A herd of cows is what one calls a large grouping of cows.
Frequently, the pun of "herd" and "heard" has been used by the Muppets in several productions, mainly pertaining to cows, but also referring to other groupings of animals as well. The typical exchange is as follows:
“[Character refers to a bunch of cows]
Not a bunch, herd.
Heard of what?
Herd of cows.
Of course I've heard of cows.
No, the cow's herd.
I don't care what the cow heard!”
Uses of joke
- The joke is used as the centerpiece of the Veterinarian's Hospital sketch in episode 211 of The Muppet Show.
- Fozzie Bear attempts to tell the joke to an actual herd of cows in Jim Frawley's Camera Tests for The Muppet Movie (though he fumbles with the wording). He successfully pulls off the joke with Kermit the Frog in episode 322 of The Muppet Show. The two reuse the joke when setting up a clip of "Elegance" in Muppet Treasures.
- The joke is used in Sing-Along, Dance-Along, Do-Along following the elephant song.
- Episode 109 of The Jim Henson Hour features the exchange between Kermit and Bean Bunny, only about the herd of sentient garbage bags that have invaded Muppet Central.
- In a Global Grover segment, Grover and Fred the Wonder Horse watch a film about cow herding. Following the film, Grover asks Fred if he's ever herd a cow before. They hear a nearby moo and Fred replies, "I heard one now."
- Upon hearing Elmo and Abby Cadabby mooing like cows in Episode 4157, Gladys the Cow arrives saying, "Methinks I heard a herd of cows".
- The Muppets episode "Walk the Swine" has Fozzie trying to set up the joke (using a "heard of buffalo") to an unreceptive audience.
- In Episode 4603 of Sesame Street, safari tour leader Grover says he, Elmo and a monkey passenger can pretend to be a herd of elephants. "Of course Elmo's heard of elephants," Elmo replies.