Saturday, March 15, 2014

THE MUPPET SHOW: Every Episode Ranked - Part V

Season 3, Episode 18 - Welcome Big Bird!
Sesame Street's Big Bird was the most popular Muppet of the 1970s.  And it was perfectly natural for the character to make an appearance on The Muppet Show just as it was rising in popularity.  Joining Big Bird's cameo is Broadway and TV star Leslie Uggams, who covers everyone from Dolly Parton to the Captain and Tennile.  While Uggams' performances are quite fantastic, the highlight comes when Big Bird meets a certain pig.


Season 5, Episode 4 - Gold Fever
Singing star Shirley Bassey is terrific as she sings her biggest hit (the James Bond theme "Goldfinger").  She also sings other songs like "Pennies From Heaven" (seen below).  To celebrate her singing of "Goldfinger," Kermit wanted to paint the set gold but Scooter informs him that they are out of gold paint.  Scooter then manages to get a load of gold bricks for Shirley to sit upon, however the bricks are heavily monitored by a very over-zealous security guard named Bruno (the first thing he does is try to arrest Kermit!).  It is one of the funniest and musically perfect episodes of the last season.


Season 2, Episode 9 - Weirdo In Love Part II
Guest star Madeline Kahn tells the Great Gonzo that she thinks he's terrific.  Of course being Gonzo, he misinterprets and thinks that they are now engaged.  When he realizes the truth, we get one of the more poignant moments in the show's history.  And there are still some other classic Muppet moments in the episode including Madeline Kahn's sketch with a Muppet monster, Gonzo telling Miss Piggy he will no longer pursue her (let's just say she's not a fan of being replaced!), Fozzie's song about pigs (which doesn't sit well with some of the Muppet pigs!), Ms. Kahn's song about "Feet" and (most classic of all!) Kermit showing that he can tap dance with "Happy Feet" (there must have been something in the writers' room about feet this time around!).


Season 4, Episode 7 - Music Like MAMMA Makes
When comedian Dudley Moore guests on the show, he brings along MAMMA, a Music and Mood Management Apparatus.  Kermit is so impressed with Dudley's machine that he asks to use it for the entire show.  Of course the band is not too happy with this (see below).  And some of the other Muppets find MAMMA's presence a little annoying.


Season 5, Episode 5 - Animal Control
Animal goes a little nuts (more than usual!) and its up to guest star James Coburn to tame him.  Coburn teaches Animal the art of meditation and being very "serene."  The rapport between Animal and Coburn is just perfect (let's face it, all of Frank Oz' characters were awesome!), and a big highlight of the episode is a salute to the Roaring '20s featuring Coburn and the Great Gonzo.


Season 3, Episode 4 - Sticking to Carrots
Saturday Night Live star Gilda Radner joins the Muppets to do everything from sing operetta to try a little tap dancing (below).  Of course, it wouldn't be the Muppets unless they throw in some complications (like a seven-foot-carrot instead of parrot or Dr. Bunsen Honeydew's super-adhesive spilling all over the stage!).  The episode also features an intriguing rendition of the classic song "Lullaby of Broadway," at least intriguing in Muppet terms.


Season 2, Episode 24 - Pig Take-Over
The Muppet pigs decide it is time that they take over the show.  They kidnap Kermit, Fozzie and Gonzo and lock them in the boiler room.  They also replace them with pig versions like Kermit the Pig or Fozzie Pig.  To keep Miss Piggy appeased, they promise to feature her prominently in musical numbers and sketches (like "Pigs In Space").  As for guest star Cloris Leachman, she too is not pleased that the Kermit hosting is not the Kermit she knows (at least until Kermit the Pig ribbits!).


Season 3, Episode 21 - Cluckitis
When Country star Roger Miller comes onto the show, the entire Muppet gang is besieged by a bout of "Cluckitis."  What is Cluckitis you ask?  Well, it is a disease that turns one into a chicken (and I don't mean a cowardly person, I mean an actual least in Muppet form!).  Only the Muppets can come up with one of the funniest diseases ever to be seen on Television.

Tomorrow: #'s 28-22

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