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The Muppet Show transcript for Episode 414: Liza Minnelli.

Cold open

The dressing room. Scooter knocks and peers in.
Scooter Liza Minnelli? Fifteen seconds to curtain, Liza.
Liza (doing her make-up) Oh, thank you, Scooter.
Scooter suddenly starts gasping and stumbles toward the table, revealing a dagger in his back. He collapses on the table.
Liza Scooter... that was a great rehearsal!
Scooter (springing up) Ya' think so?
Liza Yeah, let's do the show!
Scooter Okay. (both laugh)


Kermit It's The Muppet Show, with our very special guest star, Liza Minelli! Yaaay!
The curtain opens, and the theme begins.
Statler (to the audience below) Run for your lives!
Waldorf This show is murder! (Statler laughs)
Gonzo plays a frilly fanfare.
Gonzo That's my new, hit single. (nods)

Murder Mystery

Kermit enters to applause.
Kermit Thank you, thank you, thank you and welcome again to The Muppet Show! Our guest star tonight is one of the few ladies on Earth who deserve the title "superstar," Miss Liza Minnelli. And, on top of that, we're going to do a very different show tonight. Matter of fact, it's so different, I have to go backstage and get ready for it. Uh, Scooter? Would you come in and take over for me?
Scooter enters, gasping for breath, still with the knife in his back. He falls over.
Kermit Uh, Scooter? (Scooter rises) Would you stop rehearsing? It's time to start the play.
Scooter Oh, yeah. Sorry, chief. (Kermit exits) Ahem. Uh, ladies and gentlemen, the Muppet Players hereby present an evening of intrigue and mystery. Let the murders begin...
The curtains open on an empty, New York City office at night. Kermit narrates as he approaches his office, KERMIT THE FROG - PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR. He matches his eye with the mark on the door as he enters.
Kermit (narrating) It was Wednesday evening in July. Somewhere in the city, a lonely trumpet was playing. It was the kind of a New York summer night when you expect to see lily pads growing on Broadway. I was just stopping by the office for a quick root beer and browse through the paper work 'cause I had just finished a missing pollywog case. Being a private eye isn't much of a job if you like class, which is why a visitor surprised me.
The door knocks.
Kermit Come in.
Liza O'Shaughnessy, played by Minelli, enters the office, dressed very elegantly.
Liza Excuse me. But, are you Kermit the private eye?
Kermit Just like it says on the door, sweetheart.
Liza Oh, good. Oh, I'm Liza O'Shaughnessy, the actress. Perhaps you've heard of me.
Kermit I know the face from the papers and the name from the marquee, toots. Opening a show at the Roxy tomorrow, right?
Liza Yes. (laughs nervously) No, I... aw, that's just it, I don't know. You have no idea, you have no idea what...what a living nightmare I've been through! The dread, the terror!
Kermit Try to relax, cute stuff. Sit down and tell me about it.
Liza Okay. (sits down at Kermit's desk and rummages through her purse) Well, I got to my dressing room this morning and I found this note.
Kermit Uh, "Close down the show. If you try to open, you will all die." Where'd you find it?
Liza Oh, it was ghastly. It was pinned to my dresser.
Kermit So, what's so ghastly?
Liza (produces a dagger) Well, it was pinned with this and my dresser's name was Gladys!
Kermit Uh, it is all starting to get ghastly.
Liza (whimpers)
Kermit But, don't worry, sweet lips. I can handle it.
Liza Oh, I'm sure you can, Mr. Frog. I place myself entirely in your... in your flippers. (takes his hand)


Dissolve to the Majestic Theatre, where the Muppet cast rehearsals and mills around setting up. Rowlf plays piano as Miss Piggy practices her scales.
Stagehand (off-screen) Uh, listen. Who put the lights over here? Where do you want the scenery.
Kermit (narrating) The Majestic Theatre looked like any theater the day before opening. While Liza went to change for rehearsal, I just hung around backstage, trying not to be conspicuous.
Kermit bumps into a box covered with props, knocking it over with a crash. This attracts the attention of director Fritz, played by Julius Strangepork.
Strangepork QUIET!!! Quiet! Who let that frog in here?!
Kermit exits, sheepish.
Strangepork Okay. (into megaphone) Let down the white drapes! We're gonna rehearse the first act finale, Liza's number.
Kermit waits in the wings, where Beauregard yells from.
Beauregard Ms. O'Shaughnessy's not quite ready yet, Fritz!
Strangepork Okay. Ve'll do vith her undershtudy then.
Piggy (off-screen) FRITZ! (enters) I will not walk through some dumb rehearsal. You promised me I would star in this turkey!
Scooter has joined Kermit and Beauregard in the wings.
Kermit (to Scooter) Uh, let me get this straight, she is Liza O'Shaughnessy's understudy?
Scooter Oh, uh, they're not exactly the same type.
Kermit They're not exactly the same species!
Liza enters, make-up kit in hand.
Liza Fri...oh, excuse me, Miss..uh...uh...dear.
Piggy laughs sarcastically and storms off.
Liza Fritz, darling, I'm ready for rehearsal.
Strangepork Oh, good. Now, remember this is your big moment. Here, I vant the shpark. The moment of magic, the raw, unbridled passion! You know vhat I vant?
Liza Yeah - smile and show my legs. (exits)
Strangepork There goes a pro. Okay, everybody ready! It's all yours, Liza! Curtain!
Liza and the Muppets perform an elaborate production number, "Copacabana."

"Great Day"

Backstage, the Muppet cast applauds as Liza enters the room and taps Zoot on the shoulder.
Zoot Yeah?
Liza Zoot?
Zoot Yeah.
Liza What'cha think?
Zoot Oh, you were fan-sca-diddly-bop-tastic!
Liza Oh, I'm so glad you liked it.
Zoot Oh, you're too good to be a person. You shoulda been a saxophone!
Liza Does that mean I'm your... sax symbol?
Zoot (wipes brow) Whatever.
Strangepork (entering) A vonderful rehearsal! Oh, vonderful, Ms. O'Shaughnessy! Okay, everybody - take three!
Kermit approaches Fritz as the cast disperses.
Kermit Uh, "take three?" Uh, Fritz, you run a tight ship.
Strangepork I repeat - who let this frog in here?!
A hand peers out from behind a plant and fires a gun toward Fritz.
Strangepork (moans of pain) Oink! (collapses on desk)
Kermit Uh, I'm afraid he's...
Fritz regains life briefly, only to moan some more and drop dead on the floor.
Kermit He's dead.
Janice (gaps) Oooo, like, now the show will never go on!
Gonzo rushes in. Music starts as he speaks and a small crowd gathers.
Gonzo What are you people saying?! Fritz was a man of the theatre! He died trying to turn the greasepaint and tinsel into magic! Why, this show could be his final tribute! Fritz would've wanted it this way.
Gonzo proceeds to sing a verse of "Great Day."
Gonzo C'mon, onstage everybody! Oop, don't step on Fritz!
The cast make their way to the stage, dressed as angels in heaven. Gonzo, as Gabriel, blows his horn as the cast sings the rest of the song and Fritz rises to the world above.


Kermit watches from backstage, shaking his head as the cast returns from the stage.
Kermit (narrating) I'll never understand show people. A murder is committed and they go out and sing. And to make things worse, the police assigned Patrolman Bear to the case.
Fozzie Patrolman Bear reporting for duty, sir!
Kermit I thought you were on slug detail at the laundromat. (laughs with the cast)
Fozzie Uh, sir. I am going to ask these people some questions.
Kermit Okay, just be subtle.
Fozzie (playfully taps Kermit) Gotcha. All right, which one of you killed the director?!
Muppets (simultaneously) Not me!
Fozzie Well, they're all in the clear, sir.
Kermit grimaces as Scooter hops in.
Scooter They're lying! They all hated him!
Kermit Huh?
Fozzie What do you mean?
Scooter Miss Piggy hated him because he made her the understudy. She thought she should've been the star! The band hated him because they hadn't been payed for three weeks!
Kermit Hey, you seem to know a lot about these people, kid. Do you know which one is the killer?
Scooter I sure do!
Fozzie You do?! Wha-ha-wha-who?!
Scooter The murderer is-
Scooter begins gagging and collapses on the table, a knife stuck in his back.
Fozzie Oh! He's dead!
Gonzo (singing) When you're down and out-
Muppets (all together) Oh, shut up!
Liza (off-screen) Kermit!
Kermit approaches Liza, standing outside her dressing room door.
Liza Kermit, c'mere! Kermit, the murderer is in that dressing room! All I saw was a hand throw a knife. Ooo, it was awful.
Kermit Well, that may be just the clue we need, sweetheart. I'm gonna go in there and catch us a murderer.
Liza Kermit...
Kermit Hmm?
Liza Be careful.
Kermit Ha-ha.
He hops off, as Liza reacts shocked to the camera.

Dressing room

Kermit enters the darkened dressing room, as an eerie score plays. He shuts the door and checks the surroundings.
Kermit (narrating) Though I've done it many times before in my line of work, whenever I enter a darkened room, I still get chills...
Kermit trips over an object and falls down. He rises, grimacing.
Kermit (narrating) ...and a few contusions. And it's not only the darkness that's scary - there's that weird music they always play. But, there's one thing about darkness - although I can't see my enemy, my enemy can't see me.
Kermit gasps as he's caught in the beam of a flashlight.
Kermit Unless he's got a flashlight.
A sledgehammer knocks him out.

UK spot

Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem are assembled on the bare stage.
Janice Like, wow. Is there rully any point in rehearsing this?
Floyd Aw, c'mon, mama. You know what they say - they show must go on!
Animal Go on! Go on!
Janice Yeah, but it's rull hard to go on if we're all dead.
Animal Dead! Dead!
Janice Oooo, please. I'd rather rehearse than listen to that.
Floyd Good. Here's the singing group. Let's run this little beauty.
Janice Hmm.
Dr. Teeth Okay. Hit it, Animal!
A quartet of dogs enter and sing "Pass That Piece Pipe." As they near the end of the song, the murderer sends tomahawks and arrows toward them, killing them off one by one.
Animal laughs, when a hatchet is thrown into his head.
Animal (laughs) Me alive! Fine!

Dressing room

Liza enters the darkened dressing room. She turns on the lights and finds Kermit, laying unconscious on the table. She rushes to his aid and takes him in her arms.
Liza Kermit. Kermit! Oh, Kermit, my poor fallen frog! Speak to me, say something!
Kermit (moaning) Is that you, Ms. O'Shaughnessy?
Liza Oh, Kermit. Thank goodness you're all right. Oh, you scared me to death. (crouching down with Kermit in her lap) Come over here. For a minute, I thought you'd croaked.
Kermit We-well, I tried to, but I was too weak. No, somebody slugged me.
Liza They did?
Kermit Mm-hmm.
Liza (inspecting his head) Oh, they did indeed. My goodness, you've got a nasty bump back here. Let me rub it. Does it hurt?
Kermit (moans) Uh, just when you rub it.
Liza Oh, I'm sorry.
Kermit Oh, Liza. Ya' know, I-I'm not getting anywhere with your case. Maybe you should get somebody else.
Liza Wait a minute. What are you talkin' about, Kermit? I don't want anybody else, I want you - you're my main frog.
Kermit Yeah, but I-I thought I'd have it solved by now. I-I thought I'd be a big hero and there'd be triumphant celebration and all.
Liza Hold it. Wait a minute.
Kermit Hmm?
Liza Listen to me. I wanna tell you something. When you solve this case...
Kermit Mm-hmm.
Liza ...and you're going to solve it...
Kermit Yeah?
Liza'll be so happy, you won't...well, you won't need any celebration. You won't need anything.
Kermit Huh?
Liza No, no. Come here and listen. (pulls Kermit closer)
Kermit What?
Liza sings "A Quiet Thing" to Kermit, who eventually joins in. As they draw to a close, they check their surroundings for the murderer, then finish the song. Suddenly, a corpse, with a knife in his back, falls out of the closet.
Liza (to the camera) Nobody listens to lyrics anymore.


The scene dissolves to the canteen, where Patrol Bear continues his investigation amid other Muppets, penguins and chickens.
Kermit (narrating) Meanwhile, down in the canteen...
Fozzie (to Lew Zealand) All right, do you have an alibi?
Lew I have a halibut.
Fozzie No, no, an alibi. You know, somebody who can say where you were.
Lew Yeah, a halibut! (produces a fish) He was with me all day! (begins choking) AH! Poison! (collapses)
Fozzie This man was murdered to shut him up!
Bunsen No he wasn't! He choked on a fish bone!
Fozzie But, he yelled, "Poison!"
Bunsen Which I believe is the French word for "fish!"
Bunsen begins to choke as well and dies. Beaker and the rest of the patrons keel over as well.
Fozzie Wait! It must be the food!
Swedish Chef No, no, no! Is a good-a soup-a!
The Swedish Chef takes a taste of the food, shouts in disgust and falls over into the dishes.
Fozzie KERMIT! (runs out)
Gonzo swoops in, still in costume.
Gonzo (singing)

When you're down and out
Pick up... I know, "shut up."

"Everything's Coming Up Roses"

Kermit and Liza approach the stage together.
Kermit Okay.
Liza What?
Kermit Now, now you got the plan?
Liza Yes, I've got the plan. But, Kermit, how can you be certain this is gonna work?
Kermit You gotta trust me, kid.
Liza Yeah...
Kermit Now, you know what to do?
Liza Of course - smile and show my legs.
Kermit No, no, no, that was the other guy!
Liza Oh, yeah! Oh, yeah, sorry.
Kermit Yeah, yeah. Right, right.
Liza Yes, trust me. I know what to do.
Kermit Okay, okay. Here we go. (clears throat) You just take a seat over there.
Kermit has gathered the remaining cast members on the stage. Liza sits on a nearby stool.
Kermit Uh, uh, boys and girls! Uh, ladies and gentlemen!
Fozzie (off-screen) KERMIT! (enters)
Kermit Uh, uh, Fozzie...Fozzie, don't worry. Just sit down. All will be revealed.
Fozzie Yes, sir.
Kermit Uh, now, you may be wondering why I've called you all together. Well, the fact is Ms. O'Shaughnessy has discovered the identity of the murderer!
Muppets (all gasp)
Liza Yes, it's true. It's a secret, though. I haven't even told Kermit. I know who committed these dastardly, cold-blooded, heinous crimes, these murders! I hereby accuse-
The lights suddenly go out. Piggy and the others scream as gunfire is heard.
Kermit What happened?! Hey! Somebody turn on the lights!
The lights come back on, revealing Liza with a knife in her chest.
Floyd Oh no, it's Liza!
Liza Oh, my nerves!
Liza hammily stumbles around the set, moaning in pain, as the piano plays "Copacabana." She eventually grabs some flowers and falls onto a table.
Liza (gasping) Kermit! Kermit, the final curtain has fallen. I've played my last role. Good night, sweet prince. Hello, Death.
Kermit Uh, uh, somebody call a doctor!
Liza Too late, green buddy. Give my regards to Broadway. Remember me
Kermit Herald Square?
Liza No, forget him. Herald's really square. Mmm, buh-bye! (passes out)
Statler and Waldorf rush onto the stage.
Statler Oh no, not Liza!
Waldorf We love Liza!
Statler Yeah, we didn't mean to bump her off!
Waldorf No, just the rest of you guys!
Muppets (all gasp)
Liza gets up from the table, haven faked her death.
Liza Ah-ha! I knew it! Scratch a critic and you get an assassin!
Statler Then-then your death scene was a trick?!
Liza Well, after all, darling, I mean I am an actress.
Statler Bravo!
Waldorf Bravo!
Statler Yeah, best performance we've seen on this show in years! (both laugh)
Kermit Okay, Fozzie, take 'em away!
Fozzie Yes, sir! Okay, here we go! (pushes Statler and Waldorf away as they protest)
Kermit And throw the book at 'em!
Beauregard Okay, sir! (throws a book in their direction as Floyd and Janice laugh and Miss Piggy takes to the camera)
Liza Oh, Kermit, congratulations. You did it!
Kermit No, we did it.
Liza ...yeah.
Kermit Well, then I guess that's, I guess that's the end.
Liza Oh, oh, no, Kermit. Tha-that's not the end. (as she removes her robe) This is the end. Hit it!
Liza begins singing "Everything's Coming Up Roses" as a garden set rolls in. The rest of the Muppet Players join in as the song builds to a close.


Kermit, still in costume, comes onto the closing number set.
Kermit Okay, well, it's been a great show for us and-but before we go, I'd like to say what an honor it's been for this little, green frog to work with Miss Liza Minnelli! Yaaay!
Liza walks through the set and bows, then approaches Kermit.
Liza Oh, Kermit, thank you so much. I can't tell you what a thrill it's been being on your show tonight.
Kermit Oh, that's nice.
Liza And you know something else? I've always wanted to do a, you know, like, a murder mystery like we did. (brandishes a knife) Oh, by the way, can I keep this, uh, trick knife as a souvenir?
Kermit A trick knife?
Liza Yeah, it's-it's only a prop, see?
Liza plunges the knife into Kermit's chest. He screams in pain, as the other Muppets rush in.
Liza Ah, Kermit!
Gonzo What'cha do?!
Strangepork (something like "Hit the frog!" or anything)
Kermit I was only kidding! (chuckles, as the rest groan) We'll see you next time on The Muppet Show!
Gonzo Oh, stab me! Stab me!
The closing theme begins.
Statler and Waldorf are seen in striped jumpsuits, their theater box turned into a jail cell.
Statler How long are we here for?
Waldorf Twenty years.
Statler If I'd know that judge was givin' us the box, I'd have asked for the chair! (both laugh)