Guest-starring Madeline Kahn!

Ben and Pete fall into an absolute spiral of film puns, but before they do that, they discuss the legacy and screen presence of Madeline Kahn, Pete’s lack of memory, the rivalry between New York’s and New Jersey’s most iconic troubadours, and how much the internet loves feet.

Sources and References:

“Happy Feet”, as featured in the film King of Jazz has been excerpted on YouTube, and is also part of the full-length film restoration as hosted by the Criterion Collection, but do check out the Sisters G in boxes, “Rubber Legs” Al Norman, and The Rhythm Boys in the classic 1930 footage. Especially if you then want to compare how many dancers there are in contrast to all the penguins in George Miller’s Happy Feet.

Floyd’s performance of “New York of Mind” prompted Ben to refer to the Vulture article ranking all 121 Billy Joel songs, on which Joel’s original recording places third. Peter had listened to New Jersey is the World refer to another Vulture article ranking songs by “The Boss”, and his grand total of songs was 340. The reason why Ben asked Pete about “Downeaster Alexa” was that it became the unofficial theme song to the Pistol Shrimps Radio podcast after so many references to it on the show.

If you, like Pete and Ben, had a hard time processing the lyrics of “The Pig Got Up and Slowly Walked Away”, try this Decca recording from 1935, which has a crystal clear rendition, plus a music hall-esque group chorus, and verses featuring other accents and farm animals. All in all, one wonders why it wasn’t even more of a musical sketch on The Muppet Show, unless the were worried about a magnified version of the sniffy response they eventually got from Nick Jr. Jim Croce, who regularly features as a performer who has done a version of songs that appear on the show, covered this tune in 1975.

Much of Ben’s questions about Madeline Kahn came from reading William Madison’s biography Madeline Kahn: Being the Music, but the information about other nominees for the Supporting Actress Academy Award came, naturally, from IMDB. A pretty good summary of the biography can be found in the AP Wire review of the book. A list of Kahn’s inserts on Sesame Street can be found on her Muppet Fandom page.

In addition to The Muppet Movie cast member Mel Brooks appearing in two of the films in Madeline Kahn’s top four on IMDB, there are a staggering member of other actors in those films appearing in the first Muppet theatrical outing.

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