|Music by||Theodore A. Metz|
|Lyrics by||Joe Hayden (Georges August Desvignes)|
Fozzie sings "Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight" as the closing number in episode 518 of The Muppet Show. The number is themed around Ali Baba (a puppet version of Marty Feldman) and the Forty Thieves (or three bears, led by Fozzie). In order to escape being boiled in oil, Fozzie breaks out into this song, and then ends by yelling "Open Sesame!" (which causes the cast of Sesame Street to join).
The song was briefly incorporated into a March 1964 spot on The Jimmy Dean Show. Rowlf the Dog, encouraging the idea of becoming President of the United States, leads Jimmy Dean in his campaign song (to the tune of "Yankee Doodle Boy"). Their song ends with a section lifted from "Hot Time," as the pair sing, "Vote for Rowlf! If you make me President, there'll be a hot dog in the White House this year."
The song was originally written as an instrumental for the McIntyre and Heath Minstrels. Words were added and it was popularized during the Spanish-American War, when Teddy Roosevelt's "Rough Riders" used it as their personal anthem. It was famously recorded in 1927 by Bessie Smith under the alternate title "There'll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight." It also served as the opening theme for the earliest Looney Tunes shorts.