The Muppet Show Figured it Out On TV

It’s time to play the music,
It’s time to light the lights.
It’s time to get things started
On The Muppet Show tonight!

Have you ever re-watched the first season of The Muppet Show? They had no idea what they were doing.

I don’t mean technically – clearly Jim Henson and his team knew the technical details of puppetry and television production.

But creatively, the entire first season shows them groping in the dark – in public – to figure out what The Muppet Show was.

There are several examples of this: the type of jokes in Season 1 are different than later seasons, and the puppets themselves were less fully developed designs at the start. Characters develop from caricatures to fully realized over those 24 episodes.

But the best example is Miss Piggy. Amazingly, they didn’t even know who was doing Miss Piggy’s voice. It varied from sketch to sketch, apparently based on who was available. It took much of the first season before Frank Oz took over complete Piggy duties. Watch:

It’s inspiring to me: Jim Henson didn’t wait to produce The Muppet Show until he had the details all worked out. He thought, “I know this is a great idea, we’ll plan as much as we can and figure out the rest as we go.”

What great idea do you have that you could start realizing? Take a lesson from the Muppets and start now.