May the Fozzie Be with You!
In a galaxy far far away, in a time before Disney owned both franchises, Mark Hamill, R2-D2 and C-3PO appeared in a 1980 episode to tie in with the release of The Empire Strikes Back. Their search for Chewbacca brings the Star Wars team to the Muppet Theatre where they have to tackle Kermit trying to get Luke on stage to do a routine, Gonzo as Darth Nadir and the hammy flirtations of Miss Piggy dressed as Princess Leia!
Do Do Do Do Do!
(Trivia fans may be interested to know that the fluffy pink creatures are called The Snowths)
When Piggy met Chrissy
Christopher Reeve flew in to Muppet theatre in 1980 and caused a certain pig to go into full flirtation mode, making Kermit, well green with envy!
Not only did she have a dressing room full of Superman memorabilia, Miss Piggy was a pig on a mission and went to extreme lengths (poor Rowlf) to get Christopher to accompany her on a tuneful rendition of East of the Sun and West of the Moon! A super episode.
Another classic Muppet tune, which also features in the Muppet album, was the melancholic Half Way Down the Stairs. Sung by Kermit’s nephew (the very sweet) Robin, the lyrics are from a A.A Milne poem written in 1924. It was released as a single and reached no.10 in the UK charts, leading Robin to appear on Top of the Pops.
It's time to meet the Muppets
It’s impossible to speak about the Muppets without mentioning the iconic theme song and opening credits. Co-written by Jim Henson, the theme song encapsulates everything that makes the show what it is and sets the tone for the Vaudevillian joy you’re going to watch. At the end of each opening, there is a recurring gag of Gonzo trying to playing the last note on a horn, but somehow, it never quite produces the desired coda.
Muppets with an M
The Muppets went to Broadway in 1979 when the legendary singer and actress Liza Minnelli made a guest appearance in which the Muppets presented a murder mystery story across the whole episode with Liza as the star.
Ever the professional, Liza made performing with Muppets look perfectly natural and gave it her all throughout the episode. Her version of Copacabana, in which she dances with two giant Muppets as Tony and Rico is a musical theatre smash!