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Episode 417: Star Wars

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The Muppet Show
Guest Starring The stars of Star Wars
Production Dates January 15-18, 1980
Home Video Best of the Muppet Show
DearthNadir!!!

"Dearth Nadir???"

Kermit has booked Angus McGonagle, the argyle gargoyle who gargles Gershwin. But at the start of the show, the cast of Star Wars -- Luke Skywalker, C-3PO and R2-D2 smash through the wall, looking for Chewbacca. Kermit is thrilled to have them on his show, until he finds out that they won't actually perform anything.

Luke mollifies Kermit by bringing in his "cousin", Mark Hamill -- but when Kermit sees Mark sing and dance, he throws him out. Finally, the Star Wars crew hijacks the Swinetrek. With First Mate Piggy subbing in as Princess Leia, they face Dearth Nadir (Gonzo) who is holding Chewbacca prisoner.

Songs/Sketches


Episode

Picture Description
417-1
Cold Open: Angus McGonagle is all set to guest on The Muppet Show. That is, until the cast of Star Wars just so happen to blast through the dressing room wall. It seems they've landed on some sort of comedy variety show planet. Scooter decides that they would be much better guest stars than McGonagle.
417-2
"The Muppet Show Theme": A duck bites Gonzo's nose.
417-3
Kermit introduces the special guest stars for the week: the stars of Star Wars. Angus McGonagle comes onstage protest. Kermit explains that he doesn't even know what an argyle gargoyle does. McGonagle explains that they "gargle Gershwin. Gorgeously!"
417-4
A shepherd sings "Rama Lama Ding Dong" to his shepherdess amid a flock of sheep.
417-5

417-6

417-7
C-3PO and R2-D2 approach Kermit to explain why they're on the show. They are looking for Chewbacca, and present Kermit with a message from the Wookie: "To Luke Skywalker, C-3PO and R2-D2, Help, I am being held prisoner by a bunch of weird turkeys." As C-3PO points out, "It does rather sound like your show."

Luke Skywalker breaks into the theater, calling out "Remember Alderaan! Down with the Empire!" C-3PO agrees to try and calm him down. He and Kermit can both agree how strange humans are.
417-8
Muppet News Flash: The Newsman reports on the national sheepdog trials: they were found not guilty, to the distaste of the sheep.
Scooter sheep
Scooter practices his song for the second half of the show, but is criticized by a sheep.
417-9

417-10
Kermit asks the stars of Star Wars if they'll do a song while they're there. Sadly, Artoo is the only one eager to do so.

Later, Fozzie mistakes Luke Skywalker for Mark Hamill. Luke explains that Mark is his cousin, and goes to get him. Mark returns, and since Luke won't perform on the show, Kermit asks Mark to. Mark first tries to impress them with his impressions, but to no avail. He then tries to sing for them. He even tries out as a dancing comedian. Still, Kermit is not amused, and sends Mark packing.

Luke returns, threatens to turn Fozzie into a rug, and is then once again off. Mark runs in again: "Isn't that Luke Skywalker terrific?"
417 gargles

417-11
Finally, it's Angus McGonagle's chance! The stage is empty, and there's no one to stop him from gargling to the tune of "Summertime." Mark Hamill even joins him! Eventually, Kermit sends Animal out to chase them offstage.
417-12
UK Spot: "Three Little Fishies."
417-13

417-14

417-15
Scooter performs "Six String Orchestra." At first, he sings alone in his room with his guitar. Then he is joined by effigies of the Electric Mayhem. Soon he is performing a full blown concert! But as the song ends, he is once again alone in his room. He laments, "Someday I'm going to be a star."
417-16
Backstage, Robin races in to tell Kermit something, but Kermit stops him. "One thing at a time," he says. "That's how I'm able to put on this show without falling into a panic." He then turns to announce that Pigs in Space is on next. When he finally gets back around to talking to Robin, the young frog reveals that "the Star Wars people" have hijacked the Swinetrek! Kermit panics.
417-17

417-18
Pigs in Space: As alluded to in the previous scene, the Swinetrek has been hijacked by Luke Skywalker and his droid companions! But Captain Link Hogthrob confronts them, prying into the minds of these Star Wars people by asking of Skywalker... "Who's your tailor? I love that outfit." Meanwhile, Dr. Julius Strangepork can't resist playing with Artoo's buttons, and First Mate Miss Piggy can't resist playing with Luke. But evil is lurking around every corner. Hot on the trail of Chewbacca, and the crew happen upon the dreaded... Dearth Nadir!
417-19
Muppet News Flash: The Newsman reports that the Swinetrek is about to make a soft landing on a distant planet, but that Venus is about to make a hard landing on the Muppet newsroom.
417-20
Pigs in Space: Part 2 – The Swinetrek makes a not-so-soft landing on the planet Koozebane. The crew must seek shelter, and find a seemingly deserted cave. However, they soon learn that the dreaded (and icky) Dearth Nadir is already there! He menacingly approaches Skywalker to ask, "Who's your tailor? I love that outfit!" Luke tries to fire his blaster at Nadir, but it's no use. Nadir has neutralized all of their weapons... except for one: Chewbacca the Wookie!

Chewbacca comes on to the sound of a triumphant fanfare, and grabs hold of Dearth Nadir. But Nadir has one more trick up his sleeve, and calls for Angus McGonagle the gargling argyle gargoyle! All seems lost! What could possibly get our heroes out of this mess? Well, what else? A song and dance number!
417-21
Kermit enters to join the cast as they sing "You Are My Lucky Star."
417-22

417-23
With the song part out of the way, all that's left is the dancing. First Chewbacca and R2-D2 dance together, and then C-3PO entertains with some Fred Astaire-inspired tapping.
417-24

Medley.417
When Kermit tries to get Luke to do something for the finale, he refuses, and instead retrieves his cousin, Mark Hamill. Mark sings "When You Wish Upon a Star" with the Muppets.
417-25
At the closing, Kermit thanks all the stars of Star Wars, but Luke insists that they also thank Mark Hamill. Kermit suggests that Luke leave so Mark can come out, but Mark joins them onstage anyway. And Mark can't help but ask Luke, "Who's your tailor? I love that outfit!"

Releases

Notes

  • In this episode, Luke Skywalker is wearing his "Bespin uniform". This costume didn't appear until the latter part of The Empire Strikes Back, which at the time had yet to be released. A running gag throughout the episode sees several characters commenting favourably on the costume and asking "Who's your tailor?"
  • A similar thread to Empire was the announcement during Pigs in Space that Dearth Nadir's identity would be revealed in the segment. (although Gonzo first appeared as "Dearth Nadir" in episode 402, the true identity of Darth Vader was revealed in the movie which came out months after the original airing of this episode).
  • Posters of Luke Skywalker and an upside-down Star Destroyer hang in Scooter's bedroom during the "Six String Orchestra" number.
  • Though Kermit introduces the guest stars in the opening credits as "the stars of Star Wars," the episode is credited on the Time-Life video release as the "Mark Hamill" episode.
  • When the Odyssey Channel gave a sneak preview of its upcoming programming, this episode was shown, complete and uncut, making this the only episode to be shown uncut on American TV.
  • In 2001 the Star Wars Insider magazine, issue 55, ran several articles about this episode of The Muppet Show. One of the articles, entitled "Shooting Gonzo into the Canon", made an attempt to fit the appearance into Star Wars canon, stating that "any Star Wars project authorized by Lucasfilm, and featuring Star Wars characters, can surely be placed into the formal, official canon of the Star Wars universe."
  • The idea of Mark Hamill and Luke Skywalker being two different characters in the episode's plot came from Hamill's concern at the time about being typecast. In an interview, Dave Goelz stated that "he was rightfully concerned about being identified forever as Luke Skywalker, so for that reason, they wrote a dual storyline. Our whole stance was, we wanted guest stars to be able to do what they wanted to do." [1]

Edits

When this episode aired on Nickelodeon, the following scenes were cut:

  • Scooter practicing for his big number
  • Mark Hamill and Angus McGonagle gargling Gershwin on-stage
  • the second Muppet News Flash

Cast

Guest Stars:

Mark Hamill, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), C-3PO (Anthony Daniels), Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), and R2-D2 (Himself).

Muppets:

Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Scooter, Statler and Waldorf, Angus McGonagle, Shepherd, Shepherdess, The Newsman, Animal, Robin the Frog, Link Hogthrob, Dr. Strangepork, Eel, Fish, Shark, Sheep

Background Muppets:

Beauregard, Floyd Pepper, Janice, Zoot, Nigel, Koozebanians, Whatnots

Performers

Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog, Link Hogthrob, Waldorf and the Newsman
Frank Oz as Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, Animal and Shark
Jerry Nelson as Angus McGonagle, Dr. Julius Strangepork, Floyd Pepper, Robin the Frog, Eel and the Announcer
Richard Hunt as Scooter, Statler, Janice, and Shepherd
Dave Goelz as Gonzo and Zoot
Louise Gold as Mother Fish
Steve Whitmire as Sheep
Kathy Mullen as others

Gallery

Sources

  1. Star Wars Insider#55, p.55

External links


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