Grab your popcorn, a glass of soda, and let's have a TV party! Tonight's show: The Muppet Show!
The Muppet Show is one of those TV shows that had a distinct impact on those of us born between the mid-60s and early 70s. In some ways a natural progression from the kiddie-aimed Sesame Street, The Muppet Show brought a humor that could be enjoyed by kids and adults alike. Filled with slapstick, goofy skits, as well as musical numbers and guest stars, it was not to be missed in many households- including mine!
The show premiered in 1976 as a syndicated, half-hour variety show. In my area (Southern California), it was shown on Saturday nights at 7 pm. The cast of Muppets included Kermit the Frog as the beleaguered show manager, his sort-of girlfriend, Miss Piggy, as the diva, Fozzie Bear, Kermit's friend and struggling comic, and a plethora of other characters, such as the Swedish Chef, Dr. Honeydew, and kibitzers Statler and Waldorf. The show itself mimicked a vaudeville show, but with plenty of backstage antics. Over the years, a long list of guests appeared on the show, including Elton John, Rita Moreno, Gene Kelly, and even Alice Cooper (Alice was actually considered scary back then)!
The show had a number of on-going sketches, but my personal favorite was probably Pigs in Space, or Piiiigs.... in..... Spaaaaace! Even though I was a die-hard Star Trek fan, I still appreciated this parody, with dim-witted Captain Link Hogthrob, first officer Miss Piggy, and weirdo scientist Dr. Strangepork! They cruised through space aboard the Swinetrek, their oddly-shaped spaceship.
But probably the very best thing about the Muppet Show was the opening theme. All these years later, I still feel happy when I hear it.