58 Days Until "The Muppets"

Ryan Dosier – This week I’m taking over countdown duty from our friend Lucas Ervin, who is busy doing something with somebody or other. He’ll return next week! But I’m really excited that Lucas let me take this week because it features some of my favorite Muppets… the Muppet Monsters! These gorgeously designed, often hilarious, always fun creatures have been with the Muppets since the beginning, since Mushmellon way back on Sam and Friends. And now, the Monsters are back–and in a big way. Sweetums, Thog, the Mutations, Big Mean Carl, Frackles, Behemoth, Luncheon Counter Monster, and, of course, Uncle Deadly, are all back for The Muppets this November. The following are some of the best Muppet Monster sketches and songs from The Muppet Show.

58.   Sir Avery of Macho
When comedian Avery Schreiber was the show’s guest star, Miss Piggy had a lot of fun trying to convince Kermit that she was in love with Avery, not the frog. However, one of the episode’s biggest highlights was this sketch featuring Avery as a gladiator as he fought back “the Monster of the Moors” (Sweetums) in a battle of insults–all while Kermit reported live for Muppet News. You can probably guess who won the fight.

57.   I Feel The Earth Move
In the fifth season of The Muppet Show, Loretta Swit stopped by for a few songs and dances. But undoubtedly the most well-remembered number for this episode is Loretta’s song with Thog, where the giant beast demolishes an entire city, while Loretta appropriately sings “I Feel the Earth Move.” The green screen technology used by Jim Henson and The Muppet Show team really shines through in this number. Watch as Thog picks up Loretta in his hands–absolutely incredible! Especially when you remember that this was only 1980.

56.   Comedy Tonight
The opening number of the Joel Grey episode of The Muppet Show took a dark and eerie turn juxtaposed against the classic song “Comedy Tonight.” The number featured tons of Muppet Monsters and some of Jim Henson’s strangest looking creatures as they haunted a town while singing their song and performing what they saw as “comedy” and what the audience saw as weird… yet funny at the same time. Amazing how often The Muppet Show walked that line.

55.   You’ve Got A Friend

This number was probably the most egregious and heart-breaking cut that had to be made to The Muppet Show Season 1 when it was released on DVD. The closing number from the Vincent Price episode is not only the best part of the episode, but also one of the greatest, spookiest closing numbers in the entire run of the show. Price’s delivery of the song and the background accompaniment by the Muppet Monsters is spectacular… plus, there’s a health dose of Uncle Deadly, which makes everything better.

54.   Once A Year Day

This fun number breaks up some of the creepy tension caused by Alice Cooper and his seducing of Miss Piggy in the episode of the show in which he guest starred. The Muppet Monsters run rampant backstage singing this fun little song led by Boppity, the blue Frackle. Loads of special effects fill this number, including the ghosts, the moving candle on Kermit’s desk, and more. Brilliant puppetry throughout the entire number makes this a fantastic Muppet Monster showcase.

53.   Hey There Good Times

Leslie Uggams joins a band of full-bodied Muppet Monsters as they bounce through the song on an extremely bright and cheery and uncharacteristic set. Something I just love about The Muppet Show is how they can take such a bouncy, fun tune like this and have a band of Muppet Monsters perform it with Leslie Uggams, chanting “Bye, bye bad times!” and the rest of the chorus throughout. It’s just so funny and smart. This number on its own isn’t very memorable, but it is an incredibly brilliant idea executed wonderfully.

52.   Millions Of Us Who’re Ugly

In my mind, when it comes to Muppet Monster numbers you just can’t beat this song. This anthem of under-appreciated, hideous creatures who still find themselves wonderful even though the rest of the world finds them ugly is inspiring. It may be a very silly song but the message of loving yourself for who you are is (almost) on part with “Bein’ Green.” Plus, it’s a brilliant showcase for most of the man Muppeteers’ singing abilities. I just love Jim Henson and Richard Hunt in this number.

58 Days Until The Muppets!!

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, ryguy102390@gmail.com

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