Michael Wermuth, Jr. - I'm back again with more thoughts on my favorite sketches and songs from The Muppet Show. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 before reading on.
11. Kermit and Koozebanian Phoob Episode 205: Judy Collins
My favorite of the Planet Koozebane sketches, this one finds Kermit interviewing the Koozebanian Phoob, the most delicious creature on the planet. Despite that, the species is actually flourishing due to evolution. They evolve faster than most creatures, turning into whatever is nearby, and in the end, the Phoob evolves into Kermit, complete with trenchcoat and microphone.
12. "Happy Feet" Episode 209: Madeline Kahn
A great opener to one of the best episodes ever. Kermit shows the audience what they'd been asking, "Can the frog tap-dance?" Of course, since Muppets are normally shot above the waist, we never see Kermit's feet. As a kid, I never got that joke--I thought it was funny because in the middle of the song they show several Kermits. The shots of Statler and Waldorf and the audience that follow this are also interesting: We briefly see Statler and Waldorf obviously liking it, and we see a shot of the audience that wasn't used before or after.
13. The Swedish Chef: Lobsters Episode 209: Madeline Kahn
For me, it was a toss-up between including this sketch and the spaghetti sketch, but I settled on this one, in which The Swedish Chef is about to cook a lobster, only to be attacked by lobster banditos. I like the dialogue from the lobsters ("Haven't I seen you somewhere before?"). Is it any wonder Lobster Banditos were pack-ins to the Culinary Catastrophe Swedish Chef action figure?
14. "Just One Person" Episode 212: Bernadette Peters
The highlight of another episode filled with segments worthy of this list, in this scene Robin decides to run away from home due to not being noticed, but then Bernadette Peters sings this inspirational song to him, slowly joined by other characters. The Muppets would go on to perform it a few more times, including The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson and Jim Henson's memorial service, making it one of those songs that's perhaps more associated with the Muppets than the source material.
15. "Ukulele Lady" Episode 215: Lou Rawls
One of the best duets between Kermit and Miss Piggy (along with "Waiting at the Church"), this one has a tropical setting, with Kermit serenading Miss Piggy, who sits on a moon. I like the setting here, and the tune sounds good with Scooter and a Whatnot providing back-up harmony. It's also a rare opportunity to see Miss Piggy without her gloves.
My favorite of Sam the Eagle's editorials is this one, in which he speaks out against crime, initially unaware that three Whatnot robbers are stealing from the stage he's on. I wonder if the robbers were worried about stealing in front of an audience (or did they think the audience would assume it was part of the act?).
One of Gonzo's best acts, Gonzo catches a cannonball with only one hand, which gets shot from a cannon by Crazy Harry. This results in giving Gonzo a very long arm, resulting in one of the shows funniest running gags, which is left unresolved (and also the reason for Gonzo NOT being in the next entry on this list).
18. "Two Lost Souls" Episode 223: John Cleese
A great duet between the small Robin and the large Sweetums, a duo whose team-ups occurred less often than people think. During Kermit's introduction it's said that Gonzo was supposed to be in this number but Sweetums replaced him, a wise idea because I doubt the number would be as good (or on the list) if the final product was Gonzo and Robin.
19. "Tap Your Troubles Away" Episode 304: Gilda Radner
Earlier in the episode, Gilda helped out in Muppet Labs, and was responsible for squirting super adhesive all over the theater, resulting in pretty much everybody getting stuck to something. But the show must go on, even with a glue problem, and Gilda pulled through with this show-stopping number, getting her feet stuck to floor boards and her back stuck to the wall. Funny stuff.
20. "Daddy Wouldn’t Buy Me a Bow-Wow" Episode 306: Jean Stapleton
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org