The Muppets Valentine Show
|The Muppets Valentine Show|
|Created by||Jim Henson|
|Directed by||Jim Henson|
|Produced by||Diana Birkenfield|
|Written by||Jerry Juhl
|Starring||The Muppet Puppeteers:
|Music by||Keith Textor (Music arranger and conductor)
Alan Scott (Music coordinator)
|Original airing||January 30, 1974|
|Running time||26 min.|
The Muppets Valentine Show aired on ABC on January 30, 1974. It was one of two pilots produced during the planning stages for The Muppet Show. The other pilot was The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence, which aired in 1975. In this half-hour Valentine's Day special featuring the Muppets and special guest star Mia Farrow, host Wally has writer's block—he can't think of material for the show that represents the true meaning of love. He asks the other Muppets and Mia for assistance, with mixed results.
- The Muppets perform the opening number, "Love is a Simple Thing."
- Wally, George the Janitor, Mildred and Brewster discuss love.
- Kermit the Frog tells the story of his doomed love affair with Miss Mousey, singing "Froggy Went A Courtin'"
- Mia Farrow enters, and meets the Muppets.
- Mia and Thog perform a duet, "Real Live Girl".
- Mia sings "Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms" to Rufus.
- Kermit reports live from the planet Koozebane, where aliens are about to perform the Galley-oh-Hoop-Hoop.
- Mia discovers that George loves his mop.
- Mia and the Muppets sing "We Got Love".
A pilot for what eventually became The Muppet Show, this half hour special consisted of a number of new Muppets (as well as a few from previous Muppet productions), many of whom would either be downplayed in future productions, or would disappear from the Muppet family altogether.
- Host Wally, would sometimes appear in the audience of The Muppet Show its first season. The puppet itself was originally used as Fred the Elf in the television special The Great Santa Claus Switch, and would also later be used as Leo in several of the Muppet Meeting Films shorts.
- George the Janitor would later appear regularly during the first season of The Muppet Show, but rarely afterwards (other than background appearances).
- Mildred Huxtetter, like George, would appear frequently during The Muppet Show's first season, but rarely afterwards (outside of background appearances).
- Rufus the Dog had previously appeared in a Muppet television pilot (The Land of Tinkerdee) in the mid-1960s, as well as the 1970 television special Hey Cinderella!. He would later make an appearance on a television special starring Herb Alpert and Tijuana Brass. Otherwise, Rufus rarely appeared again, other than in a few background appearances.
- Crazy Donald, who was based on Muppet puppet builder and special effects wizard Don Sahlin would continue to make appearances throughout the Muppets' history. Beginning with his next appearances in The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence, the character was renamed Crazy Harry.
- Brewster's character was eventually changed to that of a mixed-up guru. He would make appearances on a Herb Alpert and Tijuana Brass television special, another television special with Julie Andrews, The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence, and sometimes during the first season of The Muppet Show. Otherwise, Brewster pretty much disappeared, other than a few background appearances.
- Droop was rebuilt from a Frackle named "Snivelly", who was used in the television special The Great Santa Claus Switch. Other than background appearances and a few brief speaking roles (including one in The Muppet Christmas Carol, Droop rarely appeared again. He made a comeback appearance as a background character in The Muppets, and also had some speaking parts in one of the film's Blu-Ray bonus features. The puppet was later reused on Mopatop's Shop.
- Thog originally appeared in The Great Santa Claus Switch. He would appear on The Muppet Show, and several other Muppet productions throughout the 1970s and early 1980s (mostly in non-speaking roles); he would eventually make a comeback appearance in The Muppets.
- Miss Mousey rarely appeared again (other than a few background appearances on The Muppet Show. She did get to sing a few songs on The Muppet Show, and appeared as an extra in The Muppet Movie and The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years. She is also jokingly mentioned in some surviving test footage for The Muppet Movie.
- Kermit the Frog was no stranger to the Muppets, having already been used regularly in productions as early as the 1950s, though by the early 1970s he was best known by young viewers for his regular appearances on the PBS children's program Sesame Street since its inception in 1969. While Kermit would eventually become the host of The Muppet Show, in this special he merely has a supporting role (as Wally manages the 'host' duties).
- This special marks the only appearances of the characters Big Mouse and the Crumpet.
- The Koozebainans would later appear on The Muppet Show in a remake of the "Love Comes to Koozebane" sketch used in this special. They would also make occasional background appearances.
- Rowlf the Dog and Bert and Ernie appear at the end of the special. Rowlf had essentially been the Muppets' mascot during the 1960s (after, like Kermit, originating in the 1950s) but by the time of this special, he had pretty much disappeared (though he had made occasional appearances on Sesame Street. Once The Muppet Show was picked up, Rowlf would appear regularly, eventually becoming a popular supporting character that is still well-known today. Bert and Ernie were also well known as characters on Sesame Street however, unlike Kermit and Rowlf, would not cross over into the Muppet Show proper beyond rare cameos such as this. Bert and Ernie would, however, appeared on "The Muppet Show" in Season One alongside Connie Stevens.
The Muppets Valentine Show was released on DVD in 2007, as an extra feature on The Muppet Show: Season Two box set. On the box and on the DVD menus, it is referred to as The Muppets Valentine Special.
The cast of Muppeteers closely matches the lineup of the first season of The Muppet Show, with the exception of Eren Ozker, who joined the Muppets in 1976.
- Jim Henson as Wally, Kermit, Rowlf and Ernie
- Frank Oz as George the Janitor, Rufus, Male Koozebanian Creature, Frogs and Bert
- Jerry Nelson as Droop, Thog, Miss Mousey, Frogs and Female Koozebanian Creature
- Richard Hunt as Mildred Huxtetter and Big Mouse
- John Lovelady as Crazy Donald and Frogs
- Dave Goelz as Brewster and Crumpet
Additional Muppets performed by: Jane Henson and Nancy McGeorge
- Producer: Diana Birkenfield
- Writers: Jerry Juhl and Jerry Ross
- Director: Jim Henson
- Art Director: Tom H. John
- Music Arranger and Conductor: Keith Textor
- Music Coordinator: Alan Scott
- Costumes: Donald Brooks
- Special Guest: Mia Farrow
- Muppet Performers: Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, John Lovelady, Dave Goelz, Nancy McGeorge, Jane Henson, Jim Henson
- Puppet Builders: Bonnie Lewis, Donald Sahlin, Caroly Wilcox, Franz Fazakas, John Lovelady, Dave Goelz, Kermit Love
- Assistant to the Producer: Audrey Peart Dickman
- Choreography: Christopher Lyall
- Assistant Art Director: Bill Mickley
- Production Assistants: Eric Jenkins, Rollie Krewson, Cindy Chock
- Associate Director: Paul E. Davis
- Technical Director: David Fee
- Lighting Director: Everett Melosh
- Audio: Jack Kelly
- Video: Robert Shultis and Rudy Piccarillo
- Production Coordinator: Mario Veccchi
- Graphic Arts: Hy Bley
- Music Recording: Jǿrgen Jǿrgensen
- Unit Manager: Morgan Barber
- Studio: ABC Television Center in New York
- Executive Producer: Jim Henson
- When this special aired on Nickelodeon and the Odyssey Network, "Those Endearing Young Charms" was cut.
- Also cut from the Nickelodeon broadcast was the scene in which Wally and Mia Farrow comment on the Koozebane sketch.
- The Muppets Valentine Show at Muppet Wiki