The Muppet Show: The Complete Second Season – DVD Review

Available at Amazon.com

Creator/Executive Producer:
Jim Henson

Cast:
Jim Henson ………. Kermit the Frog, The Swedish Chef, Rowlf the Dog, Dr. Teeth, Waldorf
Frank Oz ………. Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Sam the Eagle, Animal
Richard Hunt ………. Scooter, Beaker, Janice, Statler
Dave Goelz………. Gonzo, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Zoot
Jerry Nelson ………. Floyd, Robin

The Show:

The Muppet Show is not your average variety show, the mere fact that it’s a bunch of puppets Muppets notwithstanding. Sure, you’ve got the song and dance, and the special guest star, but there’s things about this show that made it unique and fun to watch.

The first thing to acknowledge is that The Muppet Show was really a show within a show, with a portion of the half hour devoted to the shenanigans happening backstage, which usually involving the duo of Kermit the Frog and Fozzie Bear.

The second thing is the guest stars. You definitely get an eclectic mix of people, from the rubber-faced Don Knotts to ballet dancer Rudof Nureyev to Elton John. Often, we see the guests step out of their comfort zone to do some wacky stuff, but they also get involved in skits that play to their strengths. I’ll be honest though, I’m not sure about the relative popularity of the guests on the show. I mean, I know most of the names, but I just can’t see all of the A-Listers of the day talking to hand puppets. It could just be a case of who they could get to come to England, I suppose.

The third thing is what I like to call the “WTF” skits. I mean, some of the skits presented are really out there. I get the feeling that if the Not Ready For Prime-time Players of Saturday Night Live watched these while off the drugs, they’d feel like they were still high. Still, they really show that the writers and Muppeteers were more than willing to try and stretch the limits, so all power to them.

Of course, with the strange skits at least there are the old standbys that help give the show some level of familiarity. Veterinarian’s Hospital, Pigs in Space, The Swedish Chef, Waldorf and Statler are all here and providing their unique brands of humor.

Obviously, I love this show, and it’s great to have this to watch. For me, it’s a show that’s at about the level of Mr. Bean – you can pop this in, set it to a random show, and enjoy it. If you’re one of those people that’s inclined to have something on the television during a party, this would work well. It would equally work well for the kids on a long car trip. Pick it up and enjoy yourselves.

Now, the episodes:

Episodes:
Disc One
01 Guest Star: Don Knotts (Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show, Ralph Furley on Three’s Company)
02 Guest Star: Zero Mostel (Tony and Obie Award-winning actor)
03 Guest Star: Milton Berle
04 Guest Star: Rich Little (Impressionist)
05 Guest Star: Judy Collins (Folk singer)
06 Guest Star: Nancy Walker (Actress on Mary Tyler Moore and Rhoda)

Disc Two
07 Guest Star: Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy (Ventriloquist and his dummy, also the father of Candice Bergen)
08 Guest Star: Steve Martin
09 Guest Star: Madeline Kahn
10 Guest Star: George Burns
11 Guest Star: Dom DeLuise
12 Guest Star: Bernadette Peters
13 Guest Star: Rudolf Nureyev (Ballet dancer)

Disc Three
14 Guest Star: Elton John
15 Guest Star: Lou Rawls (Soul, jazz and blues singer. Also on the DVD commentary of Anchorman for no reason that is apparent to me)
16 Guest Star: Cleo Laine
17 Guest Star: Julie Andrews
18 Guest Star: Jaye P. Morgan
19 Guest Star: Peter Sellers (The Pink Panther films)

Disc Four
20 Guest Star: Petula Clark
21 Guest Star: Bob Hope
22 Guest Star: Teresa Brewer
23 Guest Star: John Cleese (Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Fawlty Towers)
24 Guest Star: Cloris Leachman (The Mary Tyler Moore Show)

The DVD:

Video:
(Presented in Fullscreen Format)

The film has been remastered and it shows. This show has always relied on vivid colors, and I remember watching some episodes in the 90’s on YTV and the show looked faded. So to whoever took the time to clean this up, my hats off to you.

Audio:
(Presented in Dolby Digital)

Just like the video, the audio has been given a boost on DVD. It won’t rattle your eardrums or anything, but provides some nice surround sound.

Special Features:

The Muppets Valentine Special – A special that aired on ABC on January 30, 1974.

The Muppets on The Muppets – I think this is more or less a play on an EPK or your local touring interviews. But at least it’ll make you laugh.

Weezer and The Muppets – Weezer did a video for “Keep Fishin'” that for some reason is set on The Muppet Show. Interestingly, the track used here isn’t the same one from their Maladroit album.

The DVD Lounge Ratings for
The Muppet Show: The Complete Second Season
CATEGORY
RATING
(OUT OF 10)
THE SHOW

8
THE VIDEO

8
THE AUDIO

6
THE EXTRAS

7
REPLAY VALUE

5
OVERALL
7
(NOT AN AVERAGE)

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