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The Muppet Show
Don Knotts Muppet Show bass
Guest Don Knotts
Production May 23-25, 1977
Premiere UK: February 5, 1978
NYC: November 28, 1977
Releases Season Two


Kermit lets Fozzie help plan the show, and the band is so happy with Fozzie's scheduling of "Lullaby of Birdland" as the closing number that they elect him an honorary hip person. Floyd gives him a pair of shades, which cause Fozzie to stumble around in the dark for most of the episode. Unfortunately, Fozzie has asked Don Knotts to play bass for the closing. Disappointed by his ultimately explosive performance, the band votes to "de-shade" Fozzie.



  • As the first episode of season 2, this is the first episode with many of the notable changes in the production of the show in production order. The appearance of several main characters (Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo) is modified. The new version of the opening is first used in this episode, preceded by the first "Cold Opening" where Scooter interacts with the guest star prior to Kermit in the opening. Fozzie's joke is removed and an intervention of Statler and Waldorf is added. (In this first episode, the two old codgers come and sit down in the balcony, without any comment.) Gonzo uses now a trumpet instead of his mallet.
  • The first two songs performed in this episode were co-written by Alan and Marilyn Bergman, and Michel Legrand. The last two songs performed were co-written by George Weiss.
  • The first shot during the closing of this episode is a shot of Floyd, as opposed to a shot of Animal.
  • "Sweet Gingerbread Man" is the only song in the series in which Frank Oz is given the lead vocal on a song not sung by one of his regular characters.
  • "Windmills of Your Mind" is referred to as the opening number, even though "Sweet Gingerbread Man" aired before it.


Picture Description
Cold Open: Scooter finds guest star Don Knotts cowering in the corner, scared of Gorgon Heap that shares his dressing room. "What's the matter, sweetie?" Gorgon Heap growls. "You don't like chorus girls?"
"The Muppet Show Theme": As Gonzo plays the final note, flames shoot from his trumpet.
The Gingerbread Men sing "Sweet Gingerbread Man".
In the introduction for the next number, Fozzie Bear announces that he's helping Kermit plan tonight's show. Kermit comes out and jokes that Fozzie plans his parts and Kermit plans the good parts.  Fozzie then introduces a trip into "inner space"...
A Screaming Thing says that on the outside he's very calm... but on the inside... He sings "The Windmills of Your Mind" to describe the endless turmoil in his brain. He ends up running off the stage and through Statler and Waldorf's box, and falls down into the audience. Two pigs carry him away.
Backstage, Floyd Pepper wants to talk to Kermit about the closing number. Fozzie hides behind his clipboard as Kermit happily tells Floyd that the bear was the one who came up with the idea of playing "Lullaby of Birdland" to close the show. To their surprise, Floyd is happy with the number -- it's a jazz classic. Fozzie is thrilled.

Don presents "Beast of the Week" -- a children's program presenting hideous and grotesque creatures. Don unveils a baby creature that was just discovered -- a cute little furball who's never been away from its mother before. To Don's surprise, the baby bites its way out of the "escape-proof" cage, and proceeds to trash the studio and bite Don on the shoulder. Don wrestles the baby under control -- and just in time, because if the mother discovers that the baby is missing, she could get very upset. But then Don hears a growl -- it's the Mean Mama, come to collect her child. She breaks through the studio wall, grabs her child and pushes past the flustered Don, who's left stammering in the wreckage.
Floyd tells Fozzie that the band is so pleased with Fozzie's choice for a final number that they've decided to elect him an honorary hip person. Floyd presents Fozzie with his own pair of shades.
"Veterinarian's Hospital": The Screaming Thing is Dr. Bob's patient. He has three left feet, but also left two feet in Cincinnati.
UK Spot: Bertie sings the classic Music Hall song, "Burlington Bertie from Bow".
Fozzie has a hard time coming onstage to talk to Don... he's wearing his shades, and he can't see where he's going. Don proves that he's cool by wearing his own pair of shades... and falls off the stage.
Rowlf the Dog sings "What a Wonderful World" to a puppy.
Floyd tells Fozzie that one of the band members wants to thank him personally for planning the "Birdland" number. To Fozzie's horror, the band member is Animal, who knocks the bear down with gratitude.
The Swedish Chef attempts to make fishie chowder with a live fishie. The fishie however keeps stealing the chef's ingredients.
The "Lullaby of Birdland" number is up next. Since Floyd is playing vibes for this number, who's going to play bass? Fozzie says not to worry -- he's found the perfect bass player.
The Electric Mayhem is surprised to find that Don is the bass player that Fozzie's recruited -- especially when he sets up his music stand. "Sheet music!" Dr. Teeth notes. "I haven't seen that stuff for years." Don insists that he's hep enough to play with them -- but his bass playing is wrecking "Lullaby of Birdland". "Sounds like the bird died," Dr. Teeth sighs. Don tries again -- but he's going too slow. He speeds up, faster and faster, until the bass explodes.
Kermit thanks Don for being on the show. Fozzie joins them onstage, still tottering behind his dark shades. Floyd breaks the sad news -- after the "Birdland" disaster, the band has decided to de-shade the bear. Don comforts Fozzie, telling him, "Square is beautiful!"


  • Nickelodeon: The Swedish Chef's sketch was cut.
  • Disney+: The closing number with Knotts and the band rendering (in both senses of the word) "Lullaby of Birdland" is cut as are all references to the closing number with Floyd. The cuts make the reason Floyd gives Fozzie sunglasses, which he wears throughout the show until Floyd takes them away again, unclear. A total of 5 minutes is cut from the episode:
    • Backstage after the Screaming Thing is carried through on a stretcher, Floyd's entrance and conversation with Fozzie and Kermit is cut.
    • Backstage after Beast of the Week, Floyd's first line mentioning the band is "blown away" by Fozzie's choice for the closing number is cut; the segment instead begins where Floyd tells Fozzie he's a Hip Dude and gives him sunglasses (without the previous explanation of why).
    • The entire backstage segment between Rowlf's song and the Swedish Chef, involving Floyd with Animal aggressively thanking Fozzie for choosing the closing number is cut.
    • Backstage immediately after Fozzie tells Floyd he wishes his new title of Hip Dude came with a flashlight, the segment false-fades (an obvious cut) into Kermit's closing speech; the banter with Floyd, Fozzie, and Kermit about who is going to play bass is cut, as is the entire Birdland "bit" with Knotts playing bass with the band faster and faster until the bass explodes.
    • In the Goodnight portion, a small cut where Fozzie reenters with Floyd and Floyd tells him the band took a vote because of what happened with Birdland; the screen wipes to Floyd "deshading" Fozzie (again missing the previous explanation of why).
    • The very brief excerpt from "Lullabye of Birdland" performed as improvised scat in "Mah Na Mah Na" from episode 101 was notably not cut from Disney+.



Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Scooter, Rowlf, Statler and Waldorf, Dr. Teeth, Floyd Pepper, Zoot, Janice, Animal, The Swedish Chef, Gorgon Heap, The Gingerbread Men, Screaming Thing, Mean Mama, Mean Mama's Baby, Burlington Bertie

Background Muppets:

Pigs, Fish, Whatnots, The Announcer (unseen)

Audience Muppets:

Baskerville the Hound, Beautiful Day Monster, Brewster, Catgut, Miss Mousey, Pigs, Svengali's Assistant, Zelda Rose


Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog, Dr. Teeth, Rowlf, Waldorf, The Swedish Chef and a Gingerbread Man
Frank Oz as Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, Animal, lead Gingerbread Man and Mean Mama's Baby
Jerry Nelson as Floyd Pepper, Screaming Thing, Gorgon Heap, Burlington Bertie, a Gingerbread Man and the Announcer
Richard Hunt as Scooter, Janice, Statler, Mean Mama, and a Gingerbread Man
Dave Goelz as Zoot and a Gingerbread Man


External links[]

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