Steve LaBate: As a preschooler in my ’hood there weren’t many cooler shows to be hip to than The Muppets.
Cory Albertson: What amazes me is how much of the adult humor I missed. When you’re that young all you care about is Gonzo blowing himself out of a cannon …
SL: Or Animal going Keith Moon on his drums. The show’s a bright spot on the continuum of smart, kid/adult comedy running from The Flintstones to Shrek.
CA: And they even touched on social issues. Miss Piggy was the first and only pig feminist.
SL: It was sort of like All in the Family meets SNL…
CA: Meets The Carol Burnett Show.
SL: With puppets.
CA: Who cavorted with campy ’70s stars like Florence Henderson, Jim Nabors and Twiggy.
SL: There are some great sketches here, too—like when Fozzie robs a saloon with fruits and vegetables. Plus Kermit’s hard-hitting celebrity interviews.
CA: And that choral number when Piggy thrusts her bosom in Kermit’s face. Remember, this was a primetime show in its day.
SL: Jim Henson was a genius. The Muppet Show band—Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem—has the most rock ’n’ roll moniker of all time. And you can’t beat the Swedish Chef, one of the most dynamic characters in television history.
CA: Don’t let Piggy hear you…
SL: She and Kermit were up there with the greats—Romeo & Juliet, Sid & Nancy. And Johnny Carson—God rest his soul—had nothing on Kermit as a host. I’d give this set 5 stars with a bullet.
Statler: Waldorf, have you heard they’re actually releasing the first season of The Muppet Show on DVD?
Waldorf: What? I don’t care about your BVDs!
S: You fool, turn up your hearing aid. I said DVD.
W: Oh, DVD. Can you believe it? Now millions more will have to sit through all 24 episodes.
S: Please, no! Sanctuary!
W: I hear it’s even getting covered in these pretentious entertainment magazines.
W: Why would anyone want to see The Muppet Show again? Fozzie’s running gags and awful jokes—what was with that banana-in-the-ear bit?
S: That bear’s act reminds me of Charlton Heston.
W: Charlton Heston doesn’t tell jokes.
S: Well? … Hey Waldorf, have you ever thought there might be life after death? I was thinking about it in the cab on the way here.
W: Death Cab? Sounds like one of these new-fangled singing groups.
S: No, life after death, you fool. Do you believe?
W: Every time I leave the Muppet theater.
S: Waldorf, was there anything you liked about The Muppet Show?
W: Hmmm… Tough to say.
S: How about the Frog?
S: The Pig?
S: Well it must be the guest stars…
W: Nope. Well, there was Candice Bergen… that minx. Second thought, she’s no better than the rest of the animals on the show.
S: Well heck, there’s nothing left but the closing credits…
W: That’s it! Show’s over, let’s go home!