The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence aired on ABC on March 19, 1975, and was shot on December 10-16, 1974. It was one of the two pilots produced for The Muppet Show. The other pilot, The Muppets Valentine Show, aired in 1974.
In this half-hour variety special, the Muppets parody the proliferation of sex and violence on television.
The original working title for the special was The Muppet Nonsense Show.
Sketches (in order of appearance)
- The Conference Room: Nigel, Sam, and Floyd play different games before being interrupted by different deadly sins.
- Mount Rushmore: The stone presidents trade jokes.
- At the Dance
- The Wrestling Match: The San Francisco Earthquake displays his winning tactics.
- The Swedish Chef demonstrates how to make a submarine sandwich
- The Electric Mayhem sing "Love Ya to Death."
- Statler and Waldorf sit in their den and talk.
- Birds in the Trees: Male birds try to attract females in a jazzy skit.
- Theater of Things: The pencils get a new ruler.
- Aggression: Featuring two stalks, fuzzy hook-nosed creatures, interacting with two heaps, tarantula like monsters talking in gibberish.
- Films in Focus: A review pans the film Return to Beneath the Planet of the Pigs.
- The 7 Deadly Sins Pageant, which ends up being cut short by the credits
- As the credits roll, the camera pulls back to reveal the puppeteers running around.
- Sloth shows up and asks if he is late.
The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence was released on DVD in 2005, as an extra feature on the Muppet Show: Season One box set. On the box and on the DVD menus, it is referred to as The Muppet Show Pilot.
A postcard was produced and sent to press and friends to announce the air date of the special. The text of the postcard reads "Jim Henson and The Infamous Dr. Teeth invite you to join George Washington, The San Francisco Earthquake, The Seven Deadly Sins and a host of others for an evening of nonsense on The Muppet Show, Wed. March 19, ABC TV." In a word balloon, Janice says "Oh Yeah!"
“"Sex and Violence" is really a spoof on those attitudes engulfing us these days. Our violence is 'puppet violence'—i.e., symbolic--and in no way would be anything other than for family viewing. We've been able to put together in the script all the elements of the Muppets we've wanted to for many years. A lot of our work has always been adult-oriented, so we'll be working a lot with those aspects of the Muppets. Through this pilot, we hope to be able to demonstrate that puppetry can be very solid adult entertainment.”
- Produced by Jim Henson
- Co-produced by Jon Stone
- Written by Marshall Brickman, Jon Stone, Norman Stiles, Jim Henson
- Directed by Dave Wilson
- Music and Lyrics by Joe Raposo
- The Muppet Puppeteers Featuring Frank Oz, Jim Henson, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, Dave Goelz, Fran Brill, John Lovelady, Rollin Krewson, Caroly Wilcox, Jane Henson
- Puppets by Bonnie Lewis and Caroly Wilcox, Dave Goelz, John Lovelady, Rollin Krewson, Janet Lerman, Mari Kaestle
- Special Fabricatur [sic]: Don Sahlin
- Costume Designer: Bonnie Lewis
- Costumes Executed by Cindy Chock, Christopher Lyall, Marianne Harms, Nancy Dickenson
- Special Props: Faz Fazakas and John Orberg, Larry Jameson
- Muppet Creative Consultants: Mike Frith, Bob Taylor
- Sound Effects: Barbara Wood and Dick Maitland
- Nigel, Sam the Eagle, Floyd Pepper, Crazy Harry, Brewster, Animal, Mount Rushmore, Thudge, The San Francisco Earthquake, The Swedish Chef, Avarice, Janice, Dr. Teeth, Zoot, Statler and Waldorf, Kermit the Frog, Harvey, Clyde, Doris, Shirley, Mel, Duke, Envy, Pencils, Ruler, Heaps, Stalks, Bert, Vanity, Gluttony, Leafy Green Vegetables, Gene Shalit Muppet, Whatnots, Rex, Miss Piggy, Dr. Nauga, Pig, Hoggie Marsh, Lust, Blond Woman, Rowlf the Dog, George the Janitor, Sloth
- Background Muppets:
- Mildred Huxtetter, Zelda Rose, Gonzo, Lothar, Rufus the Dog, Frogs, Catgut, Jim Henson Muppet, Frank Oz Muppet, Jerry Nelson Muppet, Male Koozebanian Creature, Female Koozebanian Creature, Miss Kitty, Beautiful Day Monster, Baskerville the Hound, Scudge, Frackles, Droop, Gorgon Heap, Flower-Eating Monster, Mahna Mahna, Miss Mousey, Anger, Harrison
- Photographed Muppets:
- Jim Henson as Nigel, George Washington, The Swedish Chef, Dr. Teeth, Waldorf, Kermit, Green Heap, Ernie Woman, Rex, and Rowlf
- Frank Oz as Animal, Sam Eagle, Theodore Roosevelt, Clyde, Ruler, Purple Heap, Bert, Pig, and George the Janitor
- Jerry Nelson as the Announcer, Floyd Pepper, Thomas Jefferson, Thudge, Thudge's Dancing Partner, Statler, Harvey, Envy, Pencil, Gold Stalk, Gluttony, Gene Shalit Muppet, and Dr. Nauga
- Richard Hunt as Crazy Harry, Mel, Hoggie Marsh, and Lust
- Dave Goelz as Avarice, Zoot, Duke, and Brewster
- John Lovelady as Abe Lincoln, Anger, and Vanity
- Fran Brill as Receptionist Voice, Janice, Doris, Pink Stalk, Leafy Green Vegetables, Miss Piggy, and Dancer
- Rollin Krewson as Shirley
- Caroly Wilcox as others
- Jane Henson as others
In August of 2018, Savacool and Sons auctioned off several slides of photographs by Charles Rowan from the production of the pilot. One of which featured a musical number with The Country Trio that did not appear in the final cut.