fond memories.
Milton speaks the lyrics to the song as Rowlf continues to play. More Muppets join him and pick up the tempo after the first verse. Milton finishes the song the way he started it.

UK Spot: "The Entertainer"

Rowlf is sitting at his piano. Piggy enters.
203-11
Piggy Rowlfie? Would you play that song again for moi?
Rowlf Sure.
Rowlf plays and Piggy sings "The Entertainer" again, with female pronouns.
Piggy Put somethin' in it, Rowlf!
Piggy dances.
Rowlf She's a born ham. Hubba hubba!
Piggy resumes singing.
Rowlf Oh yeah!
Piggy joins Rowlf at the piano.
Rowlf Don't hog the piano.
Piggy splays herself on the keys and shakes her chest. Rowlf covers his eyes. Piggy gets up to finish the song.
Rowlf Makin' the bacon. There we go, bringing home the pork!
Piggy and Rowlf finish the song disheveled and winded.

Backstage

Fozzie is wearing a big fake nose and beard. Scooter comes by, humming, then turns around when he sees Fozzie.
203-12
Scooter What's this?
Fozzie What does it look like, small boy I have never seen before?
Scooter Well, it looks like Fozzie Bear trying to hide from Milton Berle.
Fozzie You have penetrated my disguise. (removes fake nose)
Fozzie removes his fake nose and sulks to the stairs.
Scooter Oh, Fozzie. Fozzie, why don't you just go up to Milton Berle and introduce yourself?
Fozzie Oh, I just couldn't do that, Scooter!
Scooter Well, I see your point. Milton's monologue was terrific.
Fozzie Yeah.
Scooter As a matter of fact, he's much funnier than you are. Now if you really want to know the truth...
Fozzie I don't, I don't! What's wrong with old-fashioned lying?
Scooter Oh Fozzie, you look upset.
Fozzie I am, Scooter. I wish I could go lie down.
Scooter Well, what's stopping you?
Fozzie You're standing on my beard.
Scooter Oh. Sorry.
Scooter steps off. Fozzie falls over.
Fozzie Aaah!

"Who?"

Main stage. Kermit enters.
Kermit And now, straight from a three-month engagement at the Desert Springs Vermont Humane Society, here is Zelda Rose and her singing owl.
203-13
Zelda Rose and her Singing Owl perform "Who?"

Backstage

Kermit is at his desk. Fozzie pops out from under it.
Kermit Oh, Fozzie!
Fozzie Shh! Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Kermit Hey Fozzie, you know, this is your last chance to meet Milton Berle.
Fozzie Kermit, I keep telling you I just can't. I wouldn't know what to say to him.
Kermit Yeah, well, uh, here he comes.
Fozzie Oh, oh! I'm gonna hide! Please don't tell him where I am!
Kermit OK, whatever you say.
Milton enters. Fozzie hides behind a basket as Kermit and Milton talk.
Milton Hey, Kermit, where's Fozzie Bear?
Kermit Oh, uh, Fozzie Bear. Well, funny you should mention it, he's...
Milton Where is he?
Kermit He's, uh... He's in Death Valley.
Milton Death Valley?
Kermit Yep. Death Valley.
Milton What's he doing in Death Valley?
Kermit Uh, well, he's, uh... Uh, he's, um... gathering material for his act.
Milton I've seen his act. He can use it. No, I'm kidding. You know, Kermit, I've always wanted to do a song and dance with Fozzie Bear.
Fozzie is cowering until this point, at which he immediately pops up and reveals himself.
203-14
Fozzie Hi there!
Kermit Fozzie! Back so soon?
Fozzie Uh... Yes, Kermit!
Kermit How was Death Valley?
Fozzie Uh... hot! Hot, and that's funny. Nope. Nope, uh, too hot to be funny in Death Valley.
Kermit Yep, folks, once more the bear talks his way out of things. (leaves)
Fozzie starts to go after Kermit, but Milton gets his attention.
Fozzie Yes sir, yes sir?
Milton I was just telling Kermit that I've always wanted to do a song and dance with you.
Fozzie You? You? A song and dance with me? You, the king of the baggy pants comics? You, the... the... (stammers)
Milton How about, uh, Top Banana?
Fozzie What?
Milton Top Banana.
Fozzie Listen, Mr. Berle, if you want me to call you a banana I'll do it. I'll call you a Brussels sprout, a plum... whatever, I'll do it!
Milton No, no, no, kid. You see, top banana is what they call the head comic back in the days of burlesque.
Fozzie Ohh!
Milton Let me tell you something.
Fozzie settles in. Milton puts an arm around him.
Milton Are you listening, Fozzie?
Fozzie Oh, yes yes yes!
Milton speaks the lyrics of the first verse of "Top Banana." Fozzie listens enrapt.
Milton Come on, Fozzie. Follow me, huh? Come on.
Milton leads Fozzie to the stage.

"Top Banana"

Milton, dressed as a clown, and Fozzie sing "Top Banana," performing vaudeville schtick in the middle.
Berle02
Milton enters with a crate.
Fozzie Hey, hey, hey, where you going?
Milton I'm taking my case to court.
Fozzie enters looking in a handheld mirror.
Fozzie Oh, no! Oh, no, oh, no!
Milton Oh no, what's the matter, my good man? What's the matter?
Fozzie Who is this? Who is this?
Milton (takes the mirror) Why, it's me!
Fozzie Oh, good, I thought it was me.
Milton (grumbling incoherently)
Milton enters with the crate and a ladder, whistling.
Fozzie Hey, hey! Now where you going?
Milton I'm taking my case to a higher court. (groans)
Fozzie and Milton both enter.
Fozzie Hey, hey, now where you going, Sam?
Milton Sam? (snorts) How... how... how did you know? How did you know...? (to audience) Have you heard it, folks? (back to Fozzie) How'd you know my name was... How'd you know my... Will you wait till I tell it, folks, please? How'd you know my name was Sam?
Fozzie I guessed it.
Milton Then guess where I'm going.
Milton enters with a coat hanger, sobbing.
Fozzie Hey, hey, hey, hey, what happened in court?
Milton You wanna know? Stop the music.
The music stops.
Milton Do we have to do this joke?
Fozzie We gotta do it.
Milton (groans) It's an oldie, pal.
Fozzie I know, I know. Do it.
Milton You've got a lot of guts, pal, I'll tell you that.
Fozzie Go, go. Do it.
Milton Well, feed me once more, please. Feed me, feed me.
Fozzie Oh. Uh. Hey, what happened in court?
Milton Are you ready?... I lost the suit.
Milton and Fozzie finish singing "Top Banana."

Goodnights

Kermit is on the main stage.
Kermit Well, we've reached the end of another one, folks. Let's have a big round of applause for Mr. Milton Berle!
Milton comes onstage with Fozzie.
203-15
Milton Thank you. Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you.
Kermit Fozzie, what are you doing out here?
Fozzie Oh, Kermit, Milton and I are the best of friends now, right, Uncle Miltie?
Kermit That's right, that's right.
Fozzie Yeah. From now on, I can see it, it's the Bear and the Berle!
Milton (chuckles) Wrong. It's the Berle and the Bear.
Fozzie Yes, O master of mine. Grovel, grovel.
Milton Remember that, "grovel, grovel." OK.
Kermit And we'll see you all next time on The Muppet Show!
Fozzie and Kermit, plus Zelda Rose, Gonzo, Beautiful Day Monster, and Link surround Milton as the credits roll.
Waldorf Well, I finally got my hearing aid working.
Statler Hmm? Speak up, my hearing aid's not working.
Waldorf Huh?

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