On February 19, Disney Plus subscribers in the U.S. and European nations celebrated the long-awaited release of The Muppet Show. Since it premiered in fall 1976, the entire run of producer/puppeteer Jim Henson’s beloved variety-comedy show has never been widely available in any format.

Technically, The Muppet Show is still not available in its entirety — though it’s much more than many fans expected. These 118 released episodes (with some songs and segments cut) represent over 50 hours of Muppets, essentially 97 percent of the show. It’s particularly great to see Seasons 4 and 5, never released on DVD … along with most of the “UK spots,” additional 3-minute segments filmed because the UK had more broadcast time to fill.

Overall, most fans are thrilled. None of the episodes regarded as Top 10 are missing. Audio and video transfers look and sound better than recent DVD releases. By all appearances, Disney went to great lengths to secure music clearances for streaming release (as an example: the season one DVD release in 2005 featured cuts to songs and segments, which are restored here.)


Considering its global appeal, hopefully a roll-out to other Disney+ nations is in the works. If fans watch The Muppet Show and keep it trending on Disney Plus, it becomes more likely that further missing Muppets titles will be released.

Based on initial reports, with special thanks to Muppets fan Matthew Paul and Tough Pigs, the following episodes and segments are currently missing on Disney Plus.

Episodes Missing Worldwide

Season 5, Episode 6: Brooke Shields

The well-known American actress stars in this parody of Alice in Wonderland. For the finale, Gonzo and others sing “We’re Off to See the Wizard” from The Wizard of Oz. This iconic musical has famously been protective of song usage. “Disney chose to remove the episode entirely rather than release an edited version,” stated Tough Pigs, holding out the possibility of future release.


Season 5, Episode 19: Chris Langham

Near the end of The Muppet Show’s final season, guest star Richard Pryor had to cancel his planned appearance. British comedian Chris Langham filled in. In 2005, the writer-comedian was arrested on criminal charges. It is understandable that Disney/Henson would distance itself from his appearance.

Episodes Missing in U.S. Only

Season 1, Episode 23: Kaye Ballard

Comic actress and singer Kaye Ballard appeared in the first season. It is unknown why this episode has not released in the U.S. “Our contacts at Disney+ assured us that only two episodes will be left out… We’re hoping this is just a mistake and will be remedied.” stated Tough Pigs.

UPDATE: This episode has been added to Disney+ in the U.S. late on Feb. 19.

Kaye Ballard

Episodes Missing in European Nations Only

Season 4, Episode 1: John Denver

Regarded widely as one of the show’s best episodes, this one is available in the U.S. but not in European nations—presumably due to music rights issues.


John Denver

Season 3, Episode 17: Spike Milligan

This episode is available in the U.S. but not in European nations—presumably due to music rights issues.

Episode Segments Missing Worldwide

As reported via Reddit, which is being updated as other cuts are discovered.

Season 2

Episode 1, Don Knotts: “Lullaby of Birdland” missing, and all scenes referencing it

Episode 12, Bernadette Peters: “They Call the Wind Maria” and “I’m Five” missing

Season 3

Episode 16, Danny Kaye: UK Spot “Jogging” missing


Episode 21, Roger Miller: UK Spot “Down at the Old Bull and Bush” missing

Episode 24, Cheryl Ladd: UK Spot “There’s A New Sound” missing

Season 4

Episode 15, Anne Murray: “Dancing on the Ceiling” missing

Season 5

Episode 5, James Coburn: UK Spot “Bird Walk” missing

Episode 13, Tony Randall: “Ti-Pi-Tin” missing


Episode 17, Hal Linden: “If I Ruled the World” missing

Episode 18, Marty Feldman: “Sesame Street Theme” missing

Episode 20, Wally Boag: “The Ying Tong Song” missing

Episode 22, Buddy Rich: UK Spot “A Transport of Delight” missing

 

Thanks to Muppets fan Matthew Paul, Tough Pigs and Muppet Wiki for some source info.

What do you think of The Muppet Show on Disney Plus? Join the dialogue and comment below.









Josh Shepherd

Freelance journalist Josh M. Shepherd writes about culture, faith, and public policy issues. His work has been published by outlets including The Stream, What’s On Netflix, The Federalist, Christianity Today, Family Theater Productions, and Faithfully Magazine. A graduate of the University of Colorado, Josh and his wife live in the Washington, D.C. area with their two children.

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7 Comments

  1. JT February 19, 2021

    Definitely less cut than I expected. I’m seeing some of these Season 4 and 5 episodes and certainly those season UK skits for the first time! You can see every detail in the puppets and set, definitely better than it has ever looked! I hope if the show remains in the Trending section long enough, they consider making Season 6!

  2. Askmrlee February 19, 2021

    Is it possible to watch the missing segments if you travel to the region or is it tied to the home country of your account? Can a European Disney Plus member watch the John Denver segments foe the US audience if they traveled to the US or is it blocked on the basis that one has a European based account and this no access at all to US only content regardless of viewing location.

    1. geek February 22, 2021

      If you travel to the US you have access to the US Disney Plus content but not to the UK one. For example. I live in Austria and we haven't received the Muppet Show yet due to issues with the German audio as it seems (whoever needs that) My sister still sits in UK due to her University exchange programm and has access to it even though she has an Austrian subscription. Access depends on your Internet providers country / viewing location). Not sure if a vpn works. but changing a country physical does.

  3. Jeanie Gknee February 20, 2021

    I suspect Dancing On The Ceiling is missing because they didn't check carefully enough and think it's a Lionel Ritchie song I never heard of until I Googled the title. This Beauregard song is from the 1934 Jessie Mathews movie Evergreen.

  4. Gene Sands February 21, 2021

    You state that “The Ying Tong”song is missing from the Wally Boag episode. I am familiar with this episode because I co-wrote Wally’s biography (“Wally Boag Clown Prince of Disneyland”),but I re-checked my copy of the episode and the song is not included). That might be because it was not in the episode that was broadcast in he U,S.

  5. Philip February 21, 2021

    Let’s hope that they’ll get the music rights cleared for all the missing songs soon, as well as for the Brooke Shields episode. They also MUST release the Chris Langham episode anyway despite his checkered past! He was one of the show’s writers, for crying out loud! We MUST have the COMPLETE series!