The Muppet Show Season 6 Pt. 7

Gene Wilder

Gene Wilder was born Jerome Silberman in Milwaukee. Wilder has repeatedly told the story that got him into performing. His mother was diagnosed with rheumatic fever in and the doctor told young Jerome to try and make her laugh. His older sister was an actress and he was inspired by her. He grew up a bit and got involved in the local theater scene. He was cast in his first paid role at age fifteen. He studied theater at the University of Iowa. He then studied in England before returning to the States to study at the HB Studio. After a stint in the army, he started to get work as an actor and studied under the great Uta Hagen back at the HB Studio. He then studied under Lee Strasberg at the urging of Charles Grodin. Through his connections, he started to appear Off-Broadway and on Broadway. It was during this time that he met Mel Brooks and Zero Mostel which led to him being cast in The Producers. In the seventies, his movie career picked up even more as he worked again with Mel Brooks and started his partnership with Richard Pryor. In the eighties, he started to work primarily with Gilda Radner who he later married. He remains a comedy legend although he died in 2016.

He would be perfect for the Muppet Show because of his great comic timing that is born out of his deep knowledge of the art of acting. Every role whether it was serious, comedic, or even parody was grounded from a very real place. He is one of the best actors who ever lived. He has worked with a lot of crazy and wacky comedians and kept his head so working with the Muppets would be no problem.

Cold Open: Gene assures Pops that he will be able to deal with the insanity backstage and is immediately confronted by Lew Zealand, Animal, and Gonzo.

Guest Arc: Honeydew and Beaker’s newest Muppet Labs invention has warped reality making things really weird. The Muppet Theater is invaded by evil doubles of the cast and Gene Wilder.

Guest Acts:
“Crazy” (Masser/Goodrum) with the Electric Mayhem
Kermit tries to interview Gene at Rowlf’s Piano but finds the double instead, chaos ensues when the other doubles arrive with Rowlf stuck in the middle
“Puttin’ on the Ritz” (Irving Berlin) with Kermit and then most of the cast

Pat Benatar

Pat Benatar was born to European immigrants in Brooklyn with the last name of Andrzejewski. Her parents let her sign up for voice lessons, supporting her interest in singing. That interest led her to the stage as early as Elementary school and by high school, she was starring in stage musicals. She was all set to attend Julliard to be a coloratura but ended up pursuing a degree in health education instead. She got married to her high school sweetheart and got a job as a bank teller. She was inspired by a Liza Minelli concert to quit her job to pursue a singing career. She worked as a waitress while finding gigs and amateur nights where she could. That led to a record deal and she started to rocket to success. She had album after album and hit after hit. Hers was actually the second music video to be played on MTV after “Video Killed the Radio Star”. She was touring as late as 2019 (her 40th-anniversary tour) and may still tour again.

Benatar would be great for the Muppet Show not only because of her singing talent but her background as a performer and actress as well. She designed her whole look and reinvented herself from an opera singer to a rocker with relative ease. She knows what it takes to put on the best show and had released five albums by 1983.

Cold Open: Miss Piggy is picketing backstage in an effort to get more stage time when Pat walks in and supports her.

Guest Arc: Miss Piggy protests that the show needs more female representation and Kermit agrees and enlists Pat Benatar, Annie Sue, Janice, and Miss Mousey to provide it.

“Hit Me With Your Best Shot” with cannons by Crazy Harry
“Love is a Battlefield” with the Electric Mayhem
“Heartbreaker” with the Electric Mayhem

Carol Lawrence

Carol Lawrence was born Carolina Maria Laraia and was the daughter of two Italian immigrants who ended up in Melrose Park, Illinois a suburb of Chicago. She lasted one year in college before she left to pursue acting. Her decision paid off as she found herself on Broadway at age twenty. Five years later she originated the role of Maria in West Side Story on Broadway, a legendary role. She played the role for years. She stayed on Broadway through the sixties but when the seventies rolled around, she moved on. She became the shining jewel of The Muny in St. Louis, Missouri where she starred in many famous shows and usually in the lead role. She went back and forth from there to Broadway well into the 2000s. She also made many appearances in television shows through the decades. She was a consummate leading lady and delighted many audiences.

She would be perfect for The Muppet Show because of her obvious experience on and off Broadway and her experience on television as well. She worked with a lot of different casts on a lot of different shows which shows that she can adapt. She also starred in the show Camelot which would serve her well in a fantasy tale like Cinderella.

Cold Open: Scooter comes to give Carol her warning but Miss Piggy is bringing in the glass slippers. Unfortunately, Carol points out that they’re glass shards foiling Piggy’s plot.

Guest Arc: The Muppet Theater puts on the Cinderella story with Carol as Cinderella, Gonzo as Prince Charming, Miss Piggy as the Evil Stepmother, and so on.

“I Feel Pretty” with Camilla and the chickens
“I’m a Brass Band” at the ball
“If My Friends Could See Me Now” (Coleman/Fields) back in the royal court

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