Template:Attention The creators of The Muppet Show were skilled at creating the illusion that the puppets were living characters. Still, occasional goofs slipped through, and made it onto the screen.

Pilots

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  • At the beginning of the show, Crazy Donald runs behind Brewster's chair and cackles. As the camera pulls away, he turns and runs behind the other side of the chair. The arm and head of Crazy Donald's performer can be seen coming from behind the chair as George the Janitor enters the frame.
  • During the closing song, the top of Jim Henson's head can be seen as Wally moves from behind the couch to next to George.

Season One

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Goelz in "Temptation"

  • Jim Henson's head can be seen bopping up and down performing Waldorf after the Talk Spot.
  • Jim Henson's "sleeve" that is attached to the bottom of the Kermit puppet can be seen a few times, in both the Talk Spot and the last backstage scene.
  • Henson's hand can be seen performing Kermit after Rita Moreno shouts at him for reading the cue cards.
  • During the "Lady of Spain," Marvin Suggs hits a piece of the Muppaphone twice in a row and it speaks with a different voice the second time. Also, the black arm socks for the Muppaphone are occasionally visible (particulary at the very end, when one appears to float for a brief moment).
  • As the end credits begin, Goelz's face can be briefly seen between T.R. and Miss Piggy.
  • At the end of the Veterinarian's Hospital sketch, Rowlf's hat falls in front of his eyes and throughout the rest of the sketch he can't get it to sit back on top of his head.
  • Episode 111: Lena Horne: Kermit tells the monsters to stand by for the closing number on his intercom, but the number has no monsters in it; just Lena, Kermit, Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, George, Wanda, Mildred, and Rowlf. Miss Piggy is there seemingly recovered, she doesn't even react when Kermit joins in.
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Animal's neck sleeve

Season Two

  • Episode 207: Edgar Bergen: For his act, Gonzo wrestles a brick blindfolded. During the act, the version of Gonzo that debuted in season two is used, but when he returns backstage, although he is in the same costume, the Gonzo puppet from season one is used.
  • When Kermit introduces the opening number, he is wearing a black tuxedo, but during the opening number, he wears a purple tuxedo.
  • The arm of the performer operating Uncle Deadly's right arm becomes visible during "Sheik of Araby".
  • At the very end of "Crocodile Rock", a performer's head is visible behind one of the crocodiles.
  • In "Any Old Iron", one of the Whatnots is missing an eye. The staff was aware of this while taping, but it was the last piece of the day and they didn't have time to do a retake or an extensive search for the pupil.
  • Episode 219: Peter Sellers: During the closing number, one of the trumpet players trumpets falls off, and for the rest of the number the trumpet player doesn't play the trumpet (both trumpet players were most likely performed by the same performer at once, and therefore nobody was controlling the arms of the characters).

Season Three

  • Episode 314: Harry Belafonte: In his first introduction scene, Kermit is reading from a piece paper. He leaves the screen for a second and returns with empty flippers; however, the piece of tape that was used to keep the paper in place is still stuck to his fingers.

Season Four

General Goofs

Muppet Height Relations

One of the big errors people can nit-pick with the Muppet productions is continuity of the characters' heights. For example, Rizzo and Pepe normally appear around (or even above) waist height compared to their human co-stars. However, a full-body look at proportions of the character would suggest they would barely reach a human's knee. Kermit, Fozzie, and the other Muppets also appear in a flexible height range in order to interact comfortably with humans and sets. Steve Whitmire said in a 1998 interview that "If a character like Rizzo only appeared at his true height next to a human actor, you’d only see the human actor’s feet when you saw Rizzo. That’s an extreme example, but the idea is true for most of the characters. Even so, we do know the relative heights of the characters to each other and make an effort to keep that in mind." The suspended belief that the audience has when watching the Muppets allows this flexible reality to exist without major distractions. So even though Pepe's feet would be floating three feet off the ground, the audience still goes along, not questioning, and usually not even perceiving.

Canonical Holes

Many people argue that the Muppet films and TV shows are non-canonical; that each production is a world unto itself - that the Muppets are timeless personalities and characters that carry throughout productions, and these characters are presenting a show. People continue to argue and debate over what is Muppet truth and what is just acting and plain entertainment. Muppet Babies undermines the whole notion of The Muppet Movie. And Scooter's role as The Electric Mayhem's road manager in The Muppet Movie undermines his back-story set up in the early run of The Muppet Show as the theater owner's nephew hired by Kermit as a go-fer. There have been many contradictions in Muppet canon and back-stories throughout the 50+ years of the Muppets. However writers and performers will overlook or circumvent them in order to create new compelling stories, new characters or character traits, or just deliver a humorous joke.

In episode 210, Gonzo explains that his mother died before he was born and left a note to his father regarding Gonzo's name. This is contradicted in the Jason Alexander episode of Muppets Tonight, where Gonzo claims his mother liked his unique college interpretation of Death of a Salesman. However the whole notion of Gonzo remembering his parents is somewhat dispelled in the film Muppets From Space.

TV Overscan

A television image goes right to the very edges of the screen, however most TVs are not so precise as to fit the picture perfectly to its glass. As a result all televisions have what is called "overscan" - where portions of the actual picture area fall outside of the physical viewable area of a TV set, due to the picture being projected larger than the actual screen. About 5% of the picture area is missing from each edge, with some sets cutting off as much as 15% on one edge or another. Television creators are aware of the situation and are careful not to put anything critical too close to the edge of the picture, and will frame a shot accordingly. TV directors have what is called a "safe title zone", somewhat in from the edges, where it is considered safe to put text and titles. They also have a safe action zone within which it is considered safe to put the action you need to see. With the special effect illusions created by the Muppets, filming them sometimes results in a revealing mistake or puppeteer's head/arm. Since The Muppet Show was intended for television broadcast and viewing, sometimes "goofs" were allowed to stay in the edges of a shot assuming they were far enough at the bottom of a shot to be cut off by the viewer's TV (or were unnoticed on the film prints as they were cut off on the studio monitors themselves). Since that time the show has been transferred and released in digital – in the form of DVD. Playing such videos on screens without overscan (such as some computer monitors, digital screens, plasma monitors, etc.) will allow viewers to see things originally thought to be out of sight.

See also

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