Muppets Tonight

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Muppets Tonight was a television series created by Jim Henson Productions and featuring the Muppets. Much like the "Muppetvision" segment of The Jim Henson Hour, Muppets Tonight was a continuation of The Muppet Show, set in a television studio, rather than a theatre.

The premise of Muppets Tonight was that Clifford (a Muppet who first appeared on The Jim Henson Hour and was voiced by Kevin Clash) was the host of a variety/talk show on KMUP. The show stuck closely to the Muppet Show format of various skits (mostly featuring the show's human guest star) interspersed with some sort of crisis occurring backstage.

Among the regular sketches were parodies of Baywatch (as Bay of Pigs Watch, see Bay of Pigs); the various Star Trek sequels (as Deep Dish Nine: The Next Generation of Pigs In Space); and ER (as E-I-E-I-O R).

The show ran from 1996 to 1998. There were 22 episodes produced in two batches. 13 episodes were ordered by ABC, which only ran 10 of them in the 1995-96 TV season. The program was then purchased by the Disney Channel, which ordered a further nine episodes and aired these along with the three episodes ABC did not air, in the 1997-98 season. One of the nine newly-produced episodes was a clip show compilation culled from the earlier episodes.

Muppets introduced in Muppets Tonight included Bobo the Bear, Bill the Bubble Guy, Spamela Hamderson (see Pamela Anderson), Seymour and Pepe (an elephant and prawn, respectively) and Johnny Fiama, a Rat Pack-style singer. Some of these went on to appear in later Muppet productions. The show also featured regular appearances from Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Statler & Waldorf and Rizzo the Rat, and occasional appearances by other Muppet Show characters.

Guest stars

Unlike the original Muppet Show, most episodes of Muppets Tonight featured multiple guest stars. Typically, there would be one principal guest, but other celebrities would make small walk-on appearances. For example, the Garth Brooks episode (aired as episode #2) features a cameo from Leonard Nimoy.

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