TV Cream

TV: M is for...

Muppet Show, The

"Jeez, frog, the last time I was surrounded by this many animals was at the Republican Convention"M"Mr Cleese, five minutes! Five minutes Mr Cleese!"ULTI-AWARD WINNING gloves-with-eyes and old jokes fest memorable for cast-of-thousands title sequence, Pigs In Space, John Cleese and tedious waltzing pigs telling each other even more old jokes section. Re-heated version The Muppets Tonight was much anticipated, then when it finally came out, no-one noticed. Lew Grade to discontented ATV staff: “You promised me you would never strike on MUPPETS!”

The best bit of every show: a million Muppets gather round celebrity from out of nowhere and bob their heads from side to side in time with the musicLew Grade's address book comes good once again

"This is Kermit *the* Frog, reporting from...aaaaahhhhh!""You hum it, dog, I'll tinkle it"

"And just *what* makes you think *you* are better than *moi*?"

Gene Kelly hoofs through puddles from the waist up



  1. Lee James Turnock

    May 26, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    “Statler, you must be the old fool there’s no fool like!”

  2. Richardpd

    January 7, 2021 at 2:25 pm

    Recently I watched through the first series box set.

    It was interesting to see how thinks took a while to get settled, with no Beaker & Pigs In Space by the end, more the likes of Hilda, Dr Mildred Huxtetter and the Jane Austenish Wayne & Wanda, who I don’t think were in the later shows.

  3. George White

    January 7, 2021 at 6:05 pm

    Wayne and Wanda are based on Jeanette McDonald and Nelson Eddy, who were massive and much parodied (Smokey and the Bandit Part II’s Rose Marie parody, Milligan’s Q) but are now virtually forgotten beyond TCM nerds.

  4. Glenn Aylett

    January 7, 2021 at 6:50 pm

    I always enjoyed Stadler and Waldorf the most, two cynical old men who loved to heckle Kermit The Frog. Then there was the eagle( possibly called Stendahl), who always wanted the show to be much more high brow and pretended to be more intelligent than he was.
    To me, the Muppet Show was a masterstroke and one of the last major triumphs for ATV, arriving the same time as the mega hit Jesus of Nazareth.

    • THX 1139

      January 10, 2021 at 10:17 am

      The eagle was called Sam, the equivalent of Graham Chapman on Python interrupting to say “Stop that, it’s silly!”

      • Richardpd

        January 10, 2021 at 1:07 pm

        The Muppets seemed to be quite into self knocking humour, pointing out when sketches were bad and the fact the theatre wasn’t making any money.

        Doctor Bob seemed to spoof American daytime soaps like General Hospital.

  5. Richardpd

    January 7, 2021 at 10:48 pm

    I’m still surprised none of the American networks seemeed interested in The Muppet Show at first, considering the Henson Workshop had made a success of Sesame Street.

    Lew Grade normally knew a winner when he saw one, but never really recovered from Raise The Titanic!

  6. Glenn Aylett

    January 8, 2021 at 6:54 pm

    The Muppet Show was probably Lew Grade’s last big success, running until a year before ATV became Central and he was moved aside. However, he fancied himself as the saviour of the British film industry and squandered millions on films that failed.

  7. THX 1139

    January 10, 2021 at 10:21 am

    The one-off skit I remember was a monster in a barren landscape going “Oogah boogah!” (then the brass went “Deh-deh-deh-da-deh-deh!”) over and over but he kept being interrupted by a little yellow monster singing “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine!” Don’t know why I was taken with that at the time.

  8. THX 1139

    January 10, 2021 at 10:24 am

    Veterinary Hospital:

    “We’ve lost the patient, Doctor Bob!”

    “Well, he was here a minute ago!”

  9. Tom Ronson

    October 24, 2022 at 4:24 am

    When it was good, it was bloody fantastic, but when it was bad (see the Liberace episode – or, rather, don’t bother) it was positively painful. The Muppet Christmas Carol, however, is still my favourite adaptation of that particular festive chestnut.

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