The Muppet Show

Season 1 Episode 2

The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence

2
Aired Unknown Mar 19, 1975 on
8.4
out of 10
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22 votes
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Episode Summary

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The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence
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In this second pilot for "The Muppet Show," a character named Nigel attempts to keep rein on the mayhem while preparing a Seven Deadly Sins pageant. Familiar characters like Sam the Eagle, Floyd Pepper and the Swedish Chef are around, but there are a number of unusual and unique segments, such as "Mount Rushmore" and a crazy wrestling match.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The Simpsons of their day

    8.5
    The second pilot for The Muppet Show still didn't have Kermit as host, and this time there was no guest star. But this pilot reminds you why people thought the Muppets were so funny.



    This show is radically different in tone and approach from the previous pilot. This surreal show features mostly a number of quick 30-second gags, many of which are very funny. (Watch for the Mount Rushmore bit.) The show comes back to different moments in the same sketches throughout the show, giving the effect of the viewer flipping the channel while watching.



    A character named Nigel (played by Jim Henson)hosts the show, and while he's rather nondescript, he does manage to get in a few funny lines.



    Whereas the Valentine Special only had two new characters that carried over into the eventual series (George the Janitor and the Guru, both of whom were gone after Season 1), S & V is chock full of familiar characters making their first appearance here: Sam the Eagle, the Electric Mayhem, Statler and Waldorf, and the Swedish Chef (who's subtitled in Japanese!).



    While some characters and elements are not quite in place yet, the basic seedling of what TMS would eventually become is on display here.



    In fact, the quick-cut pacing predates MTV by six years.



    For that matter, the pacing and the humor in this pilot hold up better than many Season 1 episodes of the show.



    Thankfully, Disney has included this pilot on the recently released Muppet Show Season 1 DVD boxed set.



    moreless
Richard Hunt

Richard Hunt

Beaker / Miss Piggy (1976-1977) / Janice (1977-1981) / Wayne / Scooter / Statler / Sweetums

Dave Goelz

Dave Goelz

Gonzo / Dr. Bunsen Honeydew / Zoot / Muppy / Beauregard

John Lovelady

John Lovelady

Crazy Harry (1976-1977) / Nigel

Jim Henson

Jim Henson

Kermit the Frog / Rowlf the Dog / Link Hogthrob / The Swedish Chef (puppetry and voice) / Dr. Teeth / Muppet Newsman / Waldorf

Eren Ozker

Eren Ozker

Janice / Wanda / Hilda (1976-1977)

Frank Oz

Frank Oz

Miss Piggy(1977-1981)/ Fozzie Bear / Animal / Sam the Eagle / The Swedish Chef (Hands)

Fran Brill

Fran Brill

Receptionist voice / Janice / Ohreally Bird / Leafy Green Vegetables / Piggy / Dancer

Guest Star

Richard Hunt

Richard Hunt

Ohboy Bird / Pig / Lust

Recurring Role

Dave Goelz

Dave Goelz

Averice / Zoot / Righton Bird / Brewsters

Recurring Role

John Lovelady

John Lovelady

Crazy Harry / Abraham Lincoln / Vanity

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (2)

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (13)

    • Keep a sharp eye in the background during the end when the Sins, Sam, Nigel, and Crazy Harry are chasing each other for Boppity, the Blue Frackle (Muppet Monster) - in drag! - being chased off the set by Sam.

    • In their 1987 video for "It's A Sin", music group Pet Shop Boys featured characters based on the Seven Deadly Sins, some of which seem interestingly similar in concept to the versions presented here.

    • The interplay between Floyd and Sam Eagle is hilarious and sets up a great comedic pairing that would lay dormant until around the third season of The Muppet Show.

    • In hindsight, it's interesting to note some frightening similarities between the scifi sketch and "Farscape" a successful serious science fiction drama series that the Jim Henson Company would debut in the late '90's. The Muppet human hero, Hudson, could actually resemble a Muppet version of Farscape's human lead, John Crichton (Ben Browder). Both characters are the only human in a strange new world and just as Hudson will don a pig disguise and infiltrate his new society, Chrichton would often pose as a Sebacean Peacekeeper. Perhaps the oddest foreshadowing of all comes at the sketch's climax which bears an uncanny plot resemblance to Farscape's season two cliffhanger!

    • Not only does Miss Piggy appear in prototype form, but the recurring Muppet Show sketch, "Pigs In Space" also sees some initial inspiration here. Pigs In Space would debut during the series' second season and along with Miss Piggy and new character Link Hogthrob, would feature Dr. Julius Strangepork, who looks and sounds very much like Dr. Nauga.

    • Statler, in his debut, is performed by Jerry Nelson. The character will later be inherited by Richard Hunt when the series begins, due to Nelson's fleeting availability during the first half of the first season. Jerry Nelson will later start performing Statler again starting with the 1993 film, "The Muppet Christmas Carol" (due to the passing of Richard Hunt.)

    • Zoot, though not having any lines, already displays the saxophone style he would be associated with...often blurting short notes throughout a song. This would be the focus of the "Sax & Violence" sketch that appears in episode two of The Muppet Show (guest Connie Stevens) and would become the signature aspect to the series' closing theme, Zoot's final solitary note.

    • Floyd Pepper, in his original design, has lenticular eyes that reflect rotating spirals when focused on a particular angle and lighted in a certain way. During The Muppet Show, this would eventually change into eyes that could blink.

    • Aside from the supporting characters, many of the recurring segments of The Muppet Show first debut from here. Such as Dr. Teeth & The Electric Mayhem (Their musical number, "Love Ya To Death" would later be performed in episode ten), the Swedish Chef spots, and At The Dance, which itself is a continuation of an idea originally used in the 1968 special "Hey, Cinderella", which contained an extended sequence of characters exchanging quick jokes during the ball.

    • Scooter and Fozzie Bear would be created for The Muppet Show series; Kermit and Rowlf, already existing characters, have one-line cameos in At The Dance. Gonzo (a puppet that was first used in the 1970 Great Santa Claus Switch" special as a Frackle, a type of Muppet Monster) is seen only as an audience member in the first shot of the wrestling match. The puppet that would become Miss Piggy (with different eyes) appears in the "Return to Beneath the Planet of the Pigs" sketch, both sporting the "Miss Piggy hair", and later converted to a different female pig character with a shorter brunette curly wig.

    • Sex & Violence, in most other ways, does however offer a workable prototype of what the series would be. Most of the main supporting characters are first introduced here, though interestingly the characters that would eventually became the most closely associated with the series are either absent or in cameo stage.

    • By changing the locale of The Muppet Show series to a vaudeville theater, most sketches were then presumed to be taking place "onstage". "Valentine" took place in a house-like looking set, although many elements of the set would be incorporated into the main backstage set of The Muppet Show series.

    • This was the second pilot for The Muppet Show, in many ways much closer in tone to what would eventually become the series, although in some ways, The Muppets Valentine Show also resembles more closely what the final version would entail. The most notable elements retained from "Valentine" would be the regular appearance of a human guest star and the show taking place in a centralized location. "Sex & Violence" used the Control Room as a base, but still much of the show was random and jumped around to different settings...At The Dance for example, was automatically assumed to take place in a ballroom totally outside of whereever the "Control Room" was located.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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