Thursday, March 20, 2014

THE MUPPET SHOW: Every Episode Ranked - The TOP TEN (Part B)


#'s 6 - 4

Season 4, Episode 24 - What an Audience Wants
When one of the biggest superstars in the world guests on your show, of course the audience will want nothing but that superstar.  The Muppet writers know this and they used it as the primary storyline of the episode starring "Supreme" diva Diana Ross.  The Muppet audience, which is usually apathetic to what the Muppets have to offer (with the exception of Statler & Waldorf!), this time is fairly hostile to the Muppet gang when they are doing anything that has nothing to do with Ms. Ross (they start scoring the acts like Olympic judges!).  Ms. Ross is a hit with the audience singing her songs "Love Hangover," "Last Time I Saw Him" and the anthem "Reach Out and Touch Somebody's Hand" (seen below).  The audience jeers everything else from "Pigs In Space" to a charming rendition of "I Go to Rio" to Fozzie Bear's act (naturally!) to Beaker singing "Feelings" (don't ask, just watch!).


Season 4, Episode 20 - Nowhere to Hyde
Alan Arkin is one of the best character actors of his generation.  He's been in countless films and even has earned an Academy Award (for playing the foul-mouthed grandfather in Little Miss Sunshine!).  His varied character parts have ranged from a frazzled Russian officer to a deranged criminal to a Hollywood producer.  Yet, variety performer is not the first thing people think of when they see Mr. Arkin.  The Muppet writers cleverly play with this by having him accidentally drink Dr. Bunsen Honeydew's Jekyll-Hyde potion (seriously, don't ask!).  It turns him into a horrible, raging monster that violently throws the Muppets around (witness the rendition of "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" below!).  He does manage to get perform one that he composed himself (You didn't know he was a songwriter did you?!?!?).  Also in this episode is a truly awesome rendition of Charlie Daniels' classic "The Devil Went Down to Georgia."


Season 5, Episode 15 - They Shoot Muppets Don't They?
The Muppet writers are on a roll!  When they latch onto the theme, they go all out.  And this episode is no exception (it won the 1981 Emmy for Best Writing of a Variety Series!).   With the Queen of TV Variety Carol Burnett as the guest star, you know it will be funny.  But you never expect a theme like this.  The Great Gonzo apparently talked Kermit into revolving the whole show around a Dance Marathon.  Gonzo is so determined for this marathon to be successful...and his idea of success is everyone falling to the floor lifeless from exhaustion (again, don't ask!).  Of course, Kermit is uneasy with this whole idea and it certainly doesn't sit well with the guest star (especially when she meets the partner Gonzo has chosen for her, below!).  Kermit does try to give her the variety show she was promised, but Gonzo's Dance Marathon invades everything from "Pigs In Space" to Burnett's songs.  It is probably the funniest Dance Marathon ever to occur!

Tomorrow: The TOP THREE!

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