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The Muppet Show transcript for Episode 505: James Coburn.

Cold Open

Open on Pops doing the crossword in the newspaper. James enters with a suitcase.
Pops Oh β€” who are you?
James Coburn. James Coburn.
Pops Oh yeah! Hey, I seen you in all them tough-guy movies! Heh heh! Hey β€” (looks around) you got a contract out on the frog?
James No, no, I'm just here as a guest.
Pops Sure y'are. And that bulge in your pocket's just a pipe.
James removes a pipe from his jacket.
Pops I'm sorry.
James You've seen too many movies, Pop.
Pops Heh heh heh.
James Now can you show me to my dressing room?
Pops Yeah. Uh, Scooter!
Scooter Uh, yeah, Pops?
Pops Yeah. Show Mr. Coburn to his dressing room.
James And make it snappy.
505 cold open.jpg
He fires the pipe like a pistol.
Scooter Yes, sir! Right this way, sir!
Scooter runs off. James blows smoke off the pipe and grins.


Kermit It's The Muppet Show, with our very special guest star, James Coburn! Yaaayyy!
The curtain opens, and the theme begins.
LipsTrumpet Opening.jpg
505 trumpet.jpg
Gonzo's trumpet goes seemingly unheard, until Foo-Foo pops up.
Gonzo Well, she heard it.

Opening number

Main stage. Kermit enters to applause.
Kermit Hi-ho, thank you and welcome again to The Muppet Show! And I have some wonderful news for you, because tonight's guest star is Hollywood's own James Coburn! (audience oohs) Yes! But first! First we have, direct from the Lamprey Lounge of the Bermuda Triangle Hilton, here are the Sargasso Bottom Rhythm Boys! YAAAAYY!
The curtain opens. The Sargasso Bottom Rhythm Boys, an octopus drum-and-kazoo band, play "Temptation". A chained Animal watches in the wings, panting.
Floyd Easy, Animal. Easy.
Animal (panting) Square drums. Yucky drums!
The band continues playing. Animal grows more and more restless.
Floyd He's breaking away!
505 temptation.jpg
Animal breaks away, attacking the octopi one by one. He throws the last one into the balcony, where it lands between Statler and Waldorf.
Statler You got it wrong again!
Waldorf Yeah, we're supposed to sit up here and throw things at you!
Statler Yeah! Wha β€”
The octopus gets up, dazed.
505 balcony octopus.jpg


As one of the octopi stumbles, Piggy peeks from her dressing room.
505 backstage 1.jpg
Miss Piggy Oh! Scooter! Are the octopuses all right?
Scooter Well, it's hard to be sure. They may wind up in bouillabaisse.
Miss Piggy Oh. Bouillabaisse. Well. Those French towns are nice!
She goes back in her dressing room.
Kermit (panicked) Animal's on the loose! Animal's on the loose!
Everyone scats.
Beauregard Get him, Rizzo!
Kermit Oh, good grief, it's James Coburn!
James emerges from his dressing room, and the audience cheers.
James What is it, Kermit? You having problems?
Kermit (stammering) Uh, problems? Uh, yβ€” no! No, no, no, actually, uh, everything's right under control, sir. Yes. Uh, matter of fact, it's going to be a very different experience having you with us tonight.
James Really? How so?
Kermit Oh, well, for a change, we have a real Hollywood tough guy with us.
Animal wrestles with an octopus, throwing him to the ground.
505 backstage 2.jpg
James What do you call this? The Easter Bunny?
Kermit Uh, well, well, this is Animal.
Animal ANIMAL! Hahahah … (exits)
Floyd I don't know what's gotten into him, Kermit. I tried to tire him out this morning. Took him for a long walk, wearing his cement galoshes. (laughs)
Animal takes a bite out of a chair.
James Animal β€” Animal, come here. Listen, there's right ways and there are wrong ways to handle aggression.
Animal Aggression?
505 backstage chair.jpg
James Yeah β€” you don't want to bust a chair up like that.
Animal Wha?
James You want to bust it up like THIS!!
He grabs the chair and shatters it against the staircase post, then goes back to his dressing room.
Animal MY KINDA GUY! (runs upstairs) JIMMY! JIMMY! JIMMY!

"(They Long to Be) Close to You"

505 close to you.jpg
As a male Muppet sings "(They Long to Be) Close to You" to his lady friend, the birds, stars, and angels mentioned in the lyrics appear -- and then get stuck to the woman.
In the balcony, Statler and Waldorf struggle with the octopus.
Statler (grunts) Help me throw him out!
Waldorf No! He's a family man.
Statler He is?
Waldorf Yes, he's got a wife and squids. (chuckles)
The octopus throws Waldorf out of the balcony. Statler laughs.


505 backstage octopus.jpg
Another octopus rests on Kermit's desk. The lady friend wobbles backstage, everything still sticking to her.
Lady friend Anybody got a crowbar?
Kermit Will you get out of here, octopus? Scram, scram, scram.
Scooter Kermit, I can't believe it.
Kermit What?
Scooter James Coburn and Animal have made friends! Yeah, they're up in his dressing room swapping stories.
Animal roars, and a chair flies out of the room.
James How 'bout this?
505 flying chairs.jpg
Another chair flies out of the room and lands on the floor.
Scooter Well, they're swapping something.
Exit Scooter. Enter Fozzie and Link in costume.
Link Hogthrob Uh, Kermit, we're ready for Bear on Patrol.
Fozzie Yes sir, sir.
Kermit Uh, Bear on Patrol is not until the second half of the show, guys.
505 backstage patrolbear.jpg
Fozzie Okay, we'll wait in the squad car.
Kermit (pointing to the octopus) Yeah, well, take this thing with you, would you?
Fozzie Oh. In that case, we'll wait in the squid car. Ahhhh.
Link laughs. Kermit groans and goes on stage.

Salute to the Roaring '20s

Main stage. Kermit enters to a fanfare.
Kermit Uh, okay. It is now my privilege to present our very special guest star, Mr. James Coburn, in a Muppet salute to the roaring twenties. The era of flappers and bathtubs.
505 lion.jpg
Lion Hey. You gonna need me?
Kermit Uh, no, I don't think so.
Lion Oh yeah? Well, if you're doing the roaring twenties, who's gonna roar? You? (chuckles)
Kermit Uh, well, we-we'll, we'll work on it.
Lion Well, just don't forget, if you need me, I'm your mane man. (chuckles)
Kermit Okay. Uh, well, ladies and gentlemen, here it is, the Muppet salute to the roaring twenties! Yaaaay!
Open on a nightclub. Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem play an instrumental of "The Varsity Drag" as Betsy Bird dances.
505 betsy bird.jpg
Random voices (Woo.) (Look at her go.) (Woo.) (Hey, she's not bad.) (Yeah.) (Hey. Go, birdy, go.)
The music ends, and the patrons cheer for Betsy. She walks off as the band starts to play "It Had to Be You." Camilla clucks forlornly.
Gonzo What's the matter, sweetheart?
Camilla (clucks)
Gonzo You're scared? What's to be scared of at the Club Mildew?
505 gonzo thug.jpg
Cuddles Hey boss.
Gonzo Yeah?
Cuddles I heard another mob's gonna try to muscle in.
Gonzo Oh, relax, Cuddles. Nobody muscles in on the Gonz.
There's a knock on the door.
Doorman Yeah, who's there?
James James.
Doorman James who?
James opens the eye slot.
James James Coburn.
Doorman That's not funny.
James Yeah, neither is this!
He punches a hole in the door, turns the knob, opens it and enters with a violin case.
Doorman (fearful) Hey β€” don't do that! It might be bad for the door!
Gonzo Holy rigatoni, it's Big Jimmy! Take him, Lefty!
James makes his way to the bar.
Lefty Hey! Where do you think you're going?
James grabs Lefty by the head, and tosses him to the entrance. He whacks the bartender across the bar counter.
James All right, Gonzo, you're finished.
Gonzo Why, you two-bit hood.
James You calling me a two-bit hood?
Gonzo Yeah.
James When I've been living next door to you for the past ten years?
Gonzo Okay, okay, fine β€” then you're a neighbor hood. (laughs)
James Gonzo, Gonzo …
He grabs Gonzo by the nose.
James That was a lousy joke.
He uses Gonzo's nose to open a can of root beer, and throws Gonzo down. He sips the can, then chucks it.
James Oh! That root beer is terrible! It's the first thing we're gonna change around here.
Gonzo Oh yeah? You and who else?
James Me and my mob.
Gonzo (looks around) I don't see any mob.
They look around. James becomes sheepish.
James Oh gosh β€” well, gee, they were … right behind me outside.
Gonzo Ha ha! Get him, boys! Louie, Max, Lefty, Dopey, Sneezy …
Gonzo's mob surrounds James. Animal, watching from the wings, runs onstage.
Animal Help Jimmy! HELP JIMMY! HELP JIMMY!
James Animal! Ha!
505 animal helps jimmy.jpg
A fight breaks out. Animal and James start throwing Gonzo's mobsters one by one. Victorious, James picks up the violin case he brought in.
Gonzo Oh no! I'll bet you don't have a violin in that case.
James That's right, Gonzo.
He sets it down and opens it.
Gonzo Oh! I give up! I give up! You can have the place! I was gonna open a chicken ranch anyway.
James I don't want the place, Gonzo!
Gonzo What?
James takes a piccolo out of the case.
James I just came to play with the band.
505 coburn flute.jpg
He takes his piccolo and joins the cast in playing "Alexander's Ragtime Band." Applause.

UK Spot

Kermit encounters Betsy doing some stretches.
505 betsy uk.jpg
Kermit Oh, hi there, Betsy Bird! Hey, I really loved that little dance you did earlier in the show.
505 James Coburn TL-2.jpeg
Betsy Bird Oh … my, uh … well, thank you.
Kermit Yeah, do you have any other dances you could do for us?
Betsy Bird Oh, no, I mean β€” well, I, I'm just working them out. They're not very good. But if you want me to, uh, wing it … (chuckles)
Kermit Hmm.
Betsy Bird (stands up) Hit it!
505 James Coburn TL-4.jpeg
A bird band, led by Rowlf on piano, plays "Bird Walk" as she dances.

Bear on Patrol

The opening sequence plays.
Announcer And now … ridding the world of evil, here comes Bear on Patrol.
Open on Link playing with the stamps. Fozzie leads a criminal into the precinct.
Fozzie Get in there, you! Get in there!
Banananose Maldonado Hey β€” lighten up!
Fozzie Just keep going! Get in there! Stand still!
Link Hogthrob Patrol Bear, can't you be more polite to the public?
Fozzie But sir, this is a crook!
Link Hogthrob Well, that's different. What's the little twerp's name?
Fozzie Banananose Maldonado!
Link Hogthrob (writes it down) "Banananose Maldonado" … how'd you ever get a dumb name like that?
Banananose Maldonado My parents were Mr. and Mrs. Maldonado.
Link Hogthrob (sarcastic) Well, okay, smarty-poo! Lock him up, Patrol Bear.
Fozzie Yes, sir, sir, sir! Get in there, you! Get in there!
Banananose Maldonado Hey, w-wait! Don't put me away! What if I spill the beans?
Link Hogthrob That's simple. Lock him up and don't give him any beans.
Fozzie Yes, sir! Get in there! No beans for you tonight!
Banananose Maldonado Hey, wait a minute β€” what if I actually tell you that I'm really a police officer?
Link Hogthrob Oh yeah? Well then, why aren't you wearing one of these official police officer type uniforms, hmm?
Banananose Maldonado Uh β€” well uh β€” this is an official police disguise.
Link & Fozzie Really?
Banananose Maldonado Yeah.
Fozzie Wow, this looks cute.
Link Hogthrob Yeah.
Banananose Maldonado Thank you.
Fozzie tugs on his banana nose.
Fozzie This β€” is this part of it right here?
Banananose Maldonado (yelps) That's real!
Fozzie Sorry! (lets go)
Banananose Maldonado Actually I'm Chief Inspector Maldonado.
Link & Fozzie (gasp) Really?
Banananose Maldonado Yeah.
Link Hogthrob Oh, Patrol Bear, set the Chief Inspector free!
Fozzie Yes, sir, sir, sir! (leads him towards the exit)
Banananose Maldonado Thank you, sergeant.
Link Hogthrob Sorry.
Fozzie Let me show you the way out!
Banananose Maldonado Thank you.
Link Hogthrob Yeah, help him out there.
Fozzie You look very attractive in that. I'll get you a ta … TAXI! Love to the wife and kids! Oh! Oh, sir, we almost n β€”
He notices a WANTED poster with three mugshots of Banananose on it.
Fozzie Sir? Would you come here, uh… do you recognize this fellow?
505 bear on patrol.jpg
Link Hogthrob Oh, yeah.
Fozzie Oh! What are we going to tell the commissioner?
Link Hogthrob Tell the truth, of course. I caught this guy (points to the center mugshot), but I'm still looking for (points to the left and right mugshots) this one and this one.


505 meditation.jpg
James and Animal meditate to the sounds of a gong and chimes.
James Animal, if you can control yourself… we will enter a state of relaxation. We're getting deeper and deeper relaxed. … Relaxed. Are you relaxed?
Animal Wha?
James Relax now. Control yourself. The white eternal light is penetrating your temple … going down through your body … and coming out your toes.
Animal examines his toes.
James Are you relaxed?
Kermit Uh … uh, James?
James Huh. … Oh, Kermit.
Kermit Uh, excuse me, I β€” you know, I think it's just great what you're doing with Animal here.
James Oh, it's nothing, just a little Oriental philosophy and some meditation.
Animal Me-di-ta-tion.
Kermit Mm-hmm. Yeah, well, just don't forget that the closing number is a rootin'-tootin' gun-totin' cowboy desperado shoot-em-up.
James Yeah, Kermit, listen β€” uh, Animal and I have been talking this over, and uh, there's an awful lot of violence in entertainment these days. We'd like to do something a little bit more enlightened. Uh, something more serene. Like maybe a salute to Japan.
Kermit Oh. Uh, yeah, well, we β€” well, we already have the cowboys and we rented the horses, though.
James grabs Kermit by the neck.
James Kermit … we want to do something serene.
He aims Kermit at Animal's mouth.
Animal SA-RENE!
Kermit Y-yes, uh, well, that, that's a good idea, yes indeed, a, a salute to Japan, of course! (exits)
James and Animal look at each other, laugh like Animal, and continue meditating.
Meanwhile, the octopus takes Waldorf's seat.
Statler Hey, will you sit down?
Waldorf I can't. My seat has been octopi'd! (chuckles)
Statler and the octopus throw Waldorf overboard and chuckle.


Link and Fozzie pass Kermit
Fozzie We were so funny!
Link Hogthrob Yeah. Were we supposed to be?
Kermit Oh boy, what are we gonna do? James doesn't want to do the gunfighter sketch.
Purple cowboy Why not?
Kermit Uh, he doesn't like the gunfighter sketch.
505 cowboy.jpg
Purple cowboy You wanna know what the gunfighter thinks of James Coburn?
Kermit N-n-no, no, probably not.
Purple cowboy (grumbles, walks off)
Kermit Uh, Scooter?
Scooter Yeah?
Kermit What are we gonna do? James Coburn wants to do a quiet, contemplative Japanese closing number.
Scooter Oh, I got no time, boss. You know whose bus just broke down in front of the theater? The Tokyo Tai Chi, Karate and Chowder Society.
A group of geishas walk by.
Kermit Oh! Oh, look! Oh, well, fate sometimes just seems to step right in! I'll go make the intro!
Scooter and the geishas bow to each other.
Scooter … Yeah.

Salute to Japan

Main stage. Kermit enters.
Kermit Okay, uh, and now, uh, ladies and gentlemen, we're never too sure if any act on this show will work or not, but this next act is guaranteed to work. Or not. Uh, hoo boy. Anyway, here is our special guest, Mr. James Coburn, exploring the perfect serenity of eastern gong music, with our own zen percussionist, Animal. Uh, I'd give it about a minute and a half. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. James Coburn.
The curtain opens on James in a shōji temple setting. As he plays a gong, the geishas show up in the doorways and bow. Animal enters, bows, and strikes his small gong.
505 serene.jpg
Animal Ha ha ha ha!
James Animal.
Animal Huh?
James Serenely.
Animal Se-rene-ly.
He strikes the gong again, then holds his ear up to it. He strikes it again loudly.
Animal Ha ha ha ha!
James Oh …
Animal Oh …
James continues to play the gong quietly. Animal listens.
Animal Boring.
The cowboy watches from a window.
505 eastern sketch.jpg
Purple cowboy You guys are really dyin' out there!
James Shhh!
Purple cowboy I'm telling you, Jimmy, you should've done the Western!
James We're doing the Eastern!
Purple cowboy What kind of a dance you call that?
Animal Square.
Geisha Most humbly beg to differ. This not square dance. This square dance.
Square dance music with a Japanese flair begins to play, as the geishas form a line and begin to dance. The cowboys join them.
Purple cowboy Hey, buckaroos, it's a hoedown!
Cowboys (cheering, whooping and hollering)
A fiddler appears in the window. James shrugs.
James Well, I certainly can't beat 'em.

Lean your partners to and fro,
All join in with an oh soh do.

They all dance to a "Skip to My Lou" variant as James claps.

Out in the barnyard having fun,
Chickens are laying egg foo yung.

Dance break.

Dance to the middle, then come back-ey,
Mud in your eye and a cup o' hot sake.

Dance break.

Dog in the bread pan, kitten in the stew,
Girls in the middle for a little kung-fu.

Dance break. The geishas karate-chop the cowboys.

Keep on dancing 'round the floor,
It'll soon be over 'cause there ain't no more.
Tough old cowboys, Japanese dolls,
Bow to your partner, walk through the walls.

They all do so, and to end the song, Animal and James both hit the gong. Applause.


Kermit stands in front of a gong.
Kermit Okay, well, we made it to the end of another one, thanks to our very special guest star, ladies and gentlemen, Mr. James Coburn! Yaaaaay!
James and Kermit bow to each other.
505 gong show.jpg
James Yes, well, thank you very much, Kermit. I had a terrific time. Now I can say I've done The Muppet Show.
Kermit Yeah, well, the way things turned out, you could say you've done The Gong Show! (laughs)
Animal runs on stage about to hit the gong.
James (snatches Animal's stick) Gimme that!
Kermit Oh, good. Uh, we'll see you next time on The Muppet Show!
Animal strikes the gong with his head. The credits roll as the geishas, Gonzo and more gather on stage.
505 balcony ending.jpg
Meanwhile, in the balcony, the octopus holds Statler and Waldorf hostage in its tentacles.
Octopus More! More!