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The Ed Sullivan Show

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Ed Sullivan Theatre

The Muppets appear on the marquee of the Ed Sullivan Theatre for the May 26, 1968 show.

Ed Sullivan's show, which aired on CBS from 1948 to 1971, was straight out of old vaudeville, featuring brief acts of every description, from slapstick comedy to operatic arias.

Jim Henson's Muppets made 25 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show. 20 of those appearances were included on a DVD titled Muppets Magic from the Ed Sullivan Show in 2003. In addition to this, both Christmas sketches were included in A Classic Christmas from The Ed Sullivan Show, and one of the sketches not included in Muppets Magic from the Ed Sullivan Show, "Music Hath Charms", was released on the video The Very Best of the Ed Sullivan Show Vol. 2.

The show was housed in the 13th story Ed Sullivan Theatre, which was once named Hammerstein's Theater after Oscar Hammerstein II's father. The theatre is now home to the Late Show with David Letterman and was the site of the first U.S. Beatles performance.

All of the appearances (except for June 4 and October 8, 1967 appearances) can be viewed at The Paley Center for Media.

Appearances

Picture Title / Date Description
Rock 'n' Roll Monster
September 18, 1966
Ed Sullivan introduces "Jim.... uh, Newsom's Puppets"[1] (This line was dubbed on the Muppets Magic DVD to "Jim... uh, Henson's Muppets). This act features a monster with three heads and six arms lip-syncing to "Rock It to Me."


Video: Muppets Magic from the Ed Sullivan Show

The Art of Visual Thinking
October 2, 1966
Based on a segment from Sam and Friends. Grump studies the art of visual thinking while a hip and trendy Kermit the Frog teaches him.
Performers: Jim Henson (Kermit the Frog) and Jerry Juhl (voice) Frank Oz (puppetry) (Grump).


Video: Muppets Magic from the Ed Sullivan Show

Monster Family
October 23, 1966
A father monster talks to his son (Baby Monster) about being a monster. Splurge appears as their mother.
Performers: Jim Henson (father), Jerry Juhl (son), and Frank Oz (Splurge).


Video: Muppets Magic from the Ed Sullivan Show DVD bonus

Java
November 27, 1966
Two tube-like muppets, designed by Frank Oz, dance on-stage to Al Hirt's Java.


Video: Muppets Magic from the Ed Sullivan Show

Inchworm
November 27, 1966
Kermit sits on a wall and hums "Glow Worm." A worm appears and interrupts his song, so he eats it. This happens a few times until he grabs (with his mouth) a worm that keeps getting longer and longer, until it's revealed to be a very long nose, belonging to a monster named Big V.


Video: Muppets Magic from the Ed Sullivan Show

"Music Hath Charms"
January 15, 1967
Kermit plays the piano while a couple of Muppet Monsters dance to it. At the end, the piano comes to life and eats Kermit.


Video: The Very Best of the Ed Sullivan Show Vol. 2

"I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face"
February 5, 1967
Kermit, in drag, lip-synchs to the Rosemary Clooney cover while Yorick hides underneath a handkerchief, slowly eats his way out, and then attempts to eat Kermit.


Video: Muppets Magic from the Ed Sullivan Show

"I Feel Pretty"
April 30, 1967
The story of an ugly girl named Amanda, who tries to become beautiful.
Performers: Jim Henson (Amanda, Conrad Love, and one of Amanda's friends), Jerry Juhl (Narrator and one of Amanda's friends), and Frank Oz (puppeteering only).
Note: Amanda's friends are Mert and Fred. The original script featured Scoop and Skip instead.[2]


Video: Muppets Magic from the Ed Sullivan Show

The Art of Visual Thinking
June 4, 1967[3]
Second performance of sketch.
Monster Eats Machine
October 8, 1967
An early version of Cookie Monster finds a talking machine that explains its various working parts while being eaten. After the whole thing is eaten, the machine's voice (inside the monster) says that nothing can stop it from performing its primary function -- the most powerful exploding device known to man.


Video: Muppets Magic from the Ed Sullivan Show

Rowlf and Jimmy Dean
October 8, 1967
Jimmy Dean and Rowlf appear together for the last time. They sing "Friendship" and do the herd of cows gag (possibly the first time the Muppets perform this gag).
Santa Claus Routine with Arthur Godfrey
December 24, 1967[4]
Arthur Godfrey plays Santa Claus, who gets a visit from a group of monsters that includes Thudge, Gleep (the original Grover puppet), Scudge, Snerk and Snork. They attempt to rob the toys until they learn that Santa is giving them the toys. They sing "It's Christmas Tomorrow."
Performers: Jim Henson (Thudge), Jerry Juhl (Scudge) and Frank Oz (Gleep).


Video: A Classic Christmas from The Ed Sullivan Show, Muppets Magic from the Ed Sullivan Show

Business Business
February 18, 1968
Two mean-looking creatures with tube necks scat about business while two friendlier creatures scat about values.
Performers: Jim Henson (Blue Monster and Orange Creature) and Jerry Juhl (Green Monster and Purple Creature).
Goof: Hands can be seen holding the necks of the characters.


Video: Muppets Magic from the Ed Sullivan Show

"I've Grown Accustomed to Your Face"
April 21, 1968
Second performance of sketch.
Java
May 26, 1968
Second performance of the sketch; recorded on May 20th.[5]
The Monster Trash Can Dance
October 13, 1968
Parts of a monster hide in trash cans in an alleyway, as an increasingly suspicious Little Girl Sue wanders by.


Video: Muppets Magic from the Ed Sullivan Show

"Sclrap Flyapp"
November 24, 1968
A weird-looking creature who is only seen from the neck up randomly blurts out "Sclrap Flyapp" and uses its nose to blast those who don't say Sclrap Flyapp. This sketch was later reworked into Hugga Wugga on The Muppet Show.
Goof: When the Sclrap-Flyapp creature is blasted at the end, an opening between its head and its neck reveals the performer's hand.


Video: Muppets Magic from the Ed Sullivan Show

Christmas Reindeers
December 22, 1968
The reindeer need it to snow by Christmas Eve.


Video: A Classic Christmas from The Ed Sullivan Show, Muppets Magic from the Ed Sullivan Show (both edited)

A Change of Face
March 30, 1969
Rex Robbins changes the face and personalities of the Southern Colonel.


Video: Muppets Magic from the Ed Sullivan Show

Happy Girl Meets a Monster
May 11, 1969
Beautiful Day Monster does all he can to ruin a beautiful day for Little Girl Sue. Jim Henson performed the voices for both characters.
Performers: Jim Henson as Beautiful Day Monster and Little Girl Sue
Goof: The flower pot falls off the wall, in front of it, but then when Little Girl Sue says that she likes the flower pot, Beautiful Day Monster picks it up from behind the wall and throws it over the wall.


Video: Muppets Magic from the Ed Sullivan Show

"Mahna Mahna"
November 30, 1969
Mahna Mahna sings this classic nonsense song and is backed by the two Snowths. This classic song was later the opening number for The Muppet Show episode 101
Goof: Jim Henson's head and arm can be seen when Mahna Mahna goes far off into the background.


Video: Muppets Magic from the Ed Sullivan Show

Big Bird's Dance
December 14, 1969
In a sketch orchestrated by "Minuet of the Robots" by Jean-Jacques Perrey, Big Bird dances while being watched by human bird watchers. He never spoke here, even when Ed Sullivan talks to him. In this performance, Big Bird was performed by Daniel Seagren, instead of Caroll Spinney.[6] The bit was choreographed by Peter Generro.[7]


Video: Muppets Magic from the Ed Sullivan Show

"Octopus's Garden"
March 1, 1970
An octopus constantly interrupts the singing of Ringo Starr's "Octopus' Garden."
Performers: Jim Henson (Diver), Frank Oz (Octopus, Giant Clam), and Jerry Nelson (clam).


Video: Muppets Magic from the Ed Sullivan Show (edited)

"Come Together"
April 12, 1970
A bizarre Muppet band sing the classic Beatles song.
"What Kind of Fool Am I?"
May 31, 1970
Kermit tries to sing and play this song on piano while Grover continues to interrupt him. Several older Muppet monsters make cameo appearances in the finale.
The Wild String Quartet
January 17, 1971
Mahna Mahna fills in for a violinist named Beagleman, though Mahna Mahna plays drums, not violin.
Performers: Jim Henson (Mahna Mahna), Jerry Nelson (Twill),[8] Frank Oz (Grump), and Richard Hunt (Harrison).[8]


Video: Muppets Magic from the Ed Sullivan Show DVD bonus

The Glutton
February 12, 1971
An incredibly fat man called The Glutton keeps eating things. After the sketch is over, he attempts to eat Ed Sullivan.
Performers: Jim Henson (The Glutton), Frank Oz (assisting in performing The Glutton), Richard Hunt (assisting)[9]
Joe Raposo wrote the music used in this piece.[9]


Video: Muppets Magic from the Ed Sullivan Show

See also

Sources

  1. Finch, Christopher Jim Henson: The Works
  2. Jim's Red Book - 3/26/1967 - Sullivan - (Easter) - Amanda?
  3. "Jim Henson's Red Book", 6/4/1967 – Sullivan "Visual Thinking"
  4. Originally scheduled for December 21, 1967. Nancy Spraker, "The Whimsical World of Muppets", Woman's Day, December 1969 issue.
  5. "Jim Henson's Red Book", 5/20/1968 – VTR Sullivan Show – "Java"
  6. The Jim Henson Company Archives, personal correspondence found here
  7. Jim Henson's Red Book
  8. 8.0 8.1 Script for the sketch
  9. 9.0 9.1 Jim Henson's Red Book - 2/21/1971 'Ed Sullivan Show "The Glutton"?'
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