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During the 2001 MuppetFest celebration, The Muppet Show Live was staged at the Hollywood Palace in Hollywood, California on December 9th.

Written by Craig Shemin and Jim Lewis, with stage direction by Bill Barretta, the program was a collection of onstage performances and clips from The Muppet Show projected on a large screen.

Guest stars included Jon Voight, Brooke Shields, Joe Pasquale, and Paul Williams. Lionel Richie was scheduled to appear in the show, singing "Say You, Say Me" immediately after "Bein' Green", but Richie was unable to attend the show because of illness.

See also: The Muppet Show Live transcript

Act I[]

Picture Segment Description
Introduction Sal Minella welcomes everyone to the show.
The Muppet Show Pitch Reel
The video of the original Muppet Show pitch tape is shown. In the film Leo announces The Muppet Show - "a show that will be loved and adored by Nielsen families all over the country!" As his speech continues, Leo becomes increasingly excited and crazed, practically exploding in a burst of patriotism and enthusiasm. After Leo's powerful speech, Kermit appears from off-screen against a CBS logo and shrugs, "What the hell was that all about?"
Statler and Waldorf

Waldorf: Good grief. Say, Statler, do you think "The Muppet Show" will be any better live?
Statler: Waldorf, at our age, it's great to be around anything that's live!
Waldorf: Well, at least it's only for one night.
Statler: That's what they told us 25 years ago.

Both: Oh no!

The Muppet Show Theme The Muppet Show logo is lowered onto the stage. Kermit pops out of the "O" announcing "It's The Muppet Show live! With our very special guest stars Brooke Shields and Paul Williams and lots of surprises. Yaaay!!!". As the sign is raised up the screens cut to a video of The Muppet Show's opening theme sequence.
Backstage Rowlf helps Kermit run through the checklist for the night. Rowlf responds "check!" to each item on Kermit's list. Kermit thinks they're ready, but Rowlf lets him down: "As soon as you write some checks, we can buy those things."
Kermit's Welcome Kermit comes out on stage, welcomes everyone to the show and introduces the first act.
Mah Na Mah Na Mahna Mahna and the Snowths perform "Mahna Mahna." The puppetry is performed to the original audio track featuring Jim Henson's vocals. During the performance the left eye of the Mahna Mahna puppet came loose and flopped around the puppet's head. New footage of Mahna Mahna leaving the theater and stopping at In-N-Out Burger before calling the theater was shot.
Muppet News Flash 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. He grumbles, "After 25 years you'd think I'd know better."
Veterinarian's Hospital
A video clip is shown from episode 422 of The Muppet Show where the Veterinarian's Hospital crew treats a sick bunny.
Backstage Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker help Pepe the King Prawn cope with stage fright with Muppet Labs' BVD technology.
Fozzie's Ventriloquism Act
A video clip is shown of Fozzie's attempting ventriloquism from episode 207 of The Muppet Show.
Gonzo and his All-Chicken Vocal Ensemble Gonzo conducts a group of chickens (including Jon Voight) in performing "The Blue Danube".
"Bein' Green" Kermit sings "Bein' Green".
A video of the "Java" number from episode 122 of The Muppet Show is shown.
Muppet News Flash 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.
"What Happened to Show Business" Kermit, Lew Zealand, Pepe, Gonzo, Clifford and Sal sing a lyrical variation of "There's No Business like Show Business" about the guest stars of The Muppet Show while a video montage of the guests is played on the screens.
Joe Pasquale comedy act Gonzo introduces comedian Joe Pasquale who does a stand-up comedy act, which includes the song "Hushabye Mountain".
Muppet Labs
A video from The Muppet Show episode 402 is shown. In the sketch Bunsen creates a device which sharpens bananas, allowing them to be easily stored by sticking them in a wall.
"It Feels Like Christmas" Kermit, Robin the Frog, Clifford, Sweetums, Gonzo, Sal, Pepe and others sing "It Feels Like Christmas".


Picture Segment Description
Auction Several items are auctioned for charity including Fozzie's rubber chicken, a Gonzo nose prop from Muppets from Space, and Miss Piggy's gloves encased in a shadow box. Claudia Black assisted with the presentation of the items while Sweetums encouraged bidders in the audience.

Act II[]

Picture Segment Description
Statler and Waldorf Waldorf: You know, the second half of this show reminds me of Aspen.
Statler: Oh? Why Aspen?
Waldorf: Cause it's all downhill from here!
Muppet Movie Camera Test
A clip from Jim Frawley's camera tests is shown of Kermit and Fozzie encountering a herd of real cows.
Jim Henson Tribute Brian Henson mentions the important Muppet people that couldn't be at the show tonight - Jerry Juhl, Frank Oz, Don Sahlin, Richard Hunt and his father, Jim Henson. Brian then introduces puppeteers Steve Whitmire, Dave Goelz, and Jerry Nelson. The three come out and share some comments, stories and reflections on working with and being friends with Jim Henson.
Jim Henson Tribute Video
A video montage of Jim Henson, his work and his characters is shown on the screens, while the audio of "Follow Me" plays in the background.
"Where You At?" Floyd and Zoot wonder where the rest of the band is and pass the time by singing "Where You At". As the song progresses the other band members join them on stage.
"Can You Picture That" Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem perform the song "Can You Picture That". The song was puppeteered to the original track recording.
Pigs in Space
A video of a Pigs in Space sketch from The Muppet Show episode 420 is shown on the screens. The crew encounters weight problems when the SwineTrek starts tipping to one side. But every time Miss Piggy moves, the ship's balance shifts.
Kermit and Brooke Shields Since Miss Piggy is missing, Gonzo finds Kermit a replacement pig - Brooke Shields. Brooke joins Kermit on stage to sing "Never Before, Never Again" while wearing a Piggy snout and wig.
Miss Piggy appears "live via satellite" on the screens during the performance of "Never Before Never Again" and interrupts the number. She threatens Brooke telling her to stay away from her frog. Kermit jumps in and asks where she is. Piggy explains that she couldn't make it to the show because the weekend is Piggyfest, a "celebration of all things moi". Piggy is crushed that Brooke is stealing her frog and begins to pout. Kermit exits the stage and soon appears on the screens with Piggy. He begins to comfort her and tells her to "just let it out". She does and karate chops him which sends him flying across the room and back onto the stage.
Kermit and Brooke decide to continue their song (which was cut off by Piggy), however Bobo comes out and says Paul Williams is backstage threatening to leave if they do any further damage to his song. They decide to lose the pig costume and per Bobo's insistence the two sing "San Francisco Bay Blues" with the help of Floyd.
The Swedish Chef
A video of a Swedish Chef sketch from The Muppet Show episode 209 is shown on the screens. The Swedish Chef tries to prepare a lobster, but is attacked by a group of lobster banditos.
Muppet News Flash The Newsman announces that there are reports of a Giant Boulder 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 the giant rock. The Newsman pops up, saying "You missed." Then a cow falls on the Newsman.
Paul Williams at The El Sleezo Cafe
A video clip from The Muppet Movie is shown on the screens of Paul Williams as the piano player at the El Sleezo Cafe.
Paul Williams Sing-Along Kermit comes out and introduces "great songwriter and friend of the Muppets" Paul Williams. Kermit and Paul sing Movin' Right Along with Paul taking Fozzie's lines.

Gonzo enters the stage and compliments the two on their performance. Then Gonzo, Paul and Kermit sing "I'm Going to Go Back There Someday". Robin enters and the four sing "Bless Us All".

Rowlf and Sal come on the stage next and the whole group sings "I Hope That Somethin' Better Comes Along". Elmo is the last to join in when the group begins to sing "When the River Meets the Sea". The sing along ends with "Rainbow Connection" as the song progresses more Muppets join in and all the guest stars also come on stage singing the song. At the conclusion of the song the stage is filled with Muppets, including two large Bossmen towering more than thirty feet tall.

Curtain Call

Kermit thanks everyone who made the show possible and thanks the audience for coming. The whole group then starts into the end of "Rainbow Connection" as Kermit says "Life's like a movie, write your own ending". The producers, writers and crew members join the group on stage. The song ends to thunderous applause. The curtain closes while The Muppet Show's closing theme plays. The curtain re-opens as the performers take a bow and Brian Henson introduces each of the performers, producers and crew on stage who made the show possible as the applause continues.



Kermit the Frog, Rizzo the Rat, Camilla, Lew Zealand, Robin the Frog, Floyd Pepper, Gonzo, Statler and Waldorf, The Snowths, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Zoot, Sal Minella, The Newsman, Chickens, Rowlf, Mahna Mahna, Pepe the King Prawn, Animal, Bobo the Bear, Beaker, Clifford, Janice, Elmo, Dr. Teeth, Sweetums, Scooter, Sam the Eagle, The Swedish Chef, Bean Bunny, Johnny Fiama, Horses, Penguins, Bossmen


Steve Whitmire as Kermit the Frog, Rizzo the Rat, Dr. Teeth (assistant)
Jerry Nelson as Statler, Camilla, Lew Zealand, Robin, Floyd Pepper
Dave Goelz as Gonzo, Waldorf, Snowth, Dr. Bunsen, Zoot
Brian Henson as Sal, The Newsman, Chicken
Bill Barretta as Rowlf, Mahna Mahna, Pepe, Chicken, Animal, Bobo
Kevin Clash as Beaker, Clifford, Janice, Elmo
John Kennedy as Snowth, Chicken, Dr. Teeth
John Henson as Sweetums
Allan Trautman as Newsman (assistant)
Bruce Lanoil as Rowlf (assistant), Dr. Bunsen (assistant)
Drew Massey as Beaker (assistant), Kermit (assistant), Animal (assistant)
Julianne Buescher as Scooter, Sheep, other background
Karen Prell as Chickens, other background[1]
Eric Jacobson as Miss Piggy (via videotape)

See also[]


External links[]