I loved the show, which ran from 1976 to 1981. Who could forget the Swedish Chef? Pigs In Space? The Great Gonzo? The horrifically scientific Dr Bunsen Honeydew? Poor, terrified Beaker? Fozzie Bear's bravery and optimism in the face of an indifferent or hostile audience? Sam the Eagle, battling (and failing) to keep things decent? The fabulous Great Gonzo? Or the strange success of Mah Na Na? This song took over the pop culture like a rocket. Suddenly, everybody was saying it. My cousin, opening the door to the insurance man: 'Ma nah ma nah'. Insurance man: 'Funny you should you say that - ma nah ma nah'.
Me, to a bus conductor: 'Ma nah ma nah!'
Bus conductor: 'Where do you want to go, you stupid XXXXXXX kid?'
Well, maybe not everybody.
My own personal favourite Muppet characters were Miss Piggy - that gorgeous purveyor of sweetness, glamour and violence - and the singing duo of the first series, Wayne and Wanda.
Wayne and Wanda? Yes. Kermit fired them after series one. They sang lovely old songs in Jeanette McDonald and Nelson Eddy style. But things were not nearly as good. Wanda had a terrible voice (I liked Wayne's) and the props and other things always ensured they never got very far into their act.
I was, for some reason, in stitches. My adolescent humour was aroused and I guffawed and guffawed and guffawed. And so, Wayne and Wanda became favourites.
Not long afterwards, I was literally in stitches - in hospital.
I'd been ill for a while and finally ended up fearing for my life as I experienced pain which took my breath away. This was quickly traced to my appendix - perforated - and so into hospital I was rushed and the offending part removed.
It was September 1977, I was less than a month from my 12th birthday, and I was ill. I was ill for a few days after the operation - experiencing high temperatures and delusions. Into this unhappy state came a set of brand new annuals - bought by the neighbours who had collected for the poorly lad in hospital. The annuals were The Quest (now long forgotten Western series), The Sweeney (hated it) and The Muppet Show.
'Howdy!' I drawled to a nurse at one point.
'Where's Wanda gone?' I asked at another.
It was all highly embarrassing in retrospect because the nurse reported these fascinating facts, with great amusement, to my mother.
Wayne and Wanda were kind enough to refrain from singing during their attendance at my bedside.
Anyway, I survived to see 1978 (blurgh) and Wayne and Wanda, now gone from The Muppet Show, were etched on my memory.
They returned in an episode shown in December 1979 in which they reproached Kermit the frog for firing them. Wayne was now fulfilling his 'life's ambition' as a manual labourer, and the pair were okay - thanks to help from Wanda's mother's pension money.
By then 14, I was dead chuffed to see them. Guilt-ridden Kermit rehired them, and then promptly refired them when they burst into a spirited rendition of that lovely 1930s number Sweet Mystery Of Life.
I never forgave Kermit.
And I will smile.
Go to it, please, Disney.