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The Muppet Show
Beverly Sills03.jpg
Guest Beverly Sills
Production June 26-28, 1979
Premiere UK: November 16, 1979
NYC: November 8, 1979
Releases Best of the Muppet Show
Paley Center Archive


The pigs are excited that guest star Beverly Sills plans to perform the opera "Pigoletto" as the closing number.

For his work in this episode, art director Malcolm Stone received the first of two Emmy Award nominations for his work on The Muppet Show, and Calista Hendrickson received her second of two Emmy Award nominations.



Picture Description
409 broken glasses.jpg

Cold Open: Guest star Beverly Sills is practicing. She hits a note so high that she breaks Scooter's glasses.
409 trumpet.jpg
"The Muppet Show Theme": Gonzo plays by ear.
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At the start of the show, Statler and Waldorf complain that the opening numbers are too weird -- "what do you have tonight, a Chinese gorilla dancing ballet?" Embarrassed, Kermit cancels the opening number, infuriating the Chinese gorilla who was planning to dance ballet.
409 kermit statler.jpg

409 ten terrific girls.jpg

409 only nine costumes.jpg

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Tired of their criticism, Kermit asks the old men what they would do for an opening number, so they throw together a burlesque number: "Take Ten Terrific Girls". The number stars ten terrific girls, but, as the lyrics suggest, only nine costumes.

Statler and Waldorf share a few old vaudeville-style jokes during the number:

Statler: "What do you get when you pour boiling water down a rabbit hole?"

Waldorf: "I don't know. What do you get when you pour boiling water down a rabbit hole?"

Statler: "Hot cross bunnies!"

Waldorf: "Tell me, Mr. Statler, why do bees hum?"

Statler: "I don't know, Mr. Waldorf, why do bees hum?"

Waldorf: "Because they don't know the words!"

Fozzie Bear heckles from the balcony, calling for them to "bring on the bear."

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Backstage, Scooter tells Kermit that his bike is being stolen. Kermit runs outside, leaving Fozzie to introduce the next act. Fozzie assures Scooter that he knows all about Beverly Sills.
409 sills and fozzie.jpg

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Confused about who the guest star is, Fozzie introduces her as "one of the great singers of country and western music," Miss Bev Sills. Beverly sings "When the Bloom is on the Sage" in opera style, and also tap dances. She is accompanied by Lubbock Lou and his Jughuggers.
409 backstage 2.jpg
Between numbers, Miss Piggy practices her soprano on Kermit when she finds out Beverly will be doing an opera number at the end of the show. He tells her that Beverly is holding auditions later, and Piggy should love the opera -- it's called "Pigoletto."
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The Newsman rushes on for a Muppet News Flash to announce that Beverly will be singing opera until the cows come home. Just then, he gets run over by a herd of cows.
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Gonzo meets with Beverly in her dressing room to demonstrate his new art form -- spoon-hanging. When Sam the Eagle arrives to worship at Beverly's feet, he's scandalized to find her practicing spoon-hanging.
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The UK Spot for the episode is an opera number performed by the Fuzz Brothers.

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Miss Piggy visits Beverly in her dressing room to audition for "Pigoletto."

Soon, the room is filled with auditioning pigs, including Strangepork playing the kazoo and Link Hogthrob trying out for the basketball team. Beverly tells them that they'll all have a part in the closing number.

409 cow opera.jpg

409 frog opera.jpg
That doesn't sit well with the other animals, who complain to Kermit that they can sing opera too -- suggesting "Goat-erdammerung" (Götterdämmerung), "La Traviotter" (La Traviata) and "Madame Buttermilk" (Madama Butterfly). Robin the Frog claims that he's perfect for "Low 'n Green" (Lohengrin), to which Kermit believes he could play the lead if he scrunches down.
409 sam lecture.jpg

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Onstage, Sam the Eagle presents Muppet University, a classy educational feature.

He looks through a microscope at a water drop -- and is horrified to see Kermit the Protozoa and Fozzie Amoeba performing vaudeville schtick.

409 sam kermit.jpg

409 spear carriers.jpg
Kermit tells Sam he thinks things went well in his act, especially with the protozoa.

Scooter arrives to tell Kermit that everything is set for the closing number, except for the spear carriers; they're demanding money. Kermit says no until he is persuaded (by the spears) to change his mind.

409 pigoletto 1.jpg

409 pigoletto 2.jpg
For the closing number, Beverly performs "Pigoletto," with a chorus of upstaging pigs, including Link Hogthrob, Julius Strangepork, and Miss Piggy as Cleopatra. Although the name is a spoof of Rigoletto, the music being performed is also taken from La Traviata, Carmen, Aida, and Die Walkure. Beverly gets involved in a "who can sing higher" contest with Piggy, which ends when Piggy drops to a dramatic low note.
409 closing.jpg
At the closing, Beverly Sills tells Kermit that she enjoyed doing The Muppet Show almost as much as performing opera. Gonzo arrives to ask her if that means she'll be giving up great art such as spoon hanging for lesser mediums.




Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Scooter, Statler and Waldorf, Beauregard, Beaker, the Newsman, Robin the Frog, Sam the Eagle, Link Hogthrob, Dr. Julius Strangepork, Lubbock Lou and His Jughuggers, Kermit the Protozoa, Fozzie Amoeba, the Fuzz Brothers, Goat, cow, otter

Background Muppets:

Janice, Old Skyball Paint, Annie Sue


Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog, Waldorf, Fuzz Brother, Link Hogthrob, and the Newsman
Frank Oz as Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, and Sam the Eagle
Jerry Nelson as Robin, Fuzz Brother and Dr. Julius Strangepork
Richard Hunt as Scooter, Beaker, Cow, Pig, and Statler
Dave Goelz as Gonzo, Otter and Beauregard
Steve Whitmire as Goat
Louise Gold as others
Kathy Mullen as others


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