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The Movie:

While "The Muppet Show" may seem slightly dated to younger generations just seeing it for the first time, I still find the jokes and the timing are still delightfully hilarious. The series was presented as a variety show, with Kermit, Piggy, Fonzie, Gonzo and others starring in sketches and guest stars throwing in their efforts, musical or otherwise. Between sketches, the audience gets a glimpse "behind-the-scenes" at the conflicts behind the curtain.

Although many people have named Kermit, Fonzie, Piggy or others as their favorite muppet characters, I've always loved the two critics who sit up in the balcony, even when I was a little kid. The voice artists working them had incredible delivery, and their one-liners (In the first episode, one of them turns to the other one, who doesn't appear to be feeling good and asks what's the matter. The other one responds, "It's either the show or indigestion, but I hope it's indigestion." The other one asks why, and he responds, "Because if it's indigestion, it'll get better soon." There's an exchange between the two and Milton Berle in the third episode that's utterly hysterical) still stand out to me as some of the funniest in any given episode.

The puppeteers working the main characters do a remarkable job both with movement and with voicing the characters - some of the most distinctive traits of many of the Muppets were their voices. The guest stars also give their best in most of the episodes, as well. Given that many stars did not want to appear on a "puppet show" (similar to how "Simpsons" creators have noted that celebs were nervous about appearing on a cartoon early in that show's run), the creators had to rely on their own connections, pulling in their friends for the first season episodes. The second season reels in some big names, including Berle, George Burns, Steve Martin, Julie Andrews, Bob Hope, Elton John and John Cleese.

Overall, it was great fun to be able to see these episodes again, as it's been probably a good 20 years or more since I've seen them. Although, as mentioned before, the guest stars date the program, the material stands up surprisingly well after all these years - the amount of imagination and inspiration that went into the writing and everything else in the production still shows through brightly.

25. 30 Sep 77 George Burns
26. 7 Oct 77 Madeline Kahn
27. 14 Oct 77 Milton Berle
28. 21 Oct 77 John Cleese
29. 28 Oct 77 Nancy Walker
30. 4 Nov 77 Rich Little
31. 11 Nov 77 Edgar Bergen
32. 18 Nov 77 Bernadette Peters
33. 25 Nov 77 Dom DeLuise
34. 2 Dec 77 Teresa Brewer
35. 9 Dec 77 Steve Martin
36. 16 Dec 77 Lou Rawls
37. 25 Dec 77 Julie Andrews
38. 1 Jan 78 Peter Sellers
39. 8 Jan 78 Elton John
40. 15 Jan 78 Cleo Laine
41. 22 Jan 78 Rudolf Nureyev
42. 29 Jan 78 Judy Collins
43. 5 Feb 78 Don Knotts
44. 12 Feb 78 Cloris Leachman
45. 19 Feb 78 Bob Hope
46. 26 Feb 78 Jaye P. Morgan
47. 5 Mar 78 Zero Mostel
48. 12 Mar 78 Petula Clark
49. 19 Mar 78 Roy Clark
50. 26 Mar 78 Leo Sayer
51. 2 Apr 78 Gilda Radner
52. 9 Apr 78 Pearl Bailey
53. 16 Apr 78 Jean Stapleton
54. 23 Apr 78 Loretta Lynn


VIDEO: Disney definitely has put care into the presentation of the show once again, as the 1.33:1 full-frame transfers for these second season shows are quite superb. Sharpness and detail are not flawless, but pretty great considering the age of the material and the material itself. Definition remained consistent throughout the programs. The presentations remain mostly free of pixelation, showed no edge enhancement and remarkably, presented essentially no wear. Colors remained vivid and vibrant, with nice saturation and no smearing or other faults. Overall, this is terrific work from Disney, and Muppet fans should be pleased.

SOUND: The mono soundtrack was quite fine, with clear dialogue and music. No distortion, hiss or any other issues were encountered. Overall, the audio sounds better than I'd expect from the material.

EXTRAS: A rare presentation of "The Muppets Valentine Special" from 1974, "Muppets on Muppets" character/guest interviews and Weezer and the Muppets' music video for "Keep Fishin'".

Final Thoughts: The second season of "The Muppets Show" is even funnier than the first, with plenty of great laughs and guest stars. Definitely recommended to both adults who grew up with the series and today's children. The DVD doesn't offer a ton of extras, but it does boast great audio/video quality.

DVD Information

Muppet Show: Season 2
Disney Home Entertainment
4-DVD Set
Mono (English)
612 Minutes
Captions: English
Dual Layer:Yes
Available at Amazon.com: Muppet Show: Season 1 DVD,Muppets' Wizard of Oz DVD,Muppet Show: Season 2 DVD