To celebrate 40 years of The Muppet Show, we’ve asked 40 people for their favorite Muppet Show moment.
Cheryl Henson – President of The Jim Henson Foundation, Daughter of Jim Henson
Halfway Down The Stairs
I love when Robin the Frog sings the A.A. Milne song “Half Way Down the Stairs” sitting about half way down a staircase. When we were very young, my father would read us the A.A. Milne books, Winnie the Pooh as well as poems and other writings. I always loved this poem. “Half way down the stairs is the stair where I sit. There isn’t any other stair quite like it. It’s not at the bottom and its not at the top but here is the place that I always stop…. And all sorts of funny thoughts run round my head, it isn’t really anywhere, it’s somewhere else instead.” I had a special fondness for Robin the Frog as a small sweet version of his Uncle Kermit.
Louise Gold – Muppet Performer (and Muppet Show Cast Member)
The rehearsal of Happy Feet
My favourite memory from the Muppet Show is watching Jim rehearse “Happy Feet’
That number was so special. Very simple but amazing in that Jim by his skill made you believe that Kermit was tap dancing without ever seeing his feet. Pure puppet magic!
Craig Shemin – Muppet Writer
I think The Leprechaun Brothers’ performance of “Danny Boy” is one the most absurdly brilliant moments of “The Muppet Show” — assembling the Muppets’ least articulate characters into a vocal music group. “Saturday Night Live” did their own version of this concept (I don’t know if they even saw the Muppet version as it was a UK spot and was not generally available at the time) when they did Tonto, Tarzan and Frankenstein’s musical performances. In 1994, When I wrote “The Muppet CD-ROM: Muppets Inside,” I was inspired by the original bit and we recorded new Leprechaun Brothers songs for the “Scope That Song” game. I remember being in the studio, laughing hysterically as Frank Oz sang his Animal tracks.
Ryan Dosier – Founder of The Muppet Mindset, Social Media Strategist for The Muppets
Fozzie & Raquel Welsh
Most of my favorite moments from The Muppet Show happened in Season 3 in my favorite episode of the whole series. It happens near the middle of the show, after Fozzie has spent the whole episode testing out his new, confident persona (which goes about as well as you can imagine). All it takes to burst his bubble is a conveniently placed guest star: Raquel Welch. Raquel approaches Fozzie and immediately he lets his guard drop completely. He’s shy, sweet, and completely overwhelmed by Raquel singing “Confide In Me” while cuddling him. It’s adorable, it’s hilarious, and it’s wonderfully weird when you consider what you’re watching–everything The Muppet Show did best. What this moment really solidified for me was how incredible Frank Oz is as a performer and improviser. There’s no way every part of Fozzie’s reaction was scripted–it’s just too perfect for the moment! Frank’s subtle movements, little vocal quivers, and unbelievable understanding of Fozzie makes this one of his finest performances. It’s a hoot and something I go back to watch anytime I need a laugh.
Ryan Roe – Co-Runner of ToughPigs.com
I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire!
One of my favorite Muppet Show moments is the UK spot from the excellent Roy Clark episode. The theater is on fire, and much to Fozzie’s relief, four firemen show up… not to put out the fire, but to audition for the show. They sing “I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire” while Fozzie runs back and forth trying to put the fire out and evacuating chickens. And they sound pretty good, which makes it a perfect Muppet Show combination of comedy, nonsense, and genuine entertainment. The whole thing concludes with Fozzie scolding them: “I hope you’re happy; you made this chicken a nervous wreck,” which gets me every time. I wish life provided me with more opportunities to quote that line, almost as much as I wish anyone would have any idea what I was talking about if I did quote it.
Kieran Moore – Muppet Mindset Staff Member
Good Grief, the Comedian’s a Bear!
Hey, hey folks, this is a Muppet moment you’re gonna love to hear! (Good grief, the comedian’s a bear!) When I was first asked to choose my favorite Muppet moment I thoughy “Hooray, my chance to write about a sketch or skit rather than music is finally here”. (Good grief, the comedian’s a bear!) That said it was tough to pick just one moment, and as someone who listens to a lot of Muppet music, songs tend to be the first things I think of when remembering The Muppet Show. I guess you could could say they’re all I hear. (Good grief, the comedian’s a bear!) I really had to give this some serious thought. Anyway, I picked comic skit because it’s flat out hilarious and says so much about the Kermit/Fozzie relationship without even acknowledging it. This never fails to make me laugh and that’s the beauty of The Muppet Show – it can make you cry one minute and then have you howling with laughter the next. The Muppet Show was full of funny moments like this, but that’s no surprise. After all, the host’s a frog, the star diva’s a pig and the comedian’s a bear! (No he’s-a-not, he’s-a-wearing-a-neck-a-tie!)
Neil McNally – Muppet Mindset Contributor
Steve Martin Cold Open
Scooter: Steve Martin! Oh, Steve Martin? Fifteen seconds to curtain!
Steve Martin: Thank you Scooter, I’m almost ready!
(Steve jumps up and down like a maniac while wearing an arrow through his head)
Scooter: Say, you’re gonna feel right at home around here.
I love this moment because it’s simple, to the point, and it sums up the comedic heart of the show in the best way possible. All it takes is fifteen seconds to leave the audience, along with Scooter, wondering if the Muppets may have bitten off more than they can chew with this host!
FrogFan76 – The Bestest Muppet Fan Ever
Mildred Huxtetter and Charles Aznavour
Mildred Huxtetter’s body of work is SOOOOO MONUMENTAL that selecting JUST ONE to spotlight is nearly impossible. In fact, I’m a little bit mad at The Muppet Mindsetters for suggesting that I do such a thing. (Don’t worry. I’m not a LOT mad at the Mindsetters. I’m just a LITTLE mad. Alriiiiight? I am also currently mad at Steven Swanson from The MuppetCast for not releasing my upcoming album entitled “FROGFAN76 RECORDERS THE MUPPET SHOW HITS.” Just saying.)
Mildred’s (arguably) greatest MUPPET SHOW MOMENT OF GLORY occurred on the episode with very special guest star Charles Asznevoirresomethingorother. Mildred basically saved Charles’ middling performance of “The Old Fashioned Way” by launching into a STUNNING CELEBRATION OF DANCE. In a matter of just a few minutes, Mildred performed an arabesque, demonstrated her flawless demi-pointe, exhibited her famous fouetté jeté, and twirled and whirled like a DERVISH.
For the record, I am VERY UPSET that one of Mildred’s FINEST MOMENTS was mercilessly
DELETED from the official Muppet Show DVD release. It is perhaps the biggest tragedy to befall upon humanity…next to the deletion of “When Love Is Gone” and Cröonchy Stars being discontinued.
I’d write more but I have to watch “Big Bird’s Favorite Party Games” now. No offense.
By the way, does anybody know how to get rid of a FUNGAL GROWTH from inside a belly button? It’s kind of dark and fuzzy and smells chicken soupy. I’m asking for a friend.
Rick Nordeen – Muppet Fan
The opening number of the Bob Hope episode, is probably my favorite musical number in the whole series, with all due respect to Mahna Mahna. Kermit’s verse at the end still gets a laugh from me every single time I hear it:
The Frog has come to have his say
The Pig will never get her way
Bib and napkin, knife and fork
Is the only way that I’ll touch pork!
Matthew Dyer – Muppet Fan
Besides any gag featuring The Great Gonzo, my favorite Muppet Moment has to be when Rita Moreno sang “Fever” with Animal on the drums. It was my first exposure to the song as a child, and still today I crack up when she scolds Animal in Spanish.
The Muppet Show exposed me to many classic performers and pop culture icons. I wouldn’t be who I am today if it hadn’t been for The Muppets.