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The Muppet Show transcript for Episode 122: Ethel Merman.


Kermit appears in the show's O.
Kermit It's The Muppet Show, with our special guest star, Miss Ethel Merman!
The banner rises, and the theme begins.
Chorus girls

It's time to play the music
It's time to light the lights
It's time to meet the Muppets
On The Muppet Show tonight!

Male chorus

It's time to put on makeup
It's time to dress up right
It's time to raise the curtain
On The Muppet Show tonight!

The curtain opens on Fozzie with a piece of paper.
Fozzie Hey, I went to a diet doctor, and in just two months I lost $300. (looks at the paper) What?
The audience laughs. The curtain closes. As Kermit sings, Fozzie re-emerges and tosses the paper.

To introduce our guest star,
That's what I'm here to do!
So it really makes me happy
To introduce to you —
Miss Ethel Merman!

The curtain opens on Ethel, surrounded by Muppets.
Kermit But now let's get things started
Kermit & gang

On the most sensational, inspirational
Celebrational, Muppetational
This is what we call The Muppet Show!

Before Gonzo can hit the gong, the Green Frackle hits him with a mallet.

Opening number

Main stage. Kermit enters to applause.
Kermit Thank you, thank you, thank you. Welcome, dear friends, to another edition of The Muppet Show. And we're very honored to have as our special guest star one of the true giants of the Broadway musical stage, Miss Ethel Merman.
Miss Piggy Oh, Kermit, my love. Since Ethel Merman is our guest, as a tribute I plan to sing a medley of all her great hits.
122 intro.jpg
Kermit Uh, Piggy, why would anyone wanna hear you sing Miss Merman's songs when Miss Merman is here to sing them herself?
Miss Piggy Well, since I've rehearsed them, why don't I just do 'em and call it a tribute to Irving Berlin?
Kermit Piggy, will you get outta here? (she walks off in a huff) Out, out, out, out, out! OK. Having settled that, let's kick off the show with a little number we call "Java."
122 java.jpg
The opening number, "Java," is performed.
Waldorf That song had a nice beat.
Statler No, no. I don't want to eat.
Waldorf I said "beat." "Beat," you old fool! Why don't you turn up your hearing aid?
Statler There's gonna be a raid? Well, let's get outta here! (tries to exit the balcony)
Waldorf (shakes head) I give up.


Two medics haul away the big slinky creature on a stretcher.
Kermit OK. Nice. Nice number, you guys. Good opening.
Fozzie Kermit. Kermit. Kermit. Hey, uh, my agent is dropping by a little later in the show.
Kermit OK, fine.
Fozzie Yeah.
Kermit Hey, stand by for the next number.
Scooter Everything's ready, boss.
Kermit Good boy, Scooter. (to viewer) That kid's doing a great job.
Fozzie Hey, d-do you think you'd have time to talk to him?
Kermit Of course. I always have time to talk to Scooter. His uncle owns the theater.
Fozzie No, no, no, no, no, I mean my-my agent.
Kermit What does he own?
122 fozzie and kermit.jpg
Fozzie (proudly takes off his hat) Ten percent of me.
Kermit OK. OK. What does he want to talk about?
Fozzie My contract.
Kermit Fozzie, you don't have a contract.
Fozzie That's what he wants to talk about.
Kermit Will you get outta here?
Fozzie Yes, sir. Yes, sir.
Fozzie runs away. Kermit goes onstage.

Duets with Ethel

Kermit Uh, ladies and gentlemen, ordinarily I'd just introduce the guest star and get out of the way, but tonight I personally get to participate. You see, everybody wanted to sing a duet with Ethel Merman, and because she's introduced so many Broadway hits, we thought that some of us could do a few of them, or a few of us could do some of them. Anyhow, I now take great pleasure in introducing Miss Ethel Merman, and some of her songs, and some of us, and uh, me. I'd better hurry. (goes behind the curtain) Oh — uh, ladies and gentlemen, Miss Ethel Merman!
Open on Ethel in a dressing room setting. She sits in front of a hollow mirror; Kermit appears on the other end.
Ethel and Kermit You're the top.
Kermit You're the Colosseum.
Ethel and Kermit You're the top.

You're the Louvre Museum.
You're a melody of a symphony by Strauss!

Kermit You're a Bendel bonnet, a Shakespeare sonnet …
Ethel You're Mickey Mouse!
Kermit Is that — is that a compliment?
Ethel You called me a colosseum.
Kermit Sorry about that.
He ducks out. Fozzie appears behind Ethel.
Fozzie If you're ever in a jam, here I am.
Ethel If you're ever in a mess, SOS.
Fozzie If you ever feel so happy you land in jail, I'm your bail.
Ethel and Fozzie

It's friendship, friendship,
Just a perfect blendship.
When other friendships have been forgot,
Ours will still be hot.
La-da, la-da, la-da, dig, dig, dig.

Exit Fozzie, enter Scooter and Gonzo.

The night is young, the skies are clear,
And if you want to go walking, dear …


It's delightful, it's delicious,
It's de-lovely!


I understand the reason why
You're sentimental, 'cause so am I!

Ethel It's delightful…
Scooter It's delicious…
Gonzo It's de-lovely.
Exit Scooter and Gonzo, enter a two-headed Whatnot.
Two-headed Whatnot

Wherever we go,
Whatever we do…

Ethel We're gonna go through it together!
The Whatnot exits. Uncle Deadly appears behind Ethel.
Uncle Deadly I hear singing and there's no one there.
Ethel You would.
Deadly sinks down. Piggy enters the mirror.
Miss Piggy

Anything you can do, I can do better.
I can do anything better than you.

Ethel No you can't.
Miss Piggy Yes I can.
Ethel No you can't.
Miss Piggy Yes I can.
Ethel No you can't.
Miss Piggy Yes I can, yes I can.

Anything you can be, I can be greater.
Sooner or later I'm greater than you.

Miss Piggy No you're not.
Ethel Yes I am.
Miss Piggy No you're not.
Ethel Yes I am.
Miss Piggy No you're not.
Ethel Yes I am, yes I am!
Miss Piggy I can be a racer, quite a steeplechaser!
Ethel I can jump a hurdle, even with my girdle!
Miss Piggy I can do most anything.
Ethel Can you bake a pie?
Miss Piggy No.
Ethel Neither can I.
Miss Piggy

Any note you can reach, I can go higher.
I can sing anything higher than you.

Ethel No you can't …
Miss Piggy Yes I can.
Ethel No you can't …
Miss Piggy Yes I can.
Ethel No you can't …
Miss Piggy Yes I can.
Ethel No you caaaaan't …
Miss Piggy Yes I CAAAAAAAAN!!
Ethel Oh, yes you can.
The Muppets all gather around Ethel.
Muppets We belong to a mu-tu-al ad-mi-ration society.
Kermit Miss Merman and me.
122 medley.jpg
Ethel & Muppets We belong to a mutual admiration soci…e…ty!
Waldorf Yeah. Wonderful, wonderful! I remember Ethel Merman in the opening of Panama Hattie.
Statler You're old enough to remember Teddy Roosevelt and the opening of the Panama Canal. Heh.


Fozzie Hey, Kermit. Kermit. Kermit. Remember I told you my agent was coming?
Kermit Yeah.
Fozzie Well, he is here.
Kermit Where?
Fozzie Uh, here. (points downwards) He's a little short, Kermit.
Kermit (chuckles) He certainly is.
Fozzie Uh, he's very sensitive, so uh, no short jokes. OK?
Kermit OK, I'm sorry. Just introduce us.
Fozzie OK. Ahem. Uh …
Fozzie sets Irving, a top-hat with a pair of shoes, on the table.
Fozzie Kermit, this is Irving Bizarre, my agent.
Irving Eh, hiya, Kermit. How are you doing, sweetie?
Kermit This is an agent?
122 irving's intro.jpg
Kermit Where's your office, Irving? In your hat?
Irving Ha ha. Very funny. Very funny.
Kermit Hey, who else do you handle? Rich Little? (laughs) Tiny Tim? (laughs)
Irving I wouldn't handle you. I'd get warts.
Kermit (offended) Warts? What kind of talk is that? Will you get out? Take this guy and get outta here, Fozzie! (storms off)
Fozzie I don't think this negotiation is going too well.
Irving Hey, don't worry, sweetie, Fozzie. We got him right where we want him.
Fozzie Yeah. Yeah. (carries Irving away)


Hilda passes by Ethel.
Ethel Oh, Hilda.
Hilda Yes, Miss Merman.
Ethel I don't wish to complain, but there's a mouse in my dressing room.
Hilda Oh, yes. We'll move her tomorrow. But for now it's the only place she has to change.
Ethel Change?
Hilda Yes. She sings in the band. (exits)
Ethel Is this a show or a zoo?
122 blackout.jpg
Animal Hiya, honey.
Ethel It's a zoo.
Animal Boo.
Ethel (screams)
Animal Perfect pitch.
BONK! She knocks him on the head.

UK Spot

Statler What do you take in your tea?
Waldorf Oh, milk, two sugars, one mouse.
Statler One what?
Waldorf Mouse. Take a look.
Miss Mousey appears in the teacup, and sings "Don't Sugar Me". At the end, the teacup walks off the balcony.

Talk Spot

Kermit Well, Miss Merman, I'm kind of at a loss for words. I mean, for me, a frog, to be sitting here with one of the greatest performers ever to grace the American musical stage - a legend — a —
Ethel Oh, relax, Kermit. Relax. And you can call me Ethel.
Kermit Huh?
Ethel But I'd like you to take it easy on that "legend" and "the greatest" stuff. Sounds like a eulogy. After all, I'm — I'm not quite ready to go yet.
Kermit No, no, no, no, no. I — I didn't mean it like that.
Ethel Well, I-I mean, I admit that I've been around for quite a while, but … there are some things on this show that are older than I. Like uh, Fozzie's jokes.
Kermit (laughs) You're right there. It just seems that you've always been a part of the Broadway musical scene. I remember the opening night of Gypsy, you know?
Ethel Ker — Kermit, you were at the opening night of Gypsy?
Kermit Sure.
A beat.
Ethel Come to think of it, I did hear some croaking in the audience.
Kermit laughs. Piggy enters with a champagne glass.
Miss Piggy Ah-hem. Excuse me, Miss Merman. I do not wish to intrude, but I too am a singer of note.
Ethel What note?
Kermit Who knows? It's always flat. (laughs)
Miss Piggy Watch it, flipper face. As a sister singer, I gratefully admire your talent, and so I would like to propose a toast in your honor.
Ethel Oh, how nice of you, Miss Piggy.
Miss Piggy Mm-hm. To Ethel Merman, a great woman and a great singer, whom we can all learn something from. Got any tips?
Ethel All that for one free singing lesson?
Miss Piggy (shrugs) Well …
122 talkspot.jpg
Ethel Now, look, Miss Piggy. Let's face it. You either got it, or you ain't.
Miss Piggy Mm-hm.
Ethel And all the singing lessons in the world ain't gonna help you if you ain't got it. Now, let's hear you hit that high note of yours again.
Miss Piggy Ahem. (hits high note)
Ethel Well, it shows promise.
Miss Piggy See, Kermit?
Ethel But it it's a bit subtle. Now, this is the way I would do it —
She hits a high note. Kermit is knocked off, and Piggy's glass shatters.
Kermit Did you also make some recordings as an air-raid siren during the war?
Ethel (giggles) Kermit. (slaps him)
Waldorf Ah, she and Kermit make a nice pair.
Statler Well, she certainly is a peach.
They chuckle.

Guest puppeteer

Main stage. Kermit enters.
Kermit Uh, we on The Muppet Show are very interested in puppets, for some strange reason. Anyway, tonight we're really delighted to have with us a man who produces the world's funniest shadows. Here he is from Australia - our guest puppeteer, Mr. Richard Bradshaw!
Richard performs shadow puppetry. In the first act, an ostrich slides down a slide, then a mouse. When a hippo climbs up the ladder, he breaks the slide.
Statler More! More!
Waldorf Hey, wait. Look, there is more.
Statler Oh, good grief. They heard me.
In the second act, the three animals balance on a tightrope.
122 bradshaw.jpg


Irving Hey, come on, Kermit. The kid's worth twice the price.
Kermit Yeah, well, I don't know …
Miss Piggy (amorous) Oh, Kermit, my love. My — (Irving taps his foot) What is that?
Kermit Uh, well, this is Fozzie's agent, Irving Bizarre. Uh, we're negotiating a contract.
Irving Hey, how you doing, baby, kiddo, sweetheart? Not bad-looking for a pig. Want me to handle you?
122 irving piggy.jpg
Miss Piggy I already have an agent, Shortstuff.
Irving I don't wanna be your agent. I just wanna handle you. (laughs)
Miss Piggy Well, handle this. Hi-YAH!
She karate-chops him off the table.

Fozzie's comedy act

Main stage. Kermit enters.
Kermit Right now it's time to present a comic who, even as I speak, is in danger of negotiating himself right out of work. Ladies and gentlemen, the funniest bear since Maxie, Mr. Fozzie Bear!
The curtain opens on Fozzie as his fanfare plays.
Fozzie Oh, boy, oh, boy, oh, boy. Yes, yes, yes! Oh, I get a feeling you're a great bunch, not like the audience we had last week. Hah! They weren't an audience, they were a jury. Ha ha.
Angle on the audience: a Fozzie lookalike sits in the back.
Bear (aside) Haaaah. The bear's funny, huh? Yeah, he's — he's my cousin. (gets no response) Wanna leave a wake-up call?
Fozzie Uh, if you don't mind, cousin, I will do the jokes.
Waldorf Let him roll. He's funnier than you. (laughs with Waldorf)
Leo Hey, will you guys hold it down up there?
Fozzie Uh, you don't want them interrupting my act, right?
Leo No, I don't want 'em interrupting our sleep. (the audience laughs) Hey, bring on the comic!
Fozzie I am the comic.
Leo Then bring on the girls!
Fozzie This is not that kind of show.
Leo Then bring on the girl comic!
The audience laughs.
Fozzie Now, listen. I am not gonna be heckled by some clown who just came off the street. I-I'm a pro, buddy. A real pro. Look, okay. I tell you what. Everybody, I am gonna turn my back, and when I turn around again, I only wanna see real Fozzie Bear fans in the audience. Okay? Here we go.
When he turns his back, the audience walks out.
Fozzie Okay, I'm gonna turn around now!
122 empty theater.jpg
He sees that they've all left.
Fozzie Even my cousin? (facepalms) Ohh! It's a cruel world. (looks up) Hey, hey. How come you two guys are still there, huh? Did you lose your beds at the old fools' home?
Statler and Waldorf chuckle.
Fozzie Ah, it's too late.
He walks off. The curtain closes as the fanfare plays.

Backstage / "There's No Business Like Show Business"

Fozzie encounters Kermit and Irving negotiating.
Irving All right, Kermit, my client won't work unless you give him twice as much money.
Kermit Uh, yeah. I just saw how he handled that audience. But to show you what a good guy I am, I'll give him three times as much.
Irving We won't settle for less than four times as much.
Kermit Uh, how about a compromise? Five times as much money.
Irving Six times as much.
Fozzie Uh, don't push it, Irv.
Kermit Uh, seven times as much.
Irving Eight times.
Kermit This is my final offer. Ten times as much as he's making now.
Irving You got a deal.
Kermit Good. (walks off)
Fozzie Oh, Irv! Irv!
Irving Hey-hey. Congratulations, kid. You're making ten times as much money.
Fozzie Yeah, yeah, and I - and I used to make nothing!
Irving Right. And — and ten times nothing is er, ummm …
122 ten times nothing.jpg
Fozzie Nothing.
Irving Yeah, right. And don't forget, I get ten percent of that.
Fozzie You're worth every penny, Irv. (facepalms)
Irving Uh, could you give me a hand down, kid?
Fozzie sets him down.
Ethel Hey, Fozzie. (comes downstairs)
Fozzie Yeah?
Ethel Listen, Fozzie. Don't be discouraged. Even if you don't make a lot of money, you're doing what you love to do. Just look around you.
She launches into a rendition of "There's No Business Like Show Business". The other Muppets join her backstage, then onstage.
122 show business.jpg


Kermit Well, another half-hour has flown by, made most enjoyable by our very special guest star, Miss Ethel Merman!
Applause as she comes out.
Ethel Oh, thank you, Kermit. This has been the most fun I've had in a long, long time. You know, you really don't have to be crazy to do this show. But it helps.
Kermit laughs. Piggy shows up with some roses.
Miss Piggy Miss Merman, from all of us to you.
122 closing.jpg
Ethel Oh, how kind of you, Miss Piggy. They won't explode, will they?
Kermit No, no, of course not. Real roses for a real lady. Thank you for joining us, and you too out there, we'll see you all next time on The Muppet Show.
The Muppets gather around Ethel as the credits roll.
Statler (scratching himself) I wonder why I'm so itchy.
Waldorf Maybe the show's starting to get under your skin.
They chuckle.