The Muppet Show Season 2 Episodes Ranked

Muppet Master

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2014
Messages
2,681
Reaction score
1,510
It's been years since I sat down and watched The Muppet Show but I recently dusted off my TMS DVDs and gave the second season a watch. It was just about as good as I remembered it from 7-8 years ago, if not even better. So with the show's recent arrival on Disney+, I'd like to do a proper ranking of this season's episodes, going from worst to best. I may do more for future seasons as I continue binging. Just to clarify, this is a subjective list and it's all just my opinion. And now, on with the ranking...

#24: Season 2, Episode 10: George Burns
No disrespect to Mr. Burns but he just doesn't fit well with the Muppets. His sluggish energy clashes with the zaniness of the series, resulting in an episode that's a fairly dull watch overall. The Fleet Scribbler backstage plot made for some amusing scenes but even that felt more like a Season 1-esque running gag than a full-fledged storyline. The Luncheon Counter Monster sketch turned out to be the highlight of the episode, capturing the wacky nature of the Muppets more than anything else. This is a boring episode only worth watching if you intend to view all 120 episodes in full. 5/10

#23: Season 2, Episode 4: Rich Little

This episode seems almost universally panned but I didn't think Rich Little was a terrible guest star, just a forgettable one. His impressions are pretty weak but he still does a nice job playing off of Kermit, Piggy, and the others. What drags this one down is the middling "Gonzo auditioning chickens" storyline that barely has time to breath and ends in a rather anti-climatic fashion. It's clear the writers were still working out the kinks here as a Gonzo-centric plot would have much livelier had it taken place in season 3, 4, or 5. The best part here is definitely the Lenny the Lizard/Glow Worm skit. This isn't a terrible episode but also not one really worth revisiting. 5.5/10

#22: Season 2, Episode 20: Petula Clark

A decent episode with a guest star that sings very well but a plotline that feels a little too thin. Mickey Moose is an amusing character but not enough is done with him to craft a satisfying storyline around. The chickens Western proves to be the most entertaining part of the show and Mrs. Clark does a wonderful rendition of "Tomorrow". But other than that, there's just not enough pizzazz and/or muppety goodness to place this any higher. 6/10

#21: Season 2, Episode 12: Bernadette Peters

I'm not the biggest fan of when the Muppets lean towards their more "cutesy" angle given that I much prefer their cynical edge. As a result, the one episode with a story that focuses on Robin is a lot lower on my list. That's not to say this is a bad edition by any means though. The running gag of Sam and Piggy popping up to threaten Statler & Waldorf was hilarious and I particularly enjoyed the "Applejack" number on Mrs. Peter's part. On top of that, there is a nice helping of beloved sketches like Muppet Labs, Newsflash, and the Swedish Chef. If this list were based on guest-star attractiveness, than she'd be at the top of my list. Ultimately though, this is just an alright episode in my book. 6.5/10

#20: Season 2, Episode 17: Julie Andrews

This is another one that's just a little too cute for my taste, in regards to Julie Andrew's song for Kermit and the Lonely Goatherd opening number. Aside from that though, there's little else to complain about. I thought it was neat to see a live cow being used in the main plot and there's a healthy mismatch of recurring skits like Sam's editorials and Rowlf at the Piano. A fairly middle-of-the-road episode that has a few faults but mostly manages to entertain. 6.8/10

#19: Season 2, Episode 11: Dom DeLuise

Now here's an episode with an engaging narrative that actually affects the stage-show as a whole. Piggy and Scooter pay off the audience so that they give Ms. Piggy an outlandish amount of praise and fan mail. All this is done so that Piggy has some leverage to get herself a bigger part in the show. Kermit eventually gets Scooter to confess it all and hilarity ensues. On top of that, guest star Dom DeLuise has two hilarious comedy sketches, one on Planet Koozebane and another running an animal protection organization. The only reason this episode isn't higher up is that there's a clear shortage of recurring Muppet skits. But that's far from enough to derail such a fun-filled installment. 7.2/10

#18: Season 2, Episode 7: Edgar Bergen

Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy work incredibly well with the Muppets as McCarthy hurls insults that rival those of Stater & Waldorf. Not much to say here, another solid episode with some amusing fourth-wall breaking on Fozzie's part. It's nice that Jim got the chance to work with one of his idols as well. 7.3/10

#17: Season 2, Episode 5: Judy Collins

This one has all the elements of a top-tier episode, with the main plot of Scooter's uncle threatening to tear down the theater being a rather suspenseful, engaging story. On top of that, we get a hearty helping of familiar sketches, and a UK Spot featuring Sam's humorous chat with Statler (as Waldorf hangs from the balcony). Unfortunately, what drags this episode down is the guest star. Judy Collins seems like a lovely woman but she's completely detached from the backstage plot and story as a whole. And did we really need 4 numbers from her? They go on for so long and seem more geared towards kids than adults, they'd really fit much better on a show like Sesame Street. With a better guest star this may have made the top 5, but I'll still bear the Judy Collins stuff for the parts in-between. 7.5/10

#16: Season 2, Episode 1: Don Knotts

Fozzie becomes an official cool dude after he impresses Floyd and the band (by choosing the Lullaby of Birdland number) in what is a very enjoyable Muppet Show episode. Knotts mostly steps aside and lets the Muppets do their thing, popping in for a few amusing bits here and there, namely the Beast of the Week skit and the closing number. There's just a very warm, comforting vibe that you get from the early season 2 episodes that I just can't put my finger on. I guess it's because the show has passed the rough, uneven vibe of the first season but still hasn't reached the very refined, sanitized feel of the later seasons. A fun episode overall, just make sure you watch the DVD version instead of the mangled Disney+ one. 7.7/10

#15: Season 2, Episode 13: Rudolph Nureyev

This is one of the rare episodes where the show begins backstage. Sam tries to make the theater look as dignified as possible for Nureyev but eventually realizes that the guest star fits right at home with the Muppets. Season 2 has a ton of Sam-heavy episodes and it's easy to understand why. The strict, uppity eagle plays off of the zany residents of the Muppet theater perfectly. Little-to-no complaints. 7.8/10

#14: Season 2, Episode 22: Teresa Brewer

This might just be the only time I felt sorry for Piggy instead of Kermit. The fat-shaming jokes really didn't age well here. Aside from that though, this episode was stuffed (pun-intended) with a healthy amount of jokes, skits, and songs. Season 2 does a great job at making the plot of the episode seep into the onstage antics, and I definitely enjoyed how Piggy's diet was referenced throughout, even in the Cheesecake UK Spot. It's always pleasant when the numbers and skits are tied together with an overarching theme/story and that's what you get here. 7.9/10

#13: Season 2, Episode 9: Madeline Kahn

Probably the first time in the series where we get to see Gonzo in his true form. He's no longer the depressed weirdo from season 1, he's now a semi-confident, lovable artist. The plot revolves around him having a crush on Kahn and wanting to marry her. It's a very endearing storyline, and I especially got a kick out of the "PTA meetings" joke. On top of that, there are so many entertaining skits in-between. From the Swedish Chef battling the lobsters, to Floyd singing a soulful cover of New York State of Mind, to Rowlf playing the piano as his candelabra flies away, you definitely won't regret watching this episode. 8/10

#12: Season 2, Episode 16: Cleo Laine

I absolutely love the plot here, as Fozzie tries to be in the show as much as possible because his mother is in the audience. His Pigs in Space appearance especially leads to some amusing hijinks. Where this episode falls a bit flat is with the guest star. In an almost season 1-esque fashion, Mrs. Laine is not involved with the muppets backstage and only ever interacts with Kermit at the very end. And the way that puppeteer Bruce Schwartz was crammed in felt a bit awkward. If they were going to have him on the show, they should have at least given him a separate episode to himself. He doesn't even receive billing in the opening credits. But, aside from those gripes, the Fozzie plot does enough to make this a memorable installment. 8.2/10

#11: Season 2, Episode 3: Milton Berle

Another very warm, fuzzy episode from early season 2. Berle's duel with Statler & Waldorf is phenomenal, as is his rendition of The Entertainer. Fozzie being afraid to meet Milton is also a very sweet story that ends with an outstanding comedy-musical closing number. The only complaint I have is a continuity error. Fozzie appears in 'The Entertainer' number alongside Berle in the middle of the show, even though he still hasn't gotten past his fear of meeting him yet. That makes their proper meet-up in the last-half less of a payoff than it should have been. 8.3/10

#10: Season 2, Episode 14: Elton John

If you don't like Elton John and his music than you probably won't like this episode. Elton completely takes over the show with 4 outstanding musical numbers and fits perfectly with the Muppets. This is also the first appearance of the Swedish Chef chasing a chicken with a cleaver, a running gag that appears all-throughout the episode. And Sam's disgust of John (or anyone for that matter) is always an added treat. A top-tier episode. 8.5/10

#9: Season 2, Episode 21: Bob Hope

In sharp contrast to the Elton John episode, Bob Hope lets the Muppets have the spotlight since he's too busy doing a million charity benefits in this solid half-hour. Hope eventually returns for a comedic "Don't Fence Me In" closing number, accompanied by a smart-aleck horse. The backstage plot of Animal taking up different hobbies is nice and chaotic, and there's a very chilling (but powerful) performance of "For What Its Worth" by a bunch of forest animals being hunted. On the other hand, the UK Spot is a bit boring and random, why is JP Grose singing happily with the rest of the Muppets? He usually hates Kermit. Other than that though, this is a marvelous episode. 8.8/10

#8: Season 2, Episode 24: Cloris Leachman

Now we're really reaching the upper-crust. Pigs take over the show in this outstanding season 2 finale as Gonzo, Fozzie, and Kermit are locked in the boiler room and plot their escape. Cloris Leachman has 2 fun numbers and we get to see a lot of silly pig parodies of your usual Muppet skits. This episode marks a point in the series where the writers really start having fun with the different concepts and this one manages to strike comedy gold. 9/10

#7: Season 2, Episode 19: Peter Sellers

Everyone's zapping around the theater due to Bunsen's teleporter, Peter Sellers plays a million different characters, and Kermit is completely losing it. This is just one of those episodes where everything comes into place beautifully. There's some nice heart here too as Kermit's frustration culminates with a sweet edition of Being Green. The Muppets are firing off on all cylinders here, a must-watch installment. 9.2/10

#6: Season 2, Episode 6: Nancy Walker

Kermit is out sick with the swine flu and puts Fozzie in charge of running the show. Just as expected, absolutely everything goes wrong. This is one that really leans into a sitcom-style, overarching storyline, and it works masterfully. It's just too much fun seeing Fozzie screw up, lose confidence, and then eventually gain his confidence again. Just goes to show how slightly tweaking the format can do wonders for an episode. 9.4/10

#5: Season 2, Episode 18: Jaye P. Morgan

Remember all the way back at the bottom of the list when I said that I'm not the biggest fan of when the Muppets lean into their "cute" side? Well, this episode almost seems catered to my tastes. Guest star Jaye. P Morgan hates everything cute as explosions plague the theater. This episode just has that wild, cynical edge that makes the Muppets who they are. Plus, we get a hilarious scene with the underused antagonist JP Grose and the short-lived "Sam the Eagle editorial" shows up. What a blast! 9.6/10

#4: Season 2, Episode 23: John Cleese

A classic episode all-around. John Cleese's exasperation with Kermit and the gang is simply hysterical, and his chemistry with the parrot in the Pigs in Space sketch is unrivaled. Add to that a few recurring sketches like "Muppet newsflash" and "Rowlf at the piano" and you got an episode with nothing but laughs. 9.8/10

#3: Season 2, Episode 15: Lou Rawls

Fozzie has trouble with roller-skates, Lou Rawls has some terrific performances, and we get tons of great skits and songs. Rawls may just be one of the best guests of the season and he works very well off the Electric Mayhem. A perfect episode overall. 9.9/10

#2: Season 2, Episode 8: Steve Martin

An absolute classic episode and quite possibly one of the best ever made. The show is off for the night so new acts audition for Kermit and the gang. Literally nothing bad to say about this one. What an ingenious way to change things up and keep the show fresh and funny. From Fozzie's fear of being replaced by a new comedian to Sam the Eagle applauding the audition given by Statler & Waldorf, this is an episode packed to the brim with laugh-out-loud moments. And Steve Martin just adds to the chaotic goodness with his balloon animals and banjo. A clean 10/10.

#1: Season 2, Episode 2: Zero Mostel
Zero Mostel was the only guest star to pass away before their episode aired, and what a shame that was. This is one of the darkest, funniest, and most well-written episodes of the series I have ever seen. Kermit needs money to pay the band's salary and JP Grose tells the frog he'll give him the cash if he adds lady wrestlers to the show. We get hilariously hostile reactions to this news from Piggy, Granny the Gouger, and Sam the Eagle. Speaking of Sam, Mr. Mostel mocks him in an outrageous dressing room sequence, and we really get to see Sam shine overall. Additionally, Mostel's chilling "Fears of Zero" poem feels even more morbid since Mostel died so soon after the taping, but it's such a masterfully-performed sequence. And it all ends with a wrestling match between Kermit and Granny the Gouger (the lady-wrestler) as the two duke it out in the arena. This is the Muppet Show at the top of their game and it's really a sight to see. 10/10



I'd give this season a 9/10 overall. It's my personal favorite of the bunch. As I said before, the show has passed the rough, uneven vibe of the first season but still hasn't reached the very refined, sanitized feel of the later seasons. As a result, it just has a very warm, cozy feeling to it all. Leave your own rankings and thoughts below.
 
Top