This four-disc set is a classic Muppets season, full of savory and comical bits and turns more than half of whom are guest stars who are mostly still alive and in show business still – or that you would have heard of, with the possible exception of Marisa Barenson. (Oh, yes, check – model and actress in an Stanley Kubrick film).

And what a lovely box of chocolates this third season is, full of priceless moments such as a very young-looking Kris Kristofferson on the verge of cracking up as he sings “Help Me Make it Through the Night” in duet with Miss Piggy, Jean Stapleton singing “I’m Just Wild About Harry” with Crazy Harry, Sylvester Stallone as a Roman gladiator singing “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” in duet with a lion…Loretta Lynn singing in the railway station, Leo Sayer (Oh, wow, says my daughter, who is slightly younger than this season of the Muppets – is he the father of all metrosexuals?) who boogies with a flamboyant and human-sized peacock to the tune of “You Made Me Feel Like Dancing”. Season 3 also features Liberace in all his tacky and flamboyant glory – yes, my dear child, he was about as gay as it gets – Roger Miller singing a number with a backup chorus of guitar-picking watermelons… Yes, variety musical shows didn’t come with a more surreal sensibility than the Muppet Show. They also gave a good workout to all sorts of music-hall sing-along ballads, the popular music of the last half-century and even a handful of classical war-horses, all sorts of wonderful, eccentric personalities. What more could you ask? It’s a lovely collection, this third season – the Muppet Show at the peak of their arc, the best of the best.

Extras on this set include a one-hour documentary from the dark ages of 1969 – “Muppets on Puppets” goes back to the very early days of the Muppets. They did not spring out of nowhere – they had been around for a good long time before springing onto us via the medium of the broadcast channels. The series of Purina dog-food commercials proves that; Rowlf flogging dog-chow? There is also the feature “A Company of Players” for those who want to know how the magic was done.

This set is avilable from the usual retail and on-line outlets.

Sgt. Mom is a free-lance writer and member of the Independent Authors Guild who lives in San Antonio and blogs at The Daily Brief. Her current book “To Truckee’s Trail” is available here, and her upcoming “Adelsverein Trilogy” will be available in December, 2008. More about her books is at her website www.celiahayes.com

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