Guest-starring Nancy Walker!

Pete and Ben get a little loopy about whether Fozzie should have engaged in a little time travel in order to establish his famous catchphrase before he started using it in honor of this week’s guest. Then they get loopier still about whether Pete’s rating system is baseless and can’t be trusted. Except, Ben’s going to go back and cut that part out. Whoops. Now we need ANOTHER temporal pincer movement for that.

Sources and References:

Pete’s facts about Nancy Walker being mistaken for Helen Walker, her part being expanded beyond its initial five lines, and her career as a Bounty paper towel spokesperson are in her IMDb trivia section He career on Rhoda and her directoral career come from her Wikipedia entry, although the detail about it scuppering further directoral efforts also is mentioned on IMDb.

The first note on the Muppet Fandom page about this episode is Pete’s fact about the backstage runner about Kermit being absent, and the Muppeteers creating a sequence about him not being there because of Henson’s actual absence. The wikia sources that, indeterminately, to Of Muppets and Men. A little digging indicates that anecdote is told by Jerry Juhl on page 69 of the book. Of potential interest is that Juhl says this to illustrate how essential Jim’s presence was on set, and that they didn’t always trust themselves to stage things without his vision to guide them. He tells this in reference to a scene involving wrestling to be directed by Phillip Casson, and that, due to Jim not being there, they bumped filming it to a later time. The next production episode, with Edgar Bergen, is also a Casson-directed episode, and features Gonzo failing to wrestle a brick.

This episode is the production premiere of the Luncheon Counter Monster, as mentioned in the episode, and why he has the awkward name. In addition to Ben recognizing him from having eaten the coffee machine in the George Burns episode, as said, Pete should have recognized him from wailing and wanting to be fed by shovel from across the room in the Dom DeLuise episode.

Scooter’s canonical teen-aged status is established in this episode. Ben’s memory of Scooter riding a skateboard in the 1993 Cardz set was faulty, as Scooter does not even have a character card in the set, and the “sports action!” card about skateboarding features only Kermit, Animal, and — bizarrely — Gonzo. But, as mentioned, the Palisades action figure of Scooter does have a skateboard in his possession.

Pete wishes that Fozzie repeating the name Walker had been the origin of his catchphrase “Wocka wocka wockaaa!”, while Ben mentions that ‘Hiya hiya!” has been his more traditional intro to his stand-up last season. Unsurprisingly, the Muppet Fandom page has an entry on the introduction and evolution of “Wocka wocka” by Fozzie.

Night Train is an album by Oscar Peterson, and if you wish to compare his version on that album to the cover by Marvin and the Starlighters than George McFly dances to, you may do so.

Erratta: While Ben claimed that the names of the birds must have been added later, based on the fact that the line drawings that prompted the designs of the birds in the “Birds in the Trees” sketch from Sax and Violence, a page listing the character assignments for that special indicates otherwise. The Muppet Fandom page for one of the birds, “Clyde“, has a footnote a small capture of a script page for Sex and Violence from the Jim Henson exhibit at the Museum of the Moving image. The full-sized version of that image shows that each of the birds was named even at that early juncture.

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