Wednesday, 30 May 2012
Kermit calls the Secret Service to hire real spies for Roger's closing number. (They're listed in the Yellow Pages.) However, Roger wants to do a cute, cuddly version of "Talk to the Animals". The spies, anxious for a chance to rub out James Bond, pose as fluffy animals to infiltrate the number in this the final Muppet Show from 1980.
Roger Moore arrives and Pops instantly recognizes him as James Bond. Roger points out that secret agents and spies are "all make believe." Once Roger has departed, "Agent" Pops calls for control to inform them that "007" has arrived. Roger catches Pops in the middle of his call, and demands to know who this "agent" is working for. "The frog! The frog!" Pops calls out. Roger releases Pops when he reveals that he too is working for "the frog."
"The Muppet Show theme. Gonzo's trumpet sounds like a coach's whistle, and so a soccer ball is thrown at him, pushing the trumpet down his throa.
For the opening number, a group of Viking pigs (described as "gentle, quaint, fun-loving old charmers" at the insistence of The Swedish Chef sing "In The Navy" as they pillage a coastal town.
Backstage,Scooter and Beauregard show Kermit the pies they got for the closing number. Kermit corrects them, he wantedspies for the closing number, as it was to be James Bond-themed. When he tells them to toss the pies away, Beauregard takes him literally and tosses his entire tray. Kermit is hit with one of the flying desserts.
Miss Piggy sings a flirtatious "On a Slow Boat to China" to Roger. Roger protests, claiming he is not Piggy's type, but she continues to woo him. The song is ended shortly before Roger's date arrives, and it is none other than Piggy's rival, Annie Sue. Roger reveals that they are going to the opening of Hamlet..
As Roger returns backstage, he stops to ask Kermit if they use pies on the show. "Spies?" Kermit asks. But Roger actually does mean pies for he's just "trod in one."
Lew Zealand and his singing fish sing a wet version of "You Light Up My Life" until he's pulled offstage by Piggy's Vaudevillian Hook.
Backstage, Piggy and Lew duke it out with hook and barracuda. Piggy insists the show have more class than Lew's fish act. When Lew has chased Miss Piggy off stage with Fred (the barracuda), Roger Moore approaches Kermit to ask if the show is always filled with such craziness. Kermit tells him that they're actually having a rather quiet night with no unforeseen disasters. Kermit is then instantly trampled by the cast of Vet's Hospital... but that was a foreseen disaster.
Dr Bob and his crew operate on a Viking from the opening number. He talks of his ancestor, the Viking, who "blundered at his plundering and was stupid with his pillaging." Dr. Bob ends the sketch with a new take on Roy Rogers trademark sign-off: "Good night, and may the good Lord take a Viking to you!"
Kermit calls the secret service for a bunch of spies. They arrive in an instant! When asked how he got the secret service's number, Kermit reveals that it was in the Yellow Pages. Kermit then explains that he was looking for spies for their closing number, a big spy spectacular featuring James Bond. At the mention of James Bond's name, the spies are all too eager to perform, or rather to "fix him."
When Kermit tries to tell Roger about the closing number, Roger reveals that he will be performing a "cute" number, surrounded by "oodles of cute, fluffy little creatures." The spies overhear this information, and since they are masters of disguise, dress up as cute, fluffy animals.
Muppet News flash. The News Man reports on an international spy ring trying to sneak ridiculous stories into the news. His very next news story is on a black and yellow striped mackerel being elected King. The Newsman doesn't believe it, of course, until the King arrives.
Kermit informs Scooter that the spies of snuck in amongst the animals. Scooter announces to the animals, "There are no spies in the closing number! Spies go home!" But no one does go home.
Roger sings "Talk to the Animals" in the closing number, but is forced to fight numerous spies when they try to assassinate him during the song with appropriately changed lyrics for the situation. Roger comes out victorious, and the animals rejoice.
At the closing, Roger informs Kermit that he has learned his lesson. He's through with "cute, cuddly little animals," and will instead stick to the "sick, weird, disgusting animals" that he trusts.
Jimmy Edwards, comedy actor and script writer, was surprised byEamonn Andrews at the BBC’s Piccadilly 1 Studio. Jimmy is perhaps best known as Pa Glum in BBC radio’s Take ItFrom Here and as the headmaster ‘Professor’ in BBC TV’s Whack-O.
This account of Jimmy Edwards This Is Your Life is taken fromGus Smith’s biography of Eamonn Andrews...When Eamonn was asked for hisdefinition of the ideal Life subject, he said thoughtfully, ‘The basicrequirement is a good story, a varied story, and if you can add to that apleasant, bubbling personality then you have something else going.’ He could not have looked for a more bubblingsubject than comedian Jimmy Edwards. Regarded as a larger-than-life individual,and a healthy mocker of false emotions, he posed an undoubted challenge toEamonn. Would the presenter try to match his ebullience? Or would he be contentto stick to his script and let the irrepressible Edwards poke his wicked funwithout provoking him?
The comedian had been born in Barnes in 1920 and served as apilot in the war with the RAF and was awarded the DGFC. It was a gamble whetherhe would become a school teacher or go on the stage. Deciding on the stage, in1946 he made his debut at London’ Windmill Theatre, the famous training groundfor most of the country’s comics. However, it was in the radio series Take ItFrom Here that he eventually made his name. Eamonn made no secret of the factthat he was a fan of the programme.
It was now 1958. Jimmy Edwards was being described as ‘a gruffbachelor, whose prowess on the hunting, shooting and polo fields were as wellknown as the shape of his moustache.’ When not working, he liked to retire tohis 400-acre farm in Sussex and keep an eye on the dairy herd and horses. The fun began as Eamonn led the comic,protesting loudly, to the stage of the Shepherd’s Bush Theatre. As his friendsin the business were paraded before him, Edwards ran his fingers lightlythrough his moustache and poked fun at all and sundry. Eamonn kept resolutelyto his prepared script and refused to be drawn into verbal combat. It seemedthe only course he could take, otherwise his words would be lost in the welterof audience laughter. Meanwhile, thereal drama was taking place behind the scenes. The Life team had been experiencing considerable trouble in locatingJimmy Edwards’ sister in Australia, but eventually contacted her. When theyexplained to her the reason for the call, she said enthusiastically, ‘I’d loveto be a guest in the show. I know Jimmy would love it also. But how do I getover at such short notice?
‘We’ll fly you over.’ The Life researcher told her. It meantsome hectic, last-minute flight arrangements, and when she eventually arrivedit was only hours before the show, or just enough time for flowers to bedelivered to her hotel room in Lancaster Gate. When Eamonn introduced her atthe climax of the show there was spontaneous applause from the audience. EvenJimmy, a compulsive talker, was almost lost for words. At the outset, he said he had anticipated aprogramme of such sentimental impact that there wouldn’t be a dry eye betweenLand’s End and Val Parnell. He was wrong. As one critic observed, ‘There wereno dry eyes last night. They were wet with laughter.’ And he added, ‘Edwardsmade wicked fun of Andrews. Andrews, playing himself, saw his programme rippedto shreds.’ Leslie Jackson disagreed. He felt that Eamonn, as presenter of theshow, coped admirably with the comedian’s non-stop wise-cracking. ‘It was a funprogramme and Eamonn helped to make it so by refusing to take on Jimmy.’
Off-stage, Eamonn and Jimmy were friends. Eamonn, a radio man tohis finger tips, admired the comedian’s technique and how he disguised it socleverly behind his large moustache. To radio listeners he came across, as onecritic put it, ‘with the subtlety of a battering ram, flattening resistance andsweeping the audience on wave after wave of hilarity,’ but to Eamonn, Jimmyknew how to make an audience laugh and sound extremely funny on radio.
They called him the ice man, but there was so much more to Björn Borg than cool detachment and a wispy beard. Thirty Two years after the Swede's last and greatest Wimbledon triumph and with Wimbledon just around the corner,I offer a remarkable portrait of the rebellious teenager who became an accidental Nordic mystic - and an all-time great.