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The Newsman in a later appearance.

Muppet News Flash segments were a regular feature of The Muppet Show for all five seasons. The segments starred the Newsman, a breathlessly emphatic anchorman who reported bizarre public interest stories and breaking announcements from Muppet News Central.[1] This is not to be confused with "Sesame Street News Flash," in which Kermit the Frog was the anchorman.

There were slight changes made to the News Flash segments after the first season. In the first year, the segments often featured interviews with a strange person played by the guest star. Starting with the second year, the Newsman would rush on to the scene, announcing an unusual story -- and he would then fall victim to the subject of the news story in some way. The segments typically began with a triangular-wipe transition from the preceding sketch.

The Newsman himself also changed during the first season, adding glasses to his costume. His voice originally was lower, closer to Link Hogthrob's, but that too would be modified in the first season.

After The Muppet Show finished production, News Flash segments went on in a photographed comic book style for one page in several issues of Muppet Magazine. Later in 2001, new segments were performed for The Muppet Show Live. For these skits, the audience members closest to the stage were given props to throw at the Newsman at the appropriate time. More recently, a number of new segments were produced for Disney Extreme Digital's website, under "gadgets."

A Muppet News Flash also opens "Kermit's Story," the first in Roger Langridge's four-issue run of The Muppet Show Comic Book. After reporting some of his usual bizarre stories (surprisingly, nothing happens when he announces that "produce market prices fell"), the Newsman announces that The Muppet Show is back on the air in a new "comic book" format, just in time for the page to turn, covering his face and interrupting his broadcast. Another News Flash appears in the second issue of The Treasure of Peg-Leg Wilson, in which The Newsman gives a report on the buried treasure.

Sketches

The Muppet Show Season 1

Picture Title / Episode Description
102-19.jpg
Hotline
Episode 102
The Newsman picks up the phone for a hotline and burns his hand.
Note: In his first appearance, the Newsman wears his glasses. This was actually taped later in the season. This sketch is one of only two first season News Flash sketches in which the Newsman was the victim.
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Boffo the Human Cannonball
Episode 103: Joel Grey
The Newsman reports the demise of Boffo the Human Cannonball.
Note: First time the Newsman does not wear glasses and sounds different.
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City Held Hostage
Episode 103: Joel Grey
The state of New York is being held hostage by a retired bus driver.
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Kidnapped Ocean
Episode 104: Ruth Buzzi
The Atlantic Ocean has been kidnapped!
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Dancing Chicken
Episode 105: Rita Moreno
The Newsman reports on a pet chicken that became a member of the Royal Copenhagen Ballet.
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There Is No News Tonight!
Episode 105: Rita Moreno
The Newsman reports that there is no news tonight.
Note: The same sketch was used again in Episode 116: Avery Schreiber.


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Flying Saucer Spotted
Episode 106: Jim Nabors
The Newsman interviews gas station attendant Billy Lee Boomer (played by Jim Nabors), who spotted a flying saucer.
Note: The Newsman is starting to evolve; while he doesn't yet have glasses, his voice becomes more like the one we know today.
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Amazing Story
Episode 108: Paul Williams
The Newsman just got an incredible story that's reported by Arnold Stockman (played by Paul Williams), who claims that the phone rang but there was nobody on the other end of the line.
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Boxer vs. Himself
Episode 110: Harvey Korman
Undefeated boxer Carl Boomer (played by Harvey Korman) has a match against himself.
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Seaweed Diet
Episode 111: Lena Horne
Lola Bramswell (played by Lena Horne) is on a seaweed diet.
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The Cure For the Common Cold
Episode 112: Peter Ustinov
The Newsman interviews Dr. Felix Oglebaum (played by Peter Ustinov), who thinks he has found the cure for the common cold.
Note: This is the first taped appearance in which the Newsman is seen with glasses.
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The World Record For Jumping the Most Jumps
Episode 114: Sandy Duncan
The Newsman interviews Billie Lee Bonkers (played by Sandy Duncan), who is trying to break the world record for the most jumps in a row. Her motivation? She's standing on a hot plate. The Newsman then picks up the phone and asks, "Where do we get these nuts?"
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Death of Pole Climber
Episode 117: Ben Vereen
The Newsman reports the death of Melvin Cosgrove, who, sixteen years ago, climbed a thirty-foot pole and scrambled onto a six-by-six-foot platform in order to break the world record for flagpole-sitting.
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Winged Travel
Episode 118: Phyllis Diller
Beverly Shepherd (played by Phyllis Diller) has built herself a pair of wings and flown. She accomplished this by making wings for herself from aluminum and then buying a plane ticket.
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Furniture Monsters
Episode 119: Vincent Price
The Newsman reports that furniture all over town has been turning into monsters. While he reports this, a man who is watching the news on TV is being attacked by his furniture. The same happens to the Newsman shortly afterwards.
Note: The Newsman mentions the sheriff's name is David Goelz.
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Man Turns Into Rug
Episode 120: Valerie Harper
Mrs. Klinger (played by Valerie Harper) explains that her husband Gus has transformed into a rug, with fringe, over the last few months.  She plans to divorce him because he doesn't match the drapes.
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Blank Paper
Episode 120: Valerie Harper
Both sides of the Newsman's paper are blank.
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The Woman Who Ate a Tractor
Episode 121: Twiggy
Lola Thomas (played by Twiggy) has eaten an entire diesel tractor, medium rare.
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The World's Longest Sentence
Episode 123: Kaye Ballard
The Newsman can't get a word in edgewise when he tries to interview Gretchen Powers (played by Kaye Ballard), who is trying to get into the Guinness Book of World Records for saying the world's longest spoken sentence.
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Sergei Lenofsky's 196th Birthday Celebration
Episode 124: Mummenschanz
The Newsman reports on Sergei Lenofsky's 196th birthday celebration.
Note: The Newsman appears without glasses and a different voice.

The Muppet Show Season 2

Picture Title / Episode Description
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Contested Will
Episode 203: Milton Berle
The late Mary Cramble's will has been bitterly contested by her son Charles and her cat Cutie-Pie.  The newsman reports that her estate of 10,000 rubber mice has been awarded to Charles.
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News Flash
Episode 205: Judy Collins
The paper suddenly catches fire.
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Without Pants
Episode 207: Edgar Bergen
The news report states that the Newsman forgot to put on his pants before going on-camera.
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Exploding News Reporters
Episode 209: Madeline Kahn
There are reports that television news reporters are blowing up. Unsurprisingly, the Newsman is unable to finish the report, because he blows up.
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Large Heavy Object
Episode 212: Bernadette Peters
The Newsman reports on a heavy object falling from the ceiling and a weight drops on his head.
Note: This is the first time something drops from the ceiling onto the Newsman.
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Mallarditis
Episode 215: Lou Rawls
The Newsman reports on mallarditis--a rare disease that causes the victim to become a duck. His head then turns into a duck's head.
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Thousands Ping Pong Balls and a Bowling Ball
Episode 217: Julie Andrews
A plane carrying sports equipment has been forced to jettison some of its cargo. As the Newsman continues his report, 10,000 ping pong balls falls from the ceiling, and a bowling ball lands on his head knocking him out.
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Jettison
Episode 218: Jaye P. Morgan
The Newsman reports that a plane carrying the London Symphony Orchestra has been forced to jettison some of its musical instruments. A piano falls on him.
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Fishing Season
Episode 221: Bob Hope
As the Newsman reports that today is the first day of fishing season, gunshots are heard and fish fall onto his desk.
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Opera Season
Episode 221: Bob Hope
As the Newsman reports that tonight is the opening night of opera season, gunshots are heard and a diva in a horned viking helmet falls onto his desk.
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Solution To Food Crisis
Episode 223: John Cleese
The Newsman reports that Dr. William Edgar is helping to aid the food crisis by fashioning Italian dinners out of wool.
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Newspig
Episode 224: Cloris Leachman
The Newsman is replaced by a pig.

The Muppet Show Season 3

Picture Title / Episode Description
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Missing Silverware
Episode 301: Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge
The Newsman reports that police have recovered all of the property stolen during the Henderson burglary, except for the silverware, which has disappeared into thin air. He then gets showered with a load of falling utensils.
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The Glue Crisis Has Been Solved
Episode 304: Gilda Radner
The Newsman reports that the glue crisis has been solved, but he gets glued to his chair.
Note: One of the few times, if not the only time, that the Newsman had a chair.
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Exploding Hats
Episode 305: Pearl Bailey
A hat factory has blown up and hats fall from the sky on top of the Newsman.
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Strike Amongst Mail Carriers
Episode 308: Loretta Lynn
The Newsman reports a strike amongst mail carriers. However, air mail is still being delivered as normal, as a pile of luggage falls on him.
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War On Abyssinia
Episode 308: Loretta Lynn
Three chickens broke into the railroad telegraph office and started pecking at the morse key. The chickens were arrested, but not before declaring war on Abyssinia. A spike then hits the paper on the Newsman's desk.
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Work on the Muppet Newsroom
Episode 309: Liberace
The Newsman announces that remodeling has begun on the Muppet News studio as a wrecking ball smashes through the wall behind him.
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Overhand Refrigerator Throwing
Episode 313: Helen Reddy
Mr. and Mrs. George Laser of Silver Spring, Maryland are attempting to break the world record in Overhand Refrigerator Throwing. A refrigerator then gets thrown across the room.
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Muppet News International
Episode 317: Spike Milligan
The Newsman presents "simultaneous translation bringing you news and views across the language barrier," assisted by Spike Milligan pantomiming.
Note: This was the first time that the Newsman was seen with the guest star since the first season.
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Town Crier
Episode 323: Lynn Redgrave
The Town Crier calls out "5:00, and all's well! Except that Maid Marian has been kidnapped, the Sheriff's up to no good, that dog is stealing the cheese, Kermit's mad at Piggy, and it's really only 4:30." He then gets hit with a falling pot.

The Muppet Show Season 4

Picture Title / Episode Description
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Bumper Crop
Episode 408: Arlo Guthrie
A load of car bumpers get dumped on the Newsman's desk.
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Soprano Beverly Sills
Episode 409: Beverly Sills
Soprano Beverly Sills has withdrawn her announced plans to retire from the operatic stage until the cows come. He was then trampled by a stampede of cows.
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Hospital Beds Made From Pop-Up Toaster Parts
Episode 410: Kenny Rogers
A report from Muppet Labs regarding the hospital bed used in the "Coconut" production number. This causes Kermit to be flung out of the hospital bed and into the newsroom.
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Falling Lamp Fixture
Episode 410: Kenny Rogers
The Newsman reports about falling lamp fixtures as if on cue one of lamp fixtures fell onto his desk.
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Exploding Paper
Episode 415: Anne Murray
Muppet Labs invents a hair-triggered exploding paper, which the Newsman just happens to be reading from.
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National Sheep Dog Trials
Episode 417: Star Wars
The Sheep Dogs have been found not guilty, but the newsman gets attacked by sheep.
417-19.jpg
The Swinetrek Has Landed
Episode 417: Star Wars
The Swinetrek has made a soft landing on a distant planet, while Venus is about to make a hard landing on the Muppet newsroom. Then the Venus de Milo statue crashes on his desk.
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Killer Lamb
Episode 418: Christopher Reeve
A killer lamb has escaped from the Department of Agriculture's National Security Sheep Station and into the Muppet newsroom and it attacks the newsman because phone has started ringing.
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Rezal-evad-gib
Episode 419: Lynda Carter
The ancient Egyptian crocodile god Rezal-evad-gib will attack anybody who enters his tomb or says his name out loud as if on cue the crocodile attacks the Newsman.
Note: "Rezal-evad-gib" is "Big Dave Lazer" spelled backwards.  David Lazer was the producer of The Muppet Show.
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Cheese
Episode 422: Andy Williams
The Newsman gives a report on cheese while he doing this a cheese wheel rolled over him as a bunch rats starts chasing it.

The Muppet Show Season 5

Picture Title / Episode Description
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The Meaning of Life
Episode 501: Gene Kelly
The meaning and purpose of life has been revealed, but the Newsman can't find the rest of his report papers to read the transcription.
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Gold Security Guard
Episode 504: Shirley Bassey
A security guard is guarding a stack of gold bars and will hurt anyone who touches them as if on cue as the Newsman touches the gold and the security guard attacks him.
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Clothes Turning into Chickens
Episode 509: Debbie Harry
The Newsman announces that famous French clothing designer David Lazour was arrested for designing clothes that can suddenly turn into chickens as if on cue the clothes that he's wearing turns into a bunch of chickens.
TMS510-12.jpg
Electric Sledgehammer
Episode 510: Jean-Pierre Rampal
The electric sledgehammer has escaped from Muppet Labs and is believed to be roaming the city on a very long extension cord. But it only attacks really wimpy nerds--such as the Newsman.
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Overdue Library Books
Episode 511: Paul Simon
The local library will forgive all fines for any overdue library books that get returned within the next three seconds, as if on cue a bunch of books fell from the ceiling and onto the newsman.
Note: Seen as part of the episode's UK Spot.
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Beef Falls Dramatically
Episode 512: Melissa Manchester
A cow falls on The Newsman.
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Electrocuted Conductor
Episode 513: Tony Randall
The Newsman meets conductor Zubin Beckmesser, who placed his baton into an electrical outlet.
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Falling Stars
Episode 519: Chris Langham
A freak storm in Alabama caused stars to fall. Stars then fall on the Newsman's desk.
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Blackout
Episode 522: Buddy Rich
There's a blackout at the Muppet Theater. The Newsman's candle is too dim for him to read his notes, so he asks for a bigger one. Crazy Harry obligingly brings him a big stick of dynamite.
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Unidentified Flying Object
Episode 523: Linda Ronstadt
Following the previous sketch, The Swedish Chef falls on The Newsman.
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Mackerel King
Episode 524: Roger Moore
The Newsman reports that security at Muppet News is so tight that rumors cannot be reported to Muppet News.  The Newsman then reports that a black-and-yellow striped mackerel has been elected king.  The Newsman doesn't believe it until he meets the king.

Additional Reports

Picture Title / Show Description
Newsman-GreatMuppetCaper.jpg
Kermit's Date with Lady Holiday
The Great Muppet Caper
Details at eleven.
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The Worst Blizzard in Fifty Years
A Muppet Family Christmas
The Newsman announces that the worst blizzard in fifty years is approaching and that barometers are falling sharply. Barometers then literally fall onto the Newsman.
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Musical News
The Jim Henson Hour Episode 105: First Show
Bobby McFerrin reads the musical news, while the Newsman provides interpretation for the totally unhip.
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Golf Balls
The Muppet Show Live
The Newsman brings a "Muppet News Weather Update!." He announces that the Hollywood area is being pelted by a hailstorm and witnesses are reporting hailstones as large as golf balls. Soon, he is pelted by plastic golf balls thrown by the audience.
TMS-live-newsflash2.jpg
Football
The Muppet Show Live
The Newsman announces that Rich Gannon, quarterback for the Oakland Raiders, threw 250 touchdown passes. He soon remarks "250 Touchdown passes. That's impossible!" only to be hit by many nerf footballs being thrown by the audience.
TMS-live-newsflash3.jpg
Boulder
The Muppet Show Live
The Newsman announces that there are reports of giant boulders rolling through Hollywood. He looks out to the audience and says "Ha! They didn't give you giant boulders to throw, did they?" Sweetums enters, remarking "Nope, but they gave me one." He then decks the Newsman with with the giant rock. The Newsman pops up, saying "You missed!" Then a cow falls on the Newsman.
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Breaking News
Disney Xtreme Digital
The Newsman announces some breaking news only to have the set break apart and hit him on the head.
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Weather Report
Disney Xtreme Digital
The Newsman gives a weather report. He says it will not rain "like cats and dogs", then penguins start falling from the sky and hitting him on the head.
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Piano
Disney Xtreme Digital
The Newsman rushes in shouting "This just in" only to be immediately crushed by a falling grand piano.
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A News flash
Disney Xtreme Digital
The Newsman declares that "This is a Muppet News Flash," upon which his desk explodes.
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Cheese
Disney Xtreme Digital
The Newsman announces that giant meteors are falling from the sky and are reported to be explosive and dangerous. He gasps and quickly ducks under his desk, but nothing happens. He gets back up and continues with another news about genetically-engineered flying elephants who have escaped from Muppet Labs and will squash anyone who mentions their existence to death. The Newsman gasps and quickly ducks under his desk again, but nothing happens. Suddenly a blue monster hand gives him a note and the Newsman reads it. He reports that anyone who reads this sentence would turn into cheese. The Newsman suddenly turns into a cheese and rolls off the desk.
Note: The newsroom is in a different color.
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Money
Disney Xtreme Digital
The Newsman reports that a government aircraft carrying freshly-minted money is experiencing some technical difficulties and it is causing the aircraft to dump untraceable cash from the sky. Suddenly a sack falls down on to the Newsman's desk and it is followed by bills of money floating down. The Newsman replies that he wished it was huge sacks of priceless diamonds and then another sack falls down as diamonds rain down on him. Excitedly, the Newsman asks for a 32oz T-Bone (medium well done) and a piece of steak falls down on his desk. Getting more excited, the Newsman also requests a beautiful brown-eye blonde and gets hit by a falling cow with blonde hair. He noted that he should have been more specific on the last request.
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Retiring
Disney Xtreme Digital
The Newsman announces that he is retiring and this would be the last time he is reporting the news. The news story he reports is that Muppet Labs has perfected a cloning process and can make a clone of someone immediately. With that last news story, The Newsman says good-bye and weeps as he leaves.
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Clones
Disney Xtreme Digital
After the last news, a clone of The Newsman comes in and announces that Muppet Labs' cloning process should be used with caution because the clone would explode if they get excited. The clone Newsman gets so excited about this news flash that he explodes. Another clone Newsman comes in saying how Muppet Labs perfected their clone process and that the clones would not explode, but they are vulnerable to falling pianos. Suddenly, a grand piano falls on the clone Newsman.
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Digital Movie
Disney Xtreme Digital
The Newsman announces that new Digital 3D movies look so real that it literally knocks people out of their seats. Not believing it, the Newsman puts some 3D glasses on and gets hit by a falling cow.
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Mary Had a Little Lamb
Disney Xtreme Digital
The Newsman was about to read a report about bowling balls when he realized that if he mentions it, they will fall on him. Instead, he reads a letter from little Amy, which is a nursery rhyme on "Mary Had a Little Lamb." After reciting the nursery rhyme, Mary fell on him and the lamb too. The Newsman thinks he should have mentioned the bowling balls and gets hit by one.
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Garbage Strike
Disney Xtreme Digital
The Newsman reads a report about another garbage strike and finds the report ridiculous. The Newsman gets pelted with trash and he says that the garbage does deserve some respect even if the situation "stinks" and gets knocked over by a solid trash object in the face.
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World's Biggest Sandwich
The Muppets Kitchen with Cat Cora
Episode 5
In the episode "World's Biggest Sandwich,"  the Newsman reports on both the giant sandwich under construction in the studio kitchen and on an airplane that was forced to jettison its cargo of pickles, which ends up landing on him.
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Constantine Escapes!
Muppets Most Wanted
The Newsman announces that Constantine, the world's most dangerous frog, had escaped from a gulag in Siberia, Russia, and has becomes the number-one most wanted criminal in the world, wresting that title away from the mysterious Lemur.
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Stealing the Show
The Muppets Take the Bowl
The Newsman reports that someone plans on stealing the show at the Hollywood Bowl (later revealed to be Pepe the King Prawn).
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Trap Doors
The Muppets Take the Bowl
The Newsman gives an exposΓ© on the Hollywood Bowl festivities, including the trap doors, one of which he falls into. (The sketch was later redubbed to fit the O2 shows)
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Tour Bus
The Muppets Take the Bowl
The Newsman reports that a group of penguin tourists are making their way to the Bowl using a hijacked tour bus, only to be stuck in traffic. He is then trampled by the penguins, who have chosen to go by foot instead.

Notes

From A Muppet Crew Presentation

  • The production staff of The Muppet Show parodied the segment in a wrap party video shot at the end of the show's first season with a human crew member standing in for the newsman.

Sources

  1. ↑ name established in episode 108 and episode 119

See also