The Case Of The Missing Muppet Show Episodes
What happened to the missing Muppet Show Episodes?
Entertainment Weekly continued its excellent hype of The Muppet Show’s debut on Disney+. As have we!
However, while much of the coverage has been lauding the collection, this story — unfortunately — highlighted the missing pieces to the menagerie that is the hallmark of the classic show.
Looking For The Muppets
The good news: The vast majority of The Muppet Show is now available to stream for the first time ever. The (slightly) bad news: Not all of The Muppet Show is now available to stream.
While more than 100 of the beloved series’ 120 episodes are now streaming in full on Disney+, eagle-eyed viewers may have noticed some edits and omissions when the show debuted on the streaming service Friday. Most notably, two episodes from season 5 — featuring guest stars Brooke Shields and Chris Langham — are entirely absent from Disney+. (The first season’s episode featuring Kaye Ballard was also missing when the series debuted on Friday but has been restored; a Disney+ representative said its omission was simply a mistake.)
Meanwhile, major edits have been made to season 2’s entry with Don Knotts, omitting the centerpiece musical number “Lullaby of Birdland” and all references to it, and assorted other songs and sketches are missing from certain episodes. (A devoted Reddit user-assembled a seemingly complete list of edits here.)
Looking For Music Rights
The story here is that Disney had some trouble securing film rights, which led to the full Booke Shields episode being dropped (as there was too much unattainable stuff – including a rendition of “We’re Off to See the Wizard”). And, of course, the one involving Langham (who is a convicted sex offender).
Season 4, Episode 1: John Denver
Regarded widely as one of the show’s best episodes, this one is available in the U.S. but not in European nations—presumably due to music rights issues.
Now, I am a glass half full kinda guy, so let’s highlight the episode I consider the finest:
Just rewatched @HamillHimself and @ADaniels3PO & @TheMuppets on #TheMuppetShow. @KristinBaver, that wonderful menagerie is begging for an oral history on @starwars.com. “Help me Kristin Baver, you’re my only hope….” #mtfbwy
— John Bishop (@jmbishopjr) February 20, 2021
That said, it’s been a long, long time since I have seen so many of these episodes, I am sure there will be *other eps to highlight in the very, very near future!
*But Mark Hamill’s will, for some reason, remain my favorite.