Mouse Clubhouse exclusive interview
from 2007
JAYE P. MORGAN
her appearance on "The Muppet Show"

by Scott Wolf

Jaye P. Morgan

When 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 that season.

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 Muppet Show.

SW: Were you doing "The Gong Show" when you did "The Muppet Show?"

JPM: Yes.

SW: 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 okay

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 corporate television.

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 it.

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 vignettes in-between.

SW: 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.

SW: 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, too.

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 Jim?

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.

SW: 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 career.

For CD’s and other information, visit Jaye P. Morgan’s website at http://www.jayepmorgan.com.

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





 
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