|The Muppet Show|
|Production||April 7-10, 1980|
|Premiere|| UK: November 9, 1980|
NYC: October 18, 1980
|Releases|| Best of the Muppet Show|
Paley Center Archive
Brooke stars as Alice in the Muppet production of Alice in Wonderland. The onstage zaniness can't match the usual backstage chaos -- Fozzie thinks he's going to play the Tin Woodman, and Miss Piggy (scheduled to play the Queen of Hearts) is hoping to take over as Alice.
Bunsen's special effects make Brooke too tall to leave her dressing room -- and then shrink her so small that no one can find her. Piggy, still hoping for the lead, tries to "accidentally" step on Brooke. Finally, Gonzo as the Mad Hatter heads the Mad Tea Party, which ends with a rousing chorus of "We're Off to See the Wizard."
- "Falling Song"
- The caterpillar scene.
- "These Are the Yolks, Folks"
- UK Spot: "When You're Smiling Medley"
- The trial scene features Marvin Suggs as the judge. He swears in Kermit: "Repeat after me: Ow."
- The Mad Tea Party; "We're Off to See the Wizard"
|Cold Opening: Guest star Brooke Shields arrives expecting to appear on The Muffin Show. The White Rabbit races past, reflecting The Muppet Show's typical zany style, but she remains puzzled over her appearance on the show.|
|"The Muppet Show Theme": Gonzo gets the hiccups when he tries to play his trumpet. (Repeated from episode 301)|
|Kermit reveals that this week's episode will tell the tale of Alice in Wonderland. He refers to the warm, lovable characters and cute, fluffy bunny rabbits which appear in the story. However, the White Rabbit does not live up to his description, threatening, "Look! Either you tell me where the rabbit hole is or I tear your head off!"|
|The story begins when Alice meets the White Rabbit, looking for his hole. When he finally finds the hole, the rabbit blows his lines and jumps in. Alice tries to remind him that his line is "I'm late! I'm late for a very important date," but she falls in after him before she can finish.|
|Scooter, the Cheshire Cat, and a group of other Muppets sing the "Falling Song" to Alice, welcoming her to Wonderland.|
|When Alice finally lands, she sees the White Rabbit standing in a very small doorway. He races off, but she cannot fit through to chase after him. He calls back with the advice, "Have some dessert!" She does, sampling the cake on a nearby table. As soon as she does, she shrinks down to the size of the door and can follow after the rabbit.|
| || Backstage, Scooter informs Kermit of some costume problems. Fozzie Bear is dressed as the Tin Woodsman! His excuse: "I thought we were doing Peter Pan!"|
Another costume problem reveals itself when Miss Piggy enters from her dressing room dressed as Alice. Despite the fact that she's learned all of Alice's lines, Kermit will not let her play the part. She soon settles into the role as Queen of Hearts, deciding she is fit to play royalty.
As Piggy leaves, Floyd Pepper enters to complain about his role as the Caterpillar. Kermit gives him a choice: He can either take his place onstage or on the unemployment. Floyd exits singing about a butterfly.
|Kermit allows Scooter to introduce the next scene. But he doesn't explain what the scene is. Nor is his introduction very enthusiastic. Kermit ends up introducing the scene anyway.|
|The Caterpillar scene: Alice complains to the Caterpillar that she isn't tall enough, but needs to be taller for the next scene. The Caterpillar suggest growing mushrooms, "the kind you eat, and then you grow." But he reminds her to only take from the bottom of the mushroom, because there isn't "mush-room on top!" Alice takes a bite, and grows.|
| || The Mad Tea Party is scheduled to be on next, but Gonzo refuses to go on, claiming she's too big a star. She returns from the stage to prove just how big.|
Instead of the tea party, Scooter sends Humpty Dumpty on. He asks Link about Humpty's wardrobe: "Was that a tie he was wearing or a belt?" Link: "I don't know, that's wardrobe. It's not my department."
|Humpty Dumpty sings "These Are the Yolks, Folks." The song ends when Humpty Dumpty falls off the wall, and is then trampled by the King's horse and men.|
| ||In the dressing room, Kermit finds that Brooke is still growing, and calls Dr. Bunsen Honeydew in to consult. Bunsen informs Brooke that the effects should reverse any minute. Soon, she starts shrinking. She's at her normal size again! And then she is smaller than her normal size again. She just keeps shrinking, and shrinking.|
|UK Spot: Fozzie is upset about all the trouble the show is having, so Dr. Teeth tries to cheer him up with a song. Teeth, Floyd, Gonzo, the White Rabbit, the March Hare, and the Duchess all sing part of the "When You're Smiling Medley."|
|The Muppets perform the Jabberwocky poem. In it, Scooter is sent by Rowlf to slay the Jabberwock. Scooter describes it as "the weirdest thing we've ever done on this show."|
| ||Backstage, Kermit looks for the microscopic Brooke. Piggy, jealous of the part Brooke gets to play in the show while she only has one line, pretends to sneeze so as to "accidentally" step on Brooke. She misses, of course.|
|The trial scene: Kermit tries to put a stop to the scene, but the show is growing out of control. Marvin Suggs appears as the judge who, in the absence of Alice, tries swearing Kermit in, hitting him with the gavel. He then plays "Lady of Spain" on the heads of the jurors. He then calls on the Queen to read Alice's sentence: "Off with her head."|
|With the show in a shambles, Kermit cancels everything else. That is, until he is informed that Brooke is back to her normal size, in which he calls everyone back onstage for the Mad Tea Party.|
| || The Mad Tea Party: The party starts with a rousing rendition of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Bat," followed by Alice's entrance and an offering of wine... which does not exist. The Dormouse (a chicken) then tells a very brief story about three sisters who live in a well. But the Mad Hatter wants a clean cup. He calls out, "Everybody move one space!" This proves useless, as the only one now with a clean cup is the March Hare.|
The party soon veers from the story's origins with an interruption from Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, and finally Kermit who stops the whole production.
The show breaks down completely when Fozzie enters to sing "We're Off to See the Wizard" (including an appearance from Rizzo as the Wizard).
|At the closing, Brooke Shields reveals that she's always wanted to do Alice in Wonderland. Kermit hopes that one day she'll get the chance to do so. He then congratulates her on being The Muppet Show's youngest guest star. But wait! They never did the Tin Woodsman's scene.|
- This episode's format -- an adaptation of a classic book with a guest star as the lead and the Muppets playing supporting characters -- anticipates the later features The Muppet Christmas Carol, Muppet Treasure Island, and The Muppets' Wizard of Oz.
- The full roster of Muppets and their Lewis Carroll roles in this episode are: Miss Piggy as the Queen of Hearts, Link Hogthrob as the King of Hearts, The Great Gonzo as the Mad Hatter, Dr. Teeth as the Cheshire Cat, Floyd Pepper as the Caterpillar, Scooter as the young man in "Jabberwocky", Rowlf as his father, Statler and Waldorf as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, a chicken as the Dormouse, Marvin Suggs as the Judge, and assorted Whatnots as the cards. Fozzie, of course, is the Tin Woodsman from The Wizard of Oz, with Rizzo the Rat as the Wizard for the finale.
- Special Wonderland puppets, apparently built specifically for the episode, include the White Rabbit, March Hare, Jabberwock and related creatures, Humpty Dumpty and the Duchess, all of which are based on the original illustrations by John Tenniel.
- Due to child labor laws limiting the amount of time that Shields could spend on the set, she spent her spare time in the Muppet Workshop, where she helped build some of the puppets for the Jabberwocky sketch.
- It should be noted that several characters and sequences come not from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland but from the sequel, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. These include Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, Humpty Dumpty and the Jabberwocky.
- Notable in the "Jabberwocky" sketch is that the characters used such as the Slivy Toves, Borogroves and Mome Raths are exactly as explained by Carroll via Humpty Dumpty.
- Malcolm Stone's recreation of the look of John Tenniel's Alice in Wonderland illustrations as backdrops for this episode garnered him the second of two Emmy Award nominations.
- At only 14 years old, Brooke Shields was the youngest guest star in the series' history.
- Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Scooter, Rowlf the Dog, Statler and Waldorf, Pops, The White Rabbit, Jar of Orange Marmalade, Link Hogthrob, Gills Brothers, Flamingo, Dr. Teeth, Humpty Dumpty, Floyd Pepper, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Slithy Toves, Borogoves, Mome Raths, Jabberwock, Marvin Suggs, The March Hare, Chicken, Rizzo the Rat
- Doris, Alfonso D'Bruzzo, Gaffer, The Duchess, Whatnots, Old Skyball Paint, Prairie Dog, Lobster, Eric the Parrot, Lizard, Snake, Weasel, The Devil
- Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog, Dr. Teeth, Waldorf, Rowlf and Link Hogthrob
- Frank Oz as Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, Marvin Suggs and a Slithy Tove
- Jerry Nelson as Floyd Pepper, Pops, Humpty Dumpty, Dormouse/Chicken and a Mome Rath
- Richard Hunt as Scooter, Statler and the March Hare
- Dave Goelz as Gonzo, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and the Jabberwock
- Steve Whitmire as the White Rabbit, Rizzo the Rat and a Borogove
- Kathy Mullen as the Duchess
- Louise Gold as Others
- Betsy Baytos as Others
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|James Coburn||Glenda Jackson|