Author Topic: Darth Geek's The Muppet Show thread  (Read 3048 times)

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Offline Darth Geek

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Darth Geek's The Muppet Show thread
« on: July 31, 2014, 06:35:33 PM »
Since I am going through watching The Muppet Show from beginning to end, I thought I would start a thread devoted to it and my thoughts on it as I go.



Offline Darth Geek

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Re: Darth Geek's The Muppet Show thread
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2014, 06:45:22 PM »
Episode 1: Juliet Prowse

Watching the first episode it is amazing how fully fleshed out it feels. This feels like a typical episode later in the series, both in characterization and tone.

First appearance of Piggy (and it's already implied Kermit has a relationship with her) in the Muppet Glee club skit. And her crowding the spotlight personality is already present.

Fast forwarded through the dancing number with Juliet Prowse. Aside from a talking session with Kermit they don't give her anything else to do. I always liked it when they let the guest star do something outside their wheelhouse, that the audience doesn't suspect.

It's a shame they discontinued the practice of giving a muppet version of the guest to them. I like it.



Offline Darth Geek

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Re: Darth Geek's The Muppet Show thread
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2014, 06:46:00 PM »
I made a mistake and should have watched the Sex and Violence pilot first.



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Re: Darth Geek's The Muppet Show thread
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2014, 07:45:54 PM »
Pilot episode: Sex and Violence

  This wasn't quite as painful as I remember it being from when I watched it last (8 years ago), but it's not good. There are only a few characters that feel like what we are used to. Crazy Harry and Sam Eagle most notably.
  The main difference would seem to be Nigel as the host, who doesn't have nearly the magnetic presence and character necessary to center and ground a show like this. And while he is an issue, I think there are other things that really hinder it much more. Firstly being that it's not funny (only a very few things get even a chuckle). Also, the editing is faster, not letting skits go very long to even get a chance to go anywhere, if they could have. There is no real "connection" between the behind the scenes bits with Nigel and Sam and the rest of the show. They talk abut it, but don't seem to be putting on a show, nor do we feel that there really is a stage near them where the other bits are being performed.
  The last major difference is the lack of guest star. In my opinion, the guest star on the Muppet Show was never the reason to watch it. They varied a lot, whether you were interested in them or not, and if the show gave them anything interesting to do. It did however give the episode of The Muppet Show something to focus around, which narratively helps.
  This show doesn't really feel like the germ of the idea for the Muppet Show. It feels like a remake made later by less funny people who don't "get" the Muppet Show. An odd thing to be sure. Which just makes me wonder how long it was between the making of this pilot and the first episode of the Muppet Show we are used to.

The Swedish Chef is here, but he's just sounds like someone saying words backwards or something. He's also just making a sandwich, nothing interesting.

Did they ever redo the "seven deadly sins" idea later? It's a neat idea, just doesn't really pay off (as with much of this episode)

The Electric Mayhem! Yes! Now here we go, some Muppet Show goodness. They are great here, even though the song seems like it doesn't let them cut loose like they would later.

It's interesting to see the Statler and Waldorf bit here with them not in the theater but just in some rich house somewhere. Obviously having them at the theater is better, letting them interact with the show (especially Fozzy). But it's interesting in how similar it is to what they did on Muppets Tonight. Although I think that worked better in that show than here.

The birds sketch is a wierd one. When it started I thought their different sayings would be used to form the parts of a song (especially given Floyd's involvment), which would be something they would do in the regular show. But it doesn't, it just meanders. And isn't funny. Nor is it clever like it clearly thinks it is.

Ironically the only violent part of Sex and Violence (there is no sex) still feels like it could have been on Sesame Street.

The Vanity deadly sin puppet looks a LOT like the talking clock in Beauty and the Beast.

Even their Planet of the Apes parody is oddly humorless. Although between the Heston character and George Washington on the Mount Rushmore, it's nice to hear the Link Hogthrob voice. Although it just goes to show how much it needs the pomposity of Link's character to really sell it.

The choice to zoom out to show the puppeteers during the end credits is a really interesting one. I don't think it would have kept it's novelty if they had done it for every episode, but I really like it here.



« Last Edit: July 31, 2014, 07:52:52 PM by Darth Geek »



Offline Darth Geek

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Re: Darth Geek's The Muppet Show thread
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2014, 08:42:39 PM »
Episode 2: Connie Stevens

Lidia the Tattoed Lady! I always really liked this song. I forgot it was so early in the show's run.

And see THIS is why I hate Miss Piggy! Aside from the Muppet Glee Club bit in the last episode, the first thing we see her do in the whole show is hit the extremely likeable Kermit. Over nothing! We the audience have no choice but to take his side in this issue. Had they already established more about their relationship, and especially if Kermit hasd actually done something to justify her jealosy (not that that would have justified hitting him), then it would be at least a little different. A shame too, because I kind of want to like her just because I like to support strong assertive women. But no, she's just a bitch.

Woohoo! Swedish Chef! He's always been my favorite of the "minor Muppets". The ones we don't see all the time.
"Major Muppets" are the ones in every episode and have more developed characters: Kermit, Fozzie (my absolute favorite), Miss Piggy, Gonzo, etc.


At least they gave Connie Stevens a little something extra interesting t do backstage with Kermit. I still fast forwarded through her song, though.

I love Ernie and Bert. It is cool to see them here, and their bit is funny. I also get why they had them as guests, given the success of Sesame Street. But it really doesn't help to have them right after Kermit and Fozzie, where the fact their voices are EXACTLY the same is painfully evident.

Holy shit Connie Stevens has some major cleavage in that last shot!



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Re: Darth Geek's The Muppet Show thread
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2014, 09:11:31 PM »
Episode 3: Joel Grey

I've never heard of Joel Grey outside of this episode, but I enjoy him here. It also helps that I really love the Cabaret song he sings.

The first time we've seen the theater audience. It's a neat idea. But it never seemed like they did it consistantly enough.

Only the third episode and we already have even more of an emphasis on Fozzy! I do prefer Fozzy's look after they changed him for the second season, though.



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Re: Darth Geek's The Muppet Show thread
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2014, 06:52:07 AM »
Does anybody know if there is any interviews or makeing of type documentaries on the creation of the Muppet Show? I've seen a lot of them, but are there any more recent ones?



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Re: Darth Geek's The Muppet Show thread
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2014, 05:11:36 PM »
Other people can comment in here and talk about The Muppet Show, it's not just for me.



Offline Quirk

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Re: Darth Geek's The Muppet Show thread
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2014, 06:10:53 PM »
I started watching on Youtube. I don't think it's a good binge watch, though. Still, it's neat to see these characters in their original context, as I've only seen movies.
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Re: Darth Geek's The Muppet Show thread
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2014, 06:19:52 PM »
I started watching on Youtube. I don't think it's a good binge watch, though. Still, it's neat to see these characters in their original context, as I've only seen movies.
I wouldn't necessarily binge several hours worth. And the fact I'm stopping occasionally to writeup the reviews or pausing to take notes does help the zaniness from getting repetitive.

Are you watching from the beginning like I am, or just randomly? The Muppet Show doesn't have to be watched in order to understand what's going on.



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Re: Darth Geek's The Muppet Show thread
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2014, 06:22:38 PM »
I'm watching in order but I couldn't find the first one, so in order from the second episode.
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Re: Darth Geek's The Muppet Show thread
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2014, 06:38:26 PM »
Beaker doesn't show up until the second season, so I'm looking forward to that. But otherwise I am enjoying it so far.
Like I said in my write-ups, aside from the misfire that is the Sex and Violence pilot, the episodes at the very beginning wouldn't necessarily be distinguishable from later seasons. Aside from the noticeable improvement in some of the puppets.



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Re: Darth Geek's The Muppet Show thread
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2014, 08:03:36 PM »
I started watching on Youtube. I don't think it's a good binge watch, though. Still, it's neat to see these characters in their original context, as I've only seen movies.

Yeah I was thinking the same thing.


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Re: Darth Geek's The Muppet Show thread
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2014, 07:06:16 PM »
Episode 4: Ruth Buzzi

I like Ruth Buzzi, so I hate to insult her. But they make a big deal about physical fitness and her fit body, yet she has the face of an old crone witch. Poor lady.

Animal starting to show real personality here when he speeds up the "Sonny" song.

Only the fourth episode, and I wish they would stop having Scooter's only bit be that his uncle owns the theater. He's already a fun character, he doesn't need it.

The 'robotic TV show host' Kermit is a better fake Kermit character than Constantine. Heck, they even do a similar idea of the copy 'ramancing Miss Piggy'. Aaand she hit Kermit again, for something that wasn't his fault. Bitch.

An odd Newsman skit where nothing wierd happens to him or anything falls on him.

I like this "I Can't Take My Eyes Off You' song between Sweetums and Ruth Buzzi. Because while it's sung straight, it's performed humorously. Making it much more fun to watch.

Whenever I think of Rowlf, the 'Onion' song is usually the first thing that comes to mind.

Not the first, but one of the most obvious, meta jokes. Kermit mentions the laughtrack.

Fozzie's bit is funny, even though he doesn't even make a single joke.



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Re: Darth Geek's The Muppet Show thread
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2014, 08:03:48 PM »
Episode 5: Rita Moreno

I'm glad they changed Gonzo's bit in the opening to be blowing the trumpet in the later seasons. The hitting the O as a gong thing doesn't work as well.

YES! I LOVE VETERINARIAN'S HOSPITAL! Too bad Janice's voice is distractingly different than what we're used to.
All these years that I've enjoyed these bits, and I still can't exactly explain the reason why the way they look up when the announcer talks at the end is so funny and adorable. But it is. It's one of my Dad's favorite bits, too.

Another skit where the Newsman doesn't get harmed. I wonder when they figured out that's what made him really funny? Or at least added the punchline to the joke. Although the later "There is no news tonight" bit is funny. Is that the only time they did two Newsman sketches in one episode?

As much as I love The Electric Mayhem, the Country Trio is just the most charming group ever. I think it's not only because of the type of music they sing (usually folk songs), but because they are truly analogs for Jim Henson, Frank Oz and Jerry Nelson. Making them the closest we get to watching those people perform together sans felt.

Marvin Suggs! I love how much character milage this show gets from a simple (and what should be horrifying) concept. Not to mention that it's based on the "Mouse Organ" bit in Monty Python from a few years earlier. A bit that was played for how outragous it was, and how horrified everyone was at it.

I have a female latina friend with an accent and she will devolve into Spanish when she gets frustrated, which arritates me to no end. So I just found Rita's part of the Debate Sketch really annoying and unfunny.

Sam is a fun character, and Frank Oz's performance is always great. But his comic timing on "AWESOME" when introducing Wayne and Wanda this time is, well.......awesome!

I don't know if Rita Morano is known for anything comedy related, or just singing. But her annoyed performance with Animal is hilarious. It also helps that the song is short (or at least cut short).