The Great Muppet Caper Minute 3 – The Good, The Bad and The Muppets

Kermit, Fozzie and Gonzo comment on more opening credits before crashing down into a city street.


I like how the camera pans off the balloon before cut


Written by: Tom Patchett & Jay Tarses and Jerry Juhl and Jack Rose

From Jim Henson: The Biography by Brian Jay Jones and Jim Henson’s Red Book

The first step was to work with Muppet head-writer Jerry Juhl and others to get the story hatched and turned into dialogue.

In September 1979, Jim met with veteran comedy writer Jack Rose to discuss the film

  • success writing for Bob Hope

That November, they met again in Los Angeles with Jerry, Frank Oz, and Joe Raposo who would compose the music for the film.

By January 1980, Jerry and Jack Rose had written a treatment and they started work on the first draft of the screenplay.

  • While some of the characters were different (instead of Lady Holiday there the Countess Santorini, for example) and there were different settings (Windsor Palace instead of The Mallory Gallery), the basic story elements were there in that first pass.

“The Muppets Hit the Road”

3/–/1980 – ‘Jack Rose over London. Working with Jerry J. (MM2)’

  • talking with Jack Rose and Jerry Juhl about the script
  • “Not happy with it”
  • “There are a great many problem with this draft”

Jim went to Los Angeles for the Oscars in April 1980

Met with writers Jay Tarses and Tom Patchett

  • Worked with Bob Newhart and Carol Burnett
  • Asked them to take over script duties

4/25/1980 – ‘Jay Tarses and Tom Patchett come over to begin MM2 (Caper) (re-write).

By June, produced a script based on Jerry and Jack’s called “The Good, The Bad and The Muppets.”

By the end of July, a composite script with the work of all four writers was complete and credited to both teams.

Produced by: David Lazer and Frank Oz

David Lazer

Was co-producer on The Muppet Movie but did not get a title credit.

David Lazer started his career with Jim Henson in 1965. As an executive with IBM, he helped develop the Muppet Meeting Films commissioned by IBM.

Lazer served as executive producer for The Muppet Show where he also acted as a liaison for the show’s guest stars. He would show the guest star how to walk on the elevated sets, how to speak to a Muppet (as opposed to the performer), and would make sure the star was comfortable with the very different production atmosphere.

After the death of Jim Henson in 1990, Lazer was instrumental in keeping Jim Henson’s company going. Brian Henson said of him: “David sort-of came and lived with us for a while there just to help figure it all out. I’d say that David Lazer was probably the biggest influence, through that period, to help figure out how we were going to go forward.”

From May to December of 1990, Lazer came out of semi-retirement to serve as acting CEO of Henson Associates.

Frank Oz

Branched out… busy guy

  • Co-producer credit on The Great Muppet Caper
  • Co-Directing Dark Crystal with Henson
  • Yoda – Oz was assigned as chief puppeteer and as creative consultant, while other Henson alumni worked on the fabrication

Director: Jim Henson

Hot air balloon lands

  • A lot going on here already in the streets

(These are mostly my thoughts and observations. I have occasionally added some of Annie’s thoughts after the recording. I have done my best to attribute info where needed. Many of the more common facts about the film and The Muppets are not directly attributed to any one source. It is not my intention to claim all of the above information as my own. If you find a place that needs attribution, please contact me with the source and I will be happy to add it.)