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The Muppet Show transcript for Episode 223: John Cleese.

Cold open

The dressing room. Scooter knocks on the door and peers in.
Scooter John Cleese. Oh, fifteen seconds to curtain, Mr. Cleese.
John, tied up and gagged, writhes in his chair.
Scooter Well, it's no use struggling, Mr. Cleese. You can't leave until you've done the show.
Scooter exits. John rolls his eyes.


Kermit It's The Muppet Show, with our special guest star, Mr. John Cleese! Waahh!
The curtain opens and the theme begins.
Statler Well, they'll never get this started.
Gonzo plays his trumpet note perfectly; he looks surprised.

Opening number

Main stage. Kermit enters to applause.
Kermit Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Hi-ho, and welcome to another Muppet Show. Hey, we're going to have a fantastic show for you tonight, because our guest star is one of the reigning geniuses behind Monty Python's Flying Circus, Mr. John Cleese!
Applause. Fozzie enters.
Fozzie Excuse me — Kermit, uh, here's a note from the stagehands up in the rafters. (exits)
Kermit Hmm? Uh … let's see. It says, uh, "Dear Kermit. We are sorry we dropped that heavy weight, but we hope it doesn't do any damage when it hits the floor."
He is startled when a roped weight drops inches away from him.
Kermit Um, "P.S. Actually, we dropped two weights…"
He is startled when a second roped weight drops inches away from him.
Kermit Um … hey, why don't you guys watch the opening number? I'm gonna lie down for a while. (faints)
Lubbock Lou and His Jughuggers sing "Somebody Stole My Gal".
Waldorf sucks his thumb.
Statler What's wrong with you?
Waldorf Mm. I got a sore thumb.
Statler Why don't you get it taken care of?
Waldorf It keeps my mind off the show.
They chuckle.

Gonzo's stunt

Main stage. Kermit enters.
Kermit And now, to appease the intellectuals of our audience, the Great Gonzo will catch a cannonball with his bare hand, as fired from a muzzle-loading cannon! Ladies and gentlemen, the Great Gonzo!
Gonzo Thank you. The Great Gonzo. (bows) The bare hand … the muzzle-loading cannon … the lovely assistant, Crazy Harry! I must ask for complete silence from the audience for this act.
A drumroll sounds. Gonzo goes to the opposite end of the stage and sticks out his hand.
Gonzo Ready? Three, two, one! Fire!
Crazy Harry fires the cannon. The cannonball knocks Gonzo off the stage.
Kermit It's okay. Everything is fine, folks. Gonzo merely got knocked offstage by the impact, but I think... Yes, he caught the cannonball!
Waldorf Well, I've seen my share of cannonball-catching acts, but that had something different.
Statler What was that?
Waldorf A survivor.
They chuckle.


Fozzie and Floyd see Gonzo coming.
Fozzie Oh, oh — hey, have you heard about the new police show starring Gonzo the Great?
Floyd No, what's it called?
Fozzie The, uh, Long Arm of the Law. (laughs with Floyd)
Gonzo Very funny. Very droll bear.
Kermit Okay, uh, what's next, now?
John Uh, Kermit, may I have a word with you please?
Kermit Hey, it's John Cleese!
Applause as John comes downstairs.
John Kermit, I am not pleased.
Kermit Oh, uh, John, what's wrong?
John Kermit, this place is infested with pigs.
Kermit So?
John I don't wanna work with them.
Some pigs pass by.
Pig (RH) Hi, John. Nice to have you on the show.
John (pleasantly) Hi, fellas.
He winces when they exit, and whips out a contract.
John That's why every one of my contracts has a standard "no pigs" clause.
Kermit A "no pigs" clause?
John Uhh, here we are. It says, "I only work with the frog..." That's you, right?
Kermit Uh, check.
John Uh, "…the bear and the ugly, disgusting little one who catches cannonballs." That's it, no pigs, and that goes for monsters, too.
Kermit Yeah, but uh …
A monster grabs the contract and eats it.
John I'd like to speak to my agent, please, Kermit.
Kermit Uh, well, sure, John. Where is he?
John Over there.
Another monster is seen devouring a pair of feet.
John Okay, uh, what do I do with the pigs, Kermit?
Kermit Well, uh …
John smiles as the pigs clamor around him.

Muppet newsflash

Newsman Here's a Muppet newsflash. (runs to the desk) Science has recently discovered a process which may go a long way towards solving the world's food crisis. Dr. William Edgar of Chicago, Illinois, reports he has found a method of synthesizing Italian dinners out of wool. At a recent press conference, Edgar demonstrated his process by knitting a tureen of minestrone, while his wife, Nancy, crocheted meatballs.
He tosses away the paper and exits.

"Rowlf's Polka"

Rowlf plays "Rowlf's Polka", accompanied by a chicken. At the end of the number, the chicken clucks and rushes offstage.
Rowlf Usually this bird's a great performer … (picks up an egg) … but tonight she laid an egg. (shrugs)

Pigs in Space

Announcer And now, PIGS… IN… SPACE! Starring the acrophobic Captain Link Hogthrob … the illustrious first mate, Miss Piggy … and the sesquipedalian Dr. Strangepork. As we join our story today...
... Link is the only one on the ship.
Link Hogthrob Ah, me. These long, late night watches. Ah, the loneliness of command.
John, a pirate, enters brandishing a sword, with a parrot on his shoulder.
John Ha-ha! Avast there!
Link Hogthrob What the hey?
John Ha-ha! This 'ere ship be under siege!
He strikes a piece of equipment, which breaks.
Link Hogthrob I beg your pardon. Who are you?
John I be Long John Silverstein! (laughs) Deadliest pirate of the seven seas.
Link Hogthrob Y-You can't be a pirate.
John Of course I'm a pirate. I've got a hat, a parrot and a hook. What else should I be? A management consultant?
Link Hogthrob Okay, so you're a pirate.
John So I'm a pirate.
He laughs and displays his hook with his right hand.
Parrot Wrong hand, stupid.
John What?
Parrot The hook was on the left hand.
John (grabs parrot) Don't nag me now. I'm in the middle of laying siege. (places parrot on broken machine)
Parrot We were going to spend the evening at home.
John Not now.
Parrot It's always the same.
Link Hogthrob Well, listen, uh, what is that you want exactly?
John I'll tell ye, captain. I be master of this ship now.
He looks around for his eye patch.
Parrot Oh, I told you, just wear an eye patch, leave the hook at home. But you wouldn't listen.
John Button your beak.
Link Hogthrob This is all ridiculous. This is a spaceship.
John What?
Link Hogthrob This is the Swinetrek, bound for the other side of the universe. You're supposed to be on an ocean someplace.
Parrot See? I told you so.
John Shut up.
Parrot Oh, sure. Shut up, shut up. Sure, yeah. But when you want somebody at home to share a cracker with or something, that's different. Just find somebody else to talk...
John slaps the parrot.
John Watch it!
The parrot snaps at his finger. They get into a scuffle.
Link Hogthrob Uh, excuse me.
John Sorry. Aah! Sorry. Okay? … Where be the crew of this 'ere tub now, cap'n?
Link Hogthrob Well, they're asleep. If you want 'em, you can call 'em on the intercom on the wall.
John A pirate don't use an intercom! (glances at parrot) T'would be sissy!
Parrot Don't be so fussy.
John Oh, all right. (goes to the wall) — HA! This be no intercom! This be a pay phone!
Link Hogthrob I know. It's a design flaw that slipped by us.
John Pigs! (picks up the receiver) Where be me doubloon?
He drops several coins from his pocket.
Parrot Look at those doubloons! Aww, we were broke, you said. That's why you didn't take me to dinner! We had to capture a ship, you said.
John Listen, will you just...?
Parrot Aww! You used to take me out all the time!
John Later! We'll discuss it later.
Parrot You don't love me anymore.
John Of course I love you. I am working now.
Parrot And you're making a lousy job of it.
John (aims pistol at parrot) You wanna be an ex-parrot?
He fires a hole in the ship's ceiling. Water starts gushing from it.
Link Hogthrob Oh, wait a minute. Two can play at that game. Take this.
Link shoots another hole in the ceiling with a ray gun. Water starts gushing from it. Some alarms sound, and equipment begins to short out. John and the parrot run around aimlessly as Link tries to control the ship.
John Abandon spaceship!
Link Hogthrob This has never happened before.
John Man the bilge pumps!
Parrot Man the bilge pumps!
John Prepare the hollandaise!
Parrot Prepare the hollandaise!
John Deliver the punch line!
Parrot We already did that!
The scene ends in chaos. The ship sails away as the closing music plays.
Announcer PIGS… IN… SPACE!
Statler (laughs) Now that was hilarious.
Waldorf Yes, it was really funny.
Statler Do you suppose they meant it to be?


Gonzo (sigh) Fozzie, what am I gonna do with this arm?
Zoom out to reveal that Fozzie has hung his clothes on Gonzo's long arm.
Fozzie Oh, don't worry, Gonzo. I'll be back later when they're dry. Ahhh!

At the Dance

Couples dance in a ballroom.
Man (JN) So I says to the waiter, I says, "Waiter, there's a fly in my soup." And the waiter says, "Shh, not so loud. Everybody'll be wanting one."
Woman (nods) Hmm.
Switch to another couple.
Woman (FO) So I said to the waiter, I said, "Waiter, what's this fly doing in my soup?" And the waiter said, "Looks like the backstroke."
Switch to another couple.
Man (DG) So I says to the waiter, I says, "Waiter, there's a fly in my soup." And the waiter says, "What's the matter? You ordered a mosquito?"
Switch to Kermit and Miss Mousey.
Kermit So I said to the waiter, I said, "What's this fly doing in my alphabet soup?" And he said, "Standing in for the apostrophe."
Switch to two waiters.
Waiter (RH) My, what a tough night I've had tonight.
Waiter (JN) Oh, yeah. Me too. The chef ran out of flies halfway through dinner.
Waiter (RH) One, two, three, dip.
They dip their trays, drop their glasses and dance.

UK spot

Dressed as a pregnant, jilted bride, Miss Piggy takes the stage and sings.
Miss Piggy

I'm in a nice bit of trouble, I must confess;
Somebody with me has had a game.
I should by now be a proud and happy bride,
But I've still got to keep my single name.
I was proposed to by Obediah Binks
In a very gentlemanly way;
Lent him all my money so that he could buy a home,
And punctually at twelve o'clock to-day…
There was I, waiting at the church,
Waiting at the church, waiting at the church;
When I found he'd left me in the lurch,
Lord, how it did upset me!

She signals for Kermit. He enters.
Miss Piggy

All at once, he sent me round a note
Here's the very note, this is what he wrote…


"Can't get away to marry you today,
My wife, won't let me!"

Miss Piggy Very good, Kermie.
Kermit Uh, thank you, but it's just a song, you know, I don't have a wife.
Miss Piggy Mmm-hmm. Not yet.
Kermit I don't intend to have one, either.
Miss Piggy Are you ready?!
Kermit Uh, yes.
Miss Piggy Ahem!
They do one more chorus. Applause.
Kermit Now will you take that silly pillow out from under your dress?
Miss Piggy (aggressively) I like it! (Kermit backs away)

"Two Lost Souls"

Main stage. Kermit enters to a fanfare.
Kermit And now, a musical duet featuring Gonzo the Great and my little nephew, Robin...
Robin Psst! Psst! Uncle Kermit!
Kermit Uh, yeah?
Robin Gonzo says he can't sing with a long arm.
Kermit Shall we cancel?
Robin No, no, I'm doing it with Sweetums.
Kermit Sweetums?
Robin Just introduce us, okay? (departs)
Kermit Sweetums is nine feet tall. Oh, well, whatever. Here they are, ahem, the low and the mighty, Robin and Sweetums.
Robin and Sweetums sit on a throne and sing "Two Lost Souls".


Floyd Hey, Fozzie, what is red and woolly and five feet long?
Fozzie Oh, uh, I don't know, Floyd. What is red and woolly and five feet long?
Floyd A mitten for Gonzo the Great.
They laugh at Gonzo.
Gonzo Oh, good, yes, just what the world needs. Humorous hip persons.

Dressing room

John powders his face. Gonzo enters.
Gonzo Mr. Cleese, what am I gonna do?
John Uh, which one are you?
Gonzo I'm the ugly, disgusting one who catches cannonballs.
John Ah, yes.
Gonzo (sigh) Look at me.
John Yes, it's horrible, isn't it? (touches Gonzo's nose) Still, not to worry, I know a plastic surgeon who can fix you up. Give you a little Roman number, something cute.
Gonzo No, Mr. Cleese, it's not my nose. It's my arm.
John Is it? Well, why is it in the middle of your face?
Gonzo (sigh) Mr. Cleese, just forget about the nose, please.
John Well, I'll try, but I can't promise anything. Now, um, what's wrong with this arm of yours?
Gonzo It's about five feet long.
John Isn't that enough?
Gonzo Well, look at the other one.
John Yes. I don't think the nose is the problem.
Gonzo (sigh) Look, all I want is both my arms to be the same length again.
John All right. Once when I was in the Himalayas, Gonzo, I met a wise old man who taught me the ancient art of Dao Xo Xing Wa.
Gonzo Were both his arms the same length?
John As what?
Gonzo As each other?
John Well, some of them were, yes.
He places Gonzo on the table.
John Now, uh, lie down, please. And I want you to keep repeating something over and over again. You understand?
Gonzo Something, something, something...
John stretches Gonzo's other arm out to the same length.
Gonzo Something, something, something... Are you done?
John There we are, Gonzo. Both your arms are the same length.
Gonzo Oh, no. I wanted them both short.
John What?
Gonzo Short!
John Oh, picky, picky, picky! Stand up. Are those your legs?
Gonzo Yes.
John Right, sit. Now, get your arms out of the way. Oh, Gonzo. …
He stretches Gonzo's legs to five feet, which shortens his arms to boot.
John There. Happy?
Gonzo No, I can't tie my shoes!
John What?
Gonzo Shoes!
He stretches Gonzo's arms to reach Gonzo's feet.
John There. All right?
Gonzo Well...
John What?! What?! What?! You want me to do something else?!
Gonzo No! I'm fine! Fine, no problem.
John Good. Well, just pull yourself together.
Gonzo I wish I could.

Planet Koozebane

Kermit Hi-ho. This is Kermit the Frog, talking to you from the planet Koozebane, where I'm about to interview one of the most unusual of the Koozbanians, I refer to the Koozebanian Spooble.
Spooble Hi there, Kermit. Pleasure to be here.
Kermit Mmm-hmm. Uh, you will note that the, uh, Spooble is composed almost entirely of, uh… ahem … liquid.
Spooble You betcha. Or as they say on Koozebane, we Spoobles are all wet! Ho ho! That's a big joke with us Spoobles.
Kermit Uh, check.
Spooble Listen, do you like my jar?
Kermit Your, uh, jar?
Spooble Oh, it's the latest. See-through sides, convertible top. I'm not even wearing the cap.
Kermit Uh-huh, yeah. It's uh, very nice.
Spooble My wife said that for a TV interview I should wear my crystal vase. Humph. But, you know, I wanted to be casual.
Kermit Yeah, well, listen, uh, the jar is just swell, Spoob.
Spooble Oh, I'm glad it's not winter. I hate wearing those ugly thermos bottles.
Kermit Uh-huh. Right. Okay, well, there you have it, folks. Once again, it's been an unusual and informative visit with another creature from another planet, and so, mister …
The Spooble is sipped away by a pink straw-nosed creature.
Kermit Well, um... Uh... Well, there you have it, folks, uh, for the first time in history, a Koozbanian has been drunk on television.
The pink creature hiccups and walks away.
Waldorf What do you suppose would happen to a Spooble if you put him in a kettle and turned the heat on under him?
Statler Oh, he'd probably get steamed.
Waldorf (laughs)

Closing number

Main stage. Kermit enters.
Kermit And now, ladies and gentlemen, here is our very special guest star to sing, "To Dream the Impossible Dream". Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. John Cleese!
Three sets of curtains open to reveal John on stage. An orchestral vamp plays.
John Kermit. Kermit. Could I speak to you, please?
Kermit Uh, yeah, what is it, John?
John What's going on?
Kermit Uh, well, nothing. You just missed your cue, that's all.
John What?
Kermit See, that was an intro and then you're supposed to sing, "To dream the impossible dream …" You know, like that.
John You can't be serious.
Kermit Uh, yeah.
John Kermit, I don't do old show tunes.
Kermit Oh. Oh, well, I'm sorry. That — that — that's our mistake. I-I'm sorry. We just got confused. We'll just take it — uh, curtains!
The curtain closes. Kermit re-emerges.
Kermit Okay, uh, well, uh, here he is, our very special guest star, Mr. John Cleese!
The curtain opens to reveal John and Sweetums in Wagnerian outfits. Sweetums sings a passage from "Ride of the Valkyries".
John Right! Where's the frog?! Where's the frog?! (to Sweetums) Shut up. Shut up! Kill the music. Cut the music. (the music stops) Where's the frog?
Sweetums We didn't finish yet.
John No, and we're not going to.
Sweetums I didn't get to do my cadenza.
Kermit Uh, what is it, John?
John Kermit, this is mad. I mean, the moment the curtain came down, three monsters grabbed me and stuffed me into this. I mean, Wagnerian opera?
Sweetums You would have loved my cadenza.
John I'd have hated your lousy cadenza.
Kermit Uh, well, what can I say, John? I-I-I'm terribly sorry. It's all our fault. We'll just, uh, just take it again. Give us one last chance, would you?
John One.
Sweetums laughs. John punches him, but misses and hits the shield. Sweetums laughs some more, until John steps on his foot. The curtain closes.
Kermit Okay, uh, well, uh, we had a few, uh, false starts here, but, uh, okay, here he is now, ladies and gentlemen, Mr. John Cleese!
The curtain opens on John in a Latin outfit with maracas and a false mustache. Mexican music plays.
John Right, I'm leaving.
Kermit Wait, John! Whoa! What's the matter?
John Kermit, I am not gonna do some cloth-eared Mexican maracas solo!
Kermit It doesn't have to be a solo, John.
Three pigs surround him, cheering.
John That does not help!
Kermit Oh, no? Well, how about this? Everybody, come on!
Sweetums, Blue Frackle, a monster and two chickens join them.
John Kermit, there is no way I'll do a song!
Kermit conducts the other Muppets.
Muppets (harmonizing) There is no way he'll do a song.
John Please stop this at once!
Muppets (harmonizing) We will stop this at once.
John This is not funny.
Muppets (harmonizing) Oh, we hope this is funny.
John (removes the mustache) Right! I'm leaving. (they stop him)
Muppets (harmonizing) He's leaving. He came into our life, but now he's leaving.
John You are supposed to be my host! How can you do this to me? Kermit, I am your guest!
Muppets (harmonizing)

This is your guest,
To follow that star,
No matter how hopeless,
No matter how far
To dream the impossible dream!

John lividly stands still, as the Muppets sway him back and forth and raise his arms. When the song is done, John strangles Kermit in a rage, but then sees the audience cheering for him, and gingerly takes bows as flowers are thrown.


Kermit Okay, well, that about wraps it up for another one, but before we go, we'd like to have a warm thank you to our special guest star, Mr. John Cleese!
Applause as John emerges in a tux.
John Thank you, Kermit. Well, it's been really wonderful being on the show, ladies and gentlemen. I very much hope you'll buy my new record album, John Cleese: A Man and His Music.
Kermit Okay, we'll see you next time on The Muppet Show!
The Muppets hound him as the credits roll.
Statler Well, see you next time.
Waldorf Yeah, unless I get lucky and break a leg.
They chuckle.