Michael Wermuth, Jr. - Here we are with the final ten! The end of my countdown of my favorite sketches and songs from The Muppet Show. Share yours with us below, on Facebook, and on Twitter!
1. "Mahna Mahna" Episode 101: Juliette Prowse
Yeah, this classic number might commonly get the number one spot in lists like this, but I have an excuse for it: It is the first opening number, and this list is in chronological order. And, of course, it is one of the best acts on the show period. This number, with Mahna Mahna and the Snowths, had been done years earlier and would be performed and even parodied by the Muppets many times outside of the show. It was even featured at the end of The Muppets.
2. "Fever" Episode 105: Rita Moreno
Rita Moreno won an Emmy for her guest appearance, and watching this clip, it's easy to see why. This is also one of my favorite Animal moments without the rest of the Electric Mayhem. I like Animal better when he's part of the band more than when he's on his own, but this number is perhaps Animal at his best.
3. "Money" Episode 106: Jim Nabors
All of Dr. Teeth's solo numbers are great, and for me it was a toss up between including this, "Cheese Cake," and "Mack the Knife." But "Money" has the catchiest lyrics thanks to the wonderful the money theme of the song. Dr. Teeth's trademark golden tooth eludes to his love of wealth, but beyond this song it's not really a major point ever again.
4. "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor on the Bedpost Overnight?" Episode 109: Charles Aznavour
The Gogalalla Jubilee Jugband performed this song, asking a series of silly questions that, to them, have a sense of importance. I remember when I first heard of this song title, I had wanted to know how the tune went. I also first heard of this in a listing of contents for the "Country Music with the Muppets" VHS, saw that it was performed by a jugband, and wondered which one. Jerry Nelson also provides great vocals as the lead singer.
5. "Rag Mop" Episode 111: Lena Horne
An act discovered by George the Janitor, "Rag Mop" is performed by a group of Muppet mops. Peter Friedman, who only performed in a handful of episodes, does a great job as the lead singer, the lyrics are fun and catchy. I think the mop puppets should have been used more, and I like the green background used here.
6. Wayne and Wanda: "Some Enchanted Evening" Episode 116: Avery Schreiber
Perhaps Wayne and Wanda's best number, this one has Wayne getting eaten by Gorgon Heap, who mishears the lyric "You may meet a stranger." Some may wonder why he didn't also eat Wanda--was she not a stranger to him? Did Wanda correct him in the nick of time? Or did he hear it as "you may eat a stranger" instead of "you may eat some strangers"?
7. "Hugga Wugga" Episode 118: Phyllis Diller
I know some fans were scared of this number as kids, but I never had a problem with it. This number, based on an Ed Sullivan Show sketch called Scryapp Flyapp, features a monster who wants to sing his song, blowing smoke from his nose whenever other characters start singing other songs. A bird quickly becomes intimidated and joins him, while a friendlier alien sings "You Are My Sunshine," never becoming frightened, even after getting his head blown off.
8. "I've Got You Under My Skin" Episode 119: Vincent Price
Behemoth eats Shakey Shanchez before starting this number, as Shakey sings along from inside. At one point Behemoth takes Shakey out of his mouth, only to put him back in. I always thought this was funny, and because of this as a kid I wanted to get eaten by Behemoth (because I figured getting eaten by this monster obviously wouldn't kill you).
9. "There’s No Business Like Show Business" Episode 122: Ethel Merman
When doing this list, I knew I wanted to include one of Ethel Merman's numbers. It was difficult to chose between this and her medley earlier in the show, but this one won out. Her vocals are very good here, and it's a good example of Muppet greatness, plus, it's one of Ethel Merman's most defining songs.
10. "Ugly" Episode 203: Milton BerleA great monster number led by Mean Mama and joined by such great monsters as Boppity. This song has the monsters singing the praises of being ugly (though I don't think any of those monsters are particularly ugly... that warthog, on the other hand...). Jim Henson does double-duty here, providing the voices of Mean Mama and Boppity (I wonder which one he physically performed).
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, email@example.com