As we've argued previously, Disney hasn't done a terrific job managing The Muppets; from the stalled film franchise, to an aborted theme park takeover, to the TV series that took a weird left turn into the disquieting world of Fozzie's interspecies sex life.
One of the biggest fan requests has been for Disney to make the beloved puppets' seminal work, The Muppet Show, available to the public. While the first three seasons dropped on DVD, the planned release of seasons four and five were mysteriously canceled. This was presumably due to the cost of paying for the music rights since the show features not only Muppet-y versions of famous songs but also musical performances from guest stars like Stevie Wonder and family entertainment staple Alice Cooper.
Even actual Muppets started complaining about this bullshit (although not in those words). When 2011's The Muppets came out, the newest character, Walter, appealed directly to Disney to release the missing seasons before they presumably torpedoed his career out of spite.
Well, now, finally, the entirety of The Muppet Show is coming to Disney+ home of The Muppets' far more lucrative cousin. While great news, it still leaves a lot of questions unanswered. For one, will all the original musical performances be intact? It's entirely possible that Disney will butcher the original edits, as Saturday Night Live did, to avoid paying royalties. And a lot of fans are concerned that Disney+ will crop the show to conform to our modern widescreen TVs, as they controversially did with The Simpsons and the teaser video posted online.
At the very least, whatever the episodes look like, this streaming release will ensure that a new generation of children can get seriously creeped out by the nightmare fuel that is 1970s mime duo Shields and Yarnell.
Top Image: Disney