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Episode 210: George Burns

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The Muppet Show
Guest Starring George Burns
Production Dates August 2-5, 1977
Home Video Season Two
Best of the Muppet Show
George burns and kermit

Kermit is hassled by Daily Scandal reporter Fleet Scribbler, who blackmails his way backstage at The Muppet Show and is determined to spin everything he hears in a negative light. He even offers Miss Piggy a picture spread if she'll give him the real dirt on the Muppets. Soon, even the Swedish Chef is talking to Fleet, who answers in mock-Swedish.

Songs/Sketches

Episode

Picture
210 fiddles
Gonzo appears in Burns' dressing room, trying out his new act: Gonzo fiddles while George burns. "I like that joke," says Burns. "It's a pleasure to hear something that's older than I am."
210-01
"The Muppet Show Theme": A gunshot is fired from Gonzo's horn.
210-02
Miss Piggy and some pigs perform "Cuanto Le Gusta."
210-03

210-04
Kermit finds Fleet Scribbler, reporter for The Daily Scandal, snooping through his files. Kermit tries dealing with the unreasonable reporter, but Fleet turns everything the frog says into a negative headline. Gonzo enters the backstage area to alert Kermit that he has an intro to do. Fleet then finds another possible headline: "Gonzo Fiddles While George Burns."
210-05
Kermit introduces George, "with a cigar and a song."
George tells Rowlf about his old showbiz days of doing a dog act. The act went awry when the dog bit him and George was fired and the dog kept. George then sings "Train Back Home."
210-06
"How should I know what 'Cuanto Le Gusta' means?" Miss Piggy tells someone off-screen. Fleet approaches her and asks for some backstage dirt. She refuses to back-stab her frog, until she hears about the possibility of photo spread.
210-07
A performance of "Chattanooga Choo-Choo" is cut short by an incoming train.
210-08
Kermit tries warning George about Fleet, when he enters, asking for a brief interview. George makes wise-crack answers and blows some cigar smoke in his face, sending him off.
210-09
Veterinarian's Hospital: The crew tries diagnosing a telephone. Dr. Bob recommends it see the "telephone operator" instead.
210-10
UK Spot: Fozzie Bear sings "Wotcher Knocked 'Em in the Old Kent Road." Statler and Waldorf and the audience join in.
210-11
Gonzo has a chat with Burns about the old showbiz days and shares the story of his very first acting: working with a kangaroo who could tell time by keeping a pocket-watch in its pouch (which was always on Australia time).
210-12
Miss Piggy chases Kermit all around the ballroom, but he sings "I Won't Dance."
210-13
Luncheon Counter Monster happens upon a talking machine, who goes through a pre-recorded read-out of its various components, which the monster eats. After the whole machine is engulfed, the monster learns that he just consumed the most powerful explosive in the world.
210-14
Scooter agrees the Fleet situation is horrible; he didn't know where to begin when talking about backstage gossip! They observe Fleet talking to The Swedish Chef, and Fleet is able to speak Mock-Swedish with him.
210-15

210-16
George joins Rowlf again for the closing number. Miss Piggy and a chorus enter as well. George leads them in "It All Depends on You," then "You Made Me Love You." Gonzo's lyric sheet proves to be repetitive (listing "Didn't wanna do it" over and over), disrupting the song.
210-17
Fleet tries to get more info out of George, asking about a supposed sighting of him and Piggy at a local discotheque. George responds by sending more second-hand smoke his way.

Notes

Bts tms1

Puppeteers filming the "Cuanto Le Gusta" number.

ChatanoogaChooChooBTS copy

Behind the scenes of "Chattanooga Choo-Choo."

  • In Of Muppets and Men, Jerry Juhl said: "At the beginning of the second season we had a big reception for the English press. There was a tremendous turnout and lots of champagne and we chose this occasion to introduce a new character -- Fleet Scribbler, a very aggressive reporter -- whom we had written into the show. Naturally, the newspaper writers loved him and they splashed him all over the front pages of the tabloids. As soon as we began working with Fleet, we realized that he was simply abrasive and awful. We just wanted to get rid of him right away, but there'd been all this publicity, so we tried to stay with him for several weeks until we could drop him without anyone noticing."
  • Piggy declines Fleet Scribbler's offer to dish gossip on her fellow performers but changes her mind when he offers her a "picture spread... for page three." This is a reference to the British tabloid newspaper, The Sun, which features photographs of topless women on the third page, just on the inside of the cover.

Edits

  • Nickelodeon: The second backstage sequence was cut, as was Statler & Waldorf's comment about George's first number.

Cast

Muppets:

Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Scooter, Rowlf the Dog, Statler and Waldorf, Fleet Scribbler, The Swedish Chef, Whatnots, Janice, Luncheon Counter Monster, Talking Machine, Pigs

Background Muppets:

Droop, Zelda Rose, Miss Mousey, Baskerville the Hound, Blue Frackle, Nigel, Brewster

Performers

Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog, Rowlf, Waldorf, the Swedish Chef, Whatnot, and, Pig clapping on balcony.
Frank Oz as Miss Piggy and Fozzie Bear
Jerry Nelson as Fleet Scribbler, Pig, Talking Machine and Whatnot
Richard Hunt as Scooter, Statler, Janice, Pig, Luncheon Counter Monster and Whatnot
Dave Goelz as Gonzo, Whatnot, Pig trumpet player
Louise Gold as Pig


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