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The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years aired on CBS on January 21, 1986.

This one-hour special celebrates the thirtieth anniversary of the Muppets, who hold a formal banquet to present a retrospective of their television and film appearances.

Hosted by Fozzie Bear and featuring guest of honor Kermit the Frog, the program provides an overview of the Muppets' history and musical highlights beginning with early appearances in the fifties. Then, Fozzie introduces a selection of clips from The Muppet Show, before Rowlf the Dog introduces clips with Miss Piggy. Kermit and Miss Piggy then introduce a montage of clips from the movies.

Dr. Teeth introduces a sequence featuring still images of various Muppet book covers, record covers, and magazine covers featuring appearances by the Muppets. Sweetums introduces clips featuring monsters, characters eating other characters, and explosions. Ernie and Bert introduce clips from Sesame Street, and then Big Bird introduces clips from other children's shows from the Muppets, including Muppet Babies, Little Muppet Monsters and Fraggle Rock.

The talking food introduces a clip of the Galley-oh-hoop-hoop, Uncle Traveling Matt introduces clips involving imagination, Floyd Pepper and Janice introduce Muppet music clips, and Scooter introduces clips with guest stars. When Robin asks Kermit what his favorite thing about the Muppets are, Kermit says that his favorite scenes are the times when the Muppets don't try to be funny, leading to some of the Muppets more serious moments. Gonzo then introduces some of the Muppets' more cultural moments, as seen in select clips of The Muppets Go to the Movies.

Afterwards, the other Muppets decide to pay tribute to Kermit, showing a clip of Linda Ronstadt singing "When I Grow Too Old to Dream", reedited to feature a number of clips with Kermit, which is so emotional that it makes all the Muppets (except Kermit) cry. At the conclusion, the entire cast sings "Rainbow Connection".

Jim Henson appears briefly at the conclusion of the program, being given a bill for his food by Grover.

In closing, Kermit congratulates everyone on a great thirty years, then adds, "We start our next thirty years tomorrow, so there will be a rehearsal at 9AM sharp. I'll see you then."

"Happy Feet" plays during the end credits (sequence with multiple Kermit images cut).


Muppet Cast

Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Rowlf the Dog, Scooter, Robin the Frog, Floyd Pepper, Janice, Dr. Teeth, Sweetums, Crazy Harry, Statler and Waldorf, The Swedish Chef, Camilla the Chicken, Beauregard, Lew Zealand, Singing Food, Animal, Link Hogthrob
  • Muppet Show Background Characters
Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Beaker, Sam the Eagle, Pops, Zoot, Doglion, Mahna Mahna, Zelda Rose, Fletcher Bird, Chickens, Doris, J. P. Grosse, Hilda, Annie Sue Pig, Lips, Rizzo the Rat, George the Janitor, The NewsmanDr. Julius Strangepork, Louis Kazagger, Luncheon Counter Monster, Beautiful Day Monster, Flower-Eating Monster, Behemoth, Miss Kitty, Uncle Deadly, Frackles, Mulch, Chopped Liver, Butch, Sundance, Droop, Mildred Huxtetter, Shakey Sanchez, Miss Mousey, Quongo, Whatnots, Marvin Suggs, Mutt, Lothar, Lenny the Lizard, T.R., Chester Rat, Yolanda Rat, Tatooey Rat, Masterson RatPenguins, Slim Wilson, Gramps, Zeke, Lou, Rufus, Nigel, Geri and the Atrics, Lydia, Pigs, Baby Bear, A single Fazoob, Seals, The Bun-Bun Brothers, Frogs, Flute-Snatcher, Sheep, Skyball Paint, Goat (Muppet Show), Cows
Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, Ernie, Bert, Count von Count, Grover, Two-Headed Monster, Cookie Monster
  • Sesame Street Background Characters
Herry Monster, Telly Monster, Grundgetta, Biff, Sully, Forgetful Jones, Buster the Horse, Guy Smiley, Bruno the Trashman, The Amazing Mumford, Sherlock Hemlock, Prairie Dawn, Barkley, Simon Soundman, Hoots the Owl, Honkers, Gladys the Cow, Peligro, Anything Muppets, AM Monsters, Grouches, Harry (monster), David Attenbird
  • Follow That Bird Characters
Madame Chairbird, Board of Birds, Miss Finch, Donnie Dodo, Marie Dodo
Uncle Traveling Matt, Sprocket
Sam, Harry the Hipster, Yorick
Emmet Otter, Alice Otter, Harrison Fox, Gretchen Fox, Wendell Porcupine
Boo Monster, Tug Monster, Molly Monster, Nicky Napoleon and His Emperor Penguins
David Lazer Muppet, Leo, Grump


TV Guide Jan. 18-24, 1986 feature.jpg

An article to promote the special ran in the Jan. 18, 1986 issue of TV Guide. The two-page spread took the form of a scene in which Grover waits on Kermit and Piggy at a restaurant where they discuss how to celebrate the Muppets' birthday and argue over whether or not they're married.


  • Like most CBS specials of the era, this special ends with a "Read More About It" segment, which talks about books recommended by the Library of Congress. In this case, Kermit the Frog recommends two such books, both on the art of puppetry: "Learning With Puppets" by David Currell and "Puppets and Puppetry" by Peter Fraser.


  • When aired on Nickelodeon, the opening title card is cut. The montage subsequently skips straight to the first scene after the initial commercial break, and the title isn't shown until 16 minutes into the special. Nickelodeon also moved the commercial intro after the "Pure Imagination" clip to after the "Galley-oh-hoop-hoop" clip.
  • The PAL VHS release omits the title card (and three seconds of Muppets crying) after "When I Grow Too Old to Dream", simply fading to black. This footage is present in the Nickelodeon edit.

Video releases

This special was released on video in the United Kingdom by Palace in the 1980s.


See also