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The world's favourite variety show needs its own Funny Moments page; and here it is!
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Tropers of the World!
- In the special, Muppets Go to the Movies, Sam the Eagle presents a tribute to Ingmar Bergman with "Silent Strawberries." Oh, a Beaker portrayed the Angel of Death.
- The crowning moment of funny in at least the first two seasons (that's as far as I've re-watched since I got the DVDs) is the musical number at the end of the episode guest starring John Cleese, and in particular the Muppets' response to Cleese's complaint that Kermit is failing in his duty to his guest.
- "All right, where's the frog? WHERE'S THE FROG?!"
- John complaining about having to work with pigs in the opening, especially the part where a monster eats his agent.
- Pig Vikings ransacking a village while singing "In The Navy"!
- Speaking of pigs singing songs by The Village People, their rendition of "Macho Man" featured such hilarities as Gonzo in a ruffled shirt, ballistic chickens and policeman Fozzie repeatedly getting things dropped on his head.
- The entire Vincent Price episode is priceless, but by far the best part is where he gets chomped by vampire!Kermit.
- Rita Moreno's performance of "Fever" accompanied by the Electric Mayhem, and her efforts at keeping Animal in line long enough to get through the number. . . leading ultimately to her squashing him between a pair of cymbals.
Animal: That' s my kind of woman!
- The Swedish Chef, Animal and Beaker's performance of Danny Boy. Oh boy, oh boy.
- Especially because it's the clear inspiration for their use as a trio in the Muppet Viral Videos.
- The end of Miss Piggy's 'wedding sketch'
Priest: Do you take this pig to be your lawful wedded wife?
Kermit: (Looking for an escape) I... I... I wanna introduce the amazing Lew Zealand and his boomerang fish!!!
- The Glenda Jackson episode, when even the Only Sane Frog can't take any more:
Kermit: The show's been taken over by pirates, the theater's sailing out to sea and I'm losing my mind...
- From the episode with Loretta Lynn, the Rhyming Song, the Rhyming Song/Always Makes This Troper Smile, the Rhyming Song!
- Christopher Reeve's episode, largely because he was willing to place himself in the hands of the show's producers and go along with the chaos. Also, he got to riff on his most famous role, spending much of his time hanging around a phone booth backstage, "In case something comes up."
- The "Pigs in Space" episode where the Swine Trek is boarded by the mysterious Dearth Nadir:
Piggy: Who are you behind that mask?
Dearth Nadir: (turns, revealing Gonzo's distinctive profile) And well you might ask!
Piggy: (aside) Oh, brother...
- Similarly, his dramatic entrance as the Black Knight:
Black Knight: The world will forever wonder who I am!
Kermit: Though some may harbor suspicions.
- The Muppets' version of "The Cat Came Back". Be careful, it's terribly catchy.
- Paul Williams, in a private moment, stated that he chose to be on The Muppet Show for one reason; Since Muppets are 'tiny things', no one will make fun of how short he is. He gloats about how for the first time, he is the tallest person on the show...when Sweetums, Thog and a Mutation, three full-body Muppets that easily dwarf him, step up.
Paul Williams: For the first time in my life I will cry in front of millions of people...
- In the Peter Ustinov episode, Kermit tells Ustinov that anything can be a Muppet, and one of the show's writers is a hat rack. During that episode's credits, the hat rack appears under WRITERS!
- Gilda Radner asks Kermit to send for a 12-foot talking parrot to do a duet with her. Due to bad handwriting, Kermit books a 12-foot talking carrot. Veggie puns abound.
- Sam the Eagle wants to know what will be on the show's program. One of the events will be Lady Wrestlers... Sam flips out.
- Animal gets a lesson in meditation... from James Coburn. "SUH-REEEEEEENNNNEEEE!!!"
- In Leo Sayer's episode, Kermit gives Annie Sue, a young performing pig, a kiss on the cheek, for helping Fozzie out in his act. Unfortunately, a very jealous Miss Piggy sees them. The result? Piggy launches herself off the 2nd floor, and body slams into Kermit.
- Two words: Spike Milligan.
- The Helen Reddy episode which introduced Beauregard, who confused elbow grease with axle grease to clean the floor and everyone is slipping around and falling, especially Fozzie's precision dancing act on stage.
- Up, Up and Away!
- Every time Kermit bugs/freaks out or says "Will you get outta here?!" Hilarious!
- Also, that thing -- often just before the above -- where his mouth crumples inward in total frustration/aggravation. Most. Adorable. Freakout expression. Ever.
- One of the few episodes in which Rizzo the Rat had a significant speaking role (Episode 503, with Joan Baez as the guest star) had the rats trying to take over the show and Rizzo taking the opportunity to try landing himself a job as a regular on Pigs in Space (even wearing a rat-sized version of the Swinetrek crew uniform). It led to the following hilarious exchange between Rizzo, Link Hogthrob and Miss Piggy:
Link: Listen, rat -- you could never be in the crew of Pigs in Space!
Rizzo: Why not?
Link: Well... you're... you're too short!
Piggy (in Link's ear): Why didn't you just say he wasn't a pig?
Link: Well, I didn't wanna hurt his feelings.
Rizzo: Okay, wait a minute, you guys! I can do anything that a pig can do!
Link: Oh yeah?
Rizzo: Sure, I can say "oink, oink," I can wallow in the mud...
Rizzo: ...I can eat garbage...
No prizes for guessing what Miss Piggy's reaction is.
- One At The Dance exchange between Boppity and a female muppet.
Female: But, don't you see? You've got to stand on your own two feet!
Boppity: But that's the problem! I've got three feet!
Female: Don't you feel silly with three feet?
Boppity: Sure, but the other one didn't come back from the cleaners!
Female: Do you really have three feet?
Boppity: Sure! (Raises feet) One! Two! Three! Ahh! (Falls) Ohh...three feet, and one broken back...
- The entire dialogue between Milton Berle and Statler and Waldorf (watch), but especially:
Statler: You want to know what you're doing wrong?
Berle: What am I doing wrong?
Statler: You're too close to the audience!
Berle: Oh, I am? (moves back a step) How's this?
Statler: You're still too close.
Berle: Oh, I'm sorry. (moves back again) Is this okay?
Statler: A little more.
Berle: How far back do you want me to go?
Statler: You got a car?
- In one Vet's Hospital sketch, the patient is a telephone. Not a Muppet-telephone, just a regular phone with a rotary dial. Hilarity Ensues as the cast makes one Incredibly Lame Pun after another, until...
Rowlf: Nurse Piggy, do you have the next line?
Piggy: (Trying to control her laughter) Y-yes, but I can't say it...
Rowlf: How come?
Piggy: THE LINE'S BUSY!
- In the Pearl Bailey episode, the final sketch is the jousting scene from Camelot, but due to licensing issues, the Muppets can't use the official score. So they use songs from other musicals.
Bailey: You know, Rowlf, this don't make much sense at all.
Rowlf: I know, but we're stuck with it!
- Statler and Waldorf's interaction is always good for a laugh.
Statler: Did you get your hearing aid fixed?
Statler: Oh. Then how do you know what I'm saying?
Waldorf: I don't.
- When Waldorf gives Statler the "evil eye"!
- Also, when Statler calls Waldorf "stupid"! (In the Lorreta Lynn episode)
- Alice Cooper getting berated by Sam the Eagle:
Sam: Let me come right to the point. You, sir, are a demented, sick, degenerate, barbaric.. naughty.. freako!
Cooper: Why, thank you!
Sam: ... Freakos one, civilization zero.
Cooper: [makes a "one point for me" mark in the air]
- Kermit suckering Miss Piggy into agreeing to go to dinner with Gonzo in the Mummenschanz episode, ending with Gonzo pressing his nose into her face and sheepishly saying, "Kissy kissy?"
- Followed by Miss Piggy forcing an apology from Kermit while Gonzo is still trying to hug her. "YOU'RE BREATHING ON ME!"
- In the Vincent Price episode, Kermit meets a new actor.
Scooter: Hey boss, there's someone here wanting to audition.
Kermit: Okay. Who is he?
Scooter: Well, it's not exactly a he.
Kermit: Okay. Who is she?
Scooter: Well, it's not exactly a she.
Kermit: Scooter, this rather severely limits the possibilities. Would you please explain yourself?
Scooter: Well, it's sort of a they.
Kermit: Ah, you mean there's more than one.
Scooter: Not really.
Kermit: This go-fer's about to become a gone-fer. SCOOTER, WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!?!
Scooter: Uh, that.
(Kermit sees that it's a three-headed monster)
Monster: (in unison) Hi, Mr. Frog. Can we be on your show?
Kermit: Good grief. It's a triple-header!
- John Cleese's attempt to help Gonzo after he stretches out his arm while catching a cannonball. It ends with all of Gonzo's limbs stretched out several feet, and Cleese slipping into Basil Fawlty mode as he screams "WHAT ELSE DO YOU WANT ME TO DO?"
- Floyd informs Kermit that Animal has gotten bored with wrestling alligators and has switched to bowling, a move Kermit heartily approves as "much safer."
Floyd: I don't know, man. Animal bowls overhand.
[Cue barrage of flying bowling balls from offscreen.]
- Danny Kaye digging himself deeper after saying he first met Miss Piggy a long, long time ago, and their subsequent musical number, which Piggy aptly says beforehand will be a "battlefield."
- Sam's Critical Research Failure when Rudolph Nureyev guests. He forces everyone to wear formal clothes and decorate the theater, thrilled that the show finally has a guest that meets his standard of "culture" - only to reveal that he thinks Nureyev is an opera singer rather than a ballet dancer. ("Six of one, half a dozen of the other. Culture is culture.") Then when Nureyev arrives, Sam doesn't recognize him and throws him out, thinking he's a beatnik.
- Kermit's frustration when he tries to help Fozzie with a joke, and Fozzie keeps giving him the wrong cue.
Kermit: Good grief, the comedian's a bear!
Fozzie: No, he's-a not! He's-a wearing a neck-a-tie!
- Statler and Waldorf get so horrified when they discover they tossed a (fake) knife into Liza Minnelli's chest that they run into the scene frantically and admit that the knife was meant for the Muppet cast. Cue Liza breaking character: "Ah-ha!" The two are amazed at Liza's performance... then after the credits, we see them condemned to their box, in jail suits and metal bars surrounding the balcony.
- The original pitch for the show is this. "Sheer unrelenting hyperbole" doesn't even begin to describe it!
Announcer: And God will look down at us, and smile at us, and say "Let them have a 40 (percent) share!"
- Every single second of Marty Feldman as Scheherazade. "It's fantasy. You've got to suspend your disbelief."
- Plus, Marty declaring that Cookie Monster is his favorite Muppet, though he doesn't know why. Next thing we see is a close-up of their two faces, with Feldman's famous bulging eyes next to Cookie Monster's.
- In one episode, Fozzie needs five dollars from Kermit to pay his joke writer, the legendary Gags Beezly. (Paraphrased)
Kermit: The legendary Gags comes pretty cheap, doesn't he?
Fozzie: I worked out a good deal with him.
Kermit: You pay him by the line?
Fozzie: No, by the laugh.
Kermit: Oh, then he owes you money!
- Kermit's utter failure to sell any of his hard boiled private eye dialogue in the Liza Minelli episode.
- When Kermit lets Statler & Waldorf run the show for the Hal Linden episode, the two old grumps end up having as much trouble as the frog. When Linden tries to do a musical salute to the duo's favorite holiday, he discovers that Statler's is the Fourth of July while Waldorf's is Christmas. Cue Linden singing patriotic songs while Gonzo & his chickens sing Christmas carols.
- The extended digression on 'cavorting' from the Robin Hood episode, as led by 'Little John' Fozzie. "Cavort, cavort, cavort!"
- Similarly, from the show's version of Jabberwocky:
Scooter: ..the Jabberwock, with eyes of flame, came whiffling through the tulgey wood, and burbled as it came!
Jabberwock: Burble burble! Burble burble!
- The first episode (featuring Juliet Prowse) has a skit with Rowlf and Fozzie as cowboys. Fozzie plays the outlaw and attempts to do a stick-up... with pickles. Loaded Pickles. He also has a carrot knife and an already lit apple bomb.
Rowlf: (slaps carrot away) Would you stop with the vegetables?
- In the Bernadette Peters episode, a dramatization of "The Ant and the Grasshopper" has an ending narrator Sam the Eagle wasn't expecting: " The grasshopper drove his sports car to Florida, and the ant got stepped on. What?" He's so upset by this that he even turns up in the balcony to chastise Statler and Waldorf for finding it funny!
- Whenever Statler and Waldorf heckle Fozzie! They're like a comedy trio!
- The Star Wars episode was pretty funny, with this scene always cracking me up:
- Later on, Scooter is rehearsing for his 'Six String Orchestra' number. When wondering if he'll be any good, a sheep pops its head through his window to say, "Baa! Baa! Humbug! Humbug!"
Scooter: Everyone's a critic.
- Close to the end of the Jean Stapleton episode, Jean approaches Kermit and says she'd like to do a duet with her favourite Muppet. Kermit automatically thinks she's referring to him and proudly says that it's a wonderful idea...And then Jean promptly asks where Crazy Harry is. Cue Kermit's stunned expression.
Kermit: And now, here she is, once again taking her life into her own hands- and throwing it away- ladies and gentlemen, miss Jean Stapleton!
- In the Vincent Price episode, Vincent plays a nobleman who is accompanied by a beautiful assistant and a hideouly deformed monster.
Fozzie: Oh, hideously deformed is right!
Uncle Deadly: Watch it! I'm the beautiful assistant!