Ethel Merman

Feb 21, 1977 on CBS at 12:00 AM

Summary

Who is the audience member that heckles Fozzie? It could be Wally, the host from The Muppets Valentine Show making his only speaking Muppet Show appearance. However he appears here without sunglasses and in other episodes of The Muppet Show, Wally is... (more) seen with sunglasses in the audience and dressed differently than the heckler. The personality doesn't quite fit with what had been established either. More likely, it's a cameo from Leo from the Muppet Meeting Films making his only Muppet Show cameo! Even though his partner Grump would come later, Leo had already been making his sales pitches in 1975 with his classic "Sell, Sell, Sell" routine and was featured in a pitch tape for CBS to persuade them to pick up The Muppet Show. The heckler's talent for wordplay is much more in keeping with Leo's character. This is the only first season episode to not contain an At The Dance segment. Some other interesting observations on that audience scene...Fozzie's act concludes when everyone leaves when he demands only Fozzie Bear fans remain in the audience and is dejected to find his cousin has left as well. However his cousin exits his seat even BEFORE Fozzie turns his back and counts to three. (Maybe he slipped out to the concession stand?) He's gone before Leo starts counter-heckling Statler and Waldorf. Also, Miss Mousey switches seats with Mary Louise between the two exchanges! Finally in regards to that audience, even though everyone leaves except Statler and Waldorf, they're all back in their seats to cheer on Ethel as she takes the stage and can be seen applauding at the end of her number (though this shot is one of the stock footage audience shots that's used throughout the season, complete with Wally with sunglasses and different outfit and Miss Mousey seated in another spot). They had apparently rushed back into their seats when they heard Ethel start her song from backstage.

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Phyllis Diller
Season 1 Episode 20

Feb 14, 1977

Next episode

Connie Stevens
Season 1 Episode 22

Feb 28, 1977

Guest stars

Ethel Merman