The Muppet Show
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The Muppet Show


  • The two old men in the balcony are Statler and Waldorf and, after two New York City hotels. Statler is the taller, thinner one. Waldorf has a round head and is shorter. Waldorf's wife is named Astoria, after the famous Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

  • Animal, the Muppet drummer, was inspired by 'Keith Moon' of The Who.

  • The Swedish Chef was inspired by the first and only TV appearance of Lars Baeckmann. His appearance was a total failure as he mumbled a strange mixture of English and Swedish while hectically preparing some sort of food. However, the makers of the Muppet Show found it very funny and created the Swedish Chef to his likeness (including the thick moustache). Baeckmann, who presently earns his money with a traveling cooking show in Sweden, was paid $80 for the rights to the character. Baeckmann is considered to be a good cook with a great sense of humor.

  • Sam, the self-proclaimed "all-American eagle" is voiced by Frank Oz, who is actually English.

  • The one-eyed cat who hangs out backstage is named "Gaffer, the backstage cat."

  • Many guest stars would be asked about their favorite Muppet and be given scenes with them. Miss Piggy was reportedly the most requested. Animal was a close second.

  • Guest stars were allowed to appear on the show only once and never appeared a second time.

  • Spike Milligan appeared on an episode of the show, wearing a t-shirt with Arabic lettering during the show's final musical number. Only after the episode had been distributed and shown around the world did the producers discover that the text on Milligan's shirt was the Arabic word for "hashish".

  • Initially, the producers had such difficulty casting guest stars that they had to call upon all their personal friends in the entertainment industry for help. This changed dramatically after Rudolf Nureyev agreed to appear. The publicity of a renowned ballet dancer appearing on such a bizarre show created such positive publicity that the show became popular and soon celebrities were lining up to appear on the show.

  • The episodes were taped in London.

  • John Cleese went uncredited as the writer of episode 2.23

  • English television didn't have commercial interruptions during the programs, so many British telecasts feature scenes and musical numbers (mostly British music hall in nature) not seen in the States.

  • Besides the theme song, very few songs were actually written for the show. They were taken from old comedy albums, vaudeville standards and British Music Hall.

  • The "Mahna-Mahna" number was originally performed on the "Ed Sullivan Show."

  • Of all the musical numbers they created for the show, the one the producers were most proud of was created from Harry Belafonte's request for a meaningful piece which had the singer singing "Turn the World Around" with puppets made to resemble traditional African tribal masks.

  • The Muppet Show with 'Debbie Harry' was originally supposed to feature 'Cher' as the guest star.

  • Chris Langham, one of The Muppet Show's writers, became a guest star as a last-minute replacement. The star he was replacing was Richard Pryor.

  • Ruth Buzzi recently revealed that she was originally supposed to be the first guest on The Muppet Show, but scheduling conflicts pushed her back to episode #4. The guest star on the first episode was Juliet Prowse.

  • The Muppet Show featured Zero Mostel's last television appearance. His edition of the show was taped just three months before his death and aired three months after.

  • Senor Wences was originally booked as a guest star in the fourth season - he's even mentioned as a guest star in Scooter's "List of Guest Stars" song (tune of "Modern Major General") in the Phyllis George episode, in the middle of the fourth season- yet Wences didn't appear on the show until the following year.

  • Originally, the producers thought they would only have enough story material for three seasons. However, the characters they developed during the run provided so much creative inspiration that two more seasons were possible.

  • 'Jim Henson' wanted the show to end during the peak of its popularity and creativity - and it did. The final year featured the highest Nielsen ratings of its existence.

  • The "Turn the World Around" number was so beloved by the Muppet performers that Harry Belefonte sang the song at Jim Henson's funeral.