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The Muppet Show transcript for Episode 401: John Denver.

Cold open

The dressing room. Scooter knocks on the door.
Scooter John Denver. 15 seconds to curtain, John.
John All right, Scooter. Thanks!
Scooter departs. Waldorf enters.
Waldorf Listen, Denver, you're a good kid. Let me help you get away so you don't have to do this crummy show. Come on!
John Wait a minute. I want to work with the Muppets.
Waldorf You do?
John Well, yeah! I think this is a terrific show, Waldorf.
Waldorf You're beyond help! Heh!
Waldorf departs. John chuckles.


Kermit It's The Muppet Show, with our very special guest star, John Denver! Yaaay!
The curtain opens, and the theme begins.
Statler Well?
Waldorf He wouldn't listen. They must have brainwashed him.
Gonzo open 401.jpg
Gonzo's head explodes and appears in another corner.
Gonzo Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! Whoopee!

Opening number

Main stage. Enter Kermit.
Kermit Thank you, thank you, thank you, and welcome again to The Muppet Show! It is going to be a terrific show tonight because our guest star is one of the great talents of the music world, Mr. John Denver. And, because John is such an outdoors lover, we're going to spend a lot of the show in the country.
Beauregard peers from behind the curtain.
Beauregard Kermit, Kermit, I haven't quite finished building the set yet.
Kermit Well, uh, how much time do you need?
Beauregard Thursday?
Kermit Uh, Beau, we have to do the number now!
Beauregard Well, okay, but it looks like a battlefield back there.
Kermit It's supposed to.
Beauregard Oh. Then it's finished.
Kermit Uh, ladies and gentlemen, our opening number!
Song: "Why Can't We Be Friends?"
Be friends.jpg
A group of Whatnot soldiers (including Crazy Harry) sing "Why Can't We Be Friends" (with additional lyrics). Outfits include Roman, Musketeers of the Guard, First French Empire (the Napoleonic Wars), Imperial Russian Army, American Civil War, American cowboys and Native Americans, and World War I. At the end, Statler and Waldorf fire at the fighters with a machine gun, and they collectively surrender.
Waldorf They got up. We must have missed them.
Statler We didn't miss them, we were shooting blanks.
Waldorf We were?
Statler Of course!
Statler accidentally fires another round, reaching the ceiling.
Statler Well, some of them were blanks.
Waldorf chuckles.


The cast of the opening number passes by Kermit.
Kermit Okay, nice opening number.
Indian Oh, thank you very much, sir.
Kermit Okay, soldiers, nicely waged.
Floyd All right, J. Amphibiousness, now, what is this important announcement you wanted to make?
Miss Piggy Yes, what?
Floyd, Piggy, Scooter, Fozzie, Beau and Gonzo begin to gather and express curiosity.
Kermit Okay, uh, hey, listen everybody, John Denver has invited us all to join him on a weekend camping trip.
The rest react with excitement.
Miss Piggy Oh! Up in the mountains?
Kermit Uh, well, no, actually, see, John and I decided it would fun to take you all and show you the land of my birth.
Miss Piggy You mean?
Kermit Yes, it will be a weekend in the swamp!
Everyone except Kermit groans.
Scooter Well, I just remembered I've got a basketball game on Saturday.
Floyd Yeah, and the band's got three extra gigs this weekend.
Gonzo And, uh, I've signed up for a seminar on mildew.
Miss Piggy Now, listen everyone. A wonderful thing has just happened. Our Kermie has offered to take us on a visit to his homeland. (Gets close to Kermit) Overnight! (Kermit looks stressed) I think we should all be grateful to him.
Kermit Well, thank you very much, Miss Piggy.
Miss Piggy Mm-hmm. Besides, a weekend in the swamp will be very healthy for you all.
Floyd And just how do you figure that?
Miss Piggy If you go, I won't put you in the hospital.
Scooter Let's go pack those knapsacks, guys.
Scooter and rest of them exit.
Miss Piggy You do that, good.
Kermit Nice spirit. (exits, leaving Piggy by herself)
Miss Piggy (sigh) I wonder if they have room service.

"Garden Song"

Main stage. Enter Kermit.
Kermit Uh, ladies and gentlemen, with us tonight is one of the good guys of contemporary music, Mr. John Denver.
Open curtain. John sings "Garden Song" with some flowers.
Statler You know something? That was a sweet number.
Waldorf It sure was.
Statler You know something else?
Waldorf What?
Statler I hate sweet numbers.
They chuckle.


The flowers pass by Kermit.
Kermit Okay, very good, flowers. Get to your dressing pots.
Miss Piggy Kermie! (dodges the flowers) Kermie, oh, I am so excited about spending a weekend in the swamp with vous, you little green hunk, you. (gives him a kiss)
Kermit Yeah, well, very good Miss Piggy. But you must remember that camping can be tough 'cause we're gonna be roughing it.
Miss Piggy Oh, I know. That is why I'm only bringing four long dresses. And of course, a dozen pairs of shoes. And, uh, some apres swim togs …
Kermit Wait, wait, wait…
Miss Piggy and my sun visor spectacles.
Kermit Piggy, Piggy, you can't carry all that stuff.
Miss Piggy Carry? I do not intend to carry anything.
Kermit But, campers carry everything they need. Look, come here a second.
Miss Piggy What, what?
Kermit walks her over to a backpack.
Kermit See, for instance, Floyd here has just packed his backpack. See that?
Miss Piggy You expect moi to carry that heavy thing?
Kermit Sure, that's how you go camping.
Miss Piggy Forget it. I am not going.
Kermit Okay, as you will.
Kermit walks past Annie Sue.
Annie Sue Oh, Mr. Kermit, sir. When we get to the swamp, will you give me a swimming lesson?
Kermit Oh, why, sure, Annie Sue. It, uh, it might be kinda fun to teach a cute little pig to, uh, frog kick. (chuckles)
Annie Sue Thank you, sir.
Miss Piggy Kermie!
She grunts while carrying the backpack.
Miss Piggy Kermie, you were right. This backpack weighs next to nothing. See?
She knocks down Annie Sue with the backpack.
Miss Piggy Oh, Annie Sue. Pardon moi. (walks away)

The Swedish Chef: Squirrel Stew

The forest. The Chef sings his theme while waving ladles.
Swedish Chef (Singing)
Yøeng, bør dëng,
De hü, badeskedøø,
Ye bø gedür deyør
Mmm børk børk børk!
He tosses away the ladles. A gopher giggles, while a possum catches one in its mouth, then spits it out.
Swedish Chef (addresses viewer) Yøngish vøern de grëat outdøorsÿ, we mäke de squïrlÿ stëw. (Points to the pot) De squïrlÿ …
Swedish Chef (examines the pot) No squïrlÿ. Ooh. (calls around) So … squïrlÿ! Oh, where de squïr - (Spots a squirrel in a tree) Oh, squïrlÿ! Hellø, squïrlÿ!
The squirrel waves.
Swedish Chef Cøme øo. Oh squïrlÿ.
Squirrel (shakes head) Uh-uh.
Swedish Chef Oh be gøo. Come on doø.
Squirrel (shakes head) Uh-uh.
Swedish Chef (to viewer) We shake the tree.
He begins to rattle the tree as the squirrel hangs on for its life.
Many squirrels fall from the tree; the Chef scrambles to catch them.
Swedish Chef Cøme on døwn, squïrlÿ, here … aha, hëre de squïrlÿs! Cøme øn squïrlÿs! I'll get yøü! Into de pot — OH!!
He reacts to being bitten on the hand, then picks up a meat cleaver and chases the squirrels off-stage.
Swedish Chef Cøme øn squïrlÿ, I get de squïrlÿ … WWWAAAAAAHHH!
A bear seizes the meat cleaver and chases the Chef away. The squirrels cheer him on.
Bear (speaks his own gibberish, imitating the Chef) Bork, bork, bork!
He tosses the cleaver away. The squirrels laugh.


John walks downstairs from his dressing room and sits by Gonzo.
John (singing to himself) Inch by inch, row by row. Hi-ya Gonzo.
Gonzo Oh, hi, John!
John How you doing, man?
Gonzo I'm doing fine. Hey, I really enjoyed your last number.
John Aw, thanks very much, Gonzo. I enjoyed that, too.
Gonzo Yeah, hey listen, I wonder if you'd share some of the secrets of your success with me since we're both in the same field.
John Well, yeah, I'd be happy to. You know, you've got to take care of your throat. You can't let yourself get too tired when you're singing...
Gonzo Oh, I don't need help with my singing. (sigh) I need help with my gardening.
John You've got a garden?
Gonzo Oh, yeah, John. I've got the world's biggest mold garden.
401 gonzo john.jpg
John Mold garden?
Gonzo Yeah, mold.
John Far out. How did you get into that?
Gonzo Well, about a year ago, I went away on vacation, and I forgot to clean out my refrigerator.
John Yeah?
Gonzo And, when I got back, the food was all green and fuzzy, and it was just too cute to throw out.
John So, what's the problem?
Gonzo Well, I don't have any privacy anymore. Sometimes I think my garden is plotting against me.
John You're kidding.
Gonzo yelps as mushrooms surround him and John.
John You know, you could be right. There's a fungus among us.
Mushroom Gonzo?
Gonzo What?
Mushroom The bulb in the refrigerator got busted.
Gonzo How did that happen?
Mushroom Well, we were playing puff ball and Reggie hit a long one.
Gonzo (sigh) All right, I'll replace it, but this is the last time.
Mushroom Oh, thanks. You're a real spore.
Gonzo (sigh) Yeah, yeah. (exits)
John (sings) "Nobody knows the truffles I've seen …"
John giggles as the mushrooms attack him.

UK Spot

A forest. Music plays as Piggy sings.
Miss Piggy (singing)
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast
A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray.
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair,
Upon whose bosom snow has lain
Who intimately lives with rain
Poems are made by fools like me …
Tree What a rotten voice! You know what a tree would call you? A pine in the neck. (chuckles) With a voice like that, you won't be very poplar around here. (chuckles) If I couldn't sing any better than that, I'd leaf. (chuckles)
Miss Piggy Excuse me while I chop some wood. Hi-yah!
She gives the tree a karate chop, then exits.

"The Happy Wanderer"

Three pigs are climbing up a mountain singing "The Happy Wanderer".
Pigs We love to go a-wandering
Along the mountain track
And as we go, we love to sing
Our knapsacks on our backs
Bottom Pig (SW) Val-deri!
Top Pig (DG) Val-dera!
Middle Pig (RH) Val-dera!
Bottom Pig Val-der-
The bottom pig falls off the mountain. A crash is heard from the bottom.
Middle & Top Pigs Uh oh!
Top Pig Watch your step.
Middle Pig Yeah. (muttering) I'll be careful.
The remaining pigs continue climbing.
Middle & Top Pigs High overhead, the skylarks wing
They never rest at home
But just like us, they love to sing
As o'er the world we roam
Top Pig Val-deri!
Middle Pig Val-dera!
Top Pig Val-dera!
Middle Pig Val-der-
The middle pig tumbles downward and crashes at the bottom. The last pig remaining whimpers as he continues climbing skittishly.
Top Pig (nervously)
Oh, may I go a-wandering
Until the day I... die
Oh, may I always laugh and sing
Beneath the clear blue sky
The top pig grabs hold of a branch. He then regains his confidence as he sings.
Top Pig Val-dera-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!
Beneath the clear blue

The top pig gets crushed by two boulders just as he sings the last lyric. A goat appears at the top and laughs like Bert.

Dressing Room

John tunes his guitar, and hears a knock on the door.
John Come in.
Piggy enters.
Miss Piggy Hello, Jonathan, dear.
John Why, hello Miss Piggy.
Miss Piggy Hello.
John Miss Piggy, you look … amazing.
Miss Piggy And lovely, thank you. (sigh) This is my designer collection hiking suit. Don't you know?
She displays her backpack, then admires herself in the mirror.
John Well, it's... Piggy, is that a gold lamé backpack that you're wearing?
Miss Piggy Oh, you noticed?
John Well, it's hard not to … Piggy, we are going to the swamp.
Miss Piggy Yes, the swamp, yes.
John Do you have everything, do you have your snake bite kit?
Miss Piggy (perks up) What?
John Your — your snake bite kit. There are snakes in the swamp, they may bite you.
Miss Piggy Snakes?
John Well, yes Piggy, snakes. And also, you need a short, sharp stick about that long.
Miss Piggy A walking stick, yes, yes, I'm sure...
John No, no, no, this is for the alligators.
She suddenly shows dire concern.
Miss Piggy … Alligators?
John Why yes, darling. The alligators, when they open their mouths to eat you, you jam the stick and they can't close their jaws.
Miss Piggy (shivering) Can't close their jaws … good. (nods)
John Well, yes, also, Piggy, one other thing, and this is of critical importance.
Miss Piggy Yes?
John Every morning when you get up, before you put your boots on, be very sure to shake them vigorously.
Miss Piggy Wh-wh-why?
John Well, Piggy, at night when you're asleep in the swamp, sometimes there are spiders and little creepy crawly things and they'll get in your boots and if you don't shake them out...
She winces. John bursts out laughing.
Miss Piggy You think that's funny?
John (laughs) I'm sorry... They'll crawl up your legs, Piggy. They'll be all over you.
Miss Piggy (starts freaking out) Oh no, not the legs, please!
John You have to — I'm sorry —
Miss Piggy Oh, not there, please, John! Oh! Oh! Please! Please! Oh!
She runs out of the room screaming.
John (chuckling) Poor girl's got a case of the nerves! I think she needs a week in the country.


Piggy runs down the stairs, fuming.
Kermit (to the viewer) Oh, Miss Piggy appears angry.
Miss Piggy Angry? No, I am not angry. Your star is not angry. She is merely … disappointed.
Kermit Disappointed?
Miss Piggy (turns away from him) Yes. You have not been honest with me, Kermit.
Kermit I haven't?
Miss Piggy (faces him) No! When you told me we were spending a week in the swamp…
Kermit Mm-hm?
Miss Piggy … well, you never said there would be snakes and spiders and … (gasp) alligators!
Kermit Well, no, I was saving the best part for a surprise.
Miss Piggy Surprise?
Kermit Mm-hmm.
Miss Piggy Kermie, you are out of your little green mind. (turns away from him)
Kermit (solemn) Well, gee Miss Piggy, you know, I was born in the swamp. My, my roots are there and I just wanted you and my other friends to see it. But, uh, we don't have to go back to the swamp. We can, uh … we can go back to where you were born. The sty. You know, where your roots are. (He is now pushing her buttons) Where pigs eat swill, and wallow in the mud. Remember that? Huh?
Miss Piggy Huh?
Kermit Huh?
Miss Piggy Huh?
Kermit (chuckles)
Miss Piggy Remember this! Hi-YAH!
She gives him a karate chop, which sends him flying to the stage. He picks himself up.
Kermit Well, uh, ladies and gentlemen, once again, Mr. John Denver.

"Grandma's Feather Bed"

John sings "Grandma's Feather Bed" with a bed full of Muppet kids and dogs.


The stage. Kermit appears wearing a backpack and baseball cap.
Kermit Okay, well, it looks like we've come down to the end of another one. But, before we go, let us bring back our wonderful guest star, ladies and gentlemen, John Denver! Yaay!
John enters.
John Thanks, Kermit. Thank you, everybody. Kermit, it was an absolute thrill to work with you. Thank you for having me on the show.
Kermit Aw, it was our pleasure, John. But, you know, it looks like it's gonna be just you and me on that camping trip, 'cause everybody else backed out.
John Oh, is that...? I'm sorry to hear that, but listen, Kermit, never mind, we'll have a great time. I'll teach you how to catch frogs!
Kermit Wh-what?
John Well, yeah, what you do is you wait until dark, you see, and then you take a flashlight and you shine it out on the water...
Kermit John, I know all about those flashlights. How do you think my eyes got this way? Well, listen, I'll find somebody else to go camping with me. We'll see you next time on The Muppet Show!
The dogs surround John and Kermit as the credits roll. Kermit appears in the balcony with Statler and Waldorf.
Kermit Well, guys, it's just the three of us for a weekend in the swamp.
Statler & Waldorf Oh no!