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.