Michael Wermuth – “The Muppet Revue” is one of ten compilation videos released by Playhouse Video in 1985 spotlighting The Muppet Show, and is one of only three in the collection to not be tied to a single theme, instead highlighting a variety of the best that The Muppet Show has to offer. Like the other two videos that aren’t themed around anything, this one is hosted by Kermit and Fozzie as they clean up the theater’s attic and come across various props from the show, bringing back old memories, including appearances by guest stars Linda Ronstadt (“Blue Bayou”), Paul Williams (“A Sad Song”), Harry Belafonte (“Turn the World Around”), and Rita Moreno (“Fever”).
This video contains an excellent choice of clips, many of which are often featured in other Muppet retrospectives. We get Kermit’s two best-known Muppet Show numbers “Happy Feet” and “Bein’ Green,” Miss Piggy’s “I Get Around” and “Staying Alive,” three great Swedish Chef sketches, Marvin Suggs and the Muppaphone’s rendition of “Lady of Spain,” Gonzo’s motorcycle act, Sam the Eagle’s speech on nudity, the time Miss Piggy weighed down the Swinetrek, the time Bunsen invented the gorilla detector, the classic “Mahna Mahna,” and so much more.
And at times, this video sort of feels like an informercial or pitch for the show (which had already ended its run a few years before the video was released). Kermit’s first introduction to a guest star clip has him informing the viewers, “We not only have a lot of songs and silliness, but also great guest stars”. Between clips of Bobby Benson’s Baby Band and Geri and the Attrics, Kermit says that “We not only have stuff for the kids, we also offend the old folks!” At another point, Kermit says “We on The Muppet Show are concerned with all animal causes. On the other hand, Sam Eagle is concerned with all kinds of things.” After Fozzie comments on how weird the “Mahna Mahna” number is, Kermit tells him to think of all the normal stuff they have, like Muppet Labs (“That’s normal?”).
While all ten of the compilation videos represent the very best of The Muppet Show, this one does a super job in clip selections, featuring many of the best-known clips. It also does the best in representing the whole series. It includes clips from every major recurring segment except for Veterinarian’s Hospital, and has clips with every essential character except for Robin, Dr. Teeth, Beaker, and Sweetums. If you need to convince somebody to become a Muppet fan but can only spend one hour doing so, have them watch this video!
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org