JAYE P. MORGAN
her appearance on "The Muppet Show"
by Scott Wolf
the second season of the Muppet Show came out on DVD, I thought it would
be fun to interview somebody who appeared on the show so I checked out
the list of guests and saw that Jaye P. Morgan was one of them during
I first knew of Jaye when she was a panelist on The Gong Show,
which remains my favorite television show of all time, but before
The Gong Show she had a very successful career as a singer.
I'm so grateful that she was willing to sit down with me to discuss her
career and her experience on another one of my favorite shows, The
SW: Were you doing "The Gong Show" when you did "The Muppet
How did you get chosen for “The Muppet Show?”
JPM: The Producer called me and asked me to do the show. They were doing
the last one in London. He called me and asked me to do it and I said
I had a great time, and I love London anyway. I did a pilot over there.
I liked everybody on the show and Jim (Henson) was a great friend. I
really liked him a lot. He took me to dinner and at the end of the show
he took all the cast and everything and we had a big dinner.
SW: I’m such an admirer of his work.
JPM: He was a young genius and I remember doing other shows that he was
on. That’s how we met.
SW: Do you remember what shows?
JPM: The Dinah Shore show and Mike Douglas.
SW: You were on both of those with him?
JPM: Yeah, I did them all the time.
SW: Was he a quiet man?
JPM: Yes, by corporate standards. He didn’t think like other people in
SW: It seemed like a lot of what he did was nature oriented, like taking care
of the planet.
JPM: That was him. He was very dedicated to what he did.
SW: What was it like doing "The Muppet Show?"
JPM: It was such a rush to work with the Muppets… all of them, and
see how coordinated and intricate that show was. It was very intricate
and I think hard to do. Not as far as I was concerned but as far as they
were concerned because there was so much to remember when they filmed
SW: You mean technically?
JPM: Yes. They just had tons of moves to do.
SW: Were you on an elevated stage.
JPM: Yes, that was his idea, too. His concept.
SW: How long were you there?
JPM: I was there for ten days, it was over Thanksgiving, and I didn’t
want to be away from my son any longer so I rushed back. We weren’t
filming on “The Gong Show” then. We had off because of the holidays.
SW: How long did it take to do the whole show?
JPM: A week. We rehearsed it and then shot it in the same week. There
wasn’t a lot to remember for me. I was a guest. We went in and
prerecorded my songs, I didn’t prerecord my voice, but the band was
prerecorded, then you go on set and shoot your numbers and the little
I watched it again last night. You were a bird that hated “cuteness.”
JPM: (laughing) Right.
SW: When Gene Kelly was on he didn’t want to sing “Singin’ in the Rain,” so
of course all the Muppets try to get him to sing it and he did.
In the storyline you really weren’t thrilled to be there and didn't like
cute puppets. Were you involved in developing that story?
JPM: No, they okayed the story with me, but actually I did want to be
there and I’m glad I did it. It’s been so long since I did that show
that I can’t remember a lot of it.
You were blown up.
JPM: (chuckles) Right, I remember that.
SW: It was such a great way to expose children to so many great entertainers,
JPM: It was just a line up of unbelievable people that he had as guests.
SW: And I think it’s still so enjoyable today.
JPM: It really is a timeless show and the way they did it was timeless.
It was also an era, same thing with “The Gong Show.” People keep saying,
“Why don’t they bring that back?” You can’t. It was a certain age and a
certain era that worked.
SW: You had a conversation with Kermit the Frog in the show, did you have to
train yourself or concentrate to talk to a puppet and not look down at
JPM: No. It was absolutely normal, natural to look at Kermit and think
that’s a person. I did it unconsciously. I did it with all of them that
I worked with. I looked at them and never would think of looking down.
Was that the only time you worked with the Muppets?
JPM: I did those other shows with Jim.
SW: Were the Muppets on with him on those talk shows?
JPM: He just had Kermit, and that was such a part of him that it was
just so real.
Read our conversation about Jaye's
For CD’s and other information, visit Jaye P. Morgan’s website at
The second season of “The Muppet Show” is now
available on DVD including Jaye’s episode.
More from Jaye P.:
Her career and "The Gong Show"
See other interviews