65. Andy Williams - I think this one is really enjoyable because of the simplicity of the number. It’s just Andy and Kermit, sitting on stools and singing a medley of Andy’s hits, with a few new lines thrown in to include Kermit. What most people enjoy about this number, though, is that Kermit is sitting on a stool with no Jim in sight. What they did is take a mirror and bisected it between two of the legs so that it would look like a complete stool, so when you see Kermit sitting and singing, it looks real. Plus it almost looks like Andy is breaking the fourth wall when asking Kermit how he’s able to sit on the stool; “I knew toads could... surely you’ve heard of toadstools.”
64. Lola Falana - In this episode, we find out Gonzo has been offered a movie deal in Bombay, India (which is a reference to The Muppet Movie) and this will be his last show. However, after finding out that the movie deal was for Gonzo The Mediocre, he rushes back to Kermit, begging for his old job again. After a brief interaction with Gonzo’s replacement, Trevor the Gross, Kermit gives him his old job back, with Gonzo adding, “I wouldn’t want to be anyplace else.” We couldn’t agree more. Here’s Lola Falana, backstage with Gonzo and the other Muppets, singing that lovely song, “United We Stand.”
63. Paul Williams - I’m sure we all recognize this special guest star. He’s written songs for several Muppet productions, made a couple cameo appearances, and is one of the few guest stars who are almost the same height as the Muppets themselves. He’s been an important figure in Muppet history, and his most famous song, “The Rainbow Connection” will be sung yet again in The Muppets when it’s released in November. Here he is during the first season of the show, beside Rowlf at the piano, singing one of the most beautiful closing numbers in the show’s history, “Sad Song.”
62. Linda Ronstadt - Miss Piggy always gets jealous when a female guest star shows up, but she really went over the line when Linda Ronstadt came on during the fifth season. Kermit, wearing a white suit, is really excited to meet the foxy singer until Piggy locks Kermit in a crate full of fungus. Sadly, Kermit and Linda don’t get to talk until the closing number, where they both express how they’re both happy to be together performing on the show, even if it’s just for a little while. With Rowlf once again on the piano, Kermit and Linda, as well as a chorus of other Muppets, sing “When I Grow Too Old To Dream.” And man, can this woman belt out a tune.
61. Marty Feldman - When this British comedic actor came on to host, they spent the evening telling the Arabian Nights, and the final story told was Ali Bubu and the 3 Thieves. There was supposed to be 40 thieves, but Kermit didn’t have the budget for it... When Fozzie Bear finds out that the thieves get cooked in hot oil just before the closing number he runs out and starts to sing, “Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight.” After each verse, he hollers “Open Sesame,” and brings forth a bunch of characters from Sesame Street, including Ernie, Bert, Grover, and Cookie Monster, and they start singing their famous theme song. It’s also great seeing Cookie Monster here because he bears a striking resemblance to Marty...
60. Ethel Merman - One of the greatest episodes of the first season was when that famous singer and Broadway star Ethel Merman came on. She had a fantastic voice and brought to us many famous show tune hits that were performed a lot during The Muppet Show’s five year run. As Fozzie is moping around backstage about a sour deal with his manager, Ethel reminds him that it shouldn’t matter because he’s doing what he loves to do. With that, she starts in on the uplifting and beautiful song, “There’s No Business Like Show Business.”
59. Harry Belefonte - And finally, a guest star whose closing number still resonates with Muppet fans all around the world, and was even sung once again at Jim Henson’s memorial service... Harry tells the story about how he came to write the song, and how there are very few differences between us if you take the time to understand one another. It’s a very spiritual number with a powerful message for everyone. If we had more people like Jim Henson and Harry Belefonte, it wouldn’t really be that difficult to “Turn The World Around.”
65 Days Until The Muppets!!
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org