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Muppet Show Goofs

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The creators of The Muppet Show were skilled at creating the illusion that the puppets were living characters. Still, occasional goofs slipped through, and made it onto the screen.

Pilots

The Muppets Valentine Show

Image Summary
Valentinespecialgoof
At the beginning of the show, Crazy Donald runs behind Brewster's chair and cackles. As the camera pulls away, he turns and runs behind the other side of the chair. The arm and head of Crazy Donald's performer can be seen coming from behind the chair as George the Janitor enters the frame.
Valentine goof 1
When Mildred Huxtetter throws the Crumpet, Jerry Nelson's hair is seen behind Droop.
Valentine goof 2
During the closing song, Jim Henson's finger operating Wally's arm rods are seen as well as the top of his head can be seen as Wally moves from behind the couch to next to George. Also, Frank Oz's head pops up into the screen.

The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence

Image Summary
For the birds goof
During "For the Birds," the performers are seen against the black background, because this was a black light theater segment.
Sex and violence goof 2
When Gluttony chases after Leafy Green Vegetables, an unknown performer is visible behind Sam the Eagle.

Season One

Opening Summary
Opening goof 1-1
Opening goof 1-2
Crazy Harry is not in the orchestra pit during the opening wide shot of the opening, yet he quickly appears next to Zoot in the following close-up shot.
Opening goof 2
When it shows Animal on the drums, we see Frank Oz's head next to him, and the same is in the ending.
FloydSeason1Closing
Also in the opening, when the wide shot occurs, Floyd is not in the orchestra; this is probably because Jerry Nelson was not available for filming the opening sequence, as he wasn't available for episodes 101-103 and 111-115. However, he is in the closing sequence of the orchestra and is audibly there in the opening.
Episode 101: Juliet Prowse Summary
Temptation 1
Frank Oz's arm can be seen underneath Miss Piggy when the Muppets all agree they have a favorite song before "Temptation."
TMS-Goof-Piggy-Mouth-Rip
There is a visible rip in the back of Piggy's mouth, through which Frank Oz's hand can be seen while he puppeteers her during "Temptation." This tear inside her mouth would be fixed after the first episode.
Mupgoof1
Dave Goelz's face can been seen under the pair of chickens when Miss Piggy dives on Kermit at the end of the "Temptation" number.
Temptation 2
As the glee club singers leave the stage, the left arm and black-covered head of a second performer can be seen underneath one of the chickens who moves off stage-left.
Confused kid
The bartender in the "Cowboy Time" sketch delivers the line "You're confused Kid, you ain't got no guns...those are pickles." in a different voice than what he uses in the rest of the sketch. In addition, the line doesn't fit with what the puppet is saying. [NB: In the original edit of this episode, the sketch went on a bit longer but ended up being re-edited for the transmission version. As a result, Richard Hunt dubbed this new line over the original "As a matter of fact Kid, you ain't got no guns! Those are pickles!"
Miss kitty goof
The back of Dave Goelz's head is visible as Miss Kitty exits in "Cowboy Time."
Fuse is lit goof
Frank Oz's head is visible when Kid Fozzie jumps away from the lit apple in the same sketch.
No act this week
Fozzie Bear asks Kermit why he wasn't doing an act in this particular show, even though he had just been in the Cowboy Time sketch a few minutes earlier.
Episode 102: Connie Stevens Summary
102 newsman goof
During the Muppet News Flash segment, the very top of Jim Henson's head is seen as the news reporter goes to pick up the phone.
Episode 103: Joel Grey Summary
Comedy TonightDuring the opening number Comedy Tonight, the voices of some Whatnot singers steadily change.
103 willkommen goof
Dave Goelz's head can be seen under Zoot and Janice at the end of "Willkommen". Also, another performer's head is seen between Gonzo and Jerry.
Goof 103 Muppet Show
The hole for the puppeteer hand in the bottom of Baskerville can be shortly seen when he's eaten by Gorgon Heap in the Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Disappearing Clues sketch.
Episode 104: Ruth Buzzi Summary
104 arm goof 1
Jim Henson's "sleeve" that is attached to the bottom of the Kermit puppet can be seen a few times, in both the Talk Spot and the last backstage scene.
104 s and w goof
Jim Henson's head can be seen bopping up and down performing Waldorf after the Talk Spot.
TMS-Goof-Backstage
The sleeve attached on the bottom of Robot Kermit can be seen in a backstage scene when Miss Piggy enters in the dressing room.
TMS Final Goof
When Kermit says goodbye, a performer's head can be seen under the Beach Ball.
Episode 105: Rita Moreno Summary
105 suggs goof
During the "Lady of Spain," Marvin Suggs hits a piece of the Muppaphone twice in a row and it speaks with a different voice the second time. Also, the black arm socks for the Muppaphone are occasionally visible (particularly at the very end, when one appears to float for a brief moment).
105 talk spot goof
Henson's hand can be seen performing Kermit after Rita Moreno shouts at him for reading the cue cards.
Episode 106: Jim Nabors Summary
106 richard hair
Richard Hunt's hair can be seen when George the Janitor is talking to Scooter.
Episode 107: Florence Henderson Summary
107 borcellino goof
A performer becomes visible underneath one of the pigs during the Bouncing Borcellino Brothers sketch.
107 frackle goof
Henson's arm can be seen performing the Green Frackle during "Happy Together."
Episode 108: Paul Williams Summary
108 goof 1
108 goof 2
In "An Old Fashioned Love Song", when The Gogolala Jubilee Jugband comes out of the radio, viewers can see Goelz's head and half of his face under the blue, jug-blowing Whatnot, as well as John Lovelady's arm and head as he plays the trumpet player in the background.
108 honeydew goof
After Dr. Bunsen Honeydew breaks the solid plate during the Muppet Labs segment, Honeydew's arm bends the other plate upward before he even tenderized it! A second later, a tip of Goelz's hair is seen behind Honeydew.
108 Goof Muppet Show 1.png108 Goof Muppet Show 1 A puppeteer's head and the "sleeve" that is attached to the bottom of the Kermit puppet can be seen a few of time During the I'm in Love with a Big Blue Frog number.
Episode 109: Charles Aznavour Summary
TMS-109-PiggyCharlesAznavourKiss-(FrankOzHead-Goof)
During the Talk Spot Segment, the top of Frank Oz's head can be seen briefly when Miss Piggy kisses Charles while he speaks French to her.
Noimage
During "I Feel Pretty", a puppeteer's hand can be seen underneath one of the two girls singing in the mirror
Episode 110: Harvey Korman Summary
110 dynamite goof
During the song "Love Ya to Death", Jim Henson's head is visible several times underneath Dr. Teeth especially when he says "I'll break down your resistance..."
110 hospital goof 1
During the Veterinarian's Hospital skit, Dr. Rowlf screams, "Day in and day out, it's the same old routine!" you can see a puppeteer's head behind him.
110 hospital goof 2
At the end of the Veterinarian's Hospital sketch, Rowlf's hat falls in front of his eyes and throughout the rest of the sketch he can't get it to sit back on top of his head.
TMS110HarveyKormanGoof
Dave Goelz's face can been seen puppeteering Muppy at the beginning of the credits.
Episode 112: Peter Ustinov Summary
Svengali Goof 112
At the end of the You Do Something to Me sketch, the performer's head becomes visible behind Svengali as he dances after he turns his assistant to resemble him
Episode 113: Bruce Forsyth Summary
Janice Mouth goof 113
During "At the Dance" sketch, Janice's mouth starts moving before she says "Do you know what happened in 1776?"
UK Spot Goof 113
The hole at the bottom of the duck puppet can be seen in the Talk Spot.
Muppet Show Goof 113
If you look closely in the Veterinarian's Hospital sketch, the hole in which the Duck is being performed becomes visible.
Episode 114: Sandy Duncan Summary
Muppet Show Ending 114 goof
Before the end credits begins, Eren Ozker's head and face can be seen beneath Hilda.
Episode 115: Candice Bergen Summary
Noimage
During the Veterinarian's Hospital sketch, Kermit says "That's nothing! You should see it in here." at the end. However, when he says this, his mouth lip synching the line is slightly off. [NB: This is due to the fact that Henson performs both Rowlf and Kermit, but performed Rowlf in the sketch for having the more comic responsibility. So, Kermit's dialog in the sketch was pre-recorded.].
Episode 116: Avery Schreiber Summary
TMS-Episode-116-Goof-Backstage-Scooter&Kermit
Richard Hunt's hair appears between Scooter and Kermit when Scooter tells Kermit that Miss Piggy and Avery do not want to be disturbed.
Episode 117: Ben Vereen Summary
TMS-Episode-177-Goof-CrazyHarry
John Lovelady's headset can be seen behind Statler's chair, as Crazy Harry pops up behind Statler and Waldorf. The second time during Kermit's introduction to "Mr. Cellophane", when Crazy Harry pops up again behind Statler and Waldorf, John Lovelady's blond hair is clearly visible.
Episode 118: Phyllis Diller Summary
118 goof
A puppeteer's head can be seen under The Newsman during his entrance.
Episode 120: Valerie Harper Summary
TMS-Episode-120-Goof
When the Swedish Chef smashes the Japanese Cake, the hole where it was performed from can be seen. In addition, Richard Hunt's hair can be seen just to the right of the Chef.
Goof-episode-120-Animal's-Eye
In the scene in the dressing room, one of Animal's eyes has a Kermit-style pupil.
Episode 122: Ethel Merman Summary
122 goof 1
122 goof 2
Mary Louise and Miss Mousey switch seats during Fozzie's act. (Note: Just before we see Fozzie's Cousin, Mary Louise can be seen next to a whatnot with a yellow shirt and orange hair. After Waldorf says Fozzie's cousin is funnier than Fozzie, Miss Mousey is seen next to the whatnot. Mary Louise is seen behind the Green Frackle.)
Episode 123: Kaye Ballard Summary
Mupgoof2
During the Talk Spot, while Animal is beating Kermit up, Animal's neck sleeve is shown.
123 goof 2
The reflections of Frank Oz, Eren Ozker, and an unknown performer (when Zelda Rose and Janice walk by) can be seen in the Vendaface sketch.
123 goof 1
Goelz's hair can be seen under Zoot during "One Note Samba."
Episode 124: Mummenschanz Summary
124 goof 1
Wanda's performer's head and face can be seen underneath her during the library sketch.
124 goof 2
At the end of the It's Only a Paper Moon song, Wanda speaks to Wayne, but nothing is heard.
124 goof 3
Richard Hunt's forehead can be seen as a reflection in the Vendaface sketch.

Season Two

Closing Summary
2 closing goof
For this season, a new shot of Floyd wearing his hat and blinking his eyes is shown during the credits. However, during the first shot of Trumpet Girl and the wide shot of the orchestra, the Season 1 Floyd puppet is shown, and those two shots were never re-filmed.
Episode 201: Don Knotts Summary
Threeleggedscreamingthing
Both Statler and Kermit refer to "The Windmills of Your Mind" as the opening number, even though it was actually the second number.
TMS-Episode-201-Goof-Backstage
In the first backstage scene, when Kermit tells Floyd that Fozzie is the one who is responsible for having "Lullaby of Birdland" as the closing number, Jim Henson's head pops up to the right of Kermit above the table.
Episode 203: Milton Berle Summary
203 goof
Although the plot revolves around Fozzie being so nervous about Milton Berle being on the show that he must hide from him until just before the closing number, Fozzie does appear in Milton Berle's earlier number, "The Entertainer", with no difficulty or fear.
Episode 205: Judy Collins Summary
205 goof
During the Leatherwing Bat sketch, the bat asks before Judy Collins goes to sing with the woodpecker, "Find out what how-dow-dee-dit-dit-doe-dum" means. He is referring to a line in the song. However, the line is, "Hoe-dow-dee-dee-dit-dee-dum."
Episode 206: Nancy Walker Summary
206 goof
During the "Night Train" sketch, the head of the performer operating the whatnot soldier holding the torch is visible at the beginning of the sketch.
Episode 207: Edgar Bergen Summary
207 chicken goof
During the song "Baby Face," when the chickens jump up, the puppeteer's arm is seen.
TMS-207-UncleDeadly-ArmGoof
During "Consider Yourself", as Uncle Deadly enters, Jerry Nelson's arm can be seen working the character's arm.
207 gonzo 1
207 gonzo 2
For his act, Gonzo wrestles a brick blindfolded. During the act, the version of Gonzo that debuted in season two is used, but when he returns backstage, although he is in the same costume, the Gonzo puppet from season one is used.
Episode 212: Bernadette Peters Summary
TMS-ep212-Goof1
212-3
When Kermit introduces the opening number, he is wearing a black tuxedo, but during the opening number, he wears a purple tuxedo.
TMS-ep212-Goof2
The arm of the performer operating Uncle Deadly's right arm becomes visible during "Sheik of Araby" along with the head of the performer of Uncle Deadly being briefly seen at the end of the sketch.
TMS-ep212-Goof3
During "Just One Person", Richard Hunt's head is visible beneath Scooter.
TMS-ep212-Goof4
Before the end credits begin, Goelz's head can be briefly seen behind Gonzo.
Episode 214: Elton John Summary
TMS-ep214-Croccodile Goof.png
At the very end of "Crocodile Rock", a performer's head is visible behind one of the crocodiles.
MS214i In "Any Old Iron", one of the Whatnots is missing a pupil. The staff was aware of this while taping, but it was the last piece of the day and they didn't have time to do a retake or an extensive search for the pupil.
On the Season Two DVD release, the closing footage of the orchestra is slightly off-synch with the music
Episode 219: Peter Sellers Summary
219 goof
During the closing number, one of the trumpet players trumpets falls off, and for the rest of the number the trumpet player doesn't play the trumpet (both trumpet players were most likely performed by the same performer at once, and therefore nobody was controlling the arms of the characters).
Episode 220: Petula Clark Summary
TMS-ep120-Dr. Bob Goof
During the Veterinarian's Hospital sketch, when Rowlf falls into the hungry operating table, it is shown that no one bothered to give him legs for that one scene.
Episode 222: Teresa Brewer Summary
Wild thing goof 1

Wild thing goof 2
During "Wild Thing," the pedal on one of Animal's cymbals continues to depress even though his foot is no longer working it. Moments later, when the pigs are taking Animal away, Frank Oz's head becomes visible.
Music music music goof
During "Music Music Music", you can see both performer's heads if you look at the couples in the top boxes.

Season Three

303 goof
314 goof
  • Episode 302: Leo Sayer: When Miss Piggy jumps off the railing to tackle Kermit, the string suspending her can be seen when she lands on him.
  • Episode 303: Roy Clark: As the Swedish Chef explains to Kermit where all the smoke in the theater is coming from, Fozzie Bear goes to help Link Hogthrob and Rowlf put out the fire. As he does, Frank Oz's head comes into frame below Fozzie's arm. Then, during the "Pigs in Space" sketch, Link Hogthrob points to a lever and tells First Mate Piggy to pull it. She refuses, so he says he'll do it, but pulls the one next to the one he was pointing to.
  • Episode 304: Gilda Radner: Before the Witch Doctor shows up, while Marvin Suggs is pounding the Muppaphone, his mustache flies off. Then, during the Muppet Labs sketch, when Gilda Radner accidentally squirts some of the super-adhesive glue out of its bottle, some gets on the camera. Gilda also accidentally sticks her hand to the top of her head with the super-adhesive, but at the end of "Tap Your Troubles Away", she has moved her hand down to her forehead.
  • Episode 314: Harry Belafonte: In his first introduction scene, Kermit is reading from a piece of paper. He leaves the screen for a second and returns with empty flippers; however, the piece of tape that was used to keep the paper in place is still stuck to his fingers.
    101 2101

    An arm can be seen going up Link's arm sock

  • Episode 318: Leslie Uggams: At the end of the episode, when the two chickens begin pecking on Gonzo, Camilla loses an eye. As the credits roll and the chickens start fighting, they both lose several facial parts.
  • Episode 319: Elke Sommer: As Link Hogthrob goes to block Miss Piggy from the exit,an arm can be seen performing Link's right hand.

Season Four

Episode 401: John Denver Summary
401 goof 1
Just before Statler and Waldorf begin shooting Muppets, a puppeteer's head becomes visible between Crazy Harry and Zeke.
401 goof 2
At the end of the opening number, Zeke can be seen waving a flag. His hand lets go of the flag yet the flag still moves.
401 goof 3
Steve Whitmire's head can be seen in the good nights.
401 goof 4
Moments later, another puppeteer's head becomes visible.
Episode 407: Dudley Moore Summary
407 goof 1
When the bug band comes off stage, one of the bugs is missing its hair.
Episode 409: Beverly Sills Summary
409 goof 1
During the opening number, "Take Ten Terrific Girls", a puppeteer's head can be seen behind Statler operating a female whatnot.
Episode 405: Victor Borge Summary
Macho Man Goof
In the opening number, "Macho Man", Dave Golez's arm can be seen under Gonzo at the end of the song .
Episode 415: Anne Murray Summary
415 goof 1
In the opening number, "I Get Around", an arm can be briefly seen as Miss Piggy drives away.
415 goof 2
The top of Jerry Nelson's head pops up from time to time while he performs Milton Miller.
415 goof 3
During Muppet Sports, Steve Whitmire's head is briefly seen as he performs Angus McGregor.
Episode 420: Alan Arkin Summary
420 goof 1
In the opening number, Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, the arms of the puppeteers appear beneath the bunnies.

Season Five

Opening Summary
Opening goof 1
Opening goof
In this season, trumpeter Lips is added to The Electric Mayhem and the orchestra. He gets a solo during the opening sequence where he is seen with Trumpet Girl, who is playing the trombone instead. However, during the wide pan of the orchestra and the "Why don't you get things started?" scenes, Trumpet Girl is playing the trumpet and Lips is nowhere since these sections were never re-filmed to add Lips.
Episode 505: James Coburn Summary
505-Temptation-Goof
In the Temptation number, the hole in the bottom of the far right octopus puppet can be seen when it's attacked by Animal.
Episode 507: Glenda Jackson Summary
507 goof
In the musical number, "Tie The Man Down", pirates tie themselves up. Afterwards, Dead Ear Dick, one of the pirates that performed in the number, appears in the upper level of Backstage while the other pirates appear from onstage. Dick also has his voice changed.
Episode 509: Debbie Harry Summary
Devil Muppet Goof
In the performance of "One Way Or Another," when Debbie Harry is opening the doors in search of Mulch, she encounters a group of Devils. A performer's hand can be seen in one of the devil's mouths.

Occasional Goof

  • A 'continuity goof' occasionally occurred on The Muppet Show that involved the Muppet orchestra:
  • Musicians from the orchestra pit would be on stage during the goodnights until the beginning of the closing theme.
  • A wide shot of the audience would feature musicians in the pit that were not featured, or leave some musicians out.

General Goofs

Muppet Height Relations

One of the big errors people can nit-pick with the Muppet productions is continuity of the characters' heights. For example, Rizzo and Pepe normally appear around (or even above) waist height compared to their human co-stars. However, a full-body look at proportions of the character would suggest they would barely reach a human's knee. Kermit, Fozzie, and the other Muppets also appear in a flexible height range in order to interact comfortably with humans and sets. Steve Whitmire said in a 1998 interview that "If a character like Rizzo only appeared at his true height next to a human actor, you’d only see the human actor’s feet when you saw Rizzo. That’s an extreme example, but the idea is true for most of the characters. Even so, we do know the relative heights of the characters to each other and make an effort to keep that in mind." The suspended belief that the audience has when watching the Muppets allows this flexible reality to exist without major distractions. So even though Pepe's feet would be floating three feet off the ground, the audience still goes along, not questioning, and usually not even perceiving.

Canonical Holes

Many people argue that the Muppet films and TV shows are non-canonical; that each production is a world unto itself - that the Muppets are timeless personalities and characters that carry throughout productions, and these characters are presenting a show. People continue to argue and debate over what is Muppet truth and what is just acting and plain entertainment. Muppet Babies undermines the whole notion of The Muppet Movie. And Scooter's role as The Electric Mayhem's road manager in The Muppet Movie undermines his back-story set up in the early run of The Muppet Show as the theater owner's nephew hired by Kermit as a go-fer. There have been many contradictions in Muppet canon and back-stories throughout the 50+ years of the Muppets. However writers and performers will overlook or circumvent them in order to create new compelling stories, new characters or character traits, or just deliver a humorous joke.

In episode 210, Gonzo explains that his mother died before he was born and left a note to his father regarding Gonzo's name. This is contradicted in the Jason Alexander episode of Muppets Tonight, where Gonzo claims his mother liked his unique college interpretation of Death of a Salesman. However the whole notion of Gonzo remembering his parents is somewhat dispelled in the film Muppets from Space.

TV Overscan

A television image goes right to the very edges of the screen, however most TVs are not so precise as to fit the picture perfectly to its glass. As a result all televisions have what is called "overscan" - where portions of the actual picture area fall outside of the physical viewable area of a TV set, due to the picture being projected larger than the actual screen. About 5% of the picture area is missing from each edge, with some sets cutting off as much as 15% on one edge or another. Television creators are aware of the situation and are careful not to put anything critical too close to the edge of the picture, and will frame a shot accordingly. TV directors have what is called a "safe title zone", somewhat in from the edges, where it is considered safe to put text and titles. They also have a safe action zone within which it is considered safe to put the action you need to see. With the special effect illusions created by the Muppets, filming them sometimes results in a revealing mistake or puppeteer's head/arm. Since The Muppet Show was intended for television broadcast and viewing, sometimes "goofs" were allowed to stay in the edges of a shot assuming they were far enough at the bottom of a shot to be cut off by the viewer's TV (or were unnoticed on the film prints as they were cut off on the studio monitors themselves). Since that time the show has been transferred and released in digital – in the form of DVD. Playing such videos on screens without overscan (such as some computer monitors, digital screens, plasma monitors, etc.) will allow viewers to see things originally thought to be out of sight.

See also

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