The Muppet Show Premiered 45 Years Ago Today

The Muppets are returning to Disney+ next month with their highly-anticipated, star-studded Halloween special titled Muppets Haunted Mansion. The lovable bunch is having an exciting year considering their first series, The Muppet Show, also hit Disney+ back in February. With the exception of two full episodes, all five seasons of the beloved series are available to watch on the streaming service, which has allowed a whole new generation to appreciate The Muppets' early years. The series originated with two pilot episodes featuring Juliet Prowse and Connie Stevens, but it was the show's fifth episode that ended up being the first to air thanks to its electric guest star, Rita Moreno. That episode aired on September 18th, 1976, which means today marks 45 years since the series officially premiered. In honor of this special occasion, The Muppets have taken to social media to celebrate. 

"It's the most sensational, celebrational, Muppeptational day! 🎉 On this day in 1976, 45 years ago, #TheMuppetShow debuted on U.S. television. We recommend watching 45 episodes today - choose your favorites," The Muppets wrote. You can check out their post below:

Rita Moreno is one the rare stars to have an E.G.O.T, and her first Emmy was actually for her guest appearance on The Muppet Show. When the series dropped on Disney+, Kermit the Frog released the following statement:

"It's going to be great to welcome back longtime fans, and to give a new generation of fans a chance to see how we got our start, how Miss Piggy became a star and so much more," Kermit the Frog said. "Today, I'm proud to say: 'It's time to play the music, light the lights and meet the Muppets on Disney Plus tonight!' And as for Statler and Waldorf, the two old guys in the balcony, I can only add: 'Sorry, guys, but….here we go again."

As for Muppets Haunted Mansion, the special is set to feature some epic guest stars, including TV legend Ed Asner who sadly passed away last month at age 91. The list also includes John Stamos, Yvette Nicole Brown, Darren Criss, Jeannie Mai, Danny Trejo, Chrissy Metz, Sasheer Zamata, Alfonso Riberio, Pat Sajak, Skai Jackson, Geoff Keighley, Justina Machado, and Craig Robinson.  Kim Irvine, the Executive Creative Director of Disney Imagineering, will also appear in the special, which is exciting because of her special connection to the Haunted Mansion attraction at Disneyland.

Will you be watching The Muppet Show today in honor of its anniversary? Which episodes are your favorite? Tell us in the comments! 

Muppets Haunted Mansion premieres on October 8th.