The Muppet Show

Season 1 Episode 23:

Connie Stevens

Jerry Nelson is not credited for this episode. As mentioned in the Prowse summary, a lot of these two episodes were reshot or reworked. Miss Piggy's karate chopping Kermit was probably added later as was the Newsman. This is the Newsman's debut episode, but this particular bit would have been shot toward the latter part of the season since he has his glasses and later voice. The Swedish Chef (previously seen on Sex & Violence) debuts here. The Chef would become such a classic character that he would later get his own short-lived cereal, Croonchy Stars and even a newsgroup devoted to him! Jim Henson would operate the main puppet speaking in mock-Swedish while Frank Oz controlled the hands (using his real hands) often surprising Jim in the process. Singing duo Wayne & Wanda are also introduced this episode as singers that Kermit obviously has been giving the run-around. They won't actually sing until next episode - and it will be the show's self appointed censor, Sam the Eagle who brings them on each episode. Wanda will only be seen this season (due to her puppeteer, Eren Ozker leaving the cast) while Wayne would pop up every now and then in later seasons. We learn in season 4 when the duo makes a surprise appearance that Kermit had fired them! This is only one of two At The Dance segments in the first season where George & Mildred don't dance together; Mildred dances with Dr. Teeth while George is paired with Zelda Rose (first seen dancing with Sam Eagle in Sex & Violence). "Sax & Violence" is a true Muppet classic - the song itself is instrumental, making it an odd choice for inclusion on the original soundtrack album! Especially since the joy in this piece is visual. All the humor comes from Zoot and Mahna's movements and reactions. It's very simple but extraordinarily funny! In the first season scripts, the Newsman is referred to as "Muppet Reporter". Content with never actually naming him, he would come to be known as The Newsman from second season onward. The "tradition" of giving the guest a Muppet likeness ends in this episode, having given Juliet Prowse a likeness the episode before.
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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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