From Muppet Wiki
Seth Rogen and the SNL
cast spoof The Muppet Movie
Kermit and De Niro sing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
The Muppets and Horatio Sanz sing "Christmas is Number One"
The Muppets' billing in the first season, which came before the "Not Ready for Prime Time" players.
Timberlake and a fake Kermit puppeteer.
Saturday Night Live is a late-night sketch comedy series which premiered on NBC on October 11, 1975, and introduced a number of new comics and distinctive, recurring characters -- much like Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In years earlier, but with an edgier, late-night sensibility.
The Muppets were regular performers in the first season of Saturday Night Live (1975-76). The characters, which were specifically created for the show, appeared in the Land of Gorch segments. Fifteen sketches were produced, featuring performances by Muppeteers Jim Henson, Jerry Nelson, Frank Oz, Alice Tweedie, Fran Brill, and Richard Hunt.
The series of sketches lasted from SNL's first episode to April of 1976 (and became a recurring joke in the show's second season). The book Live From New York by TV critic Tom Shales details the backstage conflict between the writers of the show, who resisted integrating the Muppets into the show during the first year, and the Muppet performers.
- The Muppets returned after 28 years for an episode hosted by Robert De Niro on December 18, 2004. Kermit the Frog sang "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" with De Niro during the opening monologue. Later in the show, Kermit, Gonzo, Fozzie and Animal sang the annual SNL Christmas song, "Christmas is Number One," with Horatio Sanz. All four Muppets (and their performers) were also present at the close of the show, when De Niro thanked them for being there. The Muppeteers were Steve Whitmire, Eric Jacobson, Dave Goelz and David Rudman. Kermit and Robert's duet was later included in the show's 2009 Christmas compilation special, "A Very Gilly Christmas".
Muppet Mentions & Spoofs
- In a Bees sketch that spoofed Peter Pan, one of the Bees says that they are "Like the Muppets, only with longer contracts."
- During the time when the Muppets were still appearing regularly on SNL, Chevy Chase stood in one night when they weren't available. Using the Gorch set, Chase used his bare hands to perform a sketch about a lonely wife and her milkman.
- The opening sketch in a 1976 episode featured Chevy Chase (calling from the hospital) instructing Gilda Radner to "walk like a Muppet."
- In a 1977 episode, Baba Wawa (Gilda Radner) interviews Godzilla and asks him if he's Japanese. Godzilla responds, "Uh, no. You know, a lot of people think I'm from Japan, or a Muppet, you know? Actually, I'm neither. Actually, I'm Hawaiian."
- In a 1983 "Weekend Update" segment, it is reported that a number of films have been banned from Norway. One of them is The Muppet Movie "because during the entire film, Miss Piggy performs with a man's hand up her dress."
- In a 1990 sketch, "America's Most Wanted: Former Child Stars," grown-up child star Rodney Allen Rippy (Tim Meadows) says "I'm in an audition tomorrow - I'll be the voice of a Muppet Baby!"
- In a 1991 episode, Nat X (Chris Rock) interviews Vanilla Ice (Kevin Bacon). When Vanilla Ice says that he is from the streets, Nat X responds, "What street? Sesame Street?"
- In a 1996 Celebrity Jeopardy parody sketch, Phil Donahue (Darrell Hammond) responded to the question "This December 25th holiday involves decorating a tree and opening presents" with a monologue on Christmas commercialism stating "Little Bobby and little Susie have hung their stockings with care. Mom and Dad are out looking for Tickle-Me-Elmo 'til five a.m., and all of a sudden, Bobby looks up and he says, 'Hey! Who is this Jesus?' Meanwhile, Kris Kringle is drinking Coke! The reindeer are playing Nintendo! The elves are wearing Nike..."
- In a 1996 edition of "Weekend Update," Norm MacDonald reported that "the number one selling doll this Christmas is Tickle Me Elmo. And the least popular selling doll? You guessed it - Tickle Me Frank Stallone."
- In a 1999 sketch, the Bloder Brothers, Wayne and Kip (Chris Parnell and Jimmy Fallon), hit on Cindy (Julianna Margulies) while her friend Clair (Ana Gasteyer) helps fight the creeps off:
- Cindy: Oh, don’t worry, Clair. I don’t think these Muppets here could hurt me.
- Kip: Well, I, for one, just changed my name to Elmo. Tickle me... [laughs]
- Wayne: Uh, can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?
- In a 2000 "Weekend Update" sketch, Joacob Silj (Will Ferrell) explains to anchor Tina Fey how his life is affected by his voice immodulation disorder (the inability to control the pitch or volume of one's voice):
- Joacob Silj: Imagine being at a high school dance, singing along with everyone else "and a little bit softer now, and a little bit softer now, and a little bit softer now." Or how about sitting in the privacy of your church confessional and whispering to your priest, "I've had impure thoughts about that hippy puppet in the Muppet Show Band."
- Tina Fey: Janice?
- Joacob Silj: Janice, yes.
- In a 2000 Celebrity Jeopardy parody sketch, the last category on the board is "Famous Muppet Frogs." Alex Trebek (Will Ferrell) says, "I should add that the answer to every question in that category is Kermit." Robin Williams (Jimmy Fallon) replies "Yes it's like Kermit and John Wayne goin', 'It's not easy being green, pilgrim.' It's like Schwarzenegger, 'Ya, I'm Kermit the frog, ya that's me, Schwarzenegger Kermit.'
- In a 2001 "Weekend Update" segment, Jimmy Fallon reported that "This week on Sesame Street, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan gave Elmo a lesson in conflict resolution. Elmo said he liked the nice man, but still won't let inspectors inside his chemical weapons plant."
- In a 2001 "Hardball" parody, Chris Matthews (Darrell Hammond) tells Paul Begala (Chris Kattan), "Zip it, Kermit! Go back to Fraggle Rock! Let the grown-ups talk about politics!"
- In a 2002 "Weekend Update" segment, Jimmy Fallon joked about a real news story stating "A man in Indiana was arrested for stealing a chicken, taking it to a motel, and having sex with it until it died. Police have issued a warrant for this man" - wherein a picture of Gonzo was displayed.
- AJ: Yo Baby K, you mackin', you must have all the chicken heads comin' after you.
- Free: Yehh, yehhh!
- Baby K: What do you mean? Chicken Elmo?
- Lady Three: Ooh yeh yeh! He likes that Chicken Dance Elmo. That's a nature rider, I mean he got his pick of the Chicken Dance Elmos in any town.
- In the 2002 edition of "Christmas is Number One", Tracy Morgan appeared dressed in a giant Chicken Dance Elmo costume.
- In a 2002 Christmas sketch, a young boy asks a department store Santa (Robert De Niro) for a Chicken Dance Elmo, to which the snide Santa replied "Chicken Dance Elmo - that's great. You know what's even better? What's a better gift? An environment of emotional maturity."
- When Justin Timberlake hosted the show in 2003, he attempted to fufill a life-long dream - singing with Kermit the Frog. A mock Kermit the Frog puppet appeared behind a brick wall and the two began to sing "The Rainbow Connection." But the act morphed into an all-out brawl when Timberlake accidently stepped on Bill, the puppeteer (played by Will Forte). (Transcript)
- In a 2004 sketch, Night Terrors (Snoop Dogg) says to Abe Scheinwald (Rachel Dratch), "I like you, weird old dude. You´re like that old Muppet that be hanging in the balcony criticizing people."
- In a 2004 sketch parodying "Hardball with Chris Matthews," Matthews (Darrell Hammond) commented on Mary Beth Cahill's (Amy Poehler) wide-eyed appearance, stating "I haven't seen eyes like that since Jim Henson glued 'em to a sock."
- In a 2005 "Weekend Update" segment, Amy Pohler reported that "This season's Sesame Street will begin running stories about healthy eating habits with Cookie Monster learning that there are anytime foods like vegetables and sometimes foods like cookies. Executives are also considering changing the characters name to Pilates Monster." A graphic of Cookie Monster doing Pilates was shown, to which Amy commented "Tight abs."
- The January 14, 2006 episode featured the sketch "SmorgasbØrd," a fake Swedish cooking show starring Scarlett Johansson and Seth Meyers. The program featured a cut-away commercial in the middle featuring Andy Samberg as the Swedish Chef in an ad for "Swedish Chef Ringtones" (a take-off on the Crazy Frog/Axel F ringtone). The Chef sang in faux-Swedish while an announcer stated "You asked for it. You wanted it. Now here it is, Swedish Chef ringtones. The Swedish Chef - when it comes to Scandinavia, he's what's cooking!"
- The February 4, 2006 episode, three Hamas leaders (played by Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, and Seth Meyers) tell Steve Martin that they are fans of "all three" of Martin's movies: The Jerk, The Man with Two Brains, and The Muppet Movie.
- A "Saturday TV Fun House" segment from the April 15, 2006 episode mocked Disney's direct-to-video sequels of their classic animated films. In the segment, two kids are taken by Mickey Mouse into the Disney Vault. While there, the children unearth a number of the company's dirty secrets, including a bound and gagged Jim Henson and Kermit. Mickey breaks down: "He wouldn't sell! He wouldn't sell....!" (a reference to a broken deal between the Henson and Disney companies circa 1990).
- In an October 2006 cartoon by Robert Smigel, President Bush displays a pair of political attack ads the Republicans will use against the Democrats during the upcoming midterm elections. The first ad has Ted Kennedy in a Dracula costume saying he wants to Cut and Run. He then proceeds to French kiss Osama Bin Laden. Barack Obama then appears dressed as Count von Count from Sesame Street counting "One Gay Marriage, etc."
- In the January 8, 2007 "Weekend Update" segment, Amy Pohler reported that "new research shows that women think men with square jaws are good short-term partners, while men with softer, rounder faces are perceived as better long term mates. In other words, you date Bert but you marry Ernie." A graphic of the Muppet duo was then displayed.
- In the January 20, 2007 episode, in a sketch called "Two A-holes at an Adoption Agency," the female "a-hole" (Kristen Wiig) shows a picture of Baby Gonzo and asks if their new baby can look like him.
- In the October 6, 2007 episode, in a sketch called "Rowlf & the Swedish Chef," Rowlf (host Seth Rogen) and the Chef (Andy Samberg) introduce themselves on the main stage. Rowlf, at the piano, offers to play "Rainbow Connection," but the song gives the Chef a bad recollection of being asked by Celine Dion to perform it. They are joined on stage by Animal (Bill Hader), Zoot (Fred Armisen) and Janice (Maya Rudolph), for a none-too-subtle performance of "Beyond the Sea."
- The opening of the March 1, 2008 episode featured a satire of the motion picture Juno and its rather hip dialogue such as "honest to blog." Screenwriter Diablo Cody (played by Andy Samberg) asks Ellen Page (playing herself), "What is your dental damage, Kermit the Blog?"
- The March 8, 2008 episode featured a skit with cast member Kristen Wiig's character Penelope, who has a habit of one-upping the people around her. Amy Adams' character is a traffic school teacher who finally gets fed up with student Penelope and says, "You know what Penelope, Penelope I have had enough . . . I guess now's a good time to tell everyone I'm friends with Kermit the Frog. What do you think of that? . . . " Penelope responds that "Um, guess I'll say that, um, I'm best friends with all Muppets. Including Scooter, so, I was invited to all of their weddings, so . . . "
- The January 10, 2009 episode featured a skit with Kristen Wiig's recurring character Penelope, a habitual braggart with a compulsive need to one-up everyone around her. Amid her outlandish claims, Penelope states that she used to be a puppet and was on Fraggle Rock.
- In the Weekend Update for February 14, 2009, Angie Tempura (Kristen Wiig) appears to give her insight on who should or who should not win the Oscars. When she gets to who should not win, she refers to the Oscars as the Oscar the Grouch awards.
- The Muppet Movie was spoofed on April 4, 2009 in a sketch called "Muppet Bus", with Seth Rogen once again playing Rowlf the Dog. Other cast members appeared as other Muppets -- characters included Fozzie Bear (Jason Sudeikis), Gonzo (Bobby Moynihan), Camilla, Kermit the Frog (Will Forte), Beaker (Kristen Wiig), The Swedish Chef (Andy Samberg), Animal (Bill Hader), Janice (Michaela Watkins), Zoot (Fred Armisen) and Janice (Michaela Watkins). In the sketch, the Muppets sing "Movin' Right Along" as they barrel down the highway in the Electric Mayhem Bus. The fun turns dark when Rowlf hits somebody with the bus, and keeps driving. (Animal screams, "Hit and run! Hit and run!") The bus gets pulled over by a cop, which turns out to be a cameo by Nipsey Russell. Zoot shoots the cop, and Rowlf drives away. They sing "The Muppet Show Theme" as they head for Mexico. (See NBC.com for the clip.)
- The same episode includes Fraggle Rock as the address for a CD mail-away.
- In the Weekend Update for November 14, 2009, Seth Meyers reports that New York City declared November 10 as "Sesame Street Day" and temporarily named a street after the show, "but if anyone pops out of a trash can there, don't stop and chat with them."
- The opening monologue for Blake Lively's December 6, 2009 show commented on her meeting the Muppets at the Christmas in Rockefeller Center after party. Andy Samberg, dressed as the Swedish Chef then appeared, followed by other cast members dressed as Animal (Bill Hader), Fozzie (Jason Sudeikis), Gonzo (Bobby Moynihan), Beaker (Kristen Wiig), Zoot (Fred Armisen), and Janice (Jenny Slate).
- A 1995 episode of Sesame Street (Episode 3368) featured a spoof of the recurring Saturday Night Live sketch (and films) "Wayne's World", entitled "Telly's Town". In the episode, Telly and Big Bird put on a show similar to Wayne's World - and acting similar to Wayne and Garth. Mike Myers (as Wayne) appeared as a tuba deliveryman in the episode, as well. A monster resembling Garth appears at the end of the episode, playing in the band.
- A sketch from Season 30 of Sesame Street features Telly as "King Telly-Tut," singing about his triangle-loving Egyptian ancestor in a musical number which parodies Steve Martin's famous "King Tut" routine from the SNL episode he hosted on April 22, 1978.
- In a Sesame Street sketch, Hansel and Gretel spoof Saturday Night Live's "Hans and Franz" by saying "We just want to drop *clap* bread crumbs" with thick Austrian accents. (First: Episode 4125)
- A 2008 t-shirt by Coastal Concepts depicts Ernie and Bert as Georg Festrunk and Yortuk Festrunk, Dan Aykroyd and Steve Martin's "Two Wild and Crazy Guys" characters from SNL's third season.
Cast & Crew
- Don Pardo, announcer (1975-current)
- Dan Aykroyd, cast member (1975-1979)
- John Belushi, cast member (1975–1979)
- Chevy Chase, cast member (1975–1976)
- Jane Curtin, cast member (1975–1980)
- Laraine Newman, cast member (1975–1980)
- Gilda Radner, cast member (1975–1980)
- Bill Murray, cast member (1976-1980)
- Brian Doyle-Murray, cast member (1979-1980), (1981-1982)
- Mitchell Kriegman, writer (c. 1980)
- Gilbert Gottfried, cast member (1980–1981)
- Eddie Murphy, cast member (1980–1984)
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus, cast member (1982–1985)
- Billy Crystal, cast member (1984–1985)
- Martin Short, cast member (1984–1985)
- Joan Cusack, cast member (1985–1986)
- Robert Downey, Jr., cast member (1985–1986)
- Robert Smigel, writer and featured performer (1985–present)
- Kevin Nealon, cast member (1986–1995)
- Conan O'Brien, writer (1987-1991)
- Ben Stiller, featured performer (1988–1989)
- Mike Myers, cast member (1989-1995)
- Chris Rock, cast member (1990–1993)
- Rob Schneider, cast member (1990–1994)
- Adam Sandler, cast member (1991-1995)
- Sarah Silverman, featured performer (1993–1994)
- Michael McKean, cast member (1993–1995)
- Molly Shannon, cast member (1994–2001)
- Hugh Fink writer (1995-2002)
- Stephen Colbert, voice of Ace in "The Ambiguously Gay Duo" (1996–present)
- Tina Fey, writer and cast member (1997-2006)
- Jimmy Fallon, cast member (1998-2005)
- Horatio Sanz, cast member (1998–2006)
- Seth Meyers. writer and cast member (2001-current )
Hosts and Musical Guests