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Episode 509: Debbie Harry

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The Muppet Show
Guest Starring Debbie Harry
Production Dates August 4-6, 1980
Home Video Best of the Muppet Show
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Debbie Harry and friends

Debbieharry

Jim Henson, Debbie Harry, and the band from the taping of the "Call Me" number.

Robin's Frog Scout troop visits the show, getting in everyone's way backstage. They ask Debbie for help earning their punk merit badges, and she teaches them how to do the pogo. When Gonzo cancels his act, the Frog Scouts get their chance to do a performance of close-order drills.

Songs/Sketches

Notes

  • Kermit and Debbie's duet is one of the few times when The Muppet Movie is mentioned on the show -- see also episodes 322 and 418. Debbie lists rainbow songs that they could sing, and Kermit says she left one rainbow song out -- "my rainbow song."
  • The Newsman makes a backstage reference in his News Flash: "Famous French clothing designer David Lazour was arrested today under poultry laws for designing clothes that can suddenly turn into chickens." David Lazer was the show's executive producer.
  • "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" puppet will later be more notably used as Mulch on Muppets Tonight; in those appearances, he will be Dr Phil van Neuter's brother-in-law/lab assistant.

Episode

Picture Description
509-1
Cold Open: Pops can't remember what rock group Debbie Harry belongs to. She reminds him that it is Blondie. Pops thinks that Blondie's a dumb name for a group. "If I were you," he says, "I'd have called it something different." Debbie says, "If you were me, you would have called it 'Baldy.'"
509-2
"The Muppet Show Theme": Gonzo remarks on what a great ear he has.
509-3
When Kermit the Frog announces that Debbie Harry is the guest on tonight's show, he is quickly joined by Robin and the Frog Scouts, all big fans of Debbie Harry. They even try watching the show from the stage.
509-4

509-5
The opening number begins with a well-dressed Wayne singing the first few lines of "For Me and My Gal." The camera pans to the cathedral where we find the bride and groom: Mulch and a Gargoyle. Mulch, portraying The Hunchback of Notre Dame continues to sing the number as "For Me and My Goyle." They are interrupted near the end by Robin and the Frog Scouts' photography.
509-6

509-7

509-8
Backstage, Mulch asks Kermit to do something about the Frog Scouts as they destroyed the last number. Kermit apologizes, but adds that kids are all the same. Mulch says, "Not mine. Mine are different." He then explains that his kids are at the museum today... as part of the exhibit.Kermit confronts Mrs. Appleby about the Frog Scouts' behavior, then adds that he worries they may wander into some dangerous part of the theater. She agrees to talk to them, and calls the whole troupe together. It seems, however, that Norman is missing. She asks the others where Norman is. One responds, "Oh, I saw him going upstairs." Just then, Norman is thrown over the railing from within Animal's dressing room.
509-9
Muppet News Flash: The Newsman reports: "Famous French clothing designer David Lazour was arrested today under poultry laws for designing clothes that can suddenly turn into chickens." The Newsman's suit turns into chickens.
509-10

509-11
Debbie Harry sings "One Way or Another" as she is pursued by Mulch. Other Muppets that she encounters include the Frog Scouts, sharks, demons, a tiger, Timmy Monster, a borogove and a woman showering.
509-12
Kermit scolds Mulch for invading the number when he was already in the opening. Mulch explains that he just wanted Debbie's autograph.
509-13

509-14

509-14.5
Debbie Harry arrives in her dressing room to find the Frog Scouts already there and decked out in punk clothes, hair, and make-up. One of them reveals that they are working on receiving their punk merit badges. Robin asks Debbie for some tips, stating that they’re only “tender-flippers.” Debbie suggests they learn to dance the pogo. Robin asks if it will get them their punk merit badges, to which Debbie replies, “It’ll get ya tender flippers.”Kermit enters to find the frogs all dancing the pogo and rocking out. Robin explains that they just wanted to tell Debbie that they think she’s “real punk.” Kermit assumes it is an insult, but Debbie seems to be flattered by the comment.

Mrs. Appleby shows up to announce her new punk name: The Safety Pin Queen! Kermit quips, “Things have really changed a lot since I was in the Frog Scouts.”

509-15
UK Spot: A little girl sings “Forgiven” with Alexander Beetle. The song tells the story of a beetle who lives in a matchbox and goes missing.
509-16

509-17
Kermit, banjo in hand, comes up to Debbie’s dressing room, excited that she wants to sing a song about rainbows. The list she sent ahead includes “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows.” Kermit points out that Debbie forgot one rainbow song: “’My’ rainbow song.” Debbie agrees to sing “Rainbow Connection” with Kermit.
509-18

509-19
Pigs in Space: As we join the Swinetrek, we find that it is caught in a meteor storm! Captain Link Hogthrob proudly points out that no meteor can penetrate the hull of the Swinetrek as it is made of super-strength porkium alloy. Dr. Julius Strangepork concurs: “Absolutely no chance of any damage!” It is then that a meteor puts a large hole in the side of the ship.First Mate Miss Piggy calls for the hole to be plugged. The other two notice at this time that the hole is snout-shaped and plug it with Miss Piggy. She demands that she be let loose. When he finally is, Link’s snout is sucked into the hole.
509-20

509-21
Mrs. Appleby sees that Link is in pain and asks Kermit what happened. Kermit explains, “He did something dumb.” Unable to leave Link to suffer, the Frog Scouts patch Link back together.

Kermit comments on how fast the Scouts work, which leads to Mrs. Appleby recommending he put them on the show. Kermit states that they only book professionals for the show. Gonzo enters to tell Kermit to cancel his wrestling match with Quongo the Wild Mountain Gorilla. It seems he’s just called from his limo and is stuck in traffic. After Gonzo leaves, Mrs. Appleby asks if he was a professional. Kermit is forced to allow the Frog Scouts on the show.

509-22
Kermit announces the precision drill team from the Okefenokee Pack 12 of the Frog Scouts of America. As the scouts go through their drills, Quongo enters expecting to wrestle Gonzo. Instead, the confused gorilla is trampled by the marching frogs.
509-23
Quongo sees Gonzo off watching from the wings and asks him where he was. Gonzo replies, “What’s the diff? You were gonna take a dive anyway.”
509-24

509-25
Debbie Harry performs “Call Me.”
509-26
At the closing, Debbie reveals that she’s been made an honorary Frog Scout. She comments on how nice it was for Kermit to allow the scouts to perform on the show. Mrs. Appleby arrives to complain that they never negotiated a deal for that performance. Kermit cries, “You can’t do that to me!” Debbie points out that Mrs. Appleby can; she has a merit badge in deal negotiation.
509-27
Robin asks Statler and Waldorf if they can stay in their box and work on their next merit badge. Statler asks, “Merit badge in what?” Robin replies, “Grumpiness.”

Cast

Muppets:

Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Animal, Gonzo, Robin the Frog, Mulch, Gargoyle, Link Hogthrob, Dr. Julius Strangepork, Pops, Statler and Waldorf, The Newsman, Wayne, Frog Scouts, Mrs. Appleby, Quongo, Timmy Monster, Alexander Beetle

Background Muppets:

Gaffer, Butch, Borogrove, Rats, Chickens, Sharks, Demons, Whatnots, Frackles

Performers

Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog, Waldorf, the Newsman, Link and Gargoyle Statue 3
Frank Oz as Miss Piggy, Animal and Woman
Jerry Nelson as Robin, Dr. Julius Strangepork, Mulch, Gargoyle Statue 1 and Pops
Richard Hunt as Scooter, Wayne, Statler, Frog Scout and Quongo
Dave Goelz as Gonzo, Timmy Monster, Frog Scout and Gargoyle Statue 2
Louise Gold as Gargoyle and Frog Scout
Steve Whitmire as Frog Scout and Alexander Beetle
Kathryn Mullen as Mrs. Appleby, Gaffer and Girl with Beetle


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