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The Muppet Show
Guest Kaye Ballard
Production November 23-26, 1976
Premiere UK: January 23, 1977
NYC: March 9, 1977[1]
Releases Season One


Tired of the "embarrassingly square" theme song, bass player Floyd Pepper informs Kermit that he and the rest of the orchestra pit (except Rowlf) are quitting. Kermit says their conductor Nigel will write a new theme, but Floyd refuses: "He wrote the first one, man." Floyd performs his idea for a new theme, a dreadful Zappa-esque piece called "Fugue for Frog." Kermit won't use it and refuses that Floyd submits to Kaye Ballard a petition about the theme song, so the band leaves. The closing theme is performed solo by Rowlf on the piano.



Picture Description

"The Muppet Show Theme": Fozzie Bear tries to tell a joke about a very fat pig, but Miss Piggy shows up to teach him a lesson.

Crazy Harry sets off an explosion before Gonzo can hit the gong. Gonzo notes that his version is "not bad." (Repeated from episode 118.)
The Country Trio perform Roger Miller's "In the Summertime."
Floyd Pepper comes backstage to tell Kermit that he is "anklin'." Kermit protests, but Floyd explains that he just can't take the theme song anymore. Since he has a room for life at the home for the chronically groovy, Floyd feels he cannot play something as "embarrassingly square" as The Muppet Show's theme song. All of the other musicians come backstage to reveal that they dislike the theme, too. When asked what he thinks, Animal says that he does like the song, until Floyd reminds him that he does not. They agree to stay only until after they've performed with the show's guest star, "a stay of execution."
Guest star Kaye Ballard dances and sings a duet, "Oh Babe What Would You Say," with the giant blue monster Thog.
123 floyd

Having played for Kaye Ballard's number, the band is once again about to leave. Kermit reminds them that Kaye has another number, and then tells the band that if they agree to stay through the whole show and play the closing theme, next week there will be a brand new theme song. The conductor, Nigel, has even agreed to write the new song. This is enough to convince the band to leave for good, as Nigel wrote the first one. (Nigel: "I always thought it was kind of a hip tune.")
Muppet News Flash: The Newsman tries to converse with Mrs. Gretchen Powers (Kaye Ballard), a woman trying to set the world record for the longest sentence ever spoken. It is long, but is entirely pointless.
At the Dance: Janice discusses her family history dating back to the 17th Century. Zoot states that his family records can be found in the 19th Precinct. Kermit and Piggy dance together. Piggy speaks a foreign language. When Kermit asks if it's Italian, Piggy tells him that it is "pig-latin."
UK Spot: Pa sings "Life Gets Teejus Don't It" with Rover Joe by his side.

Talk Spot: Kermit talks to Kaye about his problems with the band. She calls for Animal to discuss this problem with him. Animal tells her what's wrong, and she translates to Kermit: "Animal feels a deep-seeded hostility in what he interprets as a demeaning situation." Both she and Kermit find the theme song catchy. Animal bites Kaye for this outrage. Kaye stops him, convincing Animal that he should instead discuss the matter with Kermit. A rather violent "discussion" follows in which Animal ties Kermit up in a knot.
A barber takes to cutting the out-of-control hair of a former rocker. The rocker wants everything on him cut short. When the barber is all through, he accidentally sneezes, blowing the minuscule creature that was hidden under all that hair away... and before he gets paid, too. Statler and Waldorf make two comments during the sketch.
Backstage, Floyd tells Kermit that the band has agreed not to leave, if Floyd is permitted to write the new theme song. But Floyd is certain that Kermit will hate his music. He won't understand it because Floyd doesn't even understand it. Floyd tells Kermit that if he wasn't sure he was a genius, he wouldn't listen to the "trash" he writes.
The Vendaface machine turns a hideous woman into a beautiful woman, and then gives another woman the hideous woman's features.
The band play "Fugue for Frog." Kermit loves the title, but hates the rest. He describes it as the worst, and then asks how they plan to play for Kaye Ballard with all their instruments backstage. Floyd's answer is "Like always: Loudly."
The band rush onstage anyway to join Kaye Ballard for "One Note Samba." Kaye and Miss Piggy battle to upstage each other throughout the song.

At the closing, Floyd and the band come on stage, wanting Kaye to sign a petition regarding the theme song. Kaye also tells Kermit that she loves all of the Muppets, with the possible exception of Miss Piggy, who she believes is very "hoggy." The words does not settle well with Piggy: she gives a karate chop to Kaye, and a big fight ensues.
Rowlf the Dog plays the closing theme all alone. After the credits, Rowlf comments, "You must admit, Nigel, this does sound a little square." Nigel's response: "Play hound, play."


  • This is the only episode of the season to have a completely different ending than the canned footage of the Muppet orchestra playing the end, keeping with the theme of Floyd and the band being on strike as seen in the closing. Here, Rowlf is playing a piano version of the end theme while Nigel watches him. Also, this is the first episode where someone other than Statler and Waldorf have the closing joke, which in this case is Rowlf complaining about the theme.
  • This is also the first episode with two separate final shots: one of Rowlf embarrassingly finishing the closing while Nigel bows, and another that cuts backstage, showing the band as they were for "Fugue for Frog" while Kermit sits on the railing waving. The backstage shot was later released on the Muppet Show Season One DVD set. The Disney+ version keeps the original ATV logo but cuts to the alternate closing shot of the band backstage.
  • This was the only episode in which the Trumpet Girl speaks; she has one line, performed by Eren Ozker: "Drag City!"
  • The episode closes without resolving the orchestra's storyline.
  • Unusual for a first season episode, Fozzie Bear doesn't make an appearance, except for the opening joke and the shot with Kaye Ballard.



Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Rowlf the Dog, Statler and Waldorf, Floyd Pepper, Jim, Frank, Jerry, Zoot, Trumpet Girl, Animal, Thog, Nigel, The Newsman, Janice, George the Janitor, Mildred Huxtetter, Shouting Lady, Herman, Paul, Vendaface, Whatnots

Background Muppets:

Dr. Teeth, Hilda, Rover Joe, Zelda Rose, Scooter, Gonzo, Pigs, Sexy Muppet, Rat


Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog, Rowlf, Waldorf, The Newsman, Rover Joe, and Jim Henson Muppet
Frank Oz as Miss Piggy, Animal, Scraggly Woman, Fozzie Bear, Frank Oz Muppet, George the Janitor, and Mildred
Jerry Nelson as Floyd Pepper, Thog, Jerry Nelson Muppet, Paul, Barber's Customer, Shouting Lady, Herman, and Vendaface
Richard Hunt as Statler
Dave Goelz as Zoot and Barber
John Lovelady as Nigel
Eren Ozker as Trumpet Girl, Janice, and Plain Woman



  1. โ†‘ The New York Times TV listings, March 9, 1977

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