The Muppet Show

Season 1 Episode 16:


The Muppet Show was conceived not only as a showcase for Jim Henson's creations but also as a program where guest stars could show off talents they're not generally known for and Twiggy's stint is an excellent early example. One of the world's first "supermodels" before the term was phrased, Twiggy proves throughout the episode that she's a multitalented performer in her own right. She sings country convincingly and in her opening number, the temptation for the viewer may be to focus on the photo montage but it's also worth watching Twiggy's captivating performance on the other half of the screen. She also demonstrates a great comedic talent during her sketch with the Newsman. Uncle Deadley is "introduced" in this episode even though he was already quite prominent in Vincent Price's show. While most of the Muppet monsters in the show's first season had evolved from pre-Muppet Show trunk puppets and Frackles from "The Great Santa Claus Switch", Deadley was created for The Muppet Show and his design is more elaborate and frightening. Many Muppet fans have confessed in the various fan forums to being scared of him when they were younger. King Rupert is a classic Muppet that had evolved from a character named King Goshposh. Goshposh had appeared in "Tales of the Tinkerdee" and "Hey, Cinderella", and was given a makeover and name change when The Frog Prince was taped most likely to be able to use the same basic character but still be a "different" king. And speaking of classic characters appearing in "The King's Breakfast", the sketch also features a cow who bears a notable physical and aural resemblance to Gladys the Cow from Sesame Street. Is it indeed supposed to be Gladys making a cameo? Aside from Kermit who was a well established character before Sesame Street made its debut, the few other characters who have also appeared on Sesame Street had been rebuilt with some design modifications for their Sesame Street appearances perhaps due to Children's Television Workshop's co ownership of the Sesame Street characters. (The exception being Ernie and Bert who were treated as "guest stars" in the Connie Stevens episode.) The other characters who had appeared on both shows were the Snerfs, Beautiful Day Monster, and Mahna Mahna. (Rowlf had also made an appearance on Sesame Street, but this was more of a "star cameo" being that he had already gained fame in the Jimmy Dean Show.) Technically speaking, the version of Mahna Mahna that appears in the Muppet Show is the original design that had done the talk and variety show rounds before Sesame's debut and the Mahna Mahna used on the Street was built out of an Anything Muppet. Then later after Mahna was being viewed more of a member of the Muppet Show ensemble, the Sesame version was redesigned further with actual sunglasses and renamed Bip Bipadotta. The difference between all of these characters and "Gladys" is that everyone else had been in existence before their Sesame Street appearances. Still whether it be due to contractual issues or perhaps the ease of rebuilding another character in London instead of searching for storage in New York, all the Muppets (except Kermit) who made the crossover were different puppets. Gladys however was a definite Sesame Street character created for the show. So whether the cow here was another example of a Sesame Street character crossing over with a different puppet design or just an inadvertent mindset from the puppet builders and Richard Hunt as to what a cow should look and sound like remains up for fan debate. The German edition of this episode replaces Twiggy's opening number with German singer Mary Roos singing "Lean On Me" with The Electric Mayhem (with Rowlf filling in for Dr Teeth on piano). Floyd plays bongos. Since the German episodes of The Muppet Show also had specially shot openings with Kermit appearing in a "Die Muppet Show" logo, Kermit is able to announce the show's "two guest stars" here.
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About The Muppet Show:

Go behind the curtains as Kermit the Frog and his muppet friends struggle to put on a weekly variety show.

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