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Bob Hope - Episode 45Taping Dates: Week of November 22, 1977
Original Airdates: February 13, 1978 (New York) and February 17, 1978 (LA)
DVD Release: Time-Life, 2002; Columbia Tri-Star (UK HMV Exclusive), 2003; Columbia Tri-Star, 2004; Buena Vista Home Video, 2007
BOB HOPE INTRO
Brian Henson: "Hi, I'm Brian Henson. This episode of The Muppet Show stars the legendary Bob Hope. Bob Hope and The Muppets worked together quite a lot over the years. The Muppets were guests on several of his specials and Bob did cameos in "The Muppet Movie" and the special, "Miss Piggy's Hollywood". In this episode Bob was always on his way in or out of the theatre going from one benefit engagement to another. His schedule in real life was so tight that he only had time for one production number and a few talk spots. The show ends with that production number "Don't Fence Me In" between Bob and his Muppet horse. It's a very funny effect where the puppeteers who were working the feet and the head were dressed in blue and then matted out of the scene so that you don't see them. It's a great sequence; here it is and Bob Hope in The Muppet Show."
Gonzo and Bob Hope compare status and noses.
The balcony: Statler & Waldorf shout, "Why us?"
Gonzo's horn: Crazy Harry sets off an explosion. [This is the same bit that appears in the Jaye P. Morgan episode with one minor exception. Louise Gold had performed Crazy Harry during the taping and she can be heard here as Harry where in the Jaye P. Morgan episode, Jerry Nelson's laughing is dubbed in.]
Animal picks up on Kermit's enthusiasm regarding the guest star and bounces about the stage. Kermit brushes him off by suggesting he channel his energy into a hobby.
OPENING NUMBER - "PIG CALYPSO"
A group of pigs (including a bikini clad Annie Sue) entice Miss Piggy to dance and sing about her love for her frog. Unfortunately they also invite the frog on to provide some dissenting opinion.
Fozzie worries that Bob Hope is absent from his dressing room but Kermit assures him that he's doing a benefit and will be back to perform for them. Their discussion is interrupted by Floyd and Zoot cheering Animal on in his new hobby - alligator wrestling.
Kermit is encouraged to stall his introduction of Bob Hope when Fozzie tells him he still hasn't arrived.
Thankfully Bob Hope does soon arrive but only to say goodbye as he's on his way to another appointment! But before he can even leave for that, he's dragged away by the Flying Zucchini Brothers whose benefit appearance he cancelled to do The Muppet Show!
MUSICAL NUMBER - "FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH"
A group of woodland animals sing some alternate lyrics calling for preservation in between hiding their hydes from hunters (including George the Janitor).
[This song appeared on The Muppet Show 2 album and Muppet Hits Take 2 (athough the Muppet Hits release edits out the dialogue). The number makes use of the various realistic forest animal puppets built for the "Emmett Otter's Jug-band Christmas" special. The lead vocalist in this song originally appeared as Old Lady Possum.]
In keeping with the hunting theme, the Newsman announces today is the first day of fishing season as offstage rifle shots bring down fish falling onto his desk.
Scooter tells Kermit the Zucchini Brothers are sending Bob Hope back...via cannon! ("I love traveling by cannonball, after all I am a high caliber performer!") The alleged guest doesn't have time to do a monologue though since he has yet another benefit for the Japanese Pole Vaulters Retirement Fund.
The Swedish Chef's recipe this week is pressed duck, with a steam iron as the "duck presser."
The Newsman announces it's opening night of the opera season...as offstage rifle shots bring down a viking horned diva onto the desk!
Rowlf needs to find a way to bring Beethoven's "Pathetique" to a snappy close when the first half of the show runs long.
UK SKETCH: MUSICAL NUMBER - "FOLK MEDLEY"
In a very homey setting, the Muppet cast are seated around a fireplace looking very familial as they sing folk songs "Long Long Ago", "Aura Lee", "Endearing Young Charms", and "Genevieve".
Bunsen introduces the new automatic wastebasket, a robotic cylinder that Beaker feeds trash ... and keeps demanding more!
Bob Hope surprises Kermit by telling him that he's finished with all his other engagements and he can be their guest for the rest of the evening. Unfortunately there's no more time for a comedy monologue (the slot's taken up by Gonzo's bread impersonations) but Kermit allows Bob to take his place for the cowboy closing number.
Animal has a new, more challenging hobby: bowling. The only trouble is he bowls overhand and tends to mistake Muppets for pins.
Rowlf makes use of a third hand as he plays "Nola".
CLOSING NUMBER - "DON'T FENCE ME IN"
Bob exchanges banter and sings with his full-sized swayback Muppet horse (wearing socks and tennis shoes!)
[The horse took four Muppeteers to operate.]
Bob Hope's convinced he's experiencing a hangover as he's surrounded by Zucchini Brothers, pole vaulters, and Animal pursuing his latest hobby - hunting a rabbit with a bazooka.