Created by Jim Henson
Directed by Philip Casson and Peter Harris
Featuring voices and puppetry by Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Dave Goelz, Jerry Nelson, Steve Whitmire, and many more.
Waldorf: Just when you think this show is terrible something wonderful happens.
Waldorf: It ends.
Okay, I admit it. I am a big geek for a lot of things, and one of those things is The Muppets. They just make me happy. Buena Vista Home Video recently released The Muppet Show: Season Three on DVD.
When The Muppet Show entered into their third season, Jim Henson and his cast of muppets were certifiable stars. Henson and company were working on the feature film The Muppet Show, Sesame Street continued to be a success and young and old alike tuned in every week for the pseudo vaudeville show The Muppet Show every week. Henson and his team were firing on all pistons.
The stars continued to line up for guest appearances on the show. This season, fans were treated to Kris Kristofferson, Rita Coolidge, Roy Clark, Gilda Radner, Pearl Bailey, Jean Stapleton, Alice Cooper, Loretta Lynn, Liberace, Marisa Berenson, Raquel Welch, James Coco, Helen Reddy, Harry Belafonte, Lesley Ann Warren, Danny Kaye, Spike Milligan, Leslie uggams, Elke Sommers, Sylvester Stallone, Roger Miller, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Lynn Redgrave and Cheryl Ladd and Leo Sayer.
Easy to tell these episodes were filmed between 1978-1979 from that list of names, right? Only on The Muppet Show will you see Roy Clark one week, Alice Cooper the next and then Liberace and Sylvester Stallone.
Alice Cooper even performs “Schools Out” and “Welcome to my Nightmare” with all the Muppets. That is worth the purchase price alone. Oh wait, you do get to see Sylvester Stallone and a lion puppet sing “Lets Call the Whole Thing Off” in full gladiator gear. And, Raquel Welch and Miss Piggy’s rendition of “I Am Woman” is pretty glitzy and goofy.
Another notable episode in this collection is the one in which Lynn Redgrave appears. Instead of the usual vaudeville format of the show, Redgrave and the Muppets use the time to put on a full production of Robin Hood.
Another step away from standard production was the episode with Loretta Lynn. With Loretta, the Muppets leave the regular theater and perform a country oriented show in a train station.
For dedicated Muppet fans, there are a lot of interesting episodes in this collection. So, if you are a big Muppet nerd, like myself, this is a no-brainer. This is going on the shelf right next to the Season 1 and Season 2 box sets. Wokka Wokka!
The Muppet Show: Season 3 is presented in the original full frame aspect ratio. Just like the other boxsets, the colors are a bit harsh and hazy and the white levels are a bit blown out. I wished the episodes looked better, but as a fan, I am happy to get them any way I can.
The Muppet Show: Season 3 is presented in Mono 2.0. It sounds okay for a seventies TV show, the laugh and applause tracks are a bit on the loud side, but any Muppet fan can still enjoy this collection.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
The Muppet Show: Season 3 is a 4 disc set presented in a 4 disc fold out encased in a cardboard slipcover with Fozzie the Bear on the cover. And, Fozzie is fuzzy!
There are some nice bonus features on this release that will make any Muppet fans heart beat a little faster. The best is The Muppets on Puppets featurette. Clocking in at 60 minutes, it is a hour long presentation by Jim Henson and company on the history of puppets and the evolution of his muppet characters. This was filmed in 1968 and it shows a young Frank Oz, Jerry Juhl, and Jim Henson. And, it features an early version of Rowlf and Kermit wearing a turtle neck.
Next up is A Company of Players that is a featurette on the puppeteers that bring the Muppets to life.
Also offered are the Purina Commercials from 1962-1963. Rowlf the Dog made his television debut in these rare commercials produced for Purina Dog Chow. Rowlf went on to become a national star on “The Jimmy Dean Show” (1963-1966) before settling into his role as the resident piano-playing hound dog on “The Muppet Show”. His sidekick in these spots, Baskerville, also was occasionally seen on “The Muppet Show” as well. Four original commercials are presented here.
Rounding things out is A Frog Is Born, an all-new featurette exploring the origins of Kermit the Frog and his relationship with creator, Jim Henson.
All things considered, a nice selection of bonus features, especially the rarely seen The Muppets On Puppets.
Overall (Not an Average) 9/10
The Season 9/10
The Video 5/10
The Audio 5/10
The Bonus Features and Packaging 8.5/10
Overall (Not an Average) 9/10