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The Muppet Show transcript for Episode 409: Beverly Sills.

Cold open

The dressing room. Scooter knocks on the door and peers in.
Scooter Beverly Sills? Fifteen seconds to curtain, Beverly.
Beverly Thank you, Scooter. β™ͺ I'm just warming up my voice. β™ͺ
Scooter Wow, what a note!
Beverly Oh, that's nothing.
409 broken glasses.jpg
She hits a note so high that she breaks Scooter's glasses.
Scooter My glasses!
Beverly (laughs) Don't worry, dear, I have a deal with an optician.


Kermit It's The Muppet Show, with our very special guest star, Beverly Sills! Yaaayyy!
The curtain opens, and the theme begins.
Waldorf Hey, where'd this lobster come from?
Statler Newberg.
They chuckle.
409 trumpet.jpg
Gonzo I play by ear.

Opening number

Main stage. Kermit enters to applause.
Kermit Thank you, thank you, hi-ho, and welcome to another one. Tonight's guest star, believe it or not, is one of the great stars of opera, Miss Beverly Sills. But first, an opening number.
Statler Oh, no! I can't take any more of your opening numbers!
Kermit Come on, guys, what's wrong with them?
Statler They're so weird!
Waldorf Yeah. What do you have tonight β€” a Chinese gorilla dancing ballet?
They chuckle.
Kermit Uh, cancel the opening number.
409 chinese gorilla.jpg
Gorilla (mock Chinese) … moo goo gai pan!
Kermit Uh, listen, guys, I'm tired of all this criticism. What would you do for an opening number?
Statler Funny you should ask.
Waldorf Yes, we do have some ideas about that.
Music swells up.
Statler We have a secret recipe …
Waldorf That's true.
Statler … concocted with much skill.
Waldorf Yes.

And once you've tried our special dish,

Statler That's right.
Waldorf You'll never get your fill.
Statler & Waldorf

Take ten terrific girls,
But only nine costumes,
And you're cooking up something grand.

Statler (laughs)

Mix in some amber lights …

Waldorf Yes!
Statler And elegant scenery …
Waldorf Then stir in a fine jazz band.
Statler Then add some funny men …
Waldorf Ho ho!
Statler And pepper with laughter!
Waldorf It's tart and tasty, I know.
Statler & Waldorf

Then serve it piping hot,
And what have you got?
A burlesque show!

Backstage, commotion ensues as everyone gets ready for the big number. The chorus girls make their way to the stage, Beaker and Beauregard move the scenery, and Statler and Waldorf oversee everything.
Girl (DG) C'mon! It's time for our number!
Girls (chattering)
Statler Okay, girls! Move it! Heh heh heh! Move it!
Waldorf Aw, way to go!
Bearegard Come on, Beaker, lift and push! Only three bars to go! Hurry!
Beaker (meeps)
Waldorf Okay, girls! Yeah, nice, nice.
Kermit What's going on?
Stagehand (JN) Watch it, girls, watch it, girls! [unintelligible]
409 kermit statler.jpg
Statler Come on! Kid, move it, move it! We'll show you how it's done! Hey, lights up!
Waldorf All right! Everybody ready? Here! Lower β€” fly in that backdrop! Fly in the backdrop!
The chorus girls take their places.
Statler Okay! Okay! Raise the curtain! Raise the curtain!
Waldorf Okay! Curtain going up! (pulls the lever)
The curtain opens on the chorus girls, including Annie Sue, Janice, and one without a costume.
409 only nine costumes.jpg

Take ten terrific girls,
But only nine costumes,
And you're cooking up something grand.
Mix in some amber lights,
And elegant scenery,
Then stir in a fine jazz band.

Statler Then add some funny men …
Waldorf And pepper with laughter!
Girls It's tart and tasty, I know.
Statler Tell me, Mr. Waldorf, what do you get when you pour boiling water down a rabbit hole?
Waldorf I don't know, Mr. Statler! What do you get when you pour boiling water down a rabbit hole?
Statler Hot cross bunnies!
They chuckle.
Fozzie Boo! Hiss! Get off the stage!
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!
They chuckle.
409 s and w joke.jpg
Fozzie No good! Not funny!
Waldorf What do you know?
Statler Yeah!
Fozzie Bring on the bear!

Then serve it piping hot,
And what have you got?
A bur … lesque … show!

Applause. Statler and Waldorf are back in the balcony.
Waldorf Wonderful!
Statler Bravo!
Waldorf Wonderful!
Statler Yeah, that's the way!
Waldorf Great! Great! Ah, now why can't they do numbers like that?
Kermit We just did!
Waldorf Oh. Yeah. So you did.
Statler Yeah β€” wasn't very good after all. Boo!
Waldorf Boo!
Statler Terrible!


The chorus girls come offstage. Beauregard waves at them from the balcony.
Fozzie Okay, c'mon, c'mon! That was wonderful!
Kermit Okay, that was very nice. Very nice, girls.
Bearegard Hi, girls! … Yoo-hoo!
Scooter Hey, Kermit, Kermit β€”
Kermit Yeah, Scooter?
Scooter Somebody outside was trying to break the combination lock on your bicycle! But I stopped 'em.
Kermit Oh, good. What did you do?
Scooter I told them the combination.
Kermit (gasp) Oh no! Uh, Fozzie?
Fozzie Huh?
Kermit Uh, listen, would you introduce the next act? I gotta β€” I'll be right back. (rushes off)
Fozzie Kermit, I can't β€” I don't know how β€” oh boy. Uh, okay, Scooter, who's on next?
409 scooter fozzie.jpg
Scooter Oh, Beverly Sills. You know who she is, don't you?
Fozzie Scooter! You don't have to tell me about Beverly Sills. She is a legend in music. Oh boy! (rushes onstage)
Scooter Boy. Fozzie even knows about opera singers.

"When the Bloom is on the Sage"

Main stage. Fozzie enters to a fanfare.
Fozzie Ahem. Uh, Kermit has asked ME to introduce tonight's guest star. (slicks his fur) Ladies and gentlemen, one of the truly great singers of country and western music, the queen of Nashville, here she is, Miss Bev Sills!
Applause. The curtain opens on Beverly in a faux-marble setting. Country music begins playing.
Beverly May I have some music for this aria?
Fozzie Uh, yeah β€” here you go, Bev.
He hands her the sheet music and runs off. She sings "When the Bloom is on the Sage" in opera style.
Beverly I wanna talk to that bear.
Scooter That's you, Fozzie! Go ahead!
Fozzie Scooter, I β€”
Scooter Go on! Go on!
Fozzie approaches Beverly, stammering.
409 sills and fozzie.jpg
Beverly Now listen. I am Beverly Sills, the opera singer.
Fozzie (facepalms) Oh! THAT Beverly Sills! Wow.
Beverly Now what are we gonna do about it?
Fozzie Oh. (stammers) I'll ask Kermit.
He leaves, but she pulls him back by the tie.
Beverly Wait a minute. What am I supposed to do out here all by myself while you do that?
Fozzie (stammers) I β€” you β€” uh … you wouldn't know how to tap-dance, would you?
Beverly (smiles) Well. As a matter of fact, I do know how to tap-dance.
Fozzie Knock 'em dead. (exits)
Beverly Maestro?
She tap-dances. Applause. Meanwhile, Kermit shouts at Fozzie in the wings.
Kermit YOU DID WHAT?? (goes onstage)
Fozzie Please don't yell at me!
Kermit Uh, Beverly, I'm terribly sorry. Listen, you don't have to sing country music or tap-dance or anything.
Beverly Don't stop me now, honey, I'm just getting the hang of it.
409 country western tapping.jpg
She resumes singing, accompanied by Lubbock Lou and his Jughuggers. Applause.
Waldorf Now that's talent. An opera singer who tap-dances and sings cowboy songs. I wonder if there's anything she isn't good at.
Statler Yes. Choosing what show to be on.
They chuckle.


Scooter Gee, Kermit. Miss Sills seemed to have a lot of fun in that number.
Kermit Oh, yeah, I think so. Well, you know, it was a change for her. We're doing an opera piece later on in the show, though.
Scooter Oh, I know. Uh, guess who wants to be in it with her?
409 backstage 2.jpg
Miss Piggy β™ͺ Mi-mi-mi-mi-mi-mi-mi … Mi-mi-mi-mi-mi-mi … β™ͺ β€” Oh! β™ͺ Hello, Kermit. I didn't know you were there. β™ͺ
Kermit Uh … hello, Miss Piggy.
Miss Piggy β™ͺ How is the show going? β™ͺ
Kermit Uh, Piggy β€” uh, please. If you're β€” if you're thinking about that opera piece, as far as I'm concerned, you are in the opera number.
Miss Piggy I am? Oh, Kermie, what a surprise!
Kermit Yes, but it's really not up to me, because Beverly Sills is holding some auditions a little later.
Miss Piggy Wha β€” dear, I am not worried. I just hope they're doing something suitable for my talents.
Kermit Piggy, you're gonna love it. It's called Pigoletto.
Miss Piggy (gasp) β™ͺ PIGOLETTO! Oh, thank you, Kermit! β™ͺ (enters here dressing room)
Kermit β™ͺ You're very welcome. β™ͺ (shakes head)

Muppet newsflash

Newsman Here's a Muppet newsflash. (runs to the desk) Soprano Beverly Sills withdrew her announced plans to retire from the operatic stage. "I'll be singing opera until the cows come home," she said today in a …
409 newsman cows.jpg
A herd of cows tramples over him.

Dressing room

Gonzo Hey, Beverly, I want to thank you for having this meeting with me.
Beverly Oh, that's alright. What's this very important matter you want to talk to me about?
Gonzo Well β€” (sigh) I have created a new art form.
Beverly Really?
Gonzo Yes. This will rank with the creation of the first opera! It's a cultural breakthrough!
Beverly Well, what is it?
Gonzo Spoon hanging!
Beverly Spoon hanging?
Gonzo Yes. Look, let me show you how it's done. Here, take a spoon.
Beverly Okay. Now where do we hang it?
Gonzo Aha! That's the cultural part.
Sam and Kermit stand outside the dressing room.
Sam the Eagle Now, do you swear that Beverly Sills is in this dressing room?
Kermit Uh, cross my heart, Sam.
409 kermit sam.jpg
Sam the Eagle Oh! (pulls him closer) β€” THE Beverly Sills? (Kermit nods) World-famous soprano, and director of the New York City Opera.
Kermit The very one.
Sam the Eagle Oh! I must go in and worship at her feet!
He pushes Kermit aside and enters.
Sam the Eagle Miss Sills, I want you to know what a thrill β€”
409 spoon hanging.jpg
Beverly What's the matter? Don't you like art?
Sam the Eagle (runs away screaming)
Beverly Poor fellow. (laughs) He's obviously a lowbrow.

UK spot

The Fuzz Brothers perform an opera number.

Dressing room

Beverly admires a flower vase. Someone knocks on the door.
Beverly Come in.
Miss Piggy Ahem. Miss Sills!
Beverly Oh, hello, Miss Piggy.
Miss Piggy Hello. May I call you Beverly?
Beverly Of course. And I'll call you β€”
Miss Piggy "Miss Piggy" will do just fine.
Beverly Yes, of course. Um, what can I do for you, Miss Piggy?
Miss Piggy Well, uh, Kermie, uh, told me that uh, you were doing an opera?
Beverly Yes, we are. We're doing an opera called Pigoletto.
Miss Piggy Yes, and I β€”
Beverly And I bet I know why you're here.
Miss Piggy Well, I am a, uh, ahem … pig.
Beverly Yes. And I know you want to audition for the opera.
Miss Piggy β€” Yes! How did you guess?
Beverly Oh, honey, they're coming out of the woodwork.
Two pigs pop out of the closet, singing a passage from the Anvil Chorus.
Miss Piggy Um … I …
Beverly You see what I mean? I hate auditions.
Miss Piggy Yes, well, I can understand what you mean. It must be difficult.
Beverly It is. There are so many talented singers, it's very hard for me to say no.
Miss Piggy I'm glad you said that. (starts singing)
Beverly Uh, Miss Piggy, in your case, I'll be glad to make an exception.
Enter more pigs: Link holding a basketball, and Strangepork playing a kazoo.
Link Hogthrob Is this where you're having auditions for the basketball team?
Beverly Well, why not? We might just as well.
409 opera auditions.jpg
Link dribbles the ball as the pigs continue singing. Beverly sets off a TNT detonator, which quickly quiets the noisy pigs.
Beverly Okay. Okay, you can all be in Pigoletto.
The pigs all cheer and clear the room.
Miss Piggy Bev β€” will you β€” please β€” oh for … Beverly, shall I keep my tambourine?
Beverly Oh, absolutely, Miss Piggy. Why, you play that tambourine almost as well as you sing.
Miss Piggy (gasp) Ooh! Thank you!
She trots off. Beverly chuckles.


Kermit is ganged up on by cross animals.
Kermit Hey β€” hey! What's going β€” Hold it, hold it! Wait a minute! What's going on here?
409 cow opera.jpg
Cow (RH) We're angry because you're doing Pigoletto tonight.
Animals Yeah!
Kermit What's wrong with that?
Cow (RH) Well, there's an opera for us cows!
Kermit What's that?
Cow (RH) Madame Buttermilk.
Animals Yeah!
Goat (SW) Hey. There's one for us goats too.
Kermit Hmm?
Goat (SW) GoaterdΓ€mmerung.
Animals Yeah!
Kermit Watch your language.
Goat (SW) Ehh.
Otter (DG) And there's even an opera for us otters, too.
Kermit What's that?
Otter (DG) La Traviotter.
Animals (agreement noises)
Kermit That's enough. Now come on, back to your dressing rooms. (shoos them away) C'mon! Get outta here! Go on! Go on! Go on! Go on! Scram! Scram! Scram! Hoo!
Robin Uncle Kermit?
Kermit Yeah?
409 frog opera.jpg
Robin There's an opera for little frogs like me, too.
Kermit Really?
Robin (nods) Low 'n Green. (does a punchline dance)
Kermit Robin! You're as bad as they are. Now get outta here. (Robin leaves) Hmm. Low 'n Green. Gee. I could play the lead if I scrunched down. (scrunches down) β™ͺ Mi-mi-mi-mi-mi-mi-mi… β™ͺ (walks off)

Muppet University

Open on a bronze emblem which reads "E Pluribus Stupidatus."
Sam the Eagle Welcome to Muppet University.
Zoom out to reveal Sam in a professor's cap.
Sam the Eagle Hello. Today's lecture will be on microscopic life forms. Underneath this terribly expensive scientific … (taps it) … doohickey β€” ahem β€” is a single drop of pond water.
He turns on the projector.
409 sam lecture.jpg
Sam the Eagle Aha! Leaving frivolity behind, let us now explore the world of the water drop. Lights please. (the lights dim) Ah. What wonders await our eyes?
409 ameoba kermit.jpg
Kermit the Protozoa Hi-ho! Kermit the Protozoa here. And what a show we have for you. And now, to kick things off, here he is, the king of the single-celled comics, Fozzie Amoeba! Yaaay!
Fozzie the Amoeba floats by as a fanfare plays.
409 ameoba fozzie.jpg
Fozzie the Amoeba Hey-hey-hey! A funny thing happened to me on the way to the microscope. This blob came up to me and said, "I haven't had a disease in weeks". So I bit him. Aaah!
Sam makes noises of disapproval and turns the projector off.
Sam the Eagle Class dismissed! Ugh! (facepalms)


Kermit Okay. That was very nice, Sam.
Sam the Eagle It was a fiasco.
409 sam kermit.jpg
Kermit No, no, it was educational. I learned a lot from that.
Sam the Eagle You did? Oh, bless you, Kermit. Tell me, what did you learn from that? Hm?
Kermit Well, I learned that those little green protozoa have a lot of talent. (chuckles)
Sam walks off in disgust.
Scooter Oh! Oh, Kermit β€” everybody's on stage for the opera except the spear carriers!
Kermit Yeah?
Scooter They want more money.
Kermit No way.
409 spear carriers.jpg
THWACK! Several spears land on the desk.
Kermit Uh, see how much they want.
Scooter Right. (runs off)


Main stage. Kermit enters to a fanfare.
Kermit And now, ladies and gentlemen, we present a totally unknown and unrehearsed opera, Pigoletto, uh, sung to the music of La Traviata, and performed for you by the Muppetopolitan Opera Company. Ahem. Uh, it's all very strange, but the good thing about it is that it stars Miss Beverly Sills! Yaaay!
Open on a balcony. Pan over to Beverly.

Sempre libera degg'io
folleggiare di gioia in gioia,
vo' che scorra il viver mio
pei sentieri del piacer.
Nasca il giorno, o il giorno muoia,
sempre lieta ne' ritrovi,
a β€”

Enter the pigs.
Pig (RH) ("Toreador" from Carmen)

Toreador-ah, you and me have come.
Toreador, Toreador.
This is the only opera that I know.
I learned this one in school.
We learned the words in French,
And even still,
I don't know what it means.


…a diletti sempre nuovi,
dee volare il mio pensier.
Dee volar, dee volar,
Dee volare il mio pensier.
Dee volar, dee volar,
(vocalizes) … mio pensier.

Piggy, playing Cleopatra, makes a grand entrance on a ship manned by two pig slaves who row to the beat of Verdi's "Grand March" from Aida.
Miss Piggy Stroke! Stroke! Stroke! Go! Ahem. AHEM! Ahem.
Applause. Piggy poses, then gets into an "Die WalkΓΌre" competition with Beverly.
409 pigoletto 1.jpg
Miss Piggy I can sing higher!
Beverly (vocalizes)
Miss Piggy I can sing higher!
Beverly (vocalizes)
Miss Piggy (vocalizes, ending with low note) Oh yeah!

Sempre libera degg'io
folleggiare di gioia in gioia,
vo' che scorra il viver mio
pei sentieri del piacer.
Nasca il giorno, o il giorno muoia,
sempre lieta ne' ritrovi,
a diletti sempre nuovi, a …

409 pigoletto 2.jpg
Dr. Julius Strangepork ("La donna Γ¨ mobile")

Let me apologize,
For all these other guys.
They've done it wrong again.
Sung the wrong song again.
Tell her that you're sorry.


Beverly, we're sorry!
Won't you please excuse us
For being here at all!


… a diletti sempre nuovi
dee volare il mio pensier.

Pigs God bless America.
Beverly (vocalizes)
Pigs God bless America.
Beverly (vocalizes)
Pigs il mio pensier, il mio pensier.
Big finish. Applause.


Kermit Okay! Well, you saw the beginning and middle of The Muppet Show, so this must be the end. Which means that it is time to say thank you to our very special guest star, ladies and gentlemen, Beverly Sills! YAAAAY!
She is surrounded by the cheering pigs.
Beverly And thank you, Kermit.
Kermit Oh, oh, thank you, Beverly, you're a great sport to put up with all of our goofiness.
Beverly Oh, not at all. I really enjoyed it.
Kermit Oh, good.
Beverly As a matter of fact, doing The Muppet Show is almost as much fun as doing a serious opera.
Kermit Wow! Does that mean you'd like to come back next week?
Beverly I said "almost".
409 closing.jpg
Gonzo Beverly! Beverly, does this mean that you are forsaking spoon hanging for some lesser art form?
Beverly (laughs, nods)
Kermit Gonzo! We'll see you next time on The Muppet Show! You were wonderful, Beverly.
Applause. The credits roll as the chatter continues.
Statler Wake up!
Waldorf Huh? Who's the guest star tonight?
Statler Beverly Hills.
Waldorf Ehh, I've been there before. (goes back to sleep)