The Greatest Muppets Musical Guests… Ever
One of the best things about The Muppet Show (and Sesame Street, by association) was the incredible array of musical talent that they featured. In watching the old episodes on DVD, it's a veritable Who's Who of popular songcraft in the late 1970s. Here are my picks for the most unforgettable performers to ever share the stage with Henson's lovable cloth repertory. Alice Cooper - School's Out This one has it all - giant monsters, a creepy Muppet backing band, and of course Vincent Furnier, the founding father of shock rock. The first explosion goes off at a minute and twenty seconds in, and it's all downhill from there, as the performance devolves into classic Muppets chaos. Once Alice strips off his cap and gown to reveal a tattered red leotard, it's been burned into your brain forever. Buddy Rich - Drum Battle With Animal Legendary jazz drummer Buddy Rich is notorious for the heaps of abuse he piled on his sessionmen, but on the Muppet Show he finally meets his match in the skinbasher for Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. After Buddy taps his sticks through the backstage area, he sits behind the traps and starts playing, only to be joined by Animal, on a second drumset. It's a battle for the ages - but it gets really good when you realize Rich is playing both parts! Debby Harry - One Way Or Another The Blondie singer dons an orange prison jumpsuit to tear through her 1979 hit "One Way or Another" on a hellaciously nasty backalley set populated by rats, sharks, and other New York City street trash. And the twist at the end? Why, Debbie wasn't the prey, but rather the predator - throwing her arms around a blue Frankenstinian muppet-man as the song comes to a noisy close. Tony Clifton - Sing A Song Yes, that Tony Clifton - Andy Kaufman's bloated Vegas lounge singer alter ego. Backed by an insanely peppy quartet of singers, Kaufman collapses through a medley of schmaltz as Miss Piggy bullies the Muppets into praising him backstage. Add in showgirls and some ill-advised audience interaction and it's an unforgettable performance.