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Episode 407: Dudley Moore

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The Muppet Show
Guest Starring Dudley Moore
Production Dates June 12-14, 1979
Home Video Best of the Muppet Show
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Dudley tells the Electric Mayhem that he doesn't need them tonight -- he's brought a musical robot called M.A.M.M.A., the Music and Mood Management Apparatus. M.A.M.M.A. is a garbage can on wheels, which plays tinny electronic music in any style. The band resents M.A.M.M.A.'s intrusion, and Animal attacks Dudley. Later, Gonzo recites from the works of Percy Bysshe Shelley while -- and at the same time -- defusing a high-explosive bomb. M.A.M.M.A. wheels up behind him and plays a loud fanfare. Gonzo slips and sets off the bomb, destroying M.A.M.M.A. and half the theater.

Songs/Sketches

Notes

  • Richard Hunt does not perform many voices in this episode. His only vocal performances were as Scooter in the cold opening and as Statler in a few scenes. While Janice appears throughout this episode, she does not get any lines (Richard Hunt didn't have any other of his characters in her scenes), and Hunt doesn't perform any one-shot characters in this episode, indicating that his availability might have been limited in this episode.
  • There are possibly two versions of the closing credits to this episode, both based on versions of songs M.A.M.M.A plays during its final performance. In one version, towards the end it is playing an electric version of the closing Muppet Show theme before it cuts to Statler and Waldorf, while another has the romantic music played during the UK Skit when it appeared behind Kermit and Miss Piggy.
  • This was the first episode to air in the UK after the ITV strike of 1979.

Episode

Picture Description
Cold Open: When Scooter steps into the guest star's dressing room, he finds Dudley Moore trying to tune his piano. He asks Scooter to give him an "A." Scooter complies by shooting one down from the ceiling.

"The Muppet Show Theme": Waldorf warns Statler to be careful about what he says. The place may be bugged.

Gonzo turns into a bug before he can play his trumpet.
A "talented group of young unkowns" performs the opening number. A Bug Band singing "She Loves You."

Backstage, Kermit the Frog reccomends that the bug band find a name for their group. One of them mentions "The Grateful Dead" as a possibility. Kermit asks, "The who?" Alexander Beetle says that it's been done already.

Dudley Moore approaches Kermit to ask if they're ready for his number yet. Kermit says they're not ready yet; the band doesn't know the arrangments to accompany him. Dudley has brought his own accompinament in the form of M.A.M.M.A., the Music And Mood Management Apparatus. Dudley describes it as the ultimate achievement, man's synthesis of science and art. The Sistine Chapel of innovation! "It's good, huh?" Kermit asks. Dudley replies, "It's not bad." Dudley demonstrates how it works, programing it to play "The Muppet Show Theme" and a disco tune which segues perfectly into the next act...
At the Dance: Disco! Fozzie Bear tells all of the jokes at this dance. All of them are terrifically awful, and the dancers let him know it. But, Fozzie is persistant and continues with his act.

Dudley plays "Mama Don't Allow" with back up from M.A.M.M.A. Dr. Teeth refers to M.A.M.M.A. as a musical garbage can. Floyd Pepper adds, "Playing musical garbage!" The Electric Mayhem members are against this machine, particularly since it means they won't be getting paid.
Backstage, Floyd demands to know what's with the "electric, no-man band." Kermit calls it an experiment, but Floyd won't allow it. "Listen, turtle bait," Floyd states, "just because it can play for Dudley Moore don't mean it can play the rest of the show." Kermit, of course, thinks that this is a wonderful idea! He sets M.A.M.M.A. to perform all the background music for the rest of the episode. Rowlf, dejected, decides to get a new job with a monkey looking for an organ grinder while the rest of the band create a united front against Kermit.
Pigs in Space: The Swinetrek is being pursued by a mysterious object! Dr. Julius Strangepork announces over the intercom that he has discovered the objects identity, but will not reveal what it is until after he has made an entrance. When he does, heroic music echoes through the ship! The object is none other than M.A.M.M.A., sent to underscore the sketch. The machine fills the sketch with dramatic stings, but only plays "dumb music" whenever Link Hogthrob speaks. When Miss Piggy decides that she's had enough and walks off the sketch, M.A.M.M.A. plays the music of a burlesque stripper.
UK Spot: In a parody of old films and soap operas, Kermit arrives in Miss Piggy's Dressing Room, for Miss Piggy has a most important question to ask, the answer to which could make Piggy very happy. Romantic music swells as Piggy prepares to say, "My dressing room sink is stopped up again." But Piggy will not let Kermit out of her dressing room, for she fears something evil lurks on the other side of the door! As frightening music builds, Kermit struggles to get past Miss Piggy. Finally, the truth behind the door is revealed! And it is only M.A.M.M.A.

In his dressing room, Dudley sings "Strictly for the Birds" while he plays his piano. Soon, though, he is confronted by Floyd and Animal, who've come to talk about Dudley's music machine. Dudley says that it is best to express their feelings on the matter, and the band's feeling is that "that cheap, jive jukebox is going to put an end to the gig for the band." Dudley tries to express his feelings on the subject with a menacing and bad-breathed Animal next to him. Needless to say, Dudley does not get his point across.
Gonzo requests complete silence as he recites the works of Percy Bysshe Shelley while defusing a bomb, but he is interrupted by M.A.M.M.A. An explosion ensues, a better finish than Gonzo had hoped for.
The explosion has destroyed M.A.M.M.A. All that it will play now is Japanese kabuki music. With the machine a wreck, Kermit meekly requests that the band finish the show, and promises to never even think about hiring another band. After much deliberation, and Animal's voting "No," the Electric Mayhem agrees to Kermit's terms.
Dudley Moore and the Electric Mayhem perform "How High the Moon" as the theater falls apart around them.
At the closing, Dudley sets a repaired M.A.M.M.A. to play a medley of songs over the end credits.

Cast

Muppets:

Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Scooter, Rowlf the Dog, Statler and Waldorf, Alexander Beetle, Bug Band, M.A.M.M.A., Dr. Teeth, Floyd Pepper, Animal, Janice, Zoot,Dr. Julius Strangepork, Link Hogthrob, Cow, Whatnots, Shark,

Background Muppets:

Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Rats, Annie Sue Pig

Performers

Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog, Rowlf, Dr. Teeth, Waldorf, Link Hogthrob and one of the Bugs
Frank Oz as Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and Animal
Jerry Nelson as Floyd Pepper, Cow, Dancer and one of the Bugs
Richard Hunt as Scooter and Statler
Dave Goelz as Gonzo, Dancer and one of the Bugs
Louise Gold as Dancer
Steve Whitmire as one of the Bugs
Kathy Mullen as Dancer
Robert Payne as others.

Gallery


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