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The Muppet Show
Guest Joel Grey
Production May 18-20, 1976
Premiere UK: September 5, 1976
NYC: October 18, 1976
Releases Season One


Fozzie works on a new act -- jokes on any subject -- and drives everyone crazy. Finally, he gets on stage and asks for any word. Statler and Waldorf call his bluff by yelling out: "Amoeba!"



Picture Description
"The Muppet Show Theme": Gonzo swings and misses the O, toppling over out of frame.
Crazy Harry leads a group of Frackles and Whatnots in performing a rather violent version of "Comedy Tonight" as they run around threatening each other and capture Mary Louise (and a clown), while Harry blows things up.
Backstage, Fozzie Bear tries to impress Kermit with his new act: Jokes on any subject. He throws out jokes based on any word Kermit gives him, on subjects as diverse as dressing rooms and tired frogs. Kermit leaves Fozzie to work on the act.

At the Dance: Zoot and Janice discuss The Five Temptations. George the Janitor and Mildred Huxtetter argue over whose family is older. Miss Piggy's partner tells of his brother who has girls eating out of his hand (he's a waiter), and a Green Frackle reveals to his dance partner that he is "stuck" on her. And, in the end, Mildred gets stuck in the chandelier.
TMS103 Newsman 01 Boffo the Human Cannonball.jpg
Muppet News Flash: The Newsman reports on Boffo the Human Cannonball, the daredevil who fired himself into a crowd of holiday shoppers. No one was hurt, except for Boffo, whose wife must "pick up the pieces and move on."
Joel Grey and the Muppets perform "Willkommen."
When Hilda loses her glasses, Fozzie tries his new act out on her: "I once knew a minister who was so religious, when he read the Bible, he wore stained glasses!" Nothing stops the old Fozzie Bear! Though, Hilda wishes something would.
Talk Spot: Kermit tries to talk to Joel about his life, but ends up telling everything for him.
Pachalafaka edited.JPG
A tourist visiting Turkey sings "Pachalafaka," spurred on by a "lovely Eastern maiden."
Wayne and Wanda perform "Stormy Weather."
Hilda, Piggy and George gather to get Kermit to put an end to Fozzie's jokes on any subject. Kermit suggests that they just stop talking around Fozzie. Unfortunately, this just leads to jokes about silence.
Blackouts: Gonzo takes things too literally, so Joel tries to explain to him about "figures of speech." He explains that one doesn't bite the hand that feeds him, nor does one talk through one's hat. His hat then chimes in, saying that he can speak for himself.
Fozzie's Comedy Acts: Fozzie finally gets to perform his jokes on any subject, but is nearly stumped when Statler and Waldorf shout out "amoeba."
UK Spot: Rowlf the Dog appears in Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Disappearing Clues. A murder has been committed, but as Gorgon Heap continues to eat all of the clues (and eventually Miss Piggy and Baskerville the Hound), Rowlf determines that without any clues, no crime could have been committed.
TMS103 Newsman 02 City Held Hostage.jpg
Muppet News Flash: The Newsman reports that New York is being held hostage, and has only enough food and water for ten more days.


Razzle-dazzle edited.JPG
Gonzo's stunts: Gonzo demolishes an automobile to the tune of the "Anvil Chorus." When the audience boos, Gonzo is ready to give up show business for good, but Joel teaches him how to give 'em "Razzle Dazzle."
At the closing, Kermit tells Joel that he is always "willkommen" on The Muppet Show.


  • This was the first episode to air in the United Kingdom.
  • During the opening sequence, Kermit sings, "Our show tonight will feature some stuff that looks like this." A scene from the opening number, "Comedy Tonight," is then shown, making this episode the only episode of The Muppet Show to have an extra verse in the theme song.
  • While "Pachalafaka" was taped as the UK sketch, the actual original airing of this episode in the States included this number and instead took out the Sherlock Holmes sketch.[1]
  • Jerry Nelson does not perform in this episode.
  • Jane Henson, once quoted as having stopped puppeteering when it was time to do voices, does a rare puppeteering stint in this episode, but with no voices. It's also the only episode where she is credited as a performer in the broadcast version (she was credited in the original pilot version of episode 101).
  • This is the first episode that features various Muppet characters coming out for the closing as well as the guest star.
  • In this episode, Janice wears a brown wig during the At the Dance sketch. This was the first time she was seen with a wig, aside from the opening theme.
  • This is the final episode to feature Miss Piggy as a chorus girl, not counting the first season's opening sequence.
  • The running gag of Fozzie doing "jokes on any subject" and attempting to fire off one liners is likely inspired by comedian Morey Amsterdam, who had this schtick as a trademark, and was known as "The Human Joke Machine."
  • This episode is 27 minutes, 1 minute longer than all other episodes.


  • Both Muppet News Flash segments and "Stormy Weather" were cut on The Muppet Show: Season One DVDs. All three scenes appear fully intact on the Disney+ release of the episode.
  • This episode's UK Spot, the Sherlock Holmes sketch, was cut when the episode aired on Nickelodeon. Nickelodeon also moved "Stormy Weather" to after the second Muppet News Flash segment.
  • Disney+ includes a preceding disclaimer about negative stereotypes in this episode, although no instances are mentioned specifically.

TV Listings

The Glasgow Herald: "High-speed puppet programme, a spin-off from educational show Sesame Street. It also has human guests. First is Joel Grey of Cabaret fame."



Kermit the Frog, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Rowlf the Dog, Baskerville the Hound, Gorgon Heap, Miss Piggy, Statler and Waldorf, Hilda, George the Janitor, Mildred Huxtetter, Whatnots, The Newsman, Janice, Zoot, Dr. Teeth, Sexy Muppet, Sam the Eagle, Wanda, Wayne, Frackles, Beautiful Day Monster, Miss Kitty, Lenny the Lizard, Mary Louise, Crazy Harry, Svengali, Pigs, Banana, Hat, Dancers

Background Muppets:

Animal, Floyd Pepper, Nigel, Trumpet Girl, Jerry, Catgut, Muppy, Droop, Green Heap


Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog, Dr. Teeth, Waldorf, Rowlf, Green Frackle (At the Dance), Beautiful Day Monster, Whatnots and The Newsman
Frank Oz as Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, George the Janitor, Mildred (At the Dance), Sam the Eagle, Gorgon Heap, Green Frackle (Willkommen), Banana and Whatnots
Richard Hunt as Miss Piggy, Wayne, Statler, Blue Frackle, Mildred and Joel's Hat
Dave Goelz as Miss Kitty, Lenny the Lizard, The Great Gonzo, Zoot and Whatnot
Eren Ozker as Hilda, Wanda, Janice, Green Bird Frackle, Mary Louise and Sexy Muppet
John Lovelady as Snake Frackle, Baskerville, Whatnots, Svengali and Crazy Harry
Jane Henson



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