“The Muppet Show” ran from 1976-1981, and introduced us to memorable characters like Fozzie Bear, the Swedish Chef, Gonzo, and Animal, while also creating cultural phenomena like “Pigs in Space” and the two grumps in the balcony, Statler and Waldorf.
One of the challenges for anyone with a good idea is to get other people to appreciate the idea’s scope, tone, and subtleties. Usually, a prototype does this best — a prototype is a great way to get ideas across and make them stick.
The clip below is the pitch used by Henson and company to sell the show to CBS. It starts slowly, but gets going toward the end. A small snippet is missing from the end. It showed Kermit coming on within the CBS logo and asking, “Now, what the hell was that?” It’s a great example of a prototype — the tone, humor, pacing, and puppetry are all very much in keeping with the ultimate product. The best prototype sells itself.
And for a little more nostalgia, here’s the show’s famous opening: