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The Muppet Show 1x24
The Muppet Show’s first (and the debut season’s only) theme show. The spookiness and Muppet Monster motif will be reprised in season three’s episode starring goth rocker Alice Cooper.
This episode largely features some refurbished versions of several puppets…a more polished and deep blue version of Sam Eagle appears along with a more detailed design of Boppity and a more refined Janice.
Dismembered body parts are a running gag throughout the episode. In addition to the “let me give you a hand” gag being done twice within five minutes, a lone hand can be seen walking off Kermit’s desk earlier in the show and a monster also helps another one “get a head”.
Thudge McGerk scares Statler out of the balcony in one of the earlier balcony scenes only to be replaced by Statler again throughout the rest of the episode up until the closing scene. Perhaps the first Thudge scene had been initially intended to appear later in the show but got bumped up because it had to follow an onstage piece with Vincent.
Out of the four Talking Houses, this is the only episode to focus on the two on the right.
For the first time, we see the Muppet Newsflash happening on another character’s television screen. Even though this in itself is a significant departure from the norm, more noteworthy is the fact that at the end of the sketch, the Newsman’s desk starts to attack him. Up until now, the humor in the News Flashes either derived from the oddness of the stories he was reading (which most likely flew completely over the children in the audiences’ heads) or from a chromo-keyed interview the reporter would perform with the guest star playing a character. Beginning in the second season, the News Flashes would typically feature physical comedy with the Newsman often becoming victim of his own story.
The Newsman refers to Sheriff David Goelz (performer of Gonzo and Zoot) in his broadcast.
Vincent Price would have a reunion with Uncle Deadley and the rest of the Muppets when he appears as one of Kermit’s guests during his guest-host stint on “The Tonight Show” in 1979.