Saturday, October 27, 2012


Halloween is nearly upon us!  For Henson and his crew, Halloween seems like the perfect holiday.  It's the day to let your imagination run wild, have fun, and most importantly, be different.  Last year, we took a look at Vincent Price's appearance on The Muppet Show, but for a truly spooky experience, look no further than "Episode 307: Alice Cooper."

It's a graveyard smash!

Alice Cooper was famous for his offbeat persona that he used to separate himself from his rock and roll contemporaries.  His performances were very reminiscent of horror movies, bringing in violent props and creepy monsters.  So of course, Alice brings along his own crew of Muppet monsters known as "The Vile Bunch."

Appearing for one night only!

Alice and his monsters set the mood for the show, resulting in a lot of "scary" and supernatural moments that leave everyone on edge.  He even offers to arrange a meeting with Kermit to sell his soul to the devil for fame and glory.

Just sign the contract.

But behind the black makeup and demonic associations, Alice Cooper is just a regular nice guy.  Despite the horror theme of the episode, the characters are never truly in danger.  At one point, Sam the Eagle confronts Alice, decrying his freakish ways, and Alice of course takes it all as a warm compliment.

Can't a guy just put on his eye shadow in peace?

See, Alice knows that he is being weird and he celebrates it.  And what are the Muppets, if not an endorsement for embracing your weird side?  With the creepy musical numbers, the Muppets are still able to show their softer side, like when Robin sings "Over the Rainbow."  But it's just as much fun letting loose and not worrying about looking strange.

In fact, one sketch is quite similar to Henson's earlier experimental films.  A stalactite complains about a toothache while the rest of the cavern echos his thoughts.  It is bizarre and introspective about the nature of thoughts and it becomes a repetitive cycle by the end as it seems the pain will never truly go away.

I didn't even know that rocks had teeth.

This is just a brief overview of the episode because I feel that this is best experienced as an entire entity.  It is one of the best episodes due to its more-surreal-than-average nature and it's willingness to not be constrained by society's limitations.

If you are looking for some great Muppety Halloween entertainment this year, look no further than the Alice Cooper episode of The Muppet Show.

It's a scream!

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