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The Muppet Show
Guest Johnny Cash
Production August 11-13, 1980
Premiere UK: February 1, 1981
NYC: February 14, 1981


In honor of Johnny Cash's appearance, the show is simulcast over country radio station WHOG, and the radio broadcast threatens to overwhelm the actual show. The head of WHOG, Big Tiny Tall Saddle, insists on making all the decisions. He refuses to let Rowlf go on, and instead schedules Grampaw McGuire and his whistling bricks. Kermit tries to run his own show, but Big Tiny is one of the toughest men alive -- when he's annoyed, he has a habit of wrapping microphone stands around people's necks. Fozzie is replaced by Big Tiny's nephew, Wally Whoopie, a stand-up comedian who makes fun of the bear -- which inspires Kermit to stand up for his friend, and his show.


Episode Guide

Picture Description

Cold Open: Pops tries to get reception on an old radio, and thinks he hears Johnny Cash -- who is actually standing right next to him.
The Muppet Show Theme: A duck bites Gonzo on the nose.

Kermit announces that show is going to be broadcast live over radio station WHOG, and is immediately surrounded by the backing singers. He also meets stagehand Billy Boy.
For the opening number, a group of hillbillies sing "The Martins and the Coys", but the song ends abruptly with a violent gunfight.

WHOG has taken over the backstage area, which is cluttered with wires and equipment. Fozzie snags his neck on a wire and has to postpone his monologue. Kermit meets the bossy Big Tiny Tallsaddle, who takes command of the show.

Big Tiny takes the stage with a fanfare from the singers, and introduces Johnny Cash, "an old buddy o' mine".
Johnny sings "Riders in the Sky" while Gonzo rides around the stage on a herd of cows as an outlaw.
Kermit tries to take control of his show, but Big Tiny heckles him by making him jump with hot marbles.
Backstage, Johnny observes that "Big Tiny Tallsaddle is as tough as a 25-cent steak."

UK Spot: After Big Tiny threatens Kermit, Lew Zealand and The Gills Brothers sing "Goodnight Sardine".
521 eggsucking.jpg
Johnny sings "Dirty Old Egg Sucking Dog," an anti-canine song that infuriates Rowlf.
Fozzie is about to perform, but learns that he has competition: Wally Whoopee.

Fozzie tries to do his routine, but is continually heckled by Wally Whoopee.

Kermit, having had enough of Big Tiny's bossiness, stands up for Fozzie and his show. Scooter helps him get rid of Big Tiny with an elaborate fib.

Johnny sings a duet of "Orange Blossom Special/Jackson" with Miss Piggy, backed by Lubbock Lou and his Jughuggers.
At the closing, Big Tiny needs to borrow a bicycle pump.


  • This is the only episode where the stage setting is the same through the entire episode.
  • Cash's duet with Miss Piggy on "Jackson" is one of the only recorded occasions where he performed the song with someone other than his wife, June Carter Cash.



Kermit the Frog, Big Tiny Tallsaddle, Fozzie Bear, Billy Boy, Gonzo, Rowlf, Scooter, Miss Piggy, Statler and Waldorf, Pops, The Martins and the Coys, Wally Whoopie, Whatnots, Cows, Bull, Chickens, Lew Zealand, The Gills Brothers, Geri and the Atrics Guitar Player, Beauregard,

Background Muppets:

Slim Wilson, Zeke, Gramps, Lou, Bubba, Lubbock Lou, T.R. the Rooster, Old Skyball Paint, Goat, Ducks, Baby, Old Skyball Paint, Gaffer, Rizzo the Rat


Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog, Rowlf, Waldorf and Wally Whoopie
Frank Oz as Fozzie Bear and Miss Piggy
Jerry Nelson as Pops, Big Tiny Tall Saddle, Lew Zealand, Slim Wilson and Bearded Man
Richard Hunt as Scooter and Statler
Dave Goelz as Gonzo, Singer, Hillbilly and Beauregard
Steve Whitmire as Billy Boy and Singer
Kathy Mullen as Singer
Louise Gold as Singer


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