BEST OF THE MUPPET SHOW
Featuring Mark Hamill, Paul Simon and Raquel Welch
Review by Michael Jacobson
Performers: Jim Henson, Frank Oz,
Dave Goelz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt
Creator: Jim Henson
Audio: Dolby Mono
Video: Full Frame 1.33:1
Studio: Columbia Tri Star
Features: See Review
Length: 80 Minutes
Release Date: September 3, 2002
now, a Muppet news flash…here are the results of today’s National Sheepdog
Trials: all sheepdogs were found
most sensational, inspirational, celebrational variety show of the 70s is
back…and no, I’m not talking about Bonkers.
Muppet Show continues
its trek onto DVD from Columbia Tri Star with another volume of three complete
shows featuring three unforgettable guest stars.
Hamill, one of the all time great sports, kids himself and all things Star
Wars as he takes a turn at himself AND his “cousin” Luke Skywalker in
one of the all time fan favorite episodes.
The Muppet Theatre is turned upside down as Luke and C-3PO (Anthony
Daniels) take control of “Pigs in Space” and the starship Swine Trek in
search of Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), who has been kidnapped by you-know-who!
Then again, maybe you don’t…
second show features Paul Simon and his indelible music, and is noteworthy for
being the only episode to feature all songs by one writer.
Simon plays some favorites nicely, including “Scarborough Fair” and
“Loves Me Like a Rock”, while the Electric Mayhem take their own turn at
“Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover”. Paul seems a tad uncomfortable in his starring role, and the
laughs aren’t as plentiful as normal, but the music is a definite plus.
star who seemed VERY comfortable on the show was Raquel Welch…her appearance
marked probably my own all time favorite entry in the series.
Her first number, “You Send Me”, features her in an unbelievably
enticing outfit that frankly was far too much stimuli for my young mind when it
first aired. Frankly, I don’t
think I ever fully recovered! That episode was also famous for Ms. Welch’s duet with Miss
Piggy, as the two radiant stars belt out “Woman”.
course, no matter how big the guest stars, the Muppets never played second
fiddle on their own show! The
affable Kermit continued to maintain his frail managerial grasp as Fozzie spewed
forth his bad jokes, Statler and Waldorf heckled, and Gonzo did…well, what
Muppet Show will
always be one of television’s most imaginative, funny and entertaining
offerings in my book…these three classic episodes say all there is to say
the age of the shows and the videotape source, The Muppet Show has held
up pretty well. There are a few
noticeable tape limitations here and there (a light line or two visible against
the red curtains), but overall, the colors come across with integrity, the
detail level is pretty good, and there is no grain or compression to interfere
with the presentation. Fans should
original audio tracks aren’t much…in fact, you may have to click your volume
up a notch or two, but once you do, it should be smooth sailing.
Dynamic range is flat…you can tell when music builds or other scenes
get busy…but dialogue is generally well rendered, and I didn’t notice any
disc includes a couple of fun features…one bit of Muppet trivia, a “Muppets
Tonight” promotional short with Miss Piggy, and bonus trailers for other
Muppet related videos available from CTHE.
There is also a Yoda screen test (a scream), plus Brian Henson’s
introductions to all three episodes.