The Muppet Show

From Academic Kids

The Muppet Show opening.
The Muppet Show opening.

The Muppet Show is a television program featuring a cast of Muppets (diverse hand operated puppets, typically with huge eyes and large moving mouths) produced by Jim Henson and his team from 1976 to 1981. Despite its creative inspiration being American, Jim Henson was unable to get the show produced in North America, but instead persuaded Lord Lew Grade at ATV in Great Britain to produce it. In the United States, it ran in non network syndication, usually on Saturday nights; in Britain it aired on the ITV network.

The television show depicted a vaudeville-style song-and-dance variety show, as well as the backstage antics involved in putting the show on. Most of the shows revolved around the timid and gentle Kermit the Frog (performed by Henson) trying to keep control of the varied, outrageous, kinetic Muppet characters, as well as keep the human guest stars happy and secure. The show was well known for outrageous, highly physical (slapstick), sometimes absurdist comedy, and particularly for using its puppet characters to create uniquely humorous parodies. Many major celebrities were eager to perform with the Muppets on television and in film. Each show featured a human guest star, as diverse as Twiggy, Julie Andrews, Steve Martin, Mummenschanz, and Alice Cooper. (Episode Guide) (

Though they appear in various earlier forms (see Jim Henson), the Muppets gained widespread popularity on the landmark PBS live-action/puppet series Sesame Street. The Muppet Show became the cornerstone of Jim Henson's enormously popular ongoing productions.

Other "Jim Henson's Muppets" creations featured in the films The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and the Sesame Street-based Follow That Bird, as well as in a large variety of films, made-for-TV movies, direct-to-video children's releases, and television specials.

Major show writers included Jerry Juhl and Jack Burns.

Muppet performers over the course of the show include:

Select episodes can be currently be found on VHS and DVD. Jim Henson Home Video has announced that the first season will be released on DVD in August 2005. Bits of the show also pop-up in movies sometimes (An American Werewolf in London and Rocky III). The rights to the episodes and characters used in The Muppet Show, and subsequent film outings, were bought in February 2004 by The Walt Disney Company.



The Muppet Show characters went on to star in The Muppet Movie, which was the first film to feature puppets interacting with humans in real-world locations, and later films such as The Great Muppet Caper and The Muppets Take Manhattan. Also, the format was revived as Muppets Tonight in 1996. The first 10 episodes aired on ABC while the rest aired on The Disney Channel.

List of Muppet characters

See also Kermitage: Character Guide (

Recurring skits

  • At the Dance - Laugh-In style one liners from the characters as they ballroom dance
  • Muppet Labs - the latest invention from Dr. Bunsen Honeydew with his assistant, Beaker, getting the worst of its inevitable malfunction.
  • Muppet News Flash - a news announcer gives a newsbrief only to typically have something fall on his head
  • Pigs In Space - parody of science fiction shows like Star Trek, but also old 40's sci-fi serials. The space craft is called USS Swinetrek.
  • Swedish Chef - Cooking show parody
  • Vend-a-face - A vending machine that offers unique services that usually mean agonizing contortions of the muppets dumb enough to feed the machine.
  • Veterinarian's Hospital - parody of soap opera General Hospital and other medical dramas which consists of Dr. Bob (Rowlf) cracking jokes in the operating room with Nurses Piggy and Janice; each instalment ends with Dr. Bob and his nurses looking around in puzzlement as a disembodied voice tells viewers to tune in next time.
  • Wayne and Wanda - Every song this duo attempted ends in disaster
  • Bear on Patrol - Fozzie is a unlucky police officer and Link Hogthrob is his stupid superior who always get into the silliest situations with the criminals brought in.

List of guest stars

No guest star ever appeared twice on the Muppet Show.

Related topics


External links

nl: Muppet zh:大青蛙布偶秀


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