Henson Perspective: Guest-starring Connie Stevens!

Back from a long hiatus, and no longer quite on “anniversary schedule”, Pete and Ben turn their sights on the nomenclature of pairs, the legacy of earning the rank of Eagle Scout, and how the Ship of Theseus paradox works with editing and production numbers. And somehow that’s all supposed to tie in with Connie Stevens career and appearance on the Muppet Show. One, two, three, dip!

Sources and References:

IMDb trivia is the source for the claim that Connie Stevens was on the first episode of The Muppet Show to be taped, leading to the conversation and confusion about whether it was actually the first “production” episode. The Muppet Fandom pages confirm that Stevens’ production dates were two weeks earlier than that of Juliet Prowse, despite Prowse frequently listed as the first episode produced.

Pete’s recollection that tattoo artists train on pigs is fairly well sourced on the internet. This article in Vice focuses more on an art project about the our preconceptions of beauty, and does that by photographing dead pig heads that have been tattooed, so be forewarned. Ben’s assumption that they must practice on dead pigs, though, seems not to be accurate.

Yip Harburg’s recollection of the censored final verse of “Lydia the Tattooed Lady” comes from interviews with the lyricist in Harold Myerson’s Who Put the Rainbow in the Wizard of Oz? as excerpted in Google Books. Fats Waller performing “Ain’t Misbehavin'” alongside scenes with Lena Horne in Stormy Weather has been excerpted on YouTube. It’s a romantic version with an up-tempo break, and both variations have more verve than Floyd’s version, unfortunately.

Carrie Fisher spends a good third of HBO’s Wishful Drinking dissecting the various romantic fol-de-rols of her parents’ marriages — and the entanglements of the people they married — which includes a brief detour into Eddie Fisher’s marriage to Connie Stevens, who Carrie describes as a Debbie Reynolds “tribute” act.

Carrie Fisher in front of a blackboard of all her celebrity relations, pointing at Connie Stevens.

Ben in correct that the Wikipedia entry for “Teenager in Love” doesn’t seem to list any appearances of the song in popular culture beyond The Muppet Show, which is included in the “cover versions” section. is listed by Lyrics.com as appearing in both Diner and Peggy Sue Got Married, so Peter is correct that Ben should have recognized it, as he claims to have watched both of those movies.

Since recording this episode, Ben had occasion to ask an online group of people who were about to watch a livestream with Muppet performer Steve Whitmire about the “Ernie and Bert” versus “Bert and Ernie” debacle, thinking they would be a good sample of people who were Muppet fans.

“‘Ernie and Bert’ just doesn’t feel right.” The public has spoken.

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