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Episode 409: Beverly Sills

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The Muppet Show
Guest Starring Beverly Sills
Production Dates June 26-28, 1979
Home Video Best of the Muppet Show
Beverlysills

The pigs are excited that guest star Beverly Sills plans to perform the opera "Pigoletto" as the closing number.

For his work in this episode, art director Malcolm Stone received the first of two Emmy Award nominations for his work on The Muppet Show.

Songs/Sketches

Episode

Picture Description
409 broken glasses
Cold Open: Guest star Beverly Sills is practicing. She hits a note so high that she breaks Scooter's glasses.
409 trumpet
"The Muppet Show Theme": Gonzo plays by ear.
409 chinese gorilla
At the start of the show, Statler and Waldorf complain that the opening numbers are too weird -- "what do you have tonight, a Chinese gorilla dancing ballet?" Embarrassed, Kermit cancels the opening number, infuriating the Chinese gorilla who was planning to dance ballet.
409 kermit statler

409 ten terrific girls

409 only nine costumes

409 s and w joke

409 fozzie heckles
Kermit asks the old men what they would do for an opening number, so they throw together a burlesque number: "Take Ten Terrific Girls". The number stars ten terrific girls, but, as the lyrics suggest, only nine costumes.

Statler and Waldorf share a few old jokes during the number:

Statler: "What do you get when you pour boiling water down a rabbit hole?

Waldorf: "I don't know. What do you get when you pour boiling water down a rabbit hole?"

Statler: "Hot cross bunnies!"

Waldorf: "Tell me, Mr. Statler, why do bees hum?"

Statler: "I don't know, Mr. Waldorf, why do bees hum?"

Waldorf: "Because they don't know the words!"

Fozzie Bear heckles from the balcony, calling for them to "bring on the bear."

409 scooter fozzie
Backstage, Scooter tells Kermit that his bike is being stolen. Kermit runs outside, leaving Fozzie to introduce the next act. Fozzie assures Scooter that he knows all about Beverly Sills.
409 sills and fozzie

409 country western tapping
Confused about who the guest star is, Fozzie introduces her as "one of the great singers of country and western music," Miss Bev Sills. Beverly sings "When the Bloom is on the Sage" in opera style, and also tap dances. She is accompanied by Lubbock Lou and his Jughuggers.
409 backstage 2
Between numbers, Miss Piggy practices her soprano on Kermit when she finds out Beverly will be doing an opera number at the end of the show. He tells her that Beverly is holding auditions later, and Piggy should love the opera -- it's called "Pigoletto."
409 newsman cows
The Newsman rushes on for a Muppet News Flash to announce that Beverly will be singing opera until the cows come home. Just then, he gets run over by a herd of cows.
409 kermit sam

409 spoon hanging
Gonzo meets with Beverly in her dressing room to demonstrate his new art form -- spoon-hanging. When Sam the Eagle arrives to worship at Beverly's feet, he's scandalized to find her practicing spoon-hanging.
409 muppera
The UK Spot for the episode is an opera number performed by the Fuzz Brothers.
Sills01

409 opera auditions
Miss Piggy visits Beverly in her dressing room to audition for "Pigoletto."

Soon, the room is filled with auditioning pigs, including Strangepork playing the kazoo and Link Hogthrob trying out for the basketball team. Beverly tells them that they'll all have a part in the closing number.

409 cow opera

409 frog opera
That doesn't sit well with the other animals, who complain to Kermit that they can sing opera too -- suggesting "Goat-erdammerung" (Götterdämmerung), "La Traviotter" (La Traviata) and "Madame Buttermilk" (Madama Butterfly). Robin the Frog claims that he's perfect for "Low 'n Green" (Lohengrin).
409 sam lecture

409 ameoba kermit

409 ameoba fozzie
Onstage, Sam the Eagle presents Muppet University, a classy educational feature.

He looks through a microscope at a water drop -- and is horrified to see Kermit the Protozoa and Fozzie Amoeba performing vaudeville schtick.

409 sam kermit

409 spear carriers
Kermit tells Sam he thinks things went well in his act, especially with the protozoa.

Scooter arrives to tell Kermit that everything is set for the closing number, except for with the spear carriers; they're demanding money. Kermit says no until he is pursuaded (by the spears) to change his mind.

409 pigoletto 1

409 pigoletto 2
For the closing number, Beverly performs "Pigoletto," with a chorus of upstaging pigs, including Link Hogthrob, Julius Strangepork, and Miss Piggy as Cleopatra. Although the name is a spoof of Rigoletto, the music being performed is also taken from La Traviata, Carmen, Aida, and Die Walkure. Beverly gets involved in a "who can sing higher" contest with Piggy, which ends when Piggy drops to a dramatic low note.
409 closing
At the closing, Beverly Sills tells Kermit that she enjoyed doing The Muppet Show almost as much as performing opera. Gonzo arrives to ask her if that means she'll be giving up great art such as spoon hanging for lesser mediums.

Edits

  • Nickelodeon: Muppet University was cut.

Cast

Sills02

Muppets:

Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Scooter, Statler and Waldorf, Beauregard, Beaker, the Newsman, Robin the Frog, Sam the Eagle, Link Hogthrob, Julius Strangepork, Lubbock Lou and His Jughuggers, Kermit the Protozoa, Fozzie Amoeba, the Fuzz Brothers, Goat, Cow, Otter

Background Muppets:

Janice, Annie Sue, Beauregard, Beaker

Performers

Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog, Waldorf, Link Hogthrob, and the Newsman
Frank Oz as Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal and Sam the Eagle
Jerry Nelson as Robin and Dr. Julius Strangepork
Richard Hunt as Scooter and Statler
Dave Goelz as Gonzo
Steve Whitmire as others
Louise Gold as others
Kathy Mullen as others


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