Many years ago we picked up the first and second series of The Muppet Show and started watching it. At some point we stopped and never actually got any further through the series but a little while ago we decided to pick up the third series on DVD and start over.
Seventy-two episodes later and we've finally watched the last episode available on DVD (sadly series four and five have never materialised on DVD). And I'm really going miss our bedtime viewing.
If you've never had the pleasure of watching The Muppet Show, you don't know what you've missed. It's basically a variety show, hosted by Kermit the Frog and his crew of *ahem* interesting individuals. Oh, and they're all Muppets. Together they put on skits, shows, perform songs and generally entertain everyone (with the exception of Statler and Waldorf, the two theatre hecklers).
Each episode has a guest star paying them a visit and there are some real gems here. Everyone from Peter Ustinov to Julie Andrews, from Bruce Forsyth to Sylvester Stallone. There's really no guessing who will turn up next on the show. I actually got to the point where I wasn't letting myself look ahead on the DVD because I didn't want to spoil the surprise of what was coming next!
Honestly I couldn't pick just one episode as my favourite. There were so many bits in each episode which were funny and enjoyable which I could probably watch the complete series over again and would pick out totally different bits as my favourites. One of my favourite episodes was the one with Julie Andrews, primarily because what is better than Julie Andrews singing The Lonely Goatherd with a bunch of Muppets?
I will say that I thought the second two series were better than the first because they seemed to have found their feet and were more confident in the format of the show. I think there were more people I actually recognised or knew of in the two later series.
I do think that a special mention should go to Alice Cooper as well. I think he's probably top on my list of people you don't expect to see on The Muppet Show:
One of Mr Click's favourite episodes was the one with Sylvestor Stallone because he went all out with the singing, which neither of us were expecting:
What's kind of funny is the fact that you sort of forget that you're watching a bunch of puppets and get sucked into their world and all the goings on in The Muppet Theatre. Even when everyone starts turning into chickens, it's not really that weird.
I couldn't help but think about who I'd want to see on a modern version of The Muppet Show. I think it's a format that would still work today because there's jokes and things for the kids but there's also more adult one-liners for the adults too.
It's definitely worth watching. And our bedtime routine just isn't going to be the same now we're done with it.