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Episode 418: Christopher Reeve

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The Muppet Show
Guest Starring Christopher Reeve
Production Dates January 22-25, 1980
Home Video
Christopherreeve

Kermit is jealous when Miss Piggy falls for guest star Christopher Reeve. She plans to sing "Never Before, Never Again" for Kermit, but she deliberately smashes Rowlf's hands in the piano, so Chris will have to accompany her. She sings "East of the Sun, West of the Moon" for him.

Songs/Sketches

Episode

Picture Description
TMS418-01
Cold Open: Scooter knocks on Reeve's dressing room door to let the guest star know that the curtain will rise in 15 seconds. Reeve asks what the rats are doing in his dressing room; Scooter thinks it's the foxtrot. Reeve addresses the audience: "Gee, most stars get groupies. I get rats."
TMS418-02
"The Muppet Show Theme": When Gonzo blows his trumpet, he's inundated with rodents: "Aw, rats."
TMS418-03
Kermit the Frog welcomes to audience to the show and announces their guest: "none other than that fantastic film star, the man who plays Superman, Mr. Christopher Reeve!" As he happens to appear in the oepning number, he's dressed in a robe to allow for a quick change, and announces himself: "Let's hear it for me! Yaaay!"
TMS418-04
On a set dressed as a swamp, Kermit, dressed in a leisure suit, joins some frogs and an alligator singing "Disco Frog". Kermit hops among the lily pads in full-body shots with the help of puppeteers dressed in black.
TMS418-05
Backstage, Kermit congratulates his fellow performers on a successfull opening number. Miss Piggy enters from the Stage Door and announces that she's returned from picking up a costume for her number tonight. She plans to sing "Never Before, Never Again" from The Muppet Movie with Kermit, but she promptly drops him (literally) when she hears that Christopher "perfect body" Reeve is the show's guest.
TMS418-06
On stage, Gonzo explains that he can't do his act which was to consist of his performance of the first act of William Shakespeare's Hamlet while hanging from his nose, but he can't because he sprained his nose while rehearsing with heavy shoes.
TMS418-07
Kermit asks Reeve if he'd like to fill in, since they already have the set and props ready for the sketch. Reeve says he's not really that interested to play Hamlet, but Kermit persuades him to take the spot. Like his character in Superman, Reeve uses a phone booth to change his costume and tells Kermit he can introduce him.
TMS418-08

TMS418-09
On stage, Reeve struggles with his lines, but gets some help from Fozzie who has hidden himself on set with the script. Beauregard interupts his performance to provide the actor's prop for the scene: a Muppet skull who plays the part of Hamlet's deceased friend Yorick.

Bored with the way the scene is going, Yorick suggests Reeve sing, instead. When Reeve explains that Hamlet doesn't sing, Link Hogthrob enters the scene explaining the character name was his nickname when he was just a little porker. Fozzie, Yorick, Link and Reeve proceed with a rendition of "Brush Up Your Shakespeare".

TMS418-10
Kermit stops by Piggy's dressing room to let her know she's on next. As her door is ajar, he peeks in to find the room completely redecorated with Superman memorabilia. Unsure of where to put her autographed picture of Christopher Reeve, Foo-Foo makes room by knocking away the only framed picture of Kermit to make room. The audience sighs in sympathy at Kermit's realization that she never called him a "beautiful brute".
TMS418-11
In a Muppet News Flash, the Newsman announces that a sheep had escaped from the Department of Agriculture's maximum security sheep station. The killer lamb has been bred to hunt wolves and trained to attack at the sound of a bell. Just then, a rotary phone rings on his desk, prompting a violent attack by the sheep from the rear.
TMS418-12
In Veterinarian's Hospital, Nurse Piggy tells Rowlf that he's the patient today so he can get a taste of his own medicine (Nusre Janice backs her up saying that bad taste never bothered him before). Filling in for Dr. Bob is Dr. Reeve who explains that he's a GP, which Nurse Piggy insists means gorgeous person. The Announcer begins to tease next week's episode, but Reeve says he won't be here. "You mean you're leaving?", asks Piggy. Reeve responds, "Faster than a speeding bullet," then shoots out the door of the operating room.
TMS418-13
UK Spots: Sam the Eagle is backstage writing a letter to complain about conditions on The Muppet Show. As he writes, Janice and Floyd begin to sing "Sam's Song" as Rizzo dances. Beauregard joins on the harmonica and Nigel whistles, until Sam can't take it anymore and scares everyone off. Alone again, Kermit finds Sam humming the tune, which he embarrassingly refers to as "something called Fred's Song."
TMS418-14

TMS418-15
Back in his dressing room, Reeve confers with the rats on his script for the show. Piggy drops by wanting to know he got a job as Superman, and is amazed when he takes off his hospital gown to reveal a tight, blue t-shirt. He tries to explain his audition process, claiming strength had nothing to do with getting the part, but he keeps effortlessly destroying the furniture in the room.

Having already looked for the Superman suit in his wardrobe, Piggy asks him to use her body to recreate the scenes in which Superman flew with Lois Lane in the movie. Kermit peeks in just as the two are locked in embrace.

TMS418-16
Fozzie and a matador play "The Toreador Song" together on a piano. Unfortunately for them, the tune seems to have lured a bull to their performance, who charges the duo and sends them flying off stage.
TMS418-17
At Muppet Labs, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew introduces their latest invention, an electrically-heated milking machine. He intends to demonstrate on a dairy cow, but the cow freaks out, tangling Beaker's hair in the contraption. The machine overheats and the teat cups explode, revealing a permanent which Bunsen calls "hauntingly attractive." The cow agrees.
TMS418-18

TMS418-19
Kermit introduces Piggy to sing "Never Before, Never Again" and Rowlf gets through the intro before Piggy sabotages the performance, slamming the piano cover on his fingers. Kermit wants to know who will replace him, and Piggy suggests Reeve. After another quick telephone booth wardrobe change, and leaving "Super Rat" in charge, Reeve takes to the stage to accompany Piggy. Although he's not familiar with the song, Piggy insists that he play "East of the Sun (and West of the Moon)".

Part way through their duet, Piggy asks him to sweep her away in flight over the buildings of Metropolis. Making a joke about her weight, they finish the song as Piggy litters him with kisses all over his neck and chest.

TMS418-20
Closing the show, Kermit thanks Reeve for his appearance. He makes another reference to Piggy's weight, provoking a karate chop to the stomach. Unexpectedly, Piggy's arm behaves as if it's hit petrified wood. Suprised, Kermit exclaims, "he really is the man of steel!" As the credits begin to roll, Reeve loses composure and doubles over in pain from Piggy's attack. They are joined by some rats, Beauregard, an alligator, Link and Scooter.

Notes

  • Piggy's mention of "Never Before, Never Again" is the third time the Muppets made reference to The Muppet Movie on the show. (The first was in episode 322.)
  • This episode is the first appearance of Rizzo the Rat, who began as a silent background character and grew into a prominent member of the Muppets troupe. Rizzo appears in a group of rats following Chris around backstage in this episode -- and he mugs and reacts to practically every line of dialogue.
  • Reeve's Superman role is the source of numerous jokes. There's a telephone booth in the backstage area which Reeve uses to instantly change his clothes during the show. In addition, when Miss Piggy karate chops Reeve in rage, she bounces off him with gong reverberations as if Reeve has Superman's invulnerability.

Cast

Muppets:

Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Rowlf the Dog, Janice, Fozzie Bear, Scooter, Link Hogthrob, Gonzo, Yorick, Beauregard, Foo-Foo, Statler and Waldorf, Floyd Pepper, Sam the Eagle, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Beaker, Nigel, The Newsman, Lamb, Cow, Frogs, Crocodiles, Bull, Whatnot

Background Muppets:

Rizzo the Rat, Rats, Robin the Frog

Performers

Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog, Rowlf the Dog, Link Hogthrob, the Newsman, Waldorf and Nigel
Frank Oz as Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Sam the Eagle and the Killer Lamb
Jerry Nelson as Yorick, Rat, Floyd Pepper and the Announcer
Richard Hunt as Scooter, Statler, Janice and Beaker
Dave Goelz as Gonzo, Beauregard and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew
Steve Whitmire as Rizzo the Rat and Foo-Foo

Gallery


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