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The String Quartet

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Quartett

The Muppet String Quartet from their appearance on The Ed Sullvian Show.

The String Quartet is a routine first performed by the Muppets on The Today Show on March 30, 1962. In this performance, Kermit tries to conduct a string quartet, consisting of himself on cello, Harry the Hipster on piano and Theodore on drums. Unfortunately, the violinist is missing. When Kermit calls for violins, it rains violets courtesy of a woman offstage named Mildred, which she thought was needed as opposed to violins. Kermit eventually loses control of the group, as both Harry and Theodore perform different songs at the same time, ending in an array of inharmonious anarchy.

The sketch was further refined when it was performed on The Ed Sullivan Show on January 17, 1971. This time, the string quartet members include Twill, Harrison, and the unseen Beegleman on violins, and Grump on cello. Although Beegleman hasn't shown up, they presume to play Beethoven's "Minuet in G Major." Suddenly, Mahna Mahna (named "Harry" in the script, in possible tribute to the original hipster) appears as Beegleman’s substitute. However, he plays the drums instead of the violin, while also answering to Twill’s disapproval by way of wisecracks and musical puns. In the end, Twill and the rest of the quartet give in to Mahna Mahna's wild, groovy beats.

Performers in the Ed Sullivan version included Jim Henson as Mahna Mahna, Frank Oz as Grump, Jerry Nelson as Twill, and Richard Hunt as Harrison.

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