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Episode 223: John Cleese

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The Muppet Show
Guest Starring John Cleese
Production Dates August 11-13, 1977
Home Video Season Two
Best of the Muppet Show
The Muppet Show Sampler
Cleese kermit fozzie

Gonzo catches a cannonball with his bare hand, which stretches his arm out. Fozzie and Floyd crack jokes about the situation. Gonzo turns to John for help, but John ends up pulling the rest of his limbs out to match.

Meanwhile, John isn't pleased with being on the show. He's tied to his chair before the show, he complains about the number of pigs and monsters on the show, and he gets roped into doing a closing number.

Songs/Sketches

Notes

  • John Cleese worked with Jerry Juhl on the script for the episode.[1]
  • A clip from this episode was used in an episode of Muppet Babies, it was edited to make the animated Gonzo appear to be talking to the adult Kermit.
  • Kidnapping the guest star before the show began worked again with Jack Black in The Muppets.

Episode

Picture Description
Johncleese01
Cold Open: Guest star John Cleese is tied up and gagged. "It's no use struggling, Mr. Cleese," Scooter says. "You can't leave until you've done the show."
Johncleese02
"The Muppet Show Theme": Gonzo plays his trumpet note perfectly; he looks surprised.
Johncleese03
Kermit welcomes the audience to the show. Fozzie Bear brings Kermit a note from the stagehands, apologizing for the heavy weight that they dropped -- which narrowly misses Kermit. Actually, they dropped two weights...
Somebodystolemygal2
Lubbock Lou and His Jughuggers sing "Somebody Stole My Gal".
Gonzocannonball

Gonzocannonball2
Gonzo catches a cannonball with his bare hand. His lovely assistant Crazy Harry fires a muzzle-loading cannon directly at Gonzo. Kermit excitedly announces that Gonzo has caught the cannonball -- but catching the cannonball has stretched his arm out.
Johncleese04

Johncleese05
Backstage, Floyd Pepper and Fozzie make jokes about Gonzo's long arm. (Fozzie: "Hey, have you heard about the new Police show starring Gonzo the Great?" Floyd: "No, what's it called?" Fozzie: "The Long Arm of the Law!") Kermit talks to John backstage, and finds out that he's not pleased -- there's pigs all over the place, and his contract has a no-pigs clause. "It says that I only work with the frog -- that's you, right? -- the bear, and the ugly disgusting one who catches cannonballs. That's it, no pigs! And that goes for monsters, too." Having stood his ground, John is alarmed to see the Luncheon Counter Monster eat his contract -- and Mean Mama eating his agent. All of a sudden, John is a lot more interested in working with pigs.
Johncleese08
Muppet News Flash: The Newsman reports that Dr. William Edgar has discovered how to synthesize a complete Italian dinner out of wool.
Rowlfchicken
Rowlf at the Piano: Rowlf plays "Rowlf's Polka", accompanied by a chicken. At the end of the number, the chicken clucks and rushes offstage. Rowlf is surprised; normally the chicken is a great performer, but tonight she laid an egg.
Pigsinspace223
Pigs in Space: Captain Link Hogthrob is alone on the deck of the Swinetrek, on a late-night watch. Suddenly, the deck is invaded by a pirate, Long John Silverstein, who lays siege to the ship. Hogthrob informs the pirate that this is a spaceship; he's supposed to be on an ocean someplace. Silverstein tries to regain control of the situation, while being nagged by his parrot.
Johncleese09
Fozzie irritates Gonzo by using his long arm as a clothesline.
Johncleese10
At the Dance: The dancers make fly-in-my-soup jokes.
Waitingatthechurch
UK Spot: Dressed as a pregnant, jilted bride, Miss Piggy sings "Waiting at the Church", accompanied by a caddish Kermit.
Twolostsouls
Robin the Frog and Sweetums sing "Two Lost Souls."
Johncleese13
Floyd and Fozzie make more arm jokes. (Floyd: "What is red and wooly and five feet long?" Fozzie: "I don't know, Floyd. What is red and wooly and five feet long?" Floyd: "A mitten for Gonzo the Great!")
Cleesegonzo

Johncleese19
Gonzo comes to John's dressing room for help. He tells John that he wants his arms to be the same length again. John helps by stretching the other arm out, so that they're both long. When Gonzo complains of this, John brings Gonzo's arms back to their normal length by stretching Gonzo's legs out. But now Gonzo can't tie his shoes, so John stretches out Gonzo's arms. Gonzo ends up pulled completely apart.
Spooble
Kermit reports from the Planet Koozebane, where he interviews the Koozebanian Spooble, an alien made entirely of liquid. The Spooble ends up getting drunk.
Youdvelovedmycadenza

Cleesedream
Kermit introduces John's final number, "The Impossible Dream". Onstage, John tells Kermit that he doesn't do old show tunes. Kermit apologizes, the curtain closes -- and when they open again, John is dressed for a Wagnerian opera number, and Sweetums is singing "Ride of the Valkyries". John objects, and Kermit asks for one more chance. When the curtain opens for a third time, John is dressed for a Mexican maraca solo. Kermit brings on a glee club of pigs, chickens and monsters to accompany John. Frustrated, John screams at Kermit... but the glee club finally ropes him into singing "The Impossible Dream".
Johncleese14
At the show's closing, fresh from his success as a singer, John announces his new album, "John Cleese: A Man and His Music".

Edits

Cast

Muppets:

Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Scooter, Rowlf the Dog, Statler and Waldorf, Floyd Pepper, Robin the Frog, Sweetums, The Newsman, Chickens, Link Hogthrob, Lubbock Lou, Slim Wilson, Lou, Gramps, Zeke, Koozebanian Spooble, Eric the Parrot, Pigs, Whatnots, Luncheon Counter Monster, Mean Mama, Miss Mousey, Crazy Harry

Background Muppets:

Blue Frackle

Performers

Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog, Link Hogthrob, Rowlf, Waldorf, The Newsman and Zeke
Frank Oz as Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, Whatnot Dancer and Gramps
Jerry Nelson as Slim Wilson, Floyd Pepper, Crazy Harry, Robin, Waiter, Eric the Parrot, Whatnot Dancer and the Announcer
Richard Hunt as Scooter, Statler, Sweetums, Bubba, Waiter and Pig
Dave Goelz as Gonzo, Koozebanian Spooble, Marvin and Lubbock Lou

Sources

  1. Finch, Christopher. Of Muppets and Men. p. 161


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