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Episode 510: Jean-Pierre Rampal

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The Muppet Show
Guest Starring Jean-Pierre Rampal
Production Dates May 12-15, 1980
Home Video
Rampal01

Miss Piggy is cornered by flautist Jean-Pierre, who wants to speak French with her. She claims to have laryngitis, whispering, "My vocal coach told me not to speak French. I'm not even supposed to eat French fries!" This backstage plot is developed in only two skits.

Songs/Sketches

Episode

Picture Description
TMS510-01
Cold Open: Pops greets Jean-Pierre Rampal at the stage door and tells him that his instruments are ready. Jean-Pierre corrects him, "but I don't play the fruit, I play the flute." The Singing Food belts out a line of "Yes, We Have No Bananas".
TMS510-02
"The Muppet Show Theme": Gonzo plays a few notes of "The Entertainer" on his trumpet and says, "eat your heart out, Dizzy Gillespie."
TMS510-03
Kermit declares that The Muppet Show has been named the number one show hosted by frogs, teases flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal as the guest, and introduces the opening number. Janice and The Electric Mayhem sing "Rockin' Robin," perched on tree branches. The Robin and some birds are joined by Dr. Teeth on the tambourine, Lips on the trumpet, and Animal, Zoot, and Floyd.
TMS510-04
Backstage, Miss Piggy refuses to perform with Beauregard, dismissing the idea of performing with a mouth organ stagehand. Eager for more culture and refinement, she agrees to sing with a flautist.
TMS510-05
Rowlf the Dog plays piano for Jean-Pierre and Piggy's performance of "Lo! Hear the Gentle Lark". Neither Piggy nor Jean-Pierre seem crazy about sharing the stage as they usually play alone. The rest of the song takes on an almost competitive tone, but it ends in grace as Jean-Pierre kisses Piggy's hand.
TMS510-06
In Bear on Patrol, Patrol Bear arrests a car, ZZXKL, for double parking. Patrol Bear and the Chief can't understand his honking, so they bring in Gonzo to interpret.
TMS510-07
Backstage, Kermit tells Piggy that he suggested to Jean-Pierre that they could speak French together in the interest of cultural refinement. Visibly panicked, Piggy claims that she has laryngitis and that her vocal coach instructed her not to speak French. Jean-Pierre greets her and proceeds to speak French. Kermit asks what he said, but she says she can speak French, but not hear it. Kermit laughs, "Oh? Sort of laryngitis of the ear." Piggy excuses herself, departing with the Spanish farewell, "Hasta la vista." Jean-Pierre names her a great artist, searching for the right phrase... a con artist.
TMS510-08
With Marvin Suggs on the operating table, medical equipment prompts a conga takes in Veterinarian's Hospital. Dr. Bob, Nurse Janice and Nurse Piggy join, followed by a number of patients including a rabbit, Catgut, Ohreally Bird and various Whatnots.
TMS510-09
UK Spot: Whatnots take part in a French sidewalk cafe sketch. Lovers sweet talk each other, while the garçon plays "La Seine" on the accordion. The dancing couple are joined by Mrs. Appleby, the French Poodle, the Afghan Hound, two penguins, a crocodile, and even the sidewalk tree dances along. The sketch ends when a Whatnot hits the garçon over the head with a glass bottle.
TMS510-10
The Robin joins Jean-Pierre in his dressing room and asks if he's going to rehearse, she'd like to stick around and listen. She says that birds love flute music and Jean-Pierre says flautists love birds. He proceeds to play "The Little Shepherd" as the room is slowly filled with other birds.
TMS510-11
In Muppet Labs, Bunsen presents an electric sledgehammer which he intends to drive a nail into a wooden block. Beaker pushes the button to start it up, but it moves in the opposite direction, hitting Beaker over the head repeatedly. Bunsen thinks he's broken it, but the hammer swings over to the other side, slamming Bunsen's finger against the nail.
TMS510-12
In the Muppet News Flash, the Newsman announces that Muppet Labs' electric sledgehammer has escaped. "There is no need to panic, however, since the hammer only attacks really wimpy nerds." At which time, the Newsman is attacked by the hammer.
TMS510-13
Backstage, the Newsman complains that there's too much violence on newscasts. As Kermit announces that the Pied Piper sequence is next, Scooter informs him that the rats have filed an official protest that the story doesn't cast them in a good light. They don't refuse to go on, but Scooter says they've changed the story a little.
TMS510-14
The final number consists of a telling of "The Pied Piper of Hamelin" with the roles of rats and children reversed. The rats play the townspeople who are fed up with the babies overrunning their town. So, they hire the Pied Piper, played by Jean-Pierre, who unites the babies in a performance of "Ease on Down the Road" that serves to force the rats out of town.
TMS510-15
On the Pied Piper set, Kermit thanks Jean-Pierre Rampal for being their guest. Jean-Pierre says he enjoyed working most with Miss Piggy and can't wait until her voice gets better so they can have a long conversation in French.

Notes

Cast

Muppets: Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Scooter, Rowlf, Statler and Waldorf, Pops, The Singing Food, Janice, Animal, Dr. Teeth, Bluebirds, Rockin' Robin, ZZXKL, Link Hogthrob, Jacques, Jacques' Girlfriend, Accordion Player, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Beaker, The Newsman, Rizzo the Rat, Rats, Babies, Marvin Suggs

Background Muppets: Zoot, Floyd Pepper, Lips, Gaffer, Whatnots, The White Rabbit, Jade Green Frackle, Catgut, Droop, Ohreally Bird, Penguins, Afghan Hound, Crocodile, Mrs. Appleby, Youknow Bird, Ohboy Bird, Forcryingoutloud Bird, Whaddayasay Bird, Righton Bird, Chick, Harold, Borogove

Performers

Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog, Dr. Teeth, Waldorf, Link Hogthrob, The Newsman, and Accordion Player
Frank Oz as Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, and Animal
Jerry Nelson as Floyd Pepper, Pops, and the Announcer
Richard Hunt as Scooter, Janice, Beaker and Statler
Dave Goelz as Gonzo, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Zoot
Steve Whitmire as Rizzo the Rat, Lips, and Jacques
Kathy Mullen as Bird and Gaffer
Louise Gold as Bird and Jacques' Girlfriend
Karen Prell as Rockin' Robin


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