In the early 1970s, Jim Henson was worried that the Muppets were becoming typecast as children’s entertainment. So in December of 1974 he produced a pilot episode for The Muppet Show and gave it a name that was about as far away from Sesame Street as you could get: “Sex and Violence.”
The half-hour pilot was first broadcast on ABC in March of 1975. It’s a fast-moving series of vignettes, featuring a motley cast of characters–many of whom would become familiar in later years–appearing and reappearing throughout. Sam the Eagle, Sgt. Floyd Pepper, The Swedish Chef, Statler and Waldorf, and a wrestler named The San Francisco Earthquake all make an appearance. At one point, Kermit the Frog propositions a female with the line, “I might be able to get you a job on an educational show for kids.” The story, to the extent there is one, centers around preparations for a “Seven Deadly Sins Pageant.” Alas, the pageant never quite gets off the ground. As Sam the Eagle sagely asks: “Do we really want to get into a ‘deadly sins’ situation?”
You can watch “Sex and Violence” above, or in three parts here: one, two and three.
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I wonder if the humanoid muppet playing the banjo at the end is supposed to be someone specific, maybe Jim Henson?
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