The Muppet Show

Common Sense Media says

Classic Muppet series mixes stars and kid-friendly content.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

The show exposes kids to a variety of artistic elements -- from pop songs to poetry -- though education is not the explicit purpose of the show.

Positive messages

The show targets parents and kids with the express purpose of trying to make them laugh. But in between sketches, Kermit stresses the importance of teamwork and delivering high-quality family entertainment.

Positive role models

Some Muppets, like Kermit, are exemplary when it comes to behavior, while others are less than perfect -- but negative actions rarely go unchecked.The two grumpy guys in the box seats regularly make fun of the show and its performers, but their comments will go over the heads of younger kids.

Violence & scariness

Some cartoonish violence in the form of bonks to the head, laboratory explosions, or the audience throwing tomatoes.

Sexy stuff

Miss Piggy has an ongoing crush on Kermit the Frog and will occasionally pepper him with kisses or try to make him jealous.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The show doesn't tout specific brands, but popular artists of the day -- including Elton John and Julie Andrews -- appeared to perform their music. The Muppets themselves are also big business in the form of DVDs, books, dolls, etc.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this vibrant mix of live action and puppetry was created to entertain both parents and kids, which means the content is family-friendly to a fault. The series does serve to promote the Muppet brand, but that's not really the point. There's also some cartoonish violence in the form of explosions, falls, and other shenanigans, but no one gets seriously injured.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Taking their cues from harried host Kermit the Frog (voiced by Jim Henson), Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, and the rest of the Muppet gang put on a star-studded variety show in THE MUPPET SHOW, a family-friendly series that mixes puppetry with celebrity appearances and clever pop-culture parodies. The show premiered in 1976 and lasted for five seasons, winning four Emmy Awards and a slew of other honors.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Most kids would be entertained by merely looking at the Muppets, even if they never opened their mouths. So it goes without saying that the skit-driven Muppet Show still succeeds at serving up laughs for all ages, even though some of the celebrity guest stars -- and their era-specific hairstyles -- are a little dated. (Songstress Anne Murray and illusionist Doug Henning come to mind.)

There's just something about Muppet humor that's inherently timeless, whether it's the Swedish Chef's spirited "bort-bort-bort!" or Dr. Bunsen Honeydew's accident-prone experiments with Beaker in the Muppet Labs. But the series' real genius lies in its tip-of-the-hat to parents at home with clever parodies of pop-culture touchstones, including the Lost in Space-inspired sci-fi spoof "Pigs in Space." It kind of makes you wish The Muppet Show was still on the air...can you imagine the fun they'd have now?

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about cartoonish violence and the role it plays in creating comedy. Why do we laugh when a science experiment blows up Beaker's face, for example? Does the fact that puppets are getting hurt -- rather than people -- make a difference?

  • Do you think The Muppet Show and Sesame Street -- both of which feature Muppets -- were designed for different audiences? How can you tell?

  • How does The Muppet Show compare with other family shows that are on television today? Kids: Do you like it, and do the Muppets make you laugh? Parents: Is the show as good as you remember?

TV details

Cast:Dave Goelz, Frank Oz, Jim Henson
Network:Syndicated
Genre:Comedy
Topics:Arts and dance, Friendship, Music and sing-along, Puppets
TV rating:TV-G
Available on:DVD

This review of The Muppet Show was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written by1visualFXguy May 23, 2013
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

Awesome Show But Had One Scary Episode.

I loved Muppets when I was a kid. My favorite characters were Kermit, Gonzo, Animal, and the Swedish Chef. I also liked the performances by. Dr. Teeth & The Electric Mayhem. I have seen every episode and remember most skits. The episode with Alice Cooper scared me into not liking Muppets for a while. When I finally got back into them I liked them better. Violence : Explosions, slapstick comedy, some scariness. Language : The word 'hell' has been used in several songs. Sexual Content : None. Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking : Characters sometimes smoke, but remember this was the '70s. Scariness : Like I mentioned earlier, you should wait until your kids are at least 8 or 9 to watch the Alice Cooper one. Also some monsters and ghosts on the shows can scare little kids. Unchristian Things : They performed "The Devil Went to Georgia", which isn't that big of a deal and Alice Cooper asked Kermit to sell his soul to him. Overall, it's a good show for 5+.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 10 years old March 10, 2013
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

Great Show,But Be Warned

First Of All,Let Me Say that The Muppets Are Funny,Great,And Talented. But,When My Dad And I Were Watching It(Season One Of The Muppet show) There Was Something Not Appropriate.Well,At Least That's What My Dad Thought. When The Part Came Up,He Asked me''Is This Appropriate''? But We Kept Watching.And In Another Weird Sketch,Kermit Was Singing About Some Tattooed Pig(Not Ms.Piggy Though!) But Even Though The Muppets Are Funny,Great,And Talented,There is Some Weird/Inappropriate Sketchs.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Teen, 13 years old Written byCSKY42 April 10, 2012
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

TOMATOES

The audience throws tomatoes (GASP)
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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