Look-in - 11th October 1980 - No.42
EVERYBODY LOVES A MUPPET
Now that Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Animal and the rest of the crazy team that make up The Muppet Show are back on our television screens (the first one was last Sunday) we thought that, as we are all already well-acquainted with the lovable little characters, we'd find out just what their human co-stars in this series think about them.
If you saw last week's show, you'll know that Kermit's special guest was actor Roger Moore. "My children are devoted to the show," he says, "and so am I. I adore Miss Piggy - she's gorgeous because she's so outrageous, though I think my loyalties really lie with Kermit. Besides, I know I don't have a chance with Miss Piggy because I'm not green and I don't eat flies!"
Guesting on this week's show is American actress Loretta Swit, famous for her role as 'Hot Lips' in the late-night BBC comedy series M.A.S.H., and the week after that American tough-guy actor James Coburn will be treading the Muppet Theatre boards. Whilst recording the show, James became close friends with the craziest drummer in the world, Animal, who is filled with admiration for him: "He's my kind of guy," he explains. And says James Coburn: "Animal is my kind of guy, too. He's one of my favourite Muppets. I understand him, so there's a kind of sympatico between us. My other favourite is Gonzo. Anyone who has experienced the ups and downs of life must feel the way I do about him. He wins my sympathy right the way through!"
If you're a fan of super-group Blondie, as well as of the Muppets, then watch out for the last show in January when Debbie Harry joins in the fun. "I've been looking forward to working on the show for ages," says Debbie. "I didn't suggest anything in particular that I wanted to do on the show - I left the choice of sketches and songs to the experts. After all, they know the show better than I ever could, even though I am a devoted fan. My only regret is that I don't have a scene with Miss Piggy. I thought it would be nice if we could fight over a feather boa or something but I'm told that she doesn't really like working with the lady guests. She saves herself for guests like Roger Moore - not that I blame her. She's a very astute lady!"
You'll be able to see Debbie singing one of Blondie's many hit singles, Call Me, on which she is accompanied by Doctor Teeth and the Electric Mayhem Band. After recording the scene Debbie said: "I really enjoyed that. I think the members of the band are really cute. They really remind me of so many musicians I know in real life!"
At the end of December the Muppets will be joined by actress Glenda Jackson. "I was asked if there was anything I particularly wanted to do on the show," says Glenda, "and I explained that my two principal fantasies were to appear in a western and to make a Ginger Rogers/Fred Astaire-type musical. The writers came up with me as a pirate taking over the Muppet Theatre, so there's a kind of logic to all the craziness."
Glenda admits that she's very partial to the show: "I like its sharp humour, which is very rare. My stock went up at home when I told my son Daniel that I was doing the show, but I fell in his estimation when he heard that I was going to sing!"
Watch out for Glenda after Christmas and see what you think!