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5 Reasons Why The Muppets Show is Still Amazing

So when I was a child I watched the usual shows that were on cable: Danny Phantom, Recess, you name it, I probably watched it, much my parent’s dismay. However, about 60% of my modern comedy style comes from a tv variety show that ran in it’s original form for twenty years, and received four Emmys during this run. This show was The Muppet Show (It should be noted that the other 40% is a mixture of Monty Python parroting and yelling). The Muppet Show was is as amazing and relevant as ever, and here’s why you should still be watching:

1. The Puppetry

Whether it was in Labyrinth or The Dark Crystal or anything that relates to The Muppet Show, you’d recognize Jim Henson’s work in a heartbeat. But The Muppet Show, more than any film Henson worked on, shows his skills. The characters, even the background ones, are so expressive and unique, they each appear to have their own personalities. Not even to mention that as the series got a higher budget, Jim Henson and his team would make Muppets of the guest star for that episode! Speaking of which…

2. The Guest Stars!

Okay, name a celebrity. Julie Andrews? John Cleese? Bernadette Peters? Elton John? Liza Minnelli? Mark Hamill? Steve Martin? Sylvester Stallone? Diana Ross? Yes! Every single celebrity listed as well as many more (including Prince, RIP) have appeared on the show. Even if you’re not a Broadway fan, watching these celebrities interact with these weird and wonderful characters is enough to bring a smile to your face.

3. The Music

With a majority of these guest stars being singers or musicians, you’d expect the duets to be the best musical aspect of the Muppets, but the show had quite a bit of nerve. The cast covered songs that discussed The Vietnam War, Death, and  Sex, as well as featuring quite a few show tunes. The whole cast sang “Wilkommen” from Cabaret with Joel Grey, which frankly isn’t a musical or song that’s appropriate for children. However, that wasn’t the show’s purpose. The songs performed during the run were songs that had cultural significance, or served to talk about difficult subjects in a different way. Want some good ones? Check out “Time in a Bottle”, a cover of a Jim Croce song, or the show’s two Beatles’ covers of “Octopus’s Garden” and “I’m looking through you” (sung by ghosts).

4. The Sketches

Unlike its later counterpart, Sesame Street, The Muppet Show was not intended for a younger audience. Of course, due to the limitations of 70’s censorship and Puppet physics, no real gore was ever included on the show. However, in one of Sam the Eagle’s addresses to the audience, he specifically describes “The nudity of the world today” in which he announces that he is disgusted that everyone, under their clothes, is naked. No modern television show had the nerve to make jokes like that, regardless of how mild that joke seems now. Not to mention that a character literally blows up “sex and violence” during one episode as a commentary on censorship itself.

5. The  Variety

To wrap it all up, there is no show I have seen that does variety like The Muppet Show. A commonplace in the early 70’s, it now seems to be a lost relic in the era of modern television. It had comedy sketches, monologues, musical numbers, and parodies overflowing in each episode. If you haven’t seen it, please do. You won’t regret it.

 

My name is Katherine (Kate) Voigt. I'm a Theatre major with a Creative Writing minor at Denison University. I've always had a passion for writing and increasing the amount of women in the world of online creating. Feel free to ask me any questions you have!
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