Today you can watch The Muppet Show that Shirley Bassey was on in 1980. It was episode 504 and the last Muppet Show that was recorded. Due to copyright claims the video can’t be uploaded to YouTube. That is why it is now directly uploaded to the blog but it will be on here only temporarily because it uses up a lot of space on the blog. Below a few videos I found on Youtube of the show but the quality is not great. This show is still available on DVD.
The red gown that Shirley wears on the Muppet Show singing Goldfinger she also wore at the 1987 Berlin concert. Unfortunately it was destroyed in a fire later.
The following review was written by longtime ToughPigs friend David Beukema. Thanks for sharing your love of The Muppet Show with us, David!
If you’re a regular reader of The Muppet Show: 40 Years Later, my name will not be a familiar one. Tough Pigs brought me in as a ringer this week, because not only am I a Muppet Show fanatic, I am also an obsessive fan of this week’s guest star, Shirley Bassey! I was probably around 12 when I first saw this episode, and from that jumping off point, Shirley evolved into my all-time favorite singer. I got to thinking, though: would I have discovered Shirley on my own without The Muppet Show? Certainly I would have been aware of her Bond themes (she’s the only artist to sing more than one, and she did THREE, thank you very much), but would my love of her and her catalogue of songs have taken off without her being a guest star? With Shirley as a jumping off point, I began to examine the influence of Muppet Show guest stars in my life.
Shirley was on another level, though. Her “dramatic sophistication”, as Kermit puts it in one of his introductions, transfixed me, and over the years I’ve collected everything she ever recorded (over 800 songs, with more to come this fall with the release of her new album). And this fandom, though strongest with Shirley, didn’t end there.
I could easily keep waxing rhapsodic about guest stars and their impact on me, but let’s get into the episode itself! The Muppet Theater has been loaned $50,000,000 worth of gold to be used for Shirley’s closing number – her signature song “Goldfinger” – and along with the gold comes a surly guard, Bruno, in the fine tradition of single episode antagonists like Inspector LaBrea (Dizzy Gillespie episode) or Big Tiny Tallsaddle (Johnny Cash episode). Bruno is a jerk, but he’s a terrific Jerry Nelson character, so we’ll give him a pass. The episode revolves around his aggressive defending of the gold, and several characters run afoul of him for touching or taking the precious metal, from Kermit to Beaker to the Newsman to even Shirley herself.
The Electric Mayhem starts us off with a fantastic opening number (shining a light on its most obscure member), Muppet Labs solves the age-old dilemma of turning gold into cottage cheese, Gonzo performs one of his strangest acts, and we get two instrumental numbers that really highlight the expert puppetry of the Muppet performers
Pennies From Heaven
A long time ago
A million years BC
The best things in life
Were absolutely free.
But no one appreciated
A sky that was always blue.
And no one congratulated
A moon that was always new.
So it was planned that they would vanish now and them
And you must pay before you get them back again.
That’s what storms were made for
And you shouldn’t be afraid for
Every time it rains it rains
Pennies from heaven.
Don’t you know each cloud contains
Pennies from heaven.
You’ll find yor fortune falling
All over town.
Be sure that your umbrella is upside down.
Trade them for a package of sunshine and flowers.
If you want the things you love
You must have showers.
So when you hear it thunder
Don’t run under a tree.
There’ll be pennies from heaven for you and me