The Muppet Show
By Kari Croop,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Classic Muppet series mixes stars and kid-friendly content.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Exposes kids to a variety of artistic elements -- from pop songs to poetry -- although education is not the explicit purpose of the show.
Targets parents and kids with express purpose of trying to make them laugh. But in between sketches, Kermit stresses importance of teamwork, gratitude, and integrity while 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. Some culturally insensitive and stereotypical depictions of human and puppet characters, including Native Americans, people from the Middle East, and others.
Violence & Scariness
Cartoonish violence in the form of bonks to the head, laboratory explosions, or the audience throwing tomatoes.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Miss Piggy has an ongoing crush on Kermit the Frog and will occasionally pepper him with kisses or try to make him jealous. Their complicated on-again, off-again relationship is a big part of the show, and there's some occasional innuendo within jokes.
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Products & Purchases
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.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Muppet Show is a vibrant mix of live action and puppetry that was created to entertain both parents and kids, which means the content is generally very family-friendly. A show-within-a-show concept, the series finds Kermit and his Muppet friends trying to put on a weekly variety show featuring celebrity guests of the time (Steve Martin, Mark Hamill, Rita Moreno, etc.). 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. There are also some culturally insensitive and stereotypical depictions of human and puppet characters, including Native Americans, people from the Middle East, and others.
Where to Watch
Videos and Photos
The Muppet Show
Based on 7 parent reviews
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The Muppet Show was a amazing show
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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?
Most kids would be entertained just by looking at the Muppets, even if they never spoke, so it goes without saying that this skit-driven-show Show still succeeds at serving up laughs for all ages. Though, some of the celebrity guest stars -- and their era-specific hairstyles -- are a little dated. (Singer 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?
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the cartoonish violence in The Muppet Show and the role it plays in creating comedy. Why do we laugh when a science experiment blows up in 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?
How does The Muppet Show promote gratitude, integrity, and teamwork? Why are these important character strengths?
- Premiere date: September 5, 1976
- Cast: Dave Goelz, Frank Oz, Jim Henson
- Network: Syndicated
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Arts and Dance, Friendship, Music and Sing-Along, Puppets
- Character Strengths: Gratitude, Integrity, Teamwork
- TV rating: TV-G
- Last updated: February 18, 2023
Did we miss something on diversity?
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