When Alice Cooper Turned Child-Pleasant on ‘The Muppet Present’


If there’s one place you would not look forward to finding Alice Cooper in 1978, it was The Muppet Present.

Granted, everybody’s favourite shock rocker had already established a Hollywood presence on Hollywood Squares and The Snoop Sisters. He was hobnobbing with the outdated guard of the Friars Membership, most of whom acknowledged his onstage horror present as an replace of the vaudeville all of them grew up in (and a few of whom coveted his golf abilities). However placing Cooper — who traded in homicide, mayhem and different nightmarish shenanigans — within the family-friendly environs of Jim Henson’s biggest creations simply appeared … unlikely, can be the well mannered phrase.

Even Cooper thought so.

The Muppet Present was the largest present on this planet on the time,” Cooper, who was a fan of this system, tells UCR. “I watched it. I assumed it was the funnest factor on TV. And [manager] Shep [Gordon] referred to as me up and he stated, ‘They need you to do The Muppets.’ I went, ‘Wait a minute. We simply spent all this time ensuring I am the scourge of rock ‘n’ roll. That is simply gonna water it down. I do not know — can we do this?’ Then I stated, ‘Who was on the present just lately?’ And so they stated, ‘Vincent Value. Christopher Lee.’

“I went, ‘I am in!'”

Cooper’s look in Episode 307 of The Muppet Present, which aired Nov. 2, 1978, has turn out to be legendary. Showing as himself, Cooper was launched by Kermit the Frog as “one of many world’s most gifted and scary performers.” He carried out “Welcome to My Nightmare” and likewise acted as an agent of the satan, promising the Muppets “fabulous riches and worldwide fame” in alternate for his or her souls. He additionally carried out a duet with Miss Piggy on “You and Me,” the High 10 single from his 1977 album, Lace and Whiskey.

Watch Alice Cooper Carry out ‘Welcome to My Nightmare’ on ‘The Muppet Present’

“I swear I by no means had a lot enjoyable in my life as that week that I labored with the Muppets,” remembers Cooper, who filmed his episode in London, which was the house base for Henson and his crew on the time. “It was the unique guys — Jim Henson, Frank Oz, the remainder of them.” However most significantly, as Cooper got here to study, his major collaborators had been the Muppets themselves.

“After awhile you begin speaking to them — they usually speak again!” Cooper explains. “After three days you are in your dressing room and Kermit pops his head in and goes, ‘Hey, you had lunch but?’ And I am going, ‘No. You wanna go have lunch?’ He goes, ‘Yeah, OK.’ They turn out to be folks.” Whereas organising “You and Me,” Cooper made all of his strategies on to Miss Piggy slightly than to Oz.

“We’re rehearsing a music, and I am going, ‘Piggy, why do not you set your head on my shoulder whereas we do that? It’s going to be humorous should you simply form of lean over.’ ‘Oh, yeah, good concept.’ I stated, ‘OK, let’s strive it,'” Cooper says, chuckling on the reminiscence.

Watch Alice Cooper Carry out ‘You and Me’ on ‘The Muppet Present’

Cooper was a part of a litany of luminaries who made visitor appearances on The Muppet Present, a who’s-who roster that features different hit makers resembling Elton John, Paul Simon, Liberace, Linda Ronstadt, Kenny Rogers, Diana Ross, Debbie Harry and lots of extra. John Denver even costarred with the Muppets gang in two vacation specials.

He is made many TV and movie appearances since then, and he landed again in youngsters’ land once more in 2019, voicing the character of Alistair Coop De Ville for Disney’s Mickey Mouse Blended-Up Adventures and likewise guested on the Nickelodeon collection Bubble Guppies.

UCR contributor Gary Graff’s guide Alice Cooper @ 75 publishes in February from Quatro Books and is presently accessible for preorder.

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