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The Muppet Show transcript for Episode 210: George Burns.

Cold open

The dressing room. Scooter knocks on the door and peers in.
Scooter George Burns! George Burns, twenty seconds to curtain, Mr. Burns.
Gonzo plays the violin next to him.
George I'm ready. But, uh, but what is that?
210 fiddles.jpg
Gonzo It's my new act. "Gonzo fiddles while George Burns".
George I like that joke. It's a pleasure to hear something that's older than I am. (puffs his cigar)


Kermit It's The Muppet Show, with our special guest star, Mr. George Burns. Whaaaa!
The curtain opens, and the theme begins.
Waldorf Isn't this opening pretentious?
A gunshot is fired from Gonzo's horn when he blows it.

Opening number

Main stage. Kermit enters to applause.
Kermit Okay, thank you, thank you and welcome again to another Muppet Show. Hey, we've got a great show tonight because our guest star is Mr. George Burns.
Statler (laughs) That's very funny.
Waldorf What's funny?
Statler "Gonzo fiddles while George Burns." (laughs)
Waldorf Have you ever thought of checking in to the Home for the Chronically Strange?
Kermit But right now, let's start things off by going south of the border!
Miss Piggy and some pigs perform "Cuanto Le Gusta."
Statler Well, there it is. Your basic Latin number.
Waldorf Well, actually, it's your basic pig-Latin number.
They chuckle.


Kermit sees a figure holding a notepad.
Kermit What's going on? Who are you?
Fleet Scribbler No, the name's Fleet. Fleet Scribbler. I'm a gossip columnist for The Daily Scandal.
Kermit Well listen, I'm sorry, but we don't allow andy reporters backstage during the show.
Fleet Scribbler What a headline! (scribbles as he exits) "Muppets Ban Press, Reporter Thrown Out by Frog."
Kermit Wait. Uh … on the other hand, can I offer you a cup of coffee?
Fleet Scribbler What a headline! (scribbles as he comes back in) "Frog Bribes Reporter, Muppets Desperate for Publicity."
Kermit Oh, this isn't going to be easy.
Fleet Scribbler Say, is it true you're dropping a lot of stuff from the show this year?
Kermit Uh, no. No, not particularly.
Fleet Scribbler Aha. (scribbles) "Muppets Relying on Same Old Tired Junk."
Kermit Uh, wait, wait. On the other hand, we have a lot of brand-new, innovative stuff.
Fleet Scribbler Ohh. (scribbles) "Muppets Changing Format, Desperate to Sustain Show."
Kermit I never knew the press could be so depressing.
Gonzo Hey, Kermit, Kermit, aren't you supposed to be introducing George Burns?
Kermit Oh, yeah. Uh, 'scuse me. (goes onstage)
Fleet Scribbler (notices Gonzo's fiddle) What a headline that would make.
Gonzo What?
Fleet Scribbler "Gonzo Fiddles While George Burns." (runs off)
Gonzo That joke is definitely making a comeback.

"Train Back Home"

Kermit It's a very special night on The Muppet Show because with us is one of the men of comedy who can really be called special. Here he is with a cigar and a song, Mr. George Burns.
The curtain opens on George leaning on a piano, played by Rowlf.
George Thank you, thank you, thank you very much, and I'm delighted to be here.
Rowlf Hey, well, you know, I'm really glad you could make it, George. It's a real honor for me to be playing piano for you.
George Thank you, Rowlf. I haven't worked with a dog for years. (takes a puff)
Rowlf You mean you've actually worked with a dog?
George Oh, sure, back in vaudeville. In those days dog acts were very popular. So I picked up a dog off the street and went to the theater to do my act. I walked out on stage with the dog under my arm, stood there and sang my songs. In the middle of my third song, the dog did his act. (takes a puff) Twice. He bit me. The dog bit me right in the middle of my top note. And to make matters worse, the theater manager came back, canceled me and hired the dog.
Rowlf Oh. Well, I hope you won't hold that against us dogs.
George Oh, no, no, no, no, I love dogs, especially if they can play in my key.
Rowlf Oh, listen, I can play in any key. I'm another Jascha Heifetz.
George Jascha Heifetz played the violin.
Rowlf Well - nobody will know the difference, George.
George Okay, Rowlf, in my key, "Train Back Home".

I guess I'll take the train back home.

Rowlf overplays the vamp.
George Hold it, hold it, hold it, Rowlf. You're liable to hurt yourself. Play like you're not getting paid. Nice and easy.
Rowlf Right. Nice and easy it is.
George Right from the top.
Rowlf Right.

I guess I'll take the train back home.
There's no more sights here left for me to see.
I've wined and dined and gazed on bill-of-fares,
Till Mother's homemade pies look good to me.
San Francisco is a grand old place.
When I get back I'll never never roam.
Tell those cable cars to wait,
And open up that Golden Gate,
I'm going to take the train back home,
To San Francisco.
I'm going to take the train back home,
To Powell and Market.
To see the Ferry Building.
To wave to Oakland.
To eat at Fisherman's Wharf.
To visit Sausalito.
To go to Finocchio's.
Took me so long to finish this song,
I just missed the train back home.
Isn't that a nice song?

Rowlf finishes with a flourish. Applause.
Statler Wow, that George Burns is a great singer.
Waldorf Yeah, well, so am I, Statler.
Statler What?
Waldorf Sure, you Wanna hear me sing?
Statler Only if you sing tenor.
Waldorf Tenor?
Statler Tenor eleven miles away. (laughs)


Piggy talks to an unseen figure in her dressing room.
Miss Piggy How should I know what "cuanto le gusta" means? (closes the door)
Fleet Scribbler Hiya, chickie baby.
Miss Piggy Watch it, buster.
Fleet Scribbler I'm Fleet Scribbler, uh, from The Daily Scandal. I'm a reporter.
Miss Piggy (changes her tone) And what can your chickie baby do for you?
Fleet Scribbler Well, I wanted to talk to you.
Miss Piggy (excited) You want to interview me? Ah!
Fleet Scribbler Well, not exactly.
Miss Piggy (flatly) Oh. What do you want?
Fleet Scribbler Dirt.
Miss Piggy What?
Fleet Scribbler You know, scandal, the hot skinny. What really goes on behind the scenes.
Miss Piggy Well, I couldn't do that. There is such a thing as loyalty to one's fellow performers.
Fleet Scribbler Hmm, too bad. I also wanted to do a picture spread of you. Something for Page Three.
A beat.
Miss Piggy Well, first of all... (whispers in his ear) ...just the other day...
Kermit notices them.
Kermit Hey, wait a second. Hey, Scribbler? Those are all lies!

"Chattanooga Choo-Choo"

A performance of "Chattanooga Choo-Choo" is cut short by an oncoming train.

Dressing room

George takes a puff as Kermit enters.
Kermit Uh, e-excuse me, Mr. Burns. I wanted to warn you about this reporter that's backstage. He writes a gossip column.
George That's all right, Kermit. As long as he doesn't write the obituary column, I'm not worried. (takes a puff)
Kermit (chuckles) Yeah, but — but he writes for The Daily Scandal and he'll do anything for sensationalism.
Fleet Scribbler Pay no attention to him, Burns. Uh, he's only a frog.
Kermit Uh, thanks.
Fleet Scribbler Uh … look, I'll get right down to the point, uh, Burns. How much are they paying you on this show?
Kermit Hey, now, now, wait a second —
George Let me — let me — let me handle this, Kermit. They're paying me $250,000. (takes a puff)
Fleet Scribbler Ah, come on, is that a lie?
George One of my best.
Fleet Scribbler Look, Burns, uh, for years you were nothin' but a vaudeville actor and now you've made two films. Is it difficult to be an actor?
George No, I think it's very easy to be an actor. If you're doing a scene where a man tells you to sit down, if you sit down, that's good acting. If he tells you to sit down and you keep standing up, that's bad acting. I always sit down, I'm a good actor. (takes a puff) I've been around so long that I can sit don and get paid for doing it, I'm in the right business.
He takes another puff and blows it in Fleet's face. Fleet exits.
George That's the end of the interview. Goodbye, kid.
Kermit Ah. Hey, you really, you really took care of him, Mr. Burns.
George Thanks, Kermit.
Kermit Say, how many of those cigars do you smoke a day?
George About twenty a day. At my age, I gotta hold on to something. (takes a puff)

Veterinarian's Hospital

Open on Piggy breathing from an oxygen mask.
Announcer And now, Veterinarian's Hospital, the continuing stoooory of a quack who has gone to the dogs.
Piggy quickly takes her position at the table.
Miss Piggy Ahem! Uh … Dr. Bob, are you ready for your next patient?
Rowlf Next patient? What happened to the last one?
Miss Piggy He left for a better doctor.
Rowlf Which doctor?
Miss Piggy That's right.
Rimshot. They all laugh.
Miss Piggy "Witch doctor"!
Rowlf "Witch doctor"!
Janice Oh! Here it is, Dr. Bob.
Rowlf Hmm?
He uncovers a telephone on the operating table.
Rowlf It's a telephone. What's the matter with it?
Janice It isn't working.
Rowlf Isn't working? Well, tell it to get a job so it can pay me. (laughs with Piggy)
Janice Oh, rully. Maybe it's a pay phone!
Rimshot. They all laugh.
Rowlf A pay phone!
Janice Oh, wow!
Miss Piggy Dr. Bob, do you know anything about repairing telephones?
Rowlf No, but I can look it up in the book.
Miss Piggy The medical book?
Rowlf No, the telephone book.
They all laugh.
Janice Rully … What do you think, Dr. Bob?
Rowlf It must be jaundice.
Miss Piggy How do you know?
Rowlf Well, look at all these yellow pages.
Rimshot. They all laugh.
Janice Dr. Bob?
Rowlf Hmm?
Janice Dr. Bob, do you think the telephone needs an anesthetic?
Rowlf Well, if so, make it a local.
Janice Why?
Rowlf Because long distance costs too much.
They all laugh. Piggy cracks up.
Rowlf Wait a minute. Nurse Piggy, do you have the next line?
Miss Piggy (cracking up) Yes, but I can't say it.
Rowlf How come?
Miss Piggy The line's busy!
Rimshot. They all laugh.
Janice Dr. Bob?
Rowlf Hmm?
Janice Dr. Bob, wow, are you ever going to operate?
Rowlf Uh, no. But I know who will.
Janice Well, who?
Rowlf (picks up the receiver) The telephone operator.
Rimshot. They all laugh.
Janice Oh, wow!
Announcer And so, once again, Dr. Bob is off the hook.
Rowlf (on phone) You talking to me? (hangs up)
Announcer Tune in next week when you'll hear Nurse Piggy say…
Miss Piggy Does the phone remind you of anything?
Rowlf Well, it does ring a bell.
They all laugh.
Miss Piggy "Ring a bell"!

UK spot

Fozzie sings "Wotcher Knocked 'Em in the Old Kent Road." Statler and Waldorf join in on the chorus.
Fozzie (during instrumental break) Watch the hands! … Watch the feet! … Wotcher wallet! Here we go. … Everybody!
The audience joins in for the final chorus.

Dressing Room

George takes a puff as Gonzo enters.
Gonzo Excuse me, Mr. Burns, remember me? I'm Gonzo.
George Oh, one of the Marx Brothers — Groucho, Chico, Harpo and Gonzo.
Gonzo No, no, no. I'm the Great Gonzo. I'm in show business too.
George Well, how did you get a name like Gonzo?
Gonzo Well, my mother gave it to me.
George Your mother.
Gonzo Mm-hm. Yeah, she died two years before I was born.
George Well, if she died two years before you were born, how could she give you that name? — (with Gonzo) She left a note to your/my father.
Gonzo Yeah.
George A note to your father, I thought so. Coming from you that sounds believable. (takes a puff)
Gonzo Yeah. Hey, look, I hope you don't mind me coming in here like this, but I know you love show business, and — and those stories about the early days are really interesting.
George Well, some of them are pretty dull.
Gonzo How can you say that? I haven't even told you any of my stories yet.
George Oh, yours? I thought you meant...
Gonzo Ah, I remember my first act. I worked with a kangaroo who could tell time.
George A kangaroo who could tell time?
Gonzo Yeah. It was a trick. He kept a pocket watch in his pouch.
George Well, if you've got a pouch, that's the place to keep it. (takes a puff)
Gonzo Yeah, but he was always wrong. He kept his watch on Australia time.
George Makes sense.
Gonzo Not really. He's never been to Australia.
George Well, that makes sense too. Where did he — where did he come from?
Gonzo Sidney.
George I thought you said he'd never been to Australia.
Gonzo Sidney's his agent.
George Oh, has he got an office in Pittsburgh?
Gonzo Yeah.
George Used to handle me. You know something, Gonzo? You sound a lot like somebody I used to work with.
Gonzo Really? That's a compliment.
George You know... you know who that is?
Gonzo Sure, Walter Matthau.
George Yeah, that's her.
Gonzo Hmm! (exits)
George I must be getting old. I think I enjoyed talking to him. (takes a puff)

"I Won't Dance"

Open on the ballroom. A variant of the "At the Dance" music plays as couples dance. Kermit tries to get away from Piggy.
Miss Piggy Kermie! Kermie, won't you dance with me? Kermie!

I won't dance, don't ask me.
I won't dance, don't ask me.
I won't dance, madame, with you.
My heart won't let my feet do things they should do.

Miss Piggy You know what?
Kermit What?
Miss Piggy You're lovely.
Kermit And so what?
Miss Piggy I'm lovely.
Kermit But oh, what, you do to me.
Miss Piggy I'm like an ocean wave that's bumped on the shore … (bumps him)
Kermit I feel so absolutely stumped on the floor.
Miss Piggy When you dance, you're charming and you're gentle.
Kermit Oh yeah?
Miss Piggy

'Specially when you do the Continental.
But this feeling isn't purely mental...


For heaven rest us, I'm not asbestos.
And that's why,
I won't dance, why should I?
I won't dance, how could I?
I won't dance.

Miss Piggy

Merci beaucoup.
I know that music leads the way to romance, (clutches him)
So if I hold you IN MY ARMS!!

Kermit I won't dance.
She drops him. Applause.
Waldorf Bravo, Bravo!
Statler Why are you yelling bravo? Did you like it that much?
Waldorf No. A friend of mine, Joe Bravo. He's sitting in the third row.
Statler Oh.
Waldorf Bravo, Bravo!
Statler & Waldorf Up here!

Talking machine

A monster encounters a machine that beeps. He turns a dial, and the machine talks.
Machine This is a recorded analytic program readout. We will start with the upper right of the module. You will note the longitudinally polarized antenna.
The monster pulls off the antenna and devours it.
Machine This component is virtually indestructible and is guaranteed for the life of the unit.
A bell rings.
Machine There is an alarm system which is activated if the machine is damaged.
The monster eats the alarm.
Machine Adjacent to the alarm is the digital iambic generator.
The monster eats the generator.
Machine This unit is pressurized with large amounts of methane gas.
The monster lets out a large burp.
Machine On the top of the inter-cellular power generator, you will see a spherical voltage oblongata.
The monster eats the sphere.
Machine It should be noted that this unit alone is worth over $17,000.
SFX: cha-ching!
Machine By way of contrast, the Doppler sublimated magneto located on the front of the generator …
The monster tears it off.
Machine … can be purchased in any hardware store for about thirty-seven cents.
The monster tosses it, then devours the rest of the machine.
Machine The intercellular power structure and generator itself is filled with a series of Manxome coils attenuated dicotyledonously. In this same circuit there is an intaglio of numismatic krypton wavelengths which abrogates the hydromatic mome raths at the rate of five ventrical icons per micro cantabile. The electromagnetic console... -
The monster finishes by eating the talking part of the machine, which continues talking inside his stomach.
Machine In conclusion, nothing can keep this machine from performing its function which is to be the most powerful exploding device known to man.
Tick tick … BOOM! The monster explodes.
Statler Disgusting. Ever seen eating like that?
Waldorf Sure.
Statler Where?
Waldorf Thanksgiving dinner with my in-laws.
They chuckle.


Scooter Hey, Kermit, do you know about the newspaper reporter who's snooping around here?
Kermit Yeah, Fleet Scribbler.
Scooter Well, he asked me to tell him all about the show's scandals and behind-the-scenes dirt.
Kermit Oh, I know, it's just awful.
Scooter It was. I didn't know where to begin.
Kermit (flinches) What?
Scooter Well, I mean, I could have talked for hours.
Kermit (whimpers) I don't want to hear about it.
Scooter Well, anyway, now he's talking to the Swedish Chef.
Kermit Well, he can't get any information from him.
Switch to the Chef and Scribbler talking to each other in mock Swedish.
Kermit On the other hand... (gulps)


Rowlf Ladies and gentlemen, once again, the one and only Mr. George Burns.
Applause. Rowlf plays an opening flourish.
Rowlf Well, what do you say, George, would you do one more song for us?
George You don't think I came over here just to do one song.
Miss Piggy (amorous) Mr. Burns, oh, oh, I've been a fan of yours for years. Would you — would you sing a song just for moi?
George I could never say no to a lady.
Rowlf Well, you don't have to worry then. It's only Miss Piggy. (chuckles)
Miss Piggy Cool it, flea bait. Now, ahem, where were we?
George I was about to say yes to a lady.
Miss Piggy Thank you, Mr. Burns.
George Now look, let's get the group out because this song I'm gonna sing needs all the help I can get.
Rowlf plays an opening flourish. They are joined by Gonzo, Nigel, Scooter, Baskerville, Blue Frackle and Miss Mousey.
Rowlf Okay, come on out here, everybody. Here we go.
George Now, Rowlf, in my key.
Rowlf All right.
George And kids, I want you all to follow me.
Scooter Yes, sir.
Nigel Yes, sir.

I could be happy, could be sad, could be good, could be bad —
It all depends on you.

Muppets (harmonizing) All depends on you.
George That's nice.

Could be humble, could be proud, could be lonesome in a crowd —
It all depends on you.

Muppets (harmonizing) All depends on you.

I can save money and spend it, go right on living or end it —
You're to blame, honey, for what I do.

Muppets (harmonizing) What I do.
George Could be beggar, could be king, could be almost any old thing …
Muppets (harmonizing) It all depends on you.
George Bum, bum, bum, bum. Now hold that note. I'll find another song. You — oh — I got it.

You made me love you, I didn't want to do it.


Didn't want to do it, didn't want to do it,
Didn't want to do it, (slowing) didn't want to do it …

George You made me want you—
Gonzo Didn't want to do it…
George You made me want you and all the time you knew it.

All the time you knew it, all the time you knew it,
All the time you knew it, (slowing) all the time you knew it…

George You made me happy sometimes—
Gonzo Didn't want to do it…

You made me happy sometimes, you made me sad,
And there were times, dear, you made me feel so glad…

Muppets (harmonizing) So glad…
George That's nice. Let's — let's — let's do that again.
So glad.
Muppets (harmonizing) So glad…
George You made me sigh for—
Gonzo Didn't want to do it…

You made me sigh for I didn't want to tell you,
I want your love, that's true,
Yes, I do, you know I do, indeed I do

An orchestra backs them up for the big finish.
George & Muppets

Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme what I cry for.
You know you've got the kind of kisses that I'd die for.
You know you made me … love you.

George (scats)
Muppets You.
George (scats)
Muppets You.
George & Muppets (scats)
Gonzo Didn't want to do it…
Gonzo looks up at the others, gulps, and hides.
George But you did.
Muppets Yes, we did.


Kermit Okay! Well, it's been another busy show, and here we are now at the place where it all stops. And so, let's give a warm thank you to our special guest star, Mr. George Burns! Yaaay!
George emerges to applause, followed by Fleet.
Fleet Scribbler Hey, Mr. Burns, is it true that you and Miss Piggy were seen the other night at a certain discotheque?
George blows cigar smoke in Fleet's face. Fleet goes away.
George Good night, Fleet.
Kermit Okay, we'll see you next time on The Muppet Show!
The Muppets gather around George as the credits roll.
Waldorf How do they do it?
Statler How do we watch it?
Waldorf WHY do we watch it?
Statler (to viewer) Why do YOU watch it?