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NewNewsman

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. 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

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The Muppet Show Season 1

Title Episode Description
Hotline Episode 102: Connie Stevens 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.
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.
City Held Hostage Episode 103: Joel Grey The state of New York is being held hostage by a retired bus driver.
Kidnapped Ocean Episode 104: Ruth Buzzi The Atlantic Ocean has been kidnapped!
Dancing Chicken Episode 105: Rita Moreno The Newsman reports on a pet chicken that became a member of the Royal Copenhagen Ballet.
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.
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.
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.
Boxer vs. Himself Episode 110: Harvey Korman Undefeated boxer Carl Boomer (played by Harvey Korman) has a match against himself.
Seaweed Diet Episode 111: Lena Horne Lola Bramswell (played by Lena Horne) is on a seaweed diet.
The Cure For the Common Cold Episode 112: Peter Ustinov The Newsman interviews Dr. Felix Oglebomb (played by Peter Ustinov), who thinks he has found the cure for the common cold.
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?"
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.
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.
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.
Note: The Newsman mentions the sheriff's name is David Goelz.
Man Turns Into Rug Episode 120: Valerie Harper Mrs. Klinger (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.
Unidentified Flying Object Episode 523: Linda Ronstadt Following the previous sketch, The Swedish Chef falls on The Newsman.
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 Sketches (Non-Muppet Show)

Title Episode Description
Kermit's Date with Lady Holiday The Great Muppet Caper Details at eleven.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Breaking News Disney Xtreme Digital The Newsman announces some breaking news only to have the set break apart and hit him on the head.
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.
Piano Disney Xtreme Digital The Newsman rushes in shouting "This just in" only to be immediately crushed by a falling grand piano.
A News flash Disney Xtreme Digital The Newsman declares that "This is a Muppet News Flash," upon which his desk explodes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

Notes

Human Muppet News Flash 2

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.

See also

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