The Muppets are one of those tricksy chunks of IP that fans almost categorically love the more the creations skew towards the original series’ comedic stylings and sensibilities. After a pair of so-so modern Muppet features, a sendup of The Office, and the short-lived Muppets Now, Disney’s finally come to its senses and just given viewers something they want.
Beginning in February, every episode of Jim Henson’s variety series The Muppet Show — including the fourth and fifth seasons which previously only aired on television — is finally coming to Disney+ to remind everyone how the Muppets first set out on their path to becoming international superstars.
“It’s going to be great to welcome back longtime fans, and to give a new generation of fans a chance to see how we got our start, how Miss Piggy became a star and so much more,” Kermit the Frog “said” in a Disney press release. “Today, I’m proud to say: ‘It’s time to play the music, light the lights and meet the Muppets on Disney Plus tonight!’ And as for Statler and Waldorf, the two old guys in the balcony, I can only add: ‘Sorry, guys, but….here we go again.”
Much as television’s changed since the late ‘70s when The Muppet Show first premiered (on ATV in the UK and CBS in the U.S.), many of the series’ skits hold up and then some because of how the jokes are really only part of the magic at play. The puppets’ artistry — both from a design perspective and considering the puppeteers’ performances — is every bit as tremendous as it was when audiences first met the Muppets, and it’s going to be that much easier now for even more people to see these classic characters in their original forms.
The Muppet Show begins airing on Disney+ on February 19.