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, and Beaker portrayed the Angel of Death.
Oh, and it was written by a distant family member of Ingmar Bergman, given the unusual, yet hilarious, name of Gummo.
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.
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?"
From the Roger Moore episode, 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.
In the same episode, Vincent plays a nobleman who is accompanied by a beautiful assistant and a hideously deformed monster.
Fozzie: Oh, hideously deformed is right!
Uncle Deadly: Watch it! I'm the beautiful assistant!
In the same 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!
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' in the Marisa Berenson episode.
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 must not go on...because I quit! I give up! Our guest star's a pirate, 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/Will Make You 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."
Kermit (when Reeve agrees to recite Hamlet's soliloquy): You'll have to wear tights.
At the end of the show, Reeve makes a joke about how heavy Miss Piggy (who had been shamelessly flirting with him all episode) really was, at which point she tries to give him one of her patented karate chops - except he's unharmed and she's shaking as if she just hit a wall.
Kermit: He really *is* the Man of Steel!
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!
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 medley of songs from The Pirates of Penzance with her. Due to bad handwriting, Kermit books a 12-foot talking carrot. Veggie puns abound.
From the same episode, "Tap Your Troubles Away." The Muppet Lab's latest creation, a super-powerful adhesive, gets out of hand. Hilarity Ensues in the best possible way.
Sandy Duncan spoofing her own perkiness, in a skit where she's so relentlessly upbeat that a disgusted Muppet ends up giving her a Pie in the Face.
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. Every sketch he did was a bizarre yet hilarious exercise in surrealism. This is unsurprising, as he wrote several of them himself (most notably "The Intergalactic Brotherhood of Man").
For a sketch without him in that episode, there's the first one. Taking place in "The Land of the Rising Sun", it starts with some stereotypical Japanese music and dancing—before Fozzie bursts on stage singing "Oklahoma" ("...am I in the right show?"), which the Japanese Muppets soon turn into "Yokohama."
The "It's a Small World" finale manages to last through the end credits because the international puppets just won't stop! Even Statler and Waldorf make like Disney Audio-Animatronics up in the balcony (yet another moment funnier in hindsight thanks to Disney now owning the characters).
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.
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?
Or a little later, when Berle actually admits they're Actually Pretty Funny while Statler and Waldorf take a jab at his comic "personality" (using other people's material):
Berle: You know, I got a good mind to punch you in your nose.
Waldorf: Please, not while I'm holding it!
Berle: That's pretty funny...
Waldorf: You can use it!
How about earlier (than the above two examples) in the sketch?
Berle: I have been a successful comedian half of my life.
Waldorf: How come we got this half?
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.
[Cue barrage of flying bowling balls from offscreen.]
Danny Kayedigging 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 wearing street clothes, 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!
Frank Oz has said this was the sketch where he finally "got" Fozzie, and he thinks you can see a big improvement from the earlier episodes.
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.
Kermit's utter failure to sell any of his hard boiled private eye dialogue in the same episode.
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, at the end Marty declares that Cookie Monster (this episode has a guest appearance by Sesame Street characters) 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. Then a bunch of googly-eyed Muppets come out on stage, and Kermit declares that Marty's had an influence on the whole cast!
The Statler and Waldorf closer in this one has the Sesame Street Muppets up in the balcony with them. "How should we know the way to Sesame Street? We don't even know the way out of this theater!"
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?
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. LoadedPickles. 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!
A particularly funny one is when Fozzie gets so tired of it he turns around and tells the audience that when he turns around, he wants to see nothing but real Fozzie fans. Everybody leaves. Even his cousin.
Sheep: (with Statler and Waldorf) Baa-ah-ah-ah-ah!
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... At which 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 Andy Williams episode, Kermit tries to imitate Miss Piggy's karate chop but fails miserably and she demonstrates the correct way to him and sends Kermit flying across the room until he hits the desk.
Seaon 5, episode 14 (guest starring Mac Davis) with the Attack of the Beaker Clones. The result of a Muppet Labs copying machine accident, the clones chase Bunsen throughout the episode, crossing over into other skits like the Swedish Chef. The last bit of the joke comes at the end, though, when the Beakers completely take it over, replacing the band playing the theme and Statler And Waldorf for the "last laugh".
The bunnies hovering near Kermit throughout the episode after getting attacked by Alan Arkin during the 'Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah' number and this exchange:
Kermit: Would you guys stop following me?
Bun-Bun: Oh please, Mr. Kermit, protect us from your guest star, Alan Arkin.
Kermit: Uh, listen, guys. I know that Alan Arkin accidentally drank the Ultra Powerful Jekyll-Hyde potion, but he really is a sweet, sensitive gentleman. (Monster!Alan Arkin roars from inside of the guest star room, scaring Kermit and the Bun-Buns.) And I'll protect you from him!
Also, one bunny tries hiding in Statler and Waldorf's booth;
Bunny: You look like two kindly old gentlemen. Can I hide here? (Statler And Waldorf exchange looks) Statler: Hey, Alan! Here's one you missed! (Waldorf throws the bunny back down.)
In the Petula Clark episode, there's a Moose running around backstage. His name is Mickey Moose. Kermit is not amused. It helps that they milk this gag for all its worth, even having the muppets run around with Mickey Moose hats and parodying the Mickey Mouse Club... and the moose being picked up by a duck named Ronald at the end. And let's not forget how Hilarious in Hindsight this is, considering Disney owns the Muppets now!
"Gonzo fiddles while George Burns!"
George Burns: It's a pleasure to hear something that's older than I am.
In the Steve Martin episode, Gonzo tries to pitch his new act during the auditions; Dancing cheese. And the next act to audition is called Gonzales and Yolanda. Cut to a staging similar to the dancing chicken act of the Rich Little episode, with Gonzo in Mexican attire, spitting out a rose with a block of cheese next to him.
Gonzo:(As the cheese dances)Arrrrrreiba! Ole! El toro! Enchilada! Dance you little firebrand, dance!
Newsman: Alright, here is the news: Things look grim (Spike looks to the audience sternly) in the Outback (Spike reaches for his back, Newsman looks to him), a-as Rebel Leaders continue to fight amongst themselves. (Spike Milligan starts to punch and gag himself repeatedly, surprising the Newsman) Uh, first one side seems to be winning–
Spike: Yes, yes! (Pulls himself to one side)
Newsman: And then the other side gets on top (Spike pulls himself to the other side), and casualties have been very heavy (Spike looks like he is getting heavy, dropping to the floor) as strong ties between the two factions (Spike grabs the Newsman's tie) have been permanently cut (Spike cuts off the tie, surprising the Newsman again). Uh, eyebrows were raised today at the auction rooms (Spike removes his eyebrows and places them on his forehead), where a priceless antique vase... came under the hammer. (Spike smashes a vase with a hammer). Uh, rumors of a cover-up... have affected prices (Spike places a blanket over the Newsman)... affected prices on the Stock Market where woolens were hit badly (Spike picks up a sheep and hits it, Newsman looks over despite having the blanket covering him), eventually plunging to an all-time low. (Spike knocks the Newsman down) Augh! The search continues for a missing man (Spike looks around) said by the police to be dangerous and more than a little screwy. (Spike looks crazy and whistles) The man was known as the inventor of the Deep Pop-Up Toaster. (Spike slams his fist onto the desk, causing the Newsman to fly up.) Uh, next we have–
Spike: Fall Fashions!
Newsman: (While falling to the ground) Augh! (Spike starts to attack the Newsman. Newsman gets up and struggles.) A Newsman today was attacked by a Mad English Comic!
One particular Statler and Waldorf bit involves them talking about the spirit of Thudge McGerk, supposedly still haunting theaters. Cue the monster: exactly as described. Statler is literally scared out of his seat, falling to the gallery below.
Waldorf: Listen, on your way back up, bring some popcorn! Thudge: (Gibberish)...butter! Waldorf: With butter!
From the first episode:
Statler: Say, Waldorf, I was wondering if you...(mouth keeps moving though no sound comes out)
Waldorf: Darn, I better get new batteries for my hearing aid.
Statler: Hahaha! I fool him every time! Hahaha- (Waldorf smacks him and his face gets scrunched in)
The George Burns episode has an excellent medley wherein Burns gets a bunch of the muppets to act as a chorus. After they do a song with the line "Didn't wanna do it" repeated several times in the chorus, Gonzo keeps interrupting each song coming after that by singing "Didn't wanna do it" at the wrong times. It seriously has to be seen.
In several At The Dance sketches, Animal 'dips' his partner by dropping her on the floor.
Whatnot girl: They shouldn't allow his kind in here!
Rowlf: You're right, he's a lousy dancer!
Kermit firing Piggy in the Loretta Swit episode after spreading rumors of the two being secretly married in Las Vegas.
Piggy: It was just a teeny-tiny exaggeration.
Kermit:THAT'S A BOLD-FACEDLIE, PIGGY!!!
The John Denver episode has Denver and Kermit inviting the whole gang to the swamp for a camping trip. Miss Piggy continues to misunderstand what this means exactly. At one point, John starts to tell her about safety measures for snakes and alligators. As he explains that Piggy should shake her boots in the morning to get the spiders and creepy crawlies out, Piggy starts this high-pitched, nervous whine... and Denver absolutely loses it, laughing his ass off for the rest of the scene. See it here and remember to breathe!
It gets even better. When Piggy confronts Kermit and calls him crazy for wanting to go on the trip, he offers the alternative of going to Piggy's home, the pigsty, "where pigs eat swill and wallow in the mud". No points for guessing what happens next.