Henson Perspective: Guest-starring Harvey Korman!

Harvey Korman grumps his way through an episode where he apparently only spent a third of the time a guest normally commits to production, and Muffy the dog seems to take against him for it. How will Pete and Ben feel? Also, what do they think about underaged frogs on Top of the Pops, replacement drummers, and the meaning of life?

Sources and References:

Some of Korman’s reminiscences about his relationship with the legacy of The Carol Burnett Show came from an interview with the Television Academy Foundation. This is where he claims he was on the first broadcast episode of The Muppet Show and dishes about the delays and false starts in filming the Pink Panther sequel. The interview with the New York Times where he is attempting to position himself as lead instead of “second banana” is in the newspaper’s archives. The AV Club excerpted a book about the backstage goings-on at Saturday Night Live to inform us that Lorne Michael didn’t think much of Carol Burnett. And Harvey Korman’s television and appearances where he does actually schedule himself with enough time to sing are listed on the Golden Throats Fandom page.

H. Fraser-Simpson’s musical arrangements of A.A. Milne’s poems are copyrighted 1925 and reproduced in this PDF, with “Halfway Down” appearing on the eleventh page. The performance by Robin on Top of the Pops is on YouTube, where you can see that it has neither the blue/purple, nor the orange/brown lighting in the background, so it is a third version. Ben may have over-egged Noel’s creepy take on just what Robin might be doing on those stairs, but not by much.

Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles might be the best source of Muppet Movie connections, with — as mentioned on the podcast — Brooks, Dom DeLuise, and Madeline Kahn all appearing in both. In addition to Gregory Hines appearing in both Muppets Take Manhattan and History of the World, Part 1, Brooks’ film also features Orson Welles, who also appears in The Muppet Movie in order to offer Kermit the standard “rich and famous” contract.

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