The Muppet Show 1.16: ‘Avery Schreiber’

Schreiber and Sweetums

Schreiber and Sweetums

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Burns & Schreiber

Dr. Teeth – Tenderly – their rough, hard version of soft sweet song

Piggy comes to Scooter, kisses up to him – mentions she gave love to Kermit but his ‘reluctance in returning same’ – Scooter thinks she wants him to get her love back from Kermit – where does he keep it? ‘Amusing little twit, isn’t he?’ then screams. make him jealous, tell him avery schreiber is simply mad about me. oh, you want me to lie. threatens to karate chop him to oblivion unless he does

Kermit reporter – mighty gladiator Sir Avery of Macho will challenge the Monster of the Moors

thinks Kermit is the monster – demands to see him…it’s Sweetums! No, I’m Little Bo Peep, what’s it to ya?

Sweetums punches him. he vibrates in his armour.

Swords or clubs? Avery chooses insults.

‘He’s a lot bigger than my agent told me.’

Known for razor-sharp wit.

Your mother wears open-toed combat boots.

Sweetums: The last time I saw a head like yours was in a lettuce patch.

They seem physically hurt by insults.

Monster, I’ve been talking to your best friends…You don’t have any.

Nobody likes you.

Sweetums is physically hurt. Falls down. Avery won.

When you and Burns had a comedy team, you were my second favourite of all time (stubmles)

Second? who wsa your first? Starsky and Hutch! he falls over.

Dr. Bunsen – new Gorilla Detector. How many times have you awakened at night in the dark and said to yourself, is there a gorilla in here? And how many people do you know whose vacations were ruined because they were eaten by undetected gorillas?

Gorilla enters, tears everything up but it doesn’t go off. Bunesn assures us it isn’t a gorilla. If it was one, the alarm would have gone off! ‘I know scientifically that I am not being eaten by a gorilla!’ It goes off. Gorilla eats the alarm as well!

Kermit calls for Scooter. Tells him to get Avery to standby for next number. Scooter says he’d do ANYTHING for Kermit. just go get avery. that he can’t do. he and miss piggy are in his dressing room and he doesn’t want to be disturbed. ‘he wouldn’t touch her with a 10-foot pole.’ ‘you’re right. he was touching her with his hands!’ whispering sweet nothings into her ear. kermit freaks out.

silent filmish sketch. Fozzie is frozen painting, it seems, but when avery puts food on table, fozzie wants. whenever avery looks way, fozzie moves. steals the apple. suddenly apple gone off table but in painting! drops apple, rolls out. avery goes to get, fozzie takes sandwich. avery walks around. now he’s in painting too. fights him. rowlf comes by with sandwich and apple. they grab them, freeze.

At the Dance

Rowlf bit part in a movie last week – bit someone

other pig with Richard Hunt’s piggy voice

Rowlf song with Rufus, Baskerville, Catgut – may you always walk in sunshine – they’re singing to Lassie photo ha

Talk Spot

he’s oddly rubbing kermit’s back

piggy comes in and wants to gaze on your face, etc. her love etc. kermit thinks he’s talking about him; she claims to be talking about avery

that mustache gah

call me by my real name Pigathius. river of passion.

avery yiddish meaning hold the mayo

kermit has had it

I know what’s been going on behind my back but Miss Piggy is my girl. You’r ejust a guest on this show. You’re just passing through town. She loves me, and she’s gonna have dinner with me tonight after the show. Miss Piggy you and me alone.

Piggy and Avery celebrate. Asks him for a kiss. says he can’t. his family  never touches pig. She karate chops him.

Sam the Eagle introduces Wayne and Wanda…Some enchanted evening…a monster eats wayne. he said meet, not eat!

Veterinarian’s Hospital – bob can’t perform operation. he’s chicken. no, THAT is a chicken! this should be up your alley. i’m a birddog. every year i fly souht fort he winter.

do a chicken appendectormy, tonsillectomy or chicken curry fricasse.

turkey chicken i’m a chicken, the sketch is a turkey!

many of dr bob’s patients are chicken…cuz he’s for the birds!

piggy apologises if avery made him jealous…no, he says he’s not. scooter told kermit it was all a trick. she attacks scooter.

Fozzie Bear comedy – they antagonise him. then avery comes out and defends him against hecklers. his partner heckled him! refused to do banana in ear sketch. fozzie gets banana, puts it in the ear. no laughs. he was right, it does look kind of dumb. avery puts banana in his ear. everyone laughs. fozzie doesn’t get it. his pace, his timing, his delivery, his ear! avery says ya see jack i told you it would work

muppet news flash – no news tonight

avery plays guitar. bunch of whatnot muppet monster creatures sing with him. lots o different noises.

i can handle miss piggy. she’s putty in my hands. piggy punches him. love to see a  man ‘in control’ kermit

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The Muppet Show 1.15: ‘Candice Bergen’

Candice Bergen debates travel with Sam the Eagle.

Candice Bergen debates travel with Sam the Eagle.

With Candice Bergen, The Muppet Show had a perfect opportunity to concoct a classic episode. After all, it was rare for them to find a guest so comfortable with puppets. In fact, she had likely spent most of her younger years surrounded by them, given that her father was the great Edgar Bergen, one of America’s foremost puppeteers prior to Jim Henson (Edgar would later appear on The Muppet Show himself, making Candice and him the only father and daughter to ever both guest star on the show; he would later not only make a cameo in The Muppet Movie, but when he died shortly before its release, the film would be dedicated to him.).

 

And Bergen is just as terrific with the Muppets as one would expect (and

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The Muppet Show 1.14: “Sandy Duncan”

Sandy Duncan sits on a park bench with a friend.

Sandy Duncan sits on a park bench with a friend.

After at least a handful of uneven episodes–sometimes due to not utilizing a great guest star to their best advantage and other times due to a middling performance by a guest star dragging the proceedings down a bit–The Muppet Show finally finds its footing again with the Sandy Duncan episode, which benefits from a delightful celebrity who enthusiastically embraces every moment she gets with the Muppets, along with an actually terrific story thread which might not yet be developed enough to qualify as a plot but is one of the first season’s best examples of a running gag that actually holds it all together well. Even better, that gag springs from character and allows Fozzie to continue his development from the previous episode.

 

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The Muppet Show 1.13: “Bruce Forsyth”

A bird hits on Bruce.

A bird hits on Bruce.

With the Bruce Forsyth episode, we have yet another mostly lackluster celebrity appearance. This isn’t helped by the fact that, despite Kermit extolling his virtues and calling him a “one-man variety show,” his singing, dancing, and comedic stylings fail to impress–or at least fail to impress a modern eye. I don’t know much of Forsyth outside of this appearance (other than that, in his later years, he was accused of being racist numerous times, but I’m sure British viewers could enlighten me further) but at least here he seems to be of the breed of male song-and-dance entertainers of the mid-20th-century who never seem more than adequately talented when viewed today.

 

As with the Harvey Korman episode, a lot of the schtick here seems to

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The Muppet Show 1.12: “Peter Ustinov”

Peter Ustinov and Fozzie crack jokes.

Peter Ustinov and Fozzie crack jokes.

The Peter Ustinov episode of The Muppet Show is a perfect example of how, no matter how iconic and storied the guest star, whenever the Muppets failed to incorporate them into any musical numbers, the show usually suffered, particularly in the first season, when the writers made up for non-singing guests’ lack of singing by featuring them in additional comedy sketches, which, at this point, usually felt creaky and forced, since they were the epitome of the show trying to behave like any other variety show, which it was always so clearly begging not to be.

 

Later on, this could be mitigated by the generally-more-natural backstage scenes in which the guest would take part, often as the focal point of the story, but at this point, a non-singing guest feels more like something they

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