Too Hot to Handler is a win for Scooter and another win for “The Muppets”! This show really seems to be finding its voice! So many great scenes and character moments! It wasn’t perfect, but it was really good!
The show opens during the filming of an episode of “Up Late.” Miss Piggy is interviewing Chelsea Handler, and Scooter can’t take his eyes off her. Literally. Kermit tries to congratulate him on booking her on their show and Scooter is unresponsive. He just stares off at her, open-mouthed.
During Piggy’s interview, Chelsea tells her all about her dating woes. She just can’t seem to find the right guy. She tells Piggy that she’s finally ready to admit it. All she wants is a guy who is nice and has a steady job; a sweetheart who is thoughtful and optimistic. Just a kind, lovable dork.
Offstage Scooter is listening intently. She’s describing him exactly! Except for that dork part. Rizzo tells him that he is, in fact, a dork and Pepé concurs. They convince him that he does have a shot with Chelsea.
After the show Fozzie chases Kermit down to tell him some big news. He’s thinking about taking the next big step in his relationship with Becky. He’s going to ask her to move in with him! It’s obvious that Kermit doesn’t really think this is a good idea, but Fozzie is too excited to notice. They’ve been together 12 weeks, and this is the longest relationship of Fozzie’s life. He knows she’s perfect for him. Kermit asks him if they could all get together for dinner that night so he could get to know Becky better. They agree to meet at Rowlf’s for trivia night since Becky wins all the time.
After Fozzie leaves, Kermit tells Bobo that he feels like he needs to watch out for Fozzie because he’s just so innocent. Twelve weeks is not long enough to know someone before moving in together, and you can’t rush these things.
Backstage Rizzo and Pepé have Scooter convinced he should ask Chelsea out. He knocks on her dressing room door, but when she lets him in – very happy to see him – he’s a bundle of nerves. Before he can even get the words out of his mouth he knocks over a lamp, which hits a food cart showering Chelsea with vegetables. Then he slips in a pool of ranch dressing and lands in her arms. He is mortified and tells her that he came to ask her out, but now he’s ruined it. Chelsea doesn’t care. She likes him and tells him that he has a date tonight.
That night, Kermit and Fozzie’s team – along with their dates, Denise and Becky – are doing great at trivia night. They’re having fun, but Kermit is still suspicious. He tries to underhandedly grill Becky, asking questions of the group such as “Did anyone ever break the law in a way that would make for interesting table conversation?” or “What’s everyone’s credit score?” Much to his chagrin, Denise is the one who keeps answering him, and her answers are not ones he wants to hear.
Later, after Rowlf asks the room another trivia question, Becky drops her pencil. When she’s under the table slightly longer than one would expect it to take to reach down and pick something up, Kermit ducks under to see if she needs help. He is shocked to see Becky is not picking up her pencil, but is on her cell phone. He pops back up before she can see him and, when she reemerges, she has the answer to the question.
Kermit pulls Denise aside. He tells her what he saw and that he thinks Becky might have been cheating. Denise doesn’t think it’s a big deal, it’s just a silly bar game. Kermit doesn’t seem to agree. He thinks that if she’s willing to cheat at a trivia game, he should let Fozzie know. Denise tells him not to meddle. If he sticks his nose into their business, it could ruin their friendship. If he loves Fozzie, he’ll keep his cute little green trap shut.
Elsewhere, Scooter and Chelsea are having a great time on their date. Such a great time in fact, that Chelsea plants a great big kiss right on Scooter’s mouth. Scooter, having almost zero experience with women, freaks out and runs away leaving her alone at the restaurant.
The next day Rizzo and Pepé grill Scooter on his date. He tells them that Chelsea was fun, but he doesn’t think he’s going to see her again. He’s been ignoring her texts, so he thinks she’ll get the message. The trio goes into the next room to find a bouquet of flowers bigger than the three of the combined. It’s from Chelsea for Scooter. Scooter exclaims that he needs to break up with her.
Later Fozzie tells Kermit that he’s so glad he likes Becky. He’s meeting her for lunch that day and he’s giving her the key to his apartment. Kermit is still upset about what he saw last night, but he still takes Denise’s advice. He can’t tell Fozzie his girlfriend is a cheater, but maybe he can make him figure it out for himself.
At lunchtime, Kermit leaves his office and flags Fozzie and Becky down as they are leaving. He congratulates Becky on her impressive memory, but tries tries to casually ask her a bunch of random trivia facts on the spot to make her stumble (so Fozzie would see that she’s not as smart as she’s pretending to be). But with every question asked, there’s another Muppet nearby with an answer and they all beat Becky to the punch.
Frustrated by everyone’s interruptions, Kermit just blurts out that Becky has been cheating at trivia night. Becky denies it, but Kermit retorts that he saw her looking at her phone during the game. She tells him the only reason she had her phone was that she was at the end of an eBay auction and she was bidding on a gift for Fozzie. She pulls up the auction to show Kermit, and he is mortified. He tries to apologize, but Fozzie won’t have it. He pulls Becky to the elevator and they leave him there.
Scooter meets Chelsea at lunch but doesn’t know how to go about breaking up with her. He starts by telling her that he likes her, but she tells him that she also likes him and tries to kiss him. He stops her, and tells her that this is the problem. She’s a racy gal, but – unlike TV – he can’t change the channel if he needs to catch his breath. She tells him that she gets it, but he’s the best thing that’s happened to her in a long time. If she’s moving too fast, it’s only because she doesn’t want to lose him. She tells him that she can move slower if she needs to. In fact, she’s going on the road soon, maybe they can just talk on the phone. Scooter likes the idea and they hug, but he has to stop her as she tries to kiss him.
Back at the studio, the Electric Mayhem are buzzing about Kermit and Fozzie. Dr. Teeth heard that they had a fight because Kermit got with Becky and Floyd heard that Fozzie was so angry he made Kermit disappear, so the network replaced him with a robot. They watch Kermit in horror, sure he is no longer Kermit.
On stage, Fozzie gets ready to film regional promos for “Up Late,” while Kermit tries again to apologize. He says he doesn’t have anything against Becky, he just thinks Fozzie isn’t ready to move in with anyone. Fozzie is upset that Kermit doesn’t seem to think he’s an adult. Kermit tries to explain that he’s always looking out for him. Fozzie tells him that while he appreciates Kermit’s concern, but he doesn’t need to look out for him anymore. He wants to be seen as someone he respects. Kermit concedes and tells him that he’ll still be there for him if he asks. Fozzie thanks Kermit and everything seems to be back to normal. Kermit asks him when Becky is moving in, and Fozzie brushes him off saying he never asked her. He wasn’t ready for that big of a step. You can’t rush these things!
As the credits roll, the band is backstage watching the craft services table intently. They have placed a trap for Kermit there, one that will test whether or not he is truly a robot. On the table Floyd puts a plate of cookies and a sign reading, “Free Cookies for Robots.” As they watch with baited breath, Kermit approaches the table and reaches for a cookie, then he thinks twice and grabs a banana instead. He passed the test; he is not a robot. Suddenly Animal grabs a cookie and begins scarfing it down. As he goes for a second one, the band gasps in horror. Animal is a robot! When Animal notices they scream and run away as fast as they can.
“Too Hot to Handler” was yet another great episode! Perhaps not as great as the previous one, “Pig’s in a Blackout,” which was chock full of Muppet hilarity, but it was much better than some of the mediocre episodes before that. The writing was really excellent this time and everything just worked.
A huge part of what made this episode so good was Scooter! In a previous episode I was really turned off by his almost creepy relationship with his mother, but this episode managed to keep his creepiness to a minimum and just focused on his personality and character. His mom was brought up, but not in a way that was off-puttingly creepy. It was just the right amount of awkward weirdness.
Chelsea Handler was a great guest as well. It was so refreshing to get yet another guest that Miss Piggy wasn’t having a massive feud with. At the beginning of the series it seemed like every week the guest star was there as just someone for Miss Piggy to hold a grudge against, plot revenge against, or just straight up fight with. Yes, those episodes had some very funny moments and led to some great scenes, but it was getting a bit tired and it felt like the writers were using Piggy’s feud of the week as a writing crutch. This episode was refreshingly devoid of Piggy conflict.
I wasn’t too keen on the Fozzy/Becky/Kermit story, but it was nice to get a bit more screen time for Becky. I just wish they could find some other way to do it. I realize that this kind of a misunderstanding storyline is a tried and true trope, probably as old as television itself, but it still annoyed me, just a bit.
One of the highlights of this episode for me were the interactions between Scooter, Rizzo and Pepé. The three of them were just so funny together. Seriously, a big chunk of my favorite quotes this week are just from them. I couldn’t pick out just a line or two here and there, their whole conversations were gold!
Hands down, the best characters for me this week were The Electric Mayhem. The conversations about their imagined robotic replacement conspiracy were just too funny. I can’t get enough of these guys. I want an episode that just follows them around for a week. More Electric Mayhem!
I saw a couple things that I wanted to make note of. They’re just some things for viewers to look for if they go back to watch this episode again.
Listen to Rizzo and Pepé watching the Swedish Chef before they notice Scooter after his date.
Pepé: “I don’t think he washes his hands.”
Rizzo: “I don’t think so either.”
Listen closely to the background sounds during the Free Cookies For Robots scene.
The phone starts to ring and you can hear Big Mean Carl answer:
“’Up Late with Miss Piggy,’ What!?”
How the heck did they do that Rizzo spit take!?
Scooter: “Sometimes after mom goes to bed, I uh… Switch the TV up to the naughty language channels. Yeah! And that’s where I found Chelsea Handler! Tellin’ her sassy jokes! I was, uh – ahem – pardon my naughty language, ‘smitten.’ Yeah. She really filled in some of the gaps from that talk we got back in health class.”
Rizzo: “Are you kiddin’ me? You’re a textbook dork!”
Scooter: “No I’m not!”
Rizzo: “Scooter, you yell, ‘Whee!’ every time you ride an escalator!”
Scooter: “Well, excuse me for enjoying the magical flying stairs!”
Chelsea: “You know what, tell your mom not to wait up. You have a hot date tonight.”
Scooter: “I do? Cool! Oh, and just so you know, I don’t live with my mom. That’d be weird, right? I live in a room in my mom’s house. Yeah, I have my own microwave, my own mini-fridge, DustBuster which she’s always borrowing, and I’m always like, ‘MoOom!'”
Chelsea: “You know what Scooter, when you get a yes, just kinda go with that.”
Scooter: “Mmm. Beautiful and wise, just like my Mmmm- ahem. You. Mmhm, you.”
Kermit: “Speaking of Al Capon, did anyone here ever break the law in a way that would make for fun table conversation? Uh, Becky?”
Becky: “Yeah. Sometimes, I pop a crouton into my mouth before I pay for my salad at Whole Foods.”
Kermit: “Awe, everybody does that.”
Denise: “My Uncle Willard spent a little time in the clink. He didn’t realize you needed a permit to have all those pet tigers. (Giggles) He would have gotten away with it too, if that windstorm didn’t knock the door off the barn. (Giggles)”
Kermit: “Oh, okay. Uh, how ’bout we talk about something else, like uh, our credit scores! Uh, mine is 760! Uh, Becky?”
Denise: “Mine’s 210.”
Kermit: “210, but, but you’re born with like 250!”
Denise: “Yeah, I walked away from a condo in San Diego.”
Rizzo: “Scooter, Scooter, Scooter! So! How did it go with Chel-say, huh? And don’t skip the dirty stuff, cause I was born in a sewer, you are not gonna shock me.”
Scooter: “Well, uh, Chelsea was fun, but uh, I don’t think I’m gonna see her again.”
Pepé: “Oh, well, you must trust your heart, because your heart is never wrong.”
Scooter: “Yeah, she got way too physical, way too fast.”
Pepé: “I stand corrected, your heart is very, very stupid.”
Scooter: “Whoa, whoa, whoa, hang on, guys, hang on; we don’t know it’s from her. Gotta read the card.”
Scooter (opening the card): “Uh, ‘Dear Scooter,’ Okay, so far it could be from anyone,”
Pepé: “It’s from Chelsea.”
Scooter: “‘Last night was fun,’ That could be the valet, the waitress-”
Pepé: “It’s from Chelsea.”
Scooter: “‘I can’t stop thinking about our goodnight kiss.’ So we’re down to Chelsea and my mom.”
Pepé (folding his hands and looking to heaven): “Let us pray it’s from Chelsea.”
Scooter: “Okay, fine it’s from Chelsea.”
Dr. Teeth: “Hey, hey, hey. You all hip to the word about Kermit and Fozzie? I heard they had an altrification, ‘cause the frog got with the bear’s lady.”
Floyd: “Yeah, yeah. And I heard, Fozzie was so angry, he made Kermit disappear! Yeah! So the network replaced him with a Robot Kermit!”
Janice: “Whoa! Look at his eyes! Robot Kermit has not soul!”
Zoot: “Whoa! I wonder if I’m a robot! (Gesturing mechanically) Mmh! BeepBopBoop! Zzt, zzt, zzt, zzt! Ugh! That came way too easily!”
Floyd: “Whoa! Animal’s a robot!”
Janice: “Well that explains a lot!”
Floyd: “Yeah! Like, why he makes such a fuss at bath time!”
Janice: “It doesn’t change anything, he’s still a beautiful soul.”
Animal (spotting them): “Hey guys!”
Floyd: “Aaaagh! The robot’s comin’! Disperse! Disperse!
Janice: “Aaagh! I’m running away, but I still love you!”
This episode was great. It wasn’t perfect, but it was funny, entertaining, and has plenty of replay value. There were so many great scenes and character moments and we learned a bit more about Denise. This episode really gave Scooter and The Electric Mayhem their chances to shine, and every scene they were in was great. Let’s hope this streak of greatness can carry us through to the break.
What did you think of the episode of “The Muppets”? Do you like the way they are fleshing out Scooter’s character?
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes