Trivia: The Muppet Show

  • Acting for Two: Inverted. The Swedish Chef was always one puppeteer for the voice and head, and another doing the hands.
  • Actor Allusion: Jokes would frequently be made during episodes that referenced their guest stars' careers. For example, when Milton Berle appeared in Series 2, the teaser was an exaggerated version of the Running Gag from his 1950s NBC series in which someone would yell "Make-up!" before hitting him with a big powder puff. Meanwhile, his altercation with Statler and Waldorf in his first appearance on stage is a nod to the debt of influence owed by the characters to the character of Sidney Spritzer, who regularly heckled Berle from a theatre box on his 1960s ABC series.
  • Anachronic Order: Since there is nearly no continuity to keep track of from episode to episode, you'd think it would be impossible to get them out of order. Nevertheless, the DVDs have an episode with Scooter in it before the one in which he is hired.
  • The Character Died with Him: In a non-fatal version, the character of Annie Sue was retired when her actress, Louise Gold, also retired. Ironically, this makes her less likely to reappear than the characters whose performers have died. However, Louise Gold returned to perform her in Muppets Most Wanted.
  • Cross-Dressing Voices: Most prominently, Frank Oz as Miss Piggy and Richard Hunt as Janice.
  • The Danza: Either that or Link Hogthrob was evidently playing himself on Pigs in Space.
  • Executive Meddling: Scooter's Uncle J. P. Grosse is an in-universe example.
  • Fake American: Louise Gold's British accent when playing Annie Sue would slip through occasionally.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Most of Seasons 4 and 5; a few episodes from these seasons did appear on the Time-Life best-of compilations at the Turn of the Millennium but are now out of print. In addition, a few Season 1 episodes lost segments in the DVD box set due to music rights issues. Ironically, one of the episodes that still isn't on DVD is the one with the Star Wars cast. Despite, y'know, Disney owning the rights to both the Muppets and Star Wars.
  • Name's the Same: Jim Henson had a childhood friend named Kermit Scott, but always denied that Kermit the Frog was named after him. It was a fairly common name at the time, and he just liked the way it sounded.
  • Non-Singing Voice: Angus McGonagle is one of the series' few examples, though you could hardly classify it as "singing"; his gargling is provided by Richard Hunt instead of Jerry Nelson.
  • Old Shame: Jim Henson mentioned in an interview that he was very embarrassed by some of the early episodes.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • After Jim Henson's passing, Steve Whitmire took over the role of Kermit. Reportedly, Henson himself was grooming Whitmire to take over, so that he could better handle his producing duties (plus he was starting to suffer from tremors in his hands). Steve was a puppeteer all the way back since The Muppet Show when he would perform background characters.
      • Whitmire initially didn't want to have any lines for his puppetry, since he didn't think he was a good actor, but eventually broke out with Rizzo late in the show. When Whitmire was told he would voice Kermit for The Muppet Christmas Carol, he was apprehensive. He said he had a dream where he met up with Henson and Henson stated that he'd do fine. Whitmire then did the voice for Kermit, and the rest was history.
      • At one point, Whitmire was unavailable to make an appearance, so they used a mostly unknown puppeteer (Artie Esposito). The reaction wasn't very positive.
    • Janice is a strong contender for most-recast Muppet ever. She's gone through three official "main" performers (Eren Ozker, Richard Hunt and David Rudman), and has had four alternate performers (Fran Brill in the original pilot and the Muppet Meeting films, John Lovelady in the Julie Andrews: My Favorite Things TV special, Brian Henson in It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie and Tyler Bunch in The Muppets' Wizard of Oz. And that's not counting Matt Vogel voicing her in the Muppets Racemania video game.
  • Serendipity Writes the Plot: Miss Piggy's trademark karate chop was scripted on its first appearance as a face slap. Oz couldn't figure out a way to get the puppet to do the slap convincingly, and in a fit of frustration ad-libbed a karate chop. Everybody watching fell about laughing, and the rest is history.
  • So My Kids Can Watch: The reason why Sylvester Stallone, of all people, ended up in an episode.
  • Throw It In: Per the chaos caused by multiple puppeteers, many of the Swedish Chef's antics were improv-based. For instance, one episode had Henson, in-character, dare Oz to make a "chicken in du basket" — throwing the chicken into a pot across the set. Oz made the shot, causing Henson to exclaim, "Tu point!" The exchange was entirely unscripted. The laughter of the crew during the taping of his sketches was also left in because it blended perfectly with the laugh track.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: One can learn a lot about 1970s pop culture by watching this show.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Uncle Deadly was considered for a Muppet comedy-horror anthology called "Uncle Deadly's House of Badness" that, sadly, never got off the ground.
    • Richard Pryor was scheduled to appear until his notorious freebasing suicide attempt made that appointment impossible. Staff writer Chris Langham had to substitute for that episode.
    • Other planned guest stars included Gina Lollobrigida, Robin Williams, and Cher.