Muppets Tonight

Clifford, a camera Muppet and camera in the foreground, various Muppets as audience in the background

Muppets Tonight Theme Song

[Clifford] If you’re a human being, take a break from the race
Take a load off your feet, wipe that look off your face
Got a lot to do, and we do it for you
Everybody take your place

Muppets tonight
[chorus] You’re gonna see something never seen
[C] Tonight’s the night
[chorus] You’re gonna hear things that never been*
[C] Got a show for you, guaranteed brand new
[C & chorus] Here come the Muppets tonight
[Clifford, spoken] Yeah!

[Jowls whistles an interlude]

[C & chorus] We’ve got a show for you, guaranteed brand new
Here come the Muppets
Here come the Muppets
Here come the Muppets tonight

 

Screen Shot 2020-07-25 at 2.30.46 PM
The Dancing Cheeses

S1 E1: Michelle Pfeiffer

We are the dancing cheeses and we hope our number pleases
So sit back, relax, and just enjoy the show
We don’t know much geography, but boy our choreography
Will make you sing and shout and tap your toes
[orange cheese] ______
[another cheese] Yeah!
[various emphatic words during a dance break]

 

Three Elvis-style Muppets in Revolution-era coats gathered around a table
Great Moments in Elvis History: The Declaration of Independence

S1 E1: Michelle Pfeiffer

[Sung by various Elvises, to the tune of “Blue Suede Shoes”]

One if by land
Two if by sea
Let’s all rock for democracy
Now don’t you—don’t you tread on me
You gosh darn redcoats, don’t you tread on me

 

Two Muppet rats; the one on the right is playing an upright stringed instrument
The Irish Rodents

S1 E5: Cindy Crawford

[sung by various rats]

When I was a young lad in old County Cork
My father said, “Son, don’t eat with a fork
No need to say ‘thank you,’ no need to say ‘please’
For a rat is a natural-born lover of cheese”

[singing cheeses] Cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese

[rats] Oh, there’s cheddar, Swiss, muenster, limburger, _______
______ ricotta, havarti, _______
American, feta, ____________________
Monterey jack, mozarella, and brie

Cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese

[an unintelligible verse that Clifford and Rizzo talk over]

Cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese

[repeat] Oh, there’s cheddar, Swiss, muenster, limburger, _______
Monterey jack, mozarella, and brie

Oh camembert
The knives, the knives are carving
Mozarella-rella,
Sure there’s one kind of cheese
Brings rat to its knees
It’s the kind dear old mum used to see

[repeat of chorus to end]

 

Three Elvis-style Muppets dressed in medieval clothing, the one on the left with a crown and the one on the right with a wizard's hat
Great Moments in Elvis History: Elvis the King and his Knights of the Round Table

S1 E6: Tony Bennett

[Sung by various Elvises, to the tune of “Jailhouse Rock”]

The dragon has captured lady Gwenevere
But don’t you worry, Excalibur’s here
That dragon breathes fire, it’s mighty hot
Just ask good old Lancelot

Let’s rock
Everybody, let’s rock
Everybody knows the dragon is hot
We’re rockin’ here in Camelot
Yeah!

 

Potato Muppet with a blue mohawk, sunglasses, microphone, and chains
Sid Knishes and his Mosh Pit-tatoes

S1 E7: Sandra Bullock

______________ girl
________ sweet potato _____ rule my world
She’s my hot potato ______________
She’s one hot potato ’cause ______________

 

Pepe the prawn and Seymour the Elephant in Vaudeville-style costumes
Seymour and Pepe

S1 E7: Sandra Bullock

[Seymour] I’m Seymour
[Pepe] I’m Pepe
[both] We’re two of  kind
[P] I’m a little bit forward
[S] And I’ve got a big behind

 

Pepe and Seymour are on either side of Jason Alexander's shoulders in their bellhop outfits, but Pepe has angel wings and Seymour has devil horns.
Seymour and Pepe

S1 E8: Jason Alexander

[S] I’m Bad Conscience
[P] I’m Good Conscience
[both] We’re two of a kind
[P] I think you should do the closing number
[S] And I also think so, too

 

Gonzo and Jason Alexander dressed as bats. Pairs of green bat eyes float in the background.
Bats

S1 E8: Jason Alexander

[Jason Alexander]

In the darkness of caves, there’s a creature you’ve heard
That’s partially rodent and partially bird
We fly through the night with our faces like rats
We misunderstood, maligned creatures called bats

Considered disgusting, when seen, people flee
But a bat is no different than those such as thee
We’re all flying blind in dark lives filled with dread
Eating insects, sleeping upside down, dropping guano on your head

[Gonzo] Guano?
[JA] Yeah, it’s… kinda like a metaphor.
[G] Jason, you’re losing ’em. Let’s try it my way. Music!
[Music changes to “That’s the Way (I Like It)”]

[G] Bats the way
[Chorus of bats] Uh-huh, uh-huh
[G] I like it
[Bats] Uh-huh, uh-huh
[G] Bats the way
[Chorus of bats] Uh-huh, uh-huh
[G] I like it
[Bats] Uh-huh, uh-huh

[Music switches to “Memories” from “Cats”; Jason]
Nighttime
For a bat, that’s the right time
To get in all his flight time
And to catch his next meal
Love is blind, and so am I
So is this love that I feel

[Gonzo, spoken] Jason, Jason, you’re dying out here, lemme handle this. Music! Come on in, girls, come on, come on, come on.

[Music switches to “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” chickens enter waving American flags and various sparkly red-white-and-blue props.]

[JA] Gonzo, you’re right! They love the special effects!
[G] OK, are you with me, then?
[JA] Let’s bring it home, brother!

[both] But should old acquaintances wear a hat
Keep your eye on the grand old bat
Grand old bat

 

Pepe and Seymour in their bellhop outfits, blonde wigs, and pig noses.
Seymour and Pepe

S1 E9: Whoopi Goldberg

[S] I’m Piggy
[P] I’m Piggy
[both] We’re two of a kind
[P] I’m a little bit piggy
[S] And I’ve got a pig behind

 

Screen Shot 2020-07-25 at 3.02.48 PM.png
Seymour and Pepe

S2 E2: Rick Moranis

[S] I’m Seymour
[P] I’m Pepe
[both] Our guest is Rick Moranis
[P] We hope you like our cooking show
[S] So Kermit does not can us

 

Various Muppets with coffee cups dance against a backdrop with giant coffee pots
The Coffee Song/”They’ve Got an Awful Lot of Coffee in Brazil”

S2 E3: Heather Locklear

[Sung by various Muppets]

Way down among Brazilians
Coffee beans grow by the billions
So they’ve gotta find those extra cups to fill
They’ve got an awful lot of coffee in Brazil

What, no tea? Or tomato juice?
You’ll see, no potato juice
‘Cause the planters down in Santos all say “No, no, no”
You can’t get cherry soda
‘Cause they’ve gotta sell their quota
And the way things are, I guess they never will
They’ve got an awful lot of coffee in Brazil

[spoken] You’re all drinking way too much caffeine!
[Animal] Coffee! Coffee! Coffee!

When Brazilian ham and eggs needs savor
Coffee ketchup gives ’em flavor
Coffee pickles far outsell the dill
Why, they put coffee in their coffee in Brazil

You date a man and find out later
He smells like a percolator
His cologne was made right on the grill
You could percolate the ocean in Brazil

So you add to the local color
Serve some coffee with a cruller
Dunking doesn’t take a lot of skill
They’ve got an awful lot of coffee
A great big pot of coffee
They’ve got an awful lot of coffee in Brazil, Brazil, Brazil
Café au lait!

 

Seymour and Pepe in their Vaudeville coats and horned helmets
Seymour and Pepe

S2 E4: Pierce Brosnan

[S] I’m Tristan
[P] I’m Isolde
[both] We’re two of a kind
[P] We both wear lederhosen
[S] And go swimming up the Rhine

[reprise]

[S] I’m Seymour
[P] I’m Pepe
[both] We’re two of a kind
[P] We’re about to be sacrificed
[S] And I’ve got a big behind

 

Left background: Pierce Brosnan in a prawn costume. Right foreground: Johnny Fiama with a microphone.
Pierce Brosnan

S2 E4: Pierce Brosnan

[sung by Johnny Fiama, to the tune of “Goldfinger”]

Pierce Brosnan
He’s the guy, the guy with the clocks that fly
He just clocked that guy

Pierce Brosnan
Pierce Brosnan
Pierce

 

A snail Muppet with piercings and chains sings into a microphone
Nine Inch Snails

S2 E6: Paula Abdul

No matter how quickly I go
I always seem to come in last
Running in slime, my body’s so slow
Everyone else is way too fast

I can’t escape this living shell
Gimme some salt and turn me to gel
I wanna live outside this shell
_______________ the shell is my cell

 

Left: Dennis Quaid in a gold jacket plays a white piano and sings into a microphone. Pepe and Seymour are in the background.
Great Balls of Fire

S2 E7: Dennis Quaid

[A parody of “Great Balls of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis; Part 1 sung by Dennis Quaid with Seymour and Pepe]

[Dennis Quaid] You shake and bake and you rattle your pan
Too much flambé and you burn your hand
You make a dish
And it’s delicious
Goodness gracious, great balls of fire

______________________
[Seymour] I cooked ’em up and I made ’em taste yummy
[Pepe] We change your mind
This dish is fine
[DQ] Goodness gracious, great balls of fire

[S] ________
[DQ] Oooo, tastes good
[P] Feed me, baby
[DQ] I wanna eat them like you knew I would
[S] Homemade
[P] For Dennis Quaid
[all] Wanna tell the world that _____________

We ____ the grapes and we spit out the seeds
Yummy yummy yummy, satisfying me
We change your mind
This dish is fine
Goodness gracious, great balls of fire

Part 2

You shook the ground and you rattled the cave
Dragon slaying makes a man feel brave
You brought the flame
Ain’t that a shame
Goodness gracious, great boil’s on fire

Part 3

You shake my nerves and you rattle my brain
You _________ when I’m flying my plane

[transitions into the original song lyrics]

 

Rizzo in a tuxedo and red hat, playing an electric guitar
Rizzo’s Blues

S2 E9: Best of Muppets Tonight

[Rizzo plays the guitar and sings]

Well I got to introduce the musical clips
And I don’t have a clue what to say
[Gonzo, spoken] Sing it, rat
[R] Yeah I got them musical clips coming up
But I don’t know what to say
[both] The producer’s gonna be
Steaming mad at old Rizzo today

 

Four Muppets, three with the middle of their heads shaved, the fourth wearing a hat
The Benedictine Monkees

S2 E10: The Gary Cahuenga Episode

[Monks, slow chanting]

Here we come
Walking down the street
Get the funniest looks from
Everyone we meet

[They throw off their hooded robes and the tempo speeds up to “Hey Hey We’re the Monkees”]

Hey hey, we’re the monks
___________ monkey around
We’re too busy chanting
To put anybody down

__________
Come and watch us sing and play
We’re the monks, Benedictines
And we got something to say

 

Pepe and Seymour in their diner outfits sing to ventriloquist dummy Gary Cahuenga
Seymour and Pepe

S2 E10: The Gary Cahuenga Episode

[S] I’m Seymour
[P] I’m Pepe
[both] We’re two of a kind
[P] We want to work with Gary
[S] ‘Cause Chick he cannot find

 

Foreground: Bunsen Honeydew on a red and black shirt and backwards red hat. Background: the three "Fly Girls" backup dancers.
Snoop Doggy Dew

S2 E11: Andie MacDowell

[Dr. Bunsen Honeydew feat. the Fly Girls]

My name is Snoop Doggy Dew here to set you straight
In the annals of science, very few are great

[Fly Girls] Do do do do do, Snoop Doggy Dew [repeat]

[Honeydew, spoken] Yo, Fly Girls, kick it live

It’s in everything I do and everything I say
From my chubby little fingers to my DNA

[spoken] Kick me in the fly, Live Girls

 

Left: Bunsen Honeydew in black suit, red shirt, and black-and-gray toupee, giving a thumbs up. Right: Sal.
Pretty Bunsen

S2 E11: Andie MacDowell

[sung by Johnny Fiama, to the tune of “Pretty Woman”]

Pretty Bunsen, not that I’m into that
Pretty Bunsen, though you’re bald and fat
Pretty Bunsen
We’re gonna make you real cool
And all the chicks you know will drool

Pretty Bunsen, though you’re kinda strange
Pretty Bunsen, oh you gotta change, pal
Pretty Bunsen
Are you as lonely as can be?
We’re gonna dress you up for free

Pretty Bunsen, where’s that style?
Pretty Bunsen, the chicks go wild
Pretty Bunsen, you’re kookie as can be

Pretty Bunsen, yeah yeah yeah
Pretty Bunsen, oh yeah yeah
Pretty Bunsen oh yeah yeah, yeah yeah, yeah yeah
[scats]
Pretty Bunsen

 

Screen Shot 2020-07-25 at 3.56.36 PM.png
Darci’s Song

S2 E12: Daryl Hannah/Johnny Fiama Leaves Home

[Darci plays the guitar and sings to Clifford and Rizzo]

I hate men, I hate men
All mean should die
Death to all men
I hate rats, too

[later, singing to Bobo]

Bears are killers
Killers of sheep
Killers of Bambi
Bears should all die
Kill them, kill them

[later, Clifford, Rizzo, and Bobo]

We hate angry women
Who write songs
Who hate men
And who were raised by wolves

 

*Underlined words are my best guess at deciphering the lyrics, but I need your help to finish them. Comment with your own best guess, and we’ll complete the puzzle together like we did with The Tale of the Bunny Picnic.


Music from Muppets Tonight

Look, I get it. Muppets Tonight is no one’s favorite. The formula gets a little stale, there are a lot of new characters we’re not sure how to feel about, and some of our old favorites only make the occasional cameo. (And when they finally introduce two new recurring female characters, one is a walking boob joke and the other a straw-man misandrist. Yleugh.)

But this show will always have a soft spot in my ’90s kid heart. It was the first new Henson Co series since Jim’s death and therefore, along with A Muppet Christmas Carol (which is perfect and I will hear no arguments to the contrary), it was the first new Henson content I got to see, which was really exciting for me. It was an honest attempt to show the world that the work can and should continue without Jim. It followed the basic formula of The Muppet Show while making enough modern changes to keep it relevant. This is just one fan’s opinion, but I believe it mostly stayed true to what the Muppets are all about.

What Muppets Tonight lacked, however, were the quiet, poignant moments sprinkled throughout The Muppet Show, and this is most notable in its music. Both shows had the characters singing covers of contemporary and older songs, although I’m not sure TMS had nearly as many parodies as MT seems to. The only gentle, emotional moments I can think of are Garth Brooks’ “We Shall Be Free” and Prince’s “She Gave Her Angels.” And as far as original songs go, there are sone good funny ones, but nothing to play the heartstrings like “When You Were a Tadpole.”

Muppets Tonight may not be all that touching, but it’s still clever. That “Irish Rodents” song? I had three different cheese resources open and still couldn’t figure out all the lyrics. Kermit the Frog as Virgil the Monkey is both absurd and adorable. And any show that allows me to quote “Ah, tap—the dance of danger” is OK in my book.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s