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Episode 221: Bob Hope

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The Muppet Show
Guest Starring Bob Hope
Production Dates November 22-24, 1977
Home Video Season Two
Best of the Muppet Show
Bobhope

Kermit suggests that Animal take up a hobby to calm his nerves, so he tries out a few -- alligator wrestling, bowling overhand, and hunting bunny rabbits with a tank gun.

Meanwhile, hard-working Bob Hope runs back and forth between The Muppet Show and a number of benefits, including ones for the Flying Zucchini Brothers and the Japanese Pole Vaulters Retirement Fund. Kermit keeps trying to keep Hope in the theater long enough to deliver one of his famous monologues, but when the guest star is finally ready to fulfill his obligation to the Muppets, Kermit refuses to cancel Gonzo's bread impersonation act to make space for his monologue. Instead, he offers Hope a spot in the lousy cowboy sketch.

Songs/Sketches

Notes

  • According to Of Muppets and Men, Christopher Reeve, a close friend of Jim Henson's, puppeteered a background pole-vaulter for this show.
  • While taping this episode, the Muppets and Bob Hope also recorded a skit for The Bob Hope All Star Christmas Comedy Special.
  • A third Newsflash scene, declaring the opening of hunting season and allowing a moose to fall on the Newsman, was cut from the episode. This was to appear between the "Fishing season" and "Opera season" bits.[1]
  • Audio from Kermit's theme intro appears in The Muppets when they first set foot in the dilapidated Muppet Theater.

Episode

Picture Description
Bobhope01
Cold Open: Gonzo tells guest star Bob Hope that he is a comic genius! But then he adds, "If your nose weren't so small you'd probably be a big star like me."
Bobhope-2
"The Muppet Show Theme": Crazy Harry blows up Gonzo. (Repeated from episode 218)
Bobhope25
Animal is overly excited to learn who the guest star is, even though he's never even heard of him. Kermit, tired of Animal bugging him, suggests that he find a hobby to calm him down.
Bobhope03
It's Calypso time! Miss Piggy and the pigs sing "Pig Calypso," and then invite Kermit onstage to give his take on the number.
Bobhope04

Bobhope05
Backstage, Fozzie has discovered that Bob Hope isn't in his dressing room. Kermit explains that he's across town doing a benefit. He is the busiest man in show business, after all. But he'll be back in time to do something for the show.

In his pursuit of a hobby, Animal has taken up alligator wrestling
Bobhope06

Bobhope07
Kermit goes onstage to introduce Bob Hope, but Fozzie informs him that Bob still isn't there yet. Kermit tries to stall with a long introduction until he finally arrives. Bob comes onstage only to tell Kermit that he is on a tight schedule and has to leave. Kermit objects, "You didn't even say, 'Hi, this is Bob Happy-to-be-on-the-Muppet-Show Hope!' Not even one 'But I wanna tell ya.' Or even 'Seriously, folks!'" And with that, Kermit has performed Bob's entire act.

Bob explains that he'll be back soon, but that he's already canceled one benefit to be there. It was for The Flying Zucchini Brothers, and they are mad about the cancellation.

Statler and Waldorf comment on Bob's departure: "It's what I've always said about this show. There's no hope."
Bobhope222

Bobhope2222
An Opossum and the Woodland Animals sing "For What It's Worth" as a group of hunters invade their woods.
Bobhope08
Muppet News Flash: The Newsman reports on the opening of fishing season as guns fire from offscreen and fish fall from the sky.
Bobhope09

Bobhope10
Scooter tells Kermit that the Flying Zucchini Brothers are going to send Bob back... by cannon. Bob says that he loves traveling by cannon ball as he's a high caliber performer. Kermit is all set to listen to one of Bob's monologues, but there's no time. Bob is already late for a benefit for the Japanese Pole Vaulters retirement fund.
Bobhope11
The Swedish Chef tries to prepare pressed duck. The duck, however, flies off, stealing the "duck presser," and drops it on the Chef's head, knocking him unconscious.
Bobhope12
Muppet News Flash: The opening night of the opera season is cut short by a hunter who took the term out of context.
Bobhope13
Rowlf performs Beethoven's "Pathétique," but Scooter tells him he must cut it short.
Bobhope14

Bobhope15

Bobhope16
UK Spot: J. P. Grosse joins Kermit, Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Rowlf, Scooter, Robin, Floyd, Baskerville, and the Afghan Hound for a medley which includes the songs "Long, Long Ago," "Aura Lee," "Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms," and "Sweet Genevieve."
Bobhope17
Muppet Labs: Dr. Bunsen Honeydew has Beaker feed an Automatic Wastebasket. The wastebasket turns out to have an insatiable appetite, and tries to devour Beaker.
Bobhope18
Bob returns, ready to perform his monologue. Except now there is no time for the monologue as Gonzo is on next to impersonate bread. Kermit offers Bob the cowboy sketch at the end of the show instead, talking it up as a terrific sketch. Bob agrees to do it just as Gonzo races on to announce that his bread impersonations are canceled. His poppy seeds were never delivered, and he refuses to perform naked. However, Gonzo tells Kermit that just because his act is canceled, he won't be talked into doing that awful cowboy sketch.
Bobhope19a

Bobhope19b
Animal has given up the "easy" sport of alligator wrestling. Instead he's taking up bowling. Only Animal bowls overhand.
Bobhope20
Rowlf performs "Nola." During the complicated number, he grows another hand to complete it.
Bobhope21

Bobhope22
Bob Hope, riding along on a two-bit horse (he bit Bob twice). Bob and Paul Revere sing "Don't Fence Me In."
Bobhope23
At the closing, the Flying Zucchini Brothers and the Japanese Pole Vaulters run away from Animal, who has given up overhanded bowling and taken up hunting. Bob swears this isn't happening, he's only hung over.

Edits

Bob Hope01
Bob Hope02
Bob Hope03
Behind the scenes: Bob Hope & Jim Henson
  • Nickelodeon: The first backstage sequence and first Muppet News Flash were both cut.

Cast

Muppets:

Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Scooter, Rowlf the Dog, Animal, Statler and Waldorf, Crazy Harry, Floyd Pepper, The Flying Zucchini Brothers, Opossum, Gramps, George the Janitor, The Newsman, Japanese Pole Vaulters, The Swedish Chef, Ronald Duck, Opera Singer, J. P. Grosse, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Beaker, Automatic Wastebasket, Paul Revere, Pigs, Whatnots,

Background Muppets:

Annie Sue Pig, Zoot, Alligators, Baskerville the Hound, Robin the Frog, Afghan Hound, Harrison Fox, James Badger, Will Possum, George Rabbit, Nat Muskrat, Deer, Mouse, Beaver

Performers

Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog, The Newsman, The Swedish Chef and Waldorf
Frank Oz as Animal, Fozzie Bear, Zucchini Brother and Miss Piggy
Jerry Nelson as Floyd Pepper, Pig, Gramps, Opossum, Zucchini Brother, Pole Vaulter, Automatic Wastebasket and Paul Revere
Richard Hunt as Scooter, Beaker, Pole Vaulter, Zucchini Brother, J.P. Grosse, George the Janitor and Statler
Dave Goelz as Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Gonzo, Ronald Duck, Whatnot Hunter, Pig and Zucchini Brother
Louise Gold as Annie Sue, Crazy Harry and an Opera Singer (uncredited)

Sources

  1. Bailey, Joseph. Memoirs of a Muppets Writer, page 169.


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