The series featured celebrity guest stars every week, as well as recurring skits and seeing what goes on behind the scenes while the show is going on. Some of the classic recurring skits from The Muppet Show include Pigs in Space, Veterinarian’s Hospital, The Swedish Chef, Muppet News Flash, and At the Dance.I was rather young when The Muppet Show was airing on television, but I did have some vague memories of it. When we purchased this box set and started watching it with our kids, I gained an even greater appreciation for this series than when I was younger. I think this was due in large part to the fact that I’m a lot older now and can better understand the jokes that would have gone over my head when I was a kid. Even though my kids may not completely understand all of the humor or necessarily recognize many of the celebrity guest stars, they could still enjoy the jumor that they could understand.
Over the course of the four discs in this set, a number of impressive guest stars made appearances. The first disc features Juliet Prowse, Connie Stevens, Joel Grey, Ruth Buzzi, Rita Moreno, and Jim Nabors. The second disc features Florence Henderson, Paul Williams, Charles Aznavour, Harvey Korman, Lena Horne, Peter Ustinov, and Bruce Forsyth. The third disc features Sandy Duncan, Candice Bergen, Avery Schreiber, Ben Vereen, Phyllis Diller, and Vincent Price. The final disc in the set features Valerie Harper, Twiggy, Ethel Merman, Kaye Ballard, and Mummenschanz.When it comes to the DVD set itself, I was little disappointed to discover that the episodes are presented as a single chapter. Since the episodes are presented as single chapters, there’s no way to skip to particular scenes or skits in an episode. On the plus side, there are English captions for the hearing impaired on the DVDs.
Each disc has a bonus feature labeled as “Muppet Morsels.” If you choose to activate the “Muppet Morsels,” text with trivia facts will appear on the screen as you watch the disc; sometimes, random graphics will also appear on the screen. Personally, I didn’t mind the text too much, because it’s kind of like watching a DVD with subtitles. However, I thought that the graphics were unnecessary and I found them to be rather annoying.The fourth disc also has three bonus features in addition to the “Muppet Morsels.” The first bonus feature is the original pitch reel that Jim Henson put together to try to sell The Muppet Show to CBS. It’s about three minutes long, and I found it to be amusing.
The second bonus feature is labeled as, “Season One Promo Gag Reel.” It appears these were pieces that were being done to promote the guest star on the upcoming episode of The Muppet Show. However, these were done in such a way to make it appear like they’re “bloopers.” Some of what I saw in the gag reel was amusing, but there were a couple of portions that weren’t quite so funny.The final bonus feature is the original pilot for The Muppet Show, which runs for about 25 minutes. This pilot feels more like a piece to explain what the show will be like. It’s very different than what was actually produced and aired on television. This pilot is hosted by Nigel, who is an orange-colored Muppet. Some of the characters who would become regulars on The Muppet Show, such as Sam the Eagle, Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, the Swedish Chef, and Statler and Waldorf also make appearances throughout this pilot. It’s an interesting thing to see from a historical perspective, but it’s not something I would watch too terribly often.
The Muppet Show: Season One DVD box set is the best way to get all of the episodes of the first season of The Muppet Show on DVD. If you enjoyed watching The Muppet Show as part of your childhood, this is a set that really should be in your home video library.I wrote this review after watching a copy of The Muppet Show: Season One that my husband and I purchased.