Michael Wermuth – The Muppets’ Valentine Show is the first of two pilots for The Muppet Show. Guest starring Mia Farrow, this special features such all-time favorite characters as George the Janitor, Mildred, and Brewster, not to mention that one Muppet frog guy.
The setting for this special is a home of some sort, and the main character is Wally, a hipster Muppet who types the action on his typewriter. Ironically, Wally is the only main character in this special to have never had another significant or even minor role after this. He is a cool character who probably could have been worked into future productions (surely The Muppet Show could have used a writer character…).
Of course, most of the supporting cast would also fade into obscurity later: Aside from the aforementioned George and Mildred Huxtetter, who would be phased out after the first season, as well as Brewster, who would be reworked into a Guru character who would appear only a few other times, this special features Droop, Rufus (previously seen in The Land of Tinkerdee and Hey Cinderella!), and the debut of Crazy Harry, who in this special was called Crazy Donald. Kermit the Frog appears as a supporting character, and headlines two of the specials three segments (more on those later).
There’s a lot of craziness going on in this special. There’s frogs in the piano, Droop laments that they once had a crumpet who died (but it actually didn’t), Crazy Donald does his trademark of blowing things up whenever people say expressions for explosions. This special doesn’t really involve the Muppets putting on a show, but there are three segments that take place outside of the home: There’s “Froggy Went a Courtin’,” in which Kermit and a Big Mouse fight for the affections of Miss Mousey, “Real Live Girl,” a dance number with Mia Farrow and Thog, and Kermit’s first news report on the planet Koozebane. As well as the numbers “Love is a Simple Thing” and the finale “I’ve Got Love,: these segments are the highlights of the special.
The only low point in this special is a rendition of “Those Endearing Young Charms,” sung by Mia to Rufus after deciding she wants him as her dog. It’s a slow number, not too interesting. I don’t blame Nickelodeon for editing it from its broadcasts of the special. But that number doesn’t spoil all the greatness of this special. There’s no real plot, aside from maybe the Muppets trying to get George to appreciate love. The ending credit sequence is also great, with the Muppets in line to say goodnight to Mia Farrow and get a kiss, and there’s even unexpected cameos from a few familiar Muppets who otherwise aren’t in the special. All in all, The Muppets’ Valentine Show is a great special, and it’s interesting that this was the only non-Christmas holiday special the Muppets have done.
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org