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Episode 307: Alice Cooper

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The Muppet Show
Guest Starring Alice Cooper
Production Dates March 28-30, 1978
Home Video Season 3
Best of the Muppet Show
Monster Laughs...
The Muppet Show Sampler
Cooper01
This episode is available for viewing, sans U.K. Spot, at the Paley Center for Media.

The "talented but frightening" Alice Cooper sets an eerie mood for the show from the moment he tells Scooter that the monsters in his dressing room aren't The Muppet Show's; they're his. Even the floating blue mass that comes out of Gonzo's horn in the opening has an otherworldly feel to it.

Alice later reveals himself to be an agent of The Devil, offering the Muppets "fabulous riches and worldwide fame" in a Faustian exchange for their souls. Kermit shudders at the idea, Miss Piggy gives it a test run but ultimately decides it's not worth the sacrifice (or the makeover), and Gonzo spends much of the episode looking for a pen to sign the contract. He becomes so desperate that he, in quick succession, offers to trade the Vile Bunch Drummer a chicken, all of his chickens, and finally his soul for a pen before realizing that he has "other plans for that."

As with episode 119, which guest starred Vincent Price, this episode revolves around the theme of "ghoulies and ghosties and long-legged beasties and things that go bump in the night." Most of the action, both onstage and off, has a weird atmosphere, even when the guest star is not involved: the monstrous Germ attacks Beaker in Muppet Labs; the "Toothache" sketch with talking speleothems; and Pigs in Space, in which Link, Miss Piggy, Dr. Strangepork, and even the Swinetrek itself become mere animated outlines of their three-dimensional selves. The only "normal" moment in the show comes after Fozzie Bear, faced with some fanged Whatnot children in the canteen, begs for "one thing nice on this show tonight" - Robin the Frog answers his prayers by performing an understated and uninterrupted rendition of "Over the Rainbow."

When Gonzo scares everyone with his "voice of doom" before appearing onstage in a flash of light at the end of the show, Kermit is afraid that the paper in his hand is a signed contract with the Devil. Gonzo instead reveals it to be the bill from Special Effects, to which Alice and the Monsters shiver in fear at something truly scary to them.

Songs/Sketches

Episode

Picture Description
307-01
Scooter enters Alice Cooper's dressing room and finds him surrounded by monsters. Scooter alerts him they don't own them, but Alice explains they're his!
307-02
"The Muppet Show Theme": Gonzo's horn lets loose a blue spirit.
307-03
During Kermit's introduction, he explains tonight will be a creepier show than usual because of their guest. Suddenly, the lights dim and eerie noises go off. Kermit makes a hasty intro and exit.
307-04
Alice performs "Welcome to My Nightmare", backed up by his band, The Vile Bunch.
307-05

307-06
As the band enters backstage, Kermit remarks the Julie Andrews show was more pleasant and calls for the William Tell act to get onstage. He then tells Alice how great being a rock star might be. Alice then offers him a sinister contract, which can ensure his wildest dreams for one price: his soul. One of the stray arrows impales the contract onto the banister. The act comes backstage, with William Tell's assistant having an arrow through his head.
307-07
Muppet Labs: Beaker can say goodbye to using a microscope when Bunsen unveils Muppet Labs' new "Germ Enlargener". They demonstrate using a deadly germ, Streptococcus yuckotherium. The germ grows and engulfs Beaker.
307-08
Gonzo gives the contract a read and is ready to sell his soul to be famous, but can't find a pen...
307-09
A stalagmite complains about his toothache, while his fellow speleothems repeat what he says (with a few mis-communications). They are shown to be the teeth of another stalagmite, who begins to recite the sketch again.
307-10
Sam the Eagle gives Alice his scathing opinion of him. Alice simply thanks him for the compliment.
307-11
Fozzie can't take the creepiness going on upstairs and prefers staying in the canteen with the "clean-cut kids", who are anything but. Fozzie sighs and hopes for something nice on the show tonight.
307-12
Robin grants Fozzie's wish with a performance of "Over the Rainbow."
307-13
UK Spot: A candle moves across Kermit's desk. Some masked beings begin appearing around Kermit until he runs off. The monsters un-mask themselves and sing "Once a Year Day."
307-14

307-15

307-16
Alice sings "You and Me" to Beakie while snuggled together in his dressing room. Scooter enters to tell Miss Piggy it's time for Pigs in Space. The creature turns out to be Piggy, who has turned this way as a side effect from Alice's magic. She demands to be changed back and revokes her deal with Alice in a huff. Alice calls his boss about commission for "hourly rentals." His boss is none too pleased.
307-17
Pigs in Space: Link is suffering from a space disease. Strangepork and Piggy place him at a machine to cure him, but turns him into an outline of himself as a side-effect. He soon turns Piggy, Strangepork and the rest of the ship into the same.
307-18
Alice and the monsters sing a rowdy version of "School's Out."
307-19
Kermit brings out Alice again, who appears in thin air and is joined by the monsters. They then hear "The Voice of Doom", who's actually Gonzo. He appears (with an explosion) holding something worse than the contract: the bill from special-effects!

Notes

  • This was the first episode that Steve Whitmire performed in.[1]
  • Kermit makes a reference to the Julie Andrews episode after the opening number: "Things weren't this spooky when Julie Andrews did the show."

Edits

Cast

Muppets:

Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Scooter, Statler and Waldorf, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Beaker, Sam the Eagle, Gladys, Robin the Frog, Thog, Dr. Julius Strangepork, Link Hogthrob, William Tell, Walter Tell, the Germ, Speleothems, Blue Frackle, Vile Bunch Drummer, Beakie, and The Announcer

Background Muppets:

Snake, Purple Heap, Vile Bunch Guitarist, Silver Beak, Bats, Skeleton, Chopped Liver, Ghost, Flower-Eating Monster, Kangaroo, a Mutation, Timmy Monster, Mean Mama, Doglion, Sweetums, and four Fanged Whatnot Kids

Performers

Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog, Link Hogthrob and Waldorf
Frank Oz as Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy and Sam the Eagle
Jerry Nelson as Dr. Julius Strangepork, the Announcer, Robin, Stalagmite and William Tell
Richard Hunt as Scooter, Statler, Beaker, Gladys, Blue Frackle, Sweetums and Stalagmite
Dave Goelz as Gonzo, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Walter Tell
Louise Gold as Beakie
Steve Whitmire as Thog[2]

Gallery

Sources

  1. "Ratting Out: An Interview with Muppeteer Steve Whitmire" by Kenneth Plume, 7/19/99
  2. "Interview with Steve Whitmire" by Gina on 2momluvme.com, 1998


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