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Juliet Prowse - Episode 1
Dates: January 29-February 1, 1976
BRIAN HENSON INTROS
These special introductions were recorded in 1999 and have been seen on Odyssey and the Time-Life video releases. They are a minute each. Some talk about the specific episode they proceed and others like this one, are "generic" non-episode specific bits of information that are recycled for other episodes.
GENERIC INTRO: MINOR CHARACTERS
Brian Henson: "The Muppet fans are sometimes really crazy people. It's amazing. Every crazy little walk-on character they know the names. So if you want a few facts that will impress your friends, tell them about these characters. Here's Wayne and Wanda. These two were an accident-prone singing duo who were in the pilot but only actually lasted throughout the first season. Or how about Betsy Bird? She was a beautiful eccentric dancing bird who appeared in several shows but she never really quite took off. Or here's Fleet Scribbler who's an abrasive tabloid reporter that the press loved but the show's writers couldn't stand. He was soon written out of the show. Just keep watching and you might see Fleet and a few other unsung Muppet heroes on The Muppet Show."
[Note: Brian was right about the crazy Muppet fans, such as the ones bringing you this episode guide! How crazy are we? Enough to tell you that Brian actually provides some misleading information. Betsy Bird was not in "several shows" but actually only in one show - that with guest James Coburn. Brian's description seems more apt for the multicolored Fletcher Bird who like Betsy Baytos' Betsy Bird was created to showcase the dancing talents of its performer, Graham Fletcher, but ended up being little more than a glorified "extra". As for Brian's comment referring to Wayne and Wanda's being in the pilot, while they don't appear in the official pilots The Muppets Valentine Show or Sex and Violence, Brian is most likely alluding to their appearance in the original (unaired) version of the Juliet Prowse episode.]
Fozzie's joke: "Hey, have I got an opening joke for you tonight!" (Laughs) "Oh, you're gonna love this...there's two kinda..." (Curtain closes)
Gonzo's gong: Gonzo hits the "O" in the "The Muppet Show" logo and it explodes.
welcomes the audience to the show and announces tonight's guest
star is Juliet Prowse and "as if that weren't enough, we've
also got Mahna Mahna whatever that means."
Two cowlike creatures called Snowths try to sing a jazzy song vocalizing "Du doo du doo du" while a wild eye creature, Mahna Mahna, keeps getting between them shouting his name and scatting to the Snowth's disapproval.
The Muppet Show's first opening number, they break out a Muppet
classic! The song had previously been done in various forms
on the "Ed Sullivan Show" in 1968 and on "Sesame
Street" in 1969. However this new version has a great new
ending! The song appears on the original Muppet
Show soundtrack, Muppet
Hits, and The
Muppet Show: Music, Mayhem and More.]
Two elderly gentlemen are watching the show from a theater box off stage left, Statler and Waldorf from the Sex & Violence pilot.
enjoys some milk (sipping from a straw). A young kid, Scooter,
the theater's "go-fer" and dog Muppy (a modified version
of "Hey Cinderella"'s Rufus) want to talk about the
song they're doing. When Kermit insists they're not performing,
Scooter reminds Kermit his uncle owns the theater and the "Simon
Smith and His Amazing Dancing Dog" number's one of his
favorites. Muppy, thinking himself a killer doesn't take too
well to Kermit's "cutest little creature" around comments,
biting Kermit and finishing his milk!
still cursing the dog checks himself and introduces Gonzo the
act: eating a rubber tire to the music of "The Flight of
the Bumblebee". [A version of this appears on the original
Show soundtrack, where Gonzo manages to finish the tire.]
Gonzo is booed off the stage cursing that the yokels in the audience know nothing about art. [Modern performance artists trace their influences back to Gonzo!] Scooter apologizes to Kermit (now wearing a tux) on Muppy's behalf just before informing him Muppy wants his own dressing room and star billing.
There's a great intercutting of shots showing a real dog descending the stairs just before Muppy approaches Kermit's desk. Check out Kermit's expression when Muppy licks him!
Prowse emerges from her dressing room remarking she's never
had to share one with a man who eats a tire! [See Muppy, even
the guest doesn't get her own dressing room!]
faded into the forest scenery, Juliet performs a beautiful,
flowing dance with minimalistic-looking Gazelles. They fade
into the scenery at its end.
AT THE DANCE [debut]
A sketch originally conceived in the Sex & Violence pilot, a group of Muppets dance in a ballroom telling jokes, reminiscent of Rowen & Martin's "Laugh-In".
[At the Dance would be in all but one episode of the first season and would appear less frequently each subsequent season.]
Mahna Mahna dances with Wanda (a singer we'll learn about next episode) while Mildred and George from The Muppets Valentine Show dance together. Miss Piggy dances with another pig. The Flower-Eating Monster (originally from a Julie Andrews special) asks if he can smoke, which he does...smoke comes billowing out of the monster filling up the ballroom!
UK SPOT: SONG - "YOU & I & GEORGE"
Rowlf plays piano and sings one of the most unheard of classic songs of our time - a song that only sold two copies. "I bought one and George bought one, where were you?"
would later perform this song in the fourth season Phyllis George
episode when it's nominated for a Fred Award, and in one of
Jim Henson's last performances over ten years later on the Arsenio
Hall show. The song also appears on the 1985 video Children's
Songs and Stories with the Muppets and Rowlf
The Dog: Ol' Brown Ears Is Back album released in 1993.]
[Like At the Dance, Kermit's onstage interview with the guest would be in almost every episode of the first season and decreasing each year, ending in season 3.]
being called "the Robert Redford of frogs", Kermit
gets Juliet to kiss him. [Pretty smooth - "Muppets Tonight"
host Clifford had to wait until his second female guest for
Fozzie Bear perfects his John Wayne impression in preparation for his Cowboy Sketch.
proceeds to present his latest demand. Muppy wants the title
of the whole show changed to "The Muppy Show".
announces "It's cowboy time!"
Rowlf sets up the scene as he plays saloon piano, takes time to say hello to a mean looking purple monster ("Hello, Miss Kitty"). He recalls the day Kid Fozzie came to town. Fozzie attempts to rob the bar with pickles! After much taunting, he shoots the chandelier down trapping the bartender. After Rowlf knocks away his carrot/knife, Fozzie produces - an APPLE ... and the fuse is lit!
Fozzie's apparently the "bad guy" and Rowlf the "good
guy", Rowlf's hat is black while Fozzie's is white!]
Zoot asks Juliet what has one eye, sharp teeth, and is long and fuzzy - it turns out to be her fur stole.
the classic reaction from Juliet. The background used here would
be featured throughout the first season for guests and Muppets
to tell one-liners like this.]
donna doggy's locked himself in his dressing room so Kermit
recruits Fozzie to take his place. [The live dog is used again
going up the stairs - it's a nice effect as we see the door
close when he gets up there but almost seems gratuitous since
Scooter's telling Kermit "he's locked himself in his dressing
room" right after the door slams. Fozzie asks Kermit why
he's not doing an act this week after just having been in the
Cowboy Sketch! Granted, he's supposedly referring to his standup
monologue but it's still out of place, especially for the first
introduces "Simon Smith and His Amazing Dancing...Bear"
Scooter dressed as ringleader with mustache sings while Fozzie (not too thrilled about being on a leash) hams it up! Rowlf accompanies in background on piano.
ONSTAGE: MUPPET GLEE CLUB
Kermit (back in his tux) conducts the Muppet Glee Club, an assortment of frogs, chickens, and pigs (including a lady pig with big blue eyes and long blond hair, Miss Piggy.) He waves his baton but no one sings! Kermit points out this is a Glee Club (Chicken: "Why yes, that is what our letterhead says!") and he should hear something when he waves his baton. Unfortunately everyone sings something different!
Kermit gets the group to agree on "Temptation" and assigns the lucky Miss Piggy the solo. ("Yes, my love. [Aside to another pig] I love him.") The Glee Club does an amazing acappella vocal rendition. The music kicks in before Piggy does her solo - where she pushes through the singers from the back row up to Kermit, declaring her love for the frog, taking him in her arms and giving him a big smooch. Kermit does his best to conduct around her.
[PUPPETEER SPOTTING: Keep your eyes underneath the chickens on the right hand side of the screen towards the end of the number when Piggy pounces on Kermit. Dave Goelz' face is totally exposed for a split second before the frogs in the foreground move to cover him up!]
Miss Piggy puppet evolved somewhat from her earlier appearances.
She has new blue eyes that are different than the beady eyes
the puppet had sported prior to The Muppet Show series, though
they're also different than the eyes that will appear on the
puppet for the rest of the season. Since the original concept
of the character was to base her off of Peggy Lee, she may have
been given newer eyes to make her look even more like the classic
singer (and once those eyes are in place, the resemblance is
rather frightening). Another difference in the puppet unique
to this episode is that a visible rip appears in the back of
Piggy's mouth. One can even see the puppeteer's hand through
it! This would be fixed by adding a new felt inside mouth over
Kermit presents Juliet with a Muppet likeness of herself for appearing on the show and earns a second kiss (actually third, if you count Piggy's kiss).
and the Connie Stevens episode
do not feature any Muppets beside Kermit and the star likeness
coming out for goodnights.
Mahna Mahna pops up between them yelling out a final "Mahna Mahna".