orson welles

orson welles

The Orson Welles Show with Jim Henson and the Muppets, 1979

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Unaired pilot from 1979. Legendary film director and actor Orson Welles hosts with guests Jim Henson, Frank Oz and the Muppets, as well as Burt Reynolds and Angie Dickinson. Filming began in September 1978 and the project was completed around February 1979. It ran 74 minutes and was intended for a 90 minute commercial time slot. Directed by Welles, he was listed in the credits under the pseudonym "G. O. Spelvin." Cinematography was by Welles' long-time cameraman Gary Graver. Editing (and uncredited direction of some scenes) was by Stanley Sheff. Shot partly before a live audience, Welles interviewed Burt Reynolds (taking several questions from the audience,) Jim Henson and Frank Oz, and performed two magic tricks assisted by Angie Dickinson. Several of The Muppets were featured in taped segments, including Kermit the Frog, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo the Great and Animal. Audience questions for the Burt Reynolds Q&A session were scripted, with members of the audience given line readings - this was necessary, as unlike normal talk shows filmed with a multiple-camera setup, the low-budget show was filmed with only one camera, and so it was necessary to do multiple retakes to get multiple camera angles.