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The Muppet Show transcript for Episode 213: Rudolf Nureyev.

Cold open

The dressing room. Scooter knocks and enters, wearing a tux.
213 cold open.jpg
Scooter Rudolf Nureyev, uh, Rudolf Nureyev? Fifteen seconds, Mr. β€” Nureyev?
The room is empty.
Scooter (nods) Uh-huh. I knew he was too smart to show up.


Kermit It's The Muppet Show, with our special guest star, Mr. Rudolf Nureyev!
The curtain opens, and the theme begins. Statler and Waldorf scat along to the theme.
213 trumpet.jpg
A green balloon comes out of Gonzo's trumpet, inflating mostly on its own. Gonzo bats it with his nose.


Kermit, also wearing a tux, explores the heavily decorated backstage area.
Kermit Boy, Sam really has this place looking good for Rudolf Nureyev.
Scooter Yeah, well, I don't mind that so much, but me and Robin are mad we have to wear these formal clothes.
Kermit You and Robin? Where's Robin?
Scooter Oh, right here.
He briefly lifts up a top hat to reveal Robin.
213 robin hat.jpg
Robin It's the only hat I could find.
Sam the Eagle Atten-hut!
They stand at attention.
Kermit Beg pardon?
Sam the Eagle Line up for inspection.
Kermit Inspection?
Sam the Eagle Yes. We must look proper for Mr. Nureyev. At last, to have a man of dignity, a man of culture on this weird, sick program. (examines Kermit) Did you wash your flippers?
Kermit Uh, yes, sir.
Sam the Eagle Let's have a look.
He lifts Kermit's left foot, and Kermit loses his balance and falls.
Sam the Eagle Will you please get off the floor? (to Scooter) Will you β€” will you comb your hair and polish those shoes?
Scooter (runs off) Ah, yes, sir. Yes, sir.
Sam the Eagle And one more thing β€” (briefly lifts Robin's hat) your hat's too big.
Kermit Uh, Sam, can I introduce the show now?
Sam the Eagle Of course, yes, but just do it with dignity! (shoves him onstage)
Kermit Uh, yes, yes …
Sam the Eagle Oh! To have the brilliant, talented Rudolf Nureyev on our show! (to Robin) He's my favorite opera singer. (runs onstage)

Opening number

Main stage. Kermit enters to applause.
Kermit Thank you, thank you, thank you! Hi there and welcome to The Muppet Show!
Sam the Eagle You call that dignity?
Kermit Uh, I'm sorry, Sam.
Sam the Eagle (scoffs)
Kermit Uh, ahem. Uh, ladies and gentlemen, it is indeed an honor...
Sam the Eagle Good.
Kermit …to welcome you to The Muppet Show. (Sam brushes him) Uh, tonight's guest star is one of the world's great masters of the ballet, Mr. Rudolf Nureyev.
Sam the Eagle W-wait β€” are you sure it's ballet, not opera?
Kermit Positive.
Sam the Eagle Six of one, half dozen the other. Culture is culture. Go ahead.
Kermit Uh... ahem. Uh, but here to get things started is Dr. Teeth and the Electric...
Sam the Eagle WHAT β€” Dr. Teeth?!?
Kermit Sam, I know I promised you a very cultural show. But don't worry, you see, they're playing a minuet, and they have promised to be very classy.
213 intro.jpg
Sam the Eagle May I have that in writing?
Kermit (they scramble offstage) Just get off …
The Mayhem plays "Minuet in G Major".
Dr. Teeth Hey. Hey, what's this bummer called again?
Floyd "Minuet in G Major". Huh.
213 minuet.jpg
Dr. Teeth Oh. They ought to send it back to the minors.
Floyd (laughs) Yeah, if I knew we were gonna do this, I'd have just stayed home and sent in my suit.
Animal (growls impatiently)
Floyd Animal's not gonna make it, man.
Dr. Teeth He's gonna freak.
Animal (growls impatiently)
Floyd If he goes, I go with him.
Animal goes wild on the drums.
Dr. Teeth It's a breakout!
The Mayhem goes wild along with him. Applause.
Statler You know, the older I get, the more I appreciate good music.
Waldorf Yeah? What's that got to do with what we just heard?
Statler Nothing, just thought I'd mention it.
They chuckle.


The Mayhem passes by Kermit.
Kermit Not very cultural, guys. Not very cultural.
Sam the Eagle That was degrading! That was awful. Mr. Nureyev must be shocked!
Kermit Well, I doubt it.
Sam the Eagle Well, of course he is. He is sensitive. He is creative. He is artistic!
Kermit He is not here.
Sam the Eagle What?
Kermit No, no, it's OK. He just phoned in, he's running a little bit late.
Sam the Eagle Oh! Thank goodness. Now, remember, when Mr. Nureyev arrives, we must be dignified, we must be respectful.
Rudolf, dressed casually, enters. Applause.
Rudolf Hi, you guys.
Kermit Ah!
Rudolf I'm here.
Sam the Eagle Not for long, you are not. We are waiting for Mr. Nureyev!
213 sam kicks rudolph out.jpg
Kermit But Sam …
Sam the Eagle I'll handle this. (shoves the man out) Get out of here, you freak! You hippie! You weirdo, get out! Move, move! Get a haircut! (scoffs) Who do these punk kids think they are?
Kermit That β€” that one thinks he's Rudolf Nureyev.
Sam the Eagle (holds him up) What?
Kermit In fact, that was Rudolf Nureyev.
Sam the Eagle (drops him, collapses) What have I done?
Kermit I think I'll go out and introduce something cultural.
Sam is distressed.

"La Ci Darem La Mano"

Main stage. Kermit enters to a fanfare.
Kermit Uh, uh, now in keeping with our tone of uh, culture and classicism, and to uh, kill time while we see if we still have a guest star, we proudly present the love duet from the third act of The Barber of Die Fliedremaus. Uh, by Giusseppe Vagner...or Giusseppe Wagner. Um... whatever.
213 pig opera.jpg
The curtain opens. Dressed in armor, Link and Piggy perform a duet of "La Ci Darem La Mano" from "Don Giovanni". Eventually, Sam uses a giant magnet on a rope to lift them offstage.
Sam the Eagle (sigh) I hope Mr. Nureyev didn't see that.
He accidentally lets go of the rope. KLANG! The pigs fall down.
Statler You know, there's nothing like grand opera.
Waldorf Yep, and that was nothing like it!
They chuckle.


Sam the Eagle (remorseful) Mr. Nureyev, will you ever forgive me?
Kermit Uh, he forgives you, Sam.
Sam the Eagle What?
Kermit I just talked to him. He isn't angry, he's putting on his costume for his big ballet number.
Sam the Eagle Oh! (hugs him)
213 frog embrace.jpg
Sam the Eagle Bless you, frog. Oh, thank you for these glad tidings. And what ballet, may I ask, is the incomparable Mr. Nureyev going to perform?
Kermit Uh, "Swine Lake". (walks onstage)
Sam the Eagle Culture, yes, culture. Dignity at last. Cul… "Swine Lake"?!

"Swine Lake"

Kermit Uh, ladies and gentlemen, in the classic ballet "Swine Lake", a beautiful princess has been turned into a pig by the wicked magician, Trichinosis. Ahem. Uh, unfortunately, the handsome prince β€” there's a handsome prince in this too β€” the handsome prince hasn't heard about the change. Here, then, the very princely, Mr. Rudolf Nureyev.
213 swine lake.jpg
Applause. An instrumental of "Swan Lake" is played as Rudolf dances. When the Ballerina Pig shows up, he tosses her aside. The dancing continues, and concludes with one final toss. Applause.

UK spot

213 missing.jpg
A Whatnot who is literally missing much from his life sings "Something's Missing." In the end, a female Whatnot joins him, making his life whole.

Veterinarian's Hospital

In the operating room, the cast tries to make themselves look as distinguished as possible. A young pig is on the operating table.
Announcer And now, Veterinarian's Hospital. On this special episode, our quack who has gone to the dogs will pay tribute to William Shakespeare.
Rowlf Prithee, nurse, who beith our next patient?
Janice Why, this little piglet, sire.
Rowlf Not piglet, Hamlet.
They all laugh.
Rowlf Remember, we're doing Shakespeare here.
Janice Hmm, sounds more like Bacon.
They all laugh.
Rowlf Say, this patient needs a transfusion. What's his blood type?
Janice Well, I think it's 2B, but I'm not sure.
Rowlf Well, make up your mind! 2B or not 2B?
He and Janice laugh.
Miss Piggy Gadzooks, they have no shame.
Rowlf (pokes around with the stethoscope) Say … I'm listening to this patient's heart. Zounds.
Miss Piggy Zounds what?
Rowlf Zounds terrible.
They all laugh.
Rowlf Hey, the frog wanted Shakespeare, he's getting Shakespeare.
Janice But you're a doctor first.
Rowlf Right, doctor first, Richard the Second, Henry the Fourth.
They all laugh.
Miss Piggy Methinks we should take our leave.
Rowlf Why?
Miss Piggy Look at the time.
They all look around.
Rowlf Hey, the timing of the shrew.
Miss Piggy Are you calling me a shrew?
Rowlf If the shrew fits...
They all laugh, and look up when they hear the announcer.
213 vets.jpg
Announcer And so we leave Veterinarian's Hospital-on-Avon. Tune in next week when you'll hear Dr. Bob say ...
Rowlf Alas, poor pork, I knew thee well.
They all laugh.
Statler Now that really offended me. I'm a student of Shakespeare.
Waldorf Eh! You were a student WITH Shakespeare.


Miss Piggy Ahem. Kermie?
Kermit Uh, yes, Miss Piggy?
Miss Piggy May I speak with you about our duet?
Kermit Uh, what, is something wrong with it?
Miss Piggy Wrong? Why it's wonderful! (embraces him)
213 kermit piggy.jpg
Miss Piggy Oh, at last, a mature and passionate love duet between me and my Kermie.
Kermit Ah, well, you're not doing it with me.
Miss Piggy What?
Kermit No, you're gonna do it with Rudolf Nureyev.
A beat. She drops him and runs over him.
Miss Piggy Coming, Rudy!
Kermit gets up, dazed.

"Baby, It's Cold Outside"

Main stage. Robin enters to a fanfare.
213 robin intro.jpg
Robin My Uncle Kermit can't make the next introduction. He's trying to get the spiked heel marks off his throat. So I guess I'll fill in. Here, once again, the multi-talented Rudolf Nureyev.
Sam removes Robin's hat.
Robin Uh, yeah, I know. The hat's still too big.
They both walk away. The curtain opens on a sauna, where Piggy sits by herself. Rudolf enters and disrobes except for his towel.
Miss Piggy Holy maracas! (approaches him) Uh, mm-hmm, helloooo. … Uh, don't you, uh, talk to strangers?
213 steamroom.jpg
Rudolf Depends on how strange the stranger is.
Miss Piggy (laughs) Oh, what a wonderful sense of humor you have! And you have a marvelous mind. And the other parts ain't bad, either.
Rudolf (aside) Just think of it. Last week I've been dancing with Natalia Makarova. And today, I'm in a steam room with a lady pig.
Miss Piggy Oh, yes. And isn't it heaven?
Rudolf I don't think heaven is this warm. It's more like the other place.
Miss Piggy Uh, well, uh, ahem, if you're warm, maybe you're overdressed?
Rudolf No, I'm fine.
Miss Piggy Maybe I'm overdressed.
Rudolf That's it, I'm leaving.
Miss Piggy Oh, no, sweetie, you just got here. Pleeeeease?
Music swells up.
Rudolf You don't understand β€”
They begin a duet of "Baby, it's Cold Outside". In the end, Piggy is left only with his towel and a Rudolf Nureyev-shaped hole in the wall.
Statler (laughs) Boy, he's really good, that Rudolf Nurey... uh, Nureyey... you know, I should really learn to pronounce his name.
Waldorf Oh, don't bother now. After this show, he'll probably change it.
They chuckle.

"Clair de Lune"

Rowlf plays "Clair de Lune" on the piano. Fozzie approaches.
Fozzie (whispers) You forgot your candelabra. I'll go get it. Keep playing. Sounds terrific.
Fozzie fetches the candelabra and puts it on the piano.
Fozzie (whispers) Got a match? A match. A match for the candle... β€” (Rowlf plays louder to shut him up) OK.
Fozzie fetches a matchbox and tries to strike one.
Fozzie (calls) Lighter, lighter! Gonzo...
Fozzie fetches a lighter and tries to light it.
Fozzie (to Rowlf) It doesn't work β€” (calls) It doesn't...
He briefly leaves, then comes back.
Fozzie Uh, Rowlf, I think it's all taken care of. You're gonna have a beautiful candle to play with.
He attempts to light it with a blowtorch.
Fozzie Fabulous. … Give it time.
213 rowlf fozzie.jpg
He melts the candelabra instead. Rowlf facepalms.
Fozzie Uh, sorry about that. Gonzo! (runs off)

Dressing room / "Top Hat, White Tie and Tails"

Rudolf stands behind the changing board.
Kermit Rudolf, I want to tell you how delighted we are to have you on our show tonight.
Rudolf I'm having a great time.
Kermit Oh, good.
Rudolf I'm afraid your friend, the eagle, isn't too pleased.
Kermit Oh, that's just Sam. Don't worry about him.
Sam the Eagle (knocks and enters) Mr. Nureyev, may I have your attention?
Rudolf Yes. Well... maybe I'm not too sure.
Sam the Eagle I just want to apologize for thedisgusting things the frog has forced you to do on this show.
Kermit Uh, the frog did not force him. (exits)
Sam the Eagle Humph.
Rudolf The frog didn't force me.
Sam the Eagle What?
Rudolf No. I wanted to do them. And it was fun.
Sam the Eagle I can't believe that I'm speaking to the real Rudolf Nureyev.
Rudolf Does that mean you're going to throw me out again?
Sam the Eagle No, no, no β€” of course not. No.
Rudolf Good. There's one more number I'd like to do.
Sam the Eagle A-ha! I should have known. The first two for the low-brow element, but for your finale, a brilliant interpretation of classic ballet.
Rudolf Exactly.
He emerges in a black tux.
Sam the Eagle Is that a ballet costume?
Rudolf Trust me, Sam. You see...
213 sam rudolph.jpg
He launches into a rendition of "Top Hat, White Tie and Tails". The other Muppets join him as he taps out of the room and onto the stage.
213 top hat.jpg


Kermit Okay, so once again we come now to the end of another show. So let us have a warm thank you for our very special guest star, the incomparable Rudolf Nureyev! Yaaaayy!
Rudolf This has been a very different experience for me.
Sam the Eagle Mr. Nureyev, I just want you to know that I am sorry.
Rudolf You are sorry you threw me out?
Sam the Eagle No, I'm sorry I ever let you back in. (sigh) This has been shocking.
Rudolf Aw, cool it, baldy. (puts a top hat on Sam's head)
Kermit Okay, we'll see you all next time on The Muppet Show!
213 closing.jpg
Sam the Eagle Leave me alone!…
The banter continues as the credits roll.
213 balcony.jpg
Statler Now, wasn't that a cultural show?
Waldorf is asleep. Statler shrugs and joins him.