The Muppets return to television tonight for the first time since 1981 with the show already promising a bevy of Hollywood stars putting in appearances during the series' first season.

Some of the names viewers can expect on The Muppets during its new first season include Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Reese Witherspoon and Topher Grace. We can also expect rock band Imagine Dragons to turn up on the Muppet stage soon.

But The Muppets aren't new to working with celebrities. In the original series, The Muppet Show, that aired from 1976 to 1981, Kermit, Miss Piggy and friends starred beside some of the biggest names of the day, including TV legend Milton Berle, horror movie icon Vincent Price and even Rocky Balboa himself, Sylvester Stallone.

These celebrities weren't afraid to embrace their funny bones: they appeared in comedy skits on The Muppet Show, often to hilarious effect. Also, the show's musical guests performed their hits with Muppets providing accompaniment.

These celebrities represented the who's who of their day, but some performances by guest stars stood out more on The Muppet Show than others. Here are the top 10 guest star appearances on The Muppet Show.

Steve Martin

Funny man and "wild and crazy guy" Steve Martin visited The Muppet Show in 1977, but faced a dilemma after he learned that Kermit canceled the episode to audition new acts for the troupe. Of course, the Saturday Night Live alum was angry at first, but eventually embraced the situation and started performing for the Muppets. Meanwhile, Fozzie Bear started believing that Kermit planned on replacing him, especially after Kermit auditioned another dog comedian. Fortunately, Martin kept everyone happy and entertained by doing some of his funniest skits, including his juggling guy and balloon animals bits.

Martin continued working with the Muppets, even after the cancellation of The Muppet Show. In 1985, Muppet Magazine featured Martin on its cover. Martin joined the Muppets again in The Muppet Movie as a sarcastic waiter and did a Funny or Die sketch with Kermit in 2013, recreating his famous "Dueling Banjos" sketch.

Johnny Cash

When one of the most celebrated country stars of all time, Johnny Cash, or The Man in Black, guest starred on The Muppet Show in 1980, the Muppets decided to air the entire show on radio station WHOG. However, the head of WHOG, Big Tiny Tall Saddle. got power-hungry and refused to let anyone else make decisions at the station. So although Rowlf had an act scheduled for the show, Big Tiny Tall Saddle refused and replaced him with Grampaw McGuire. This resulted in Kermit trying to run his own show, but he feared Big Tiny Tall Saddle, who threatened Muppets by wrapping a microphone stand around their throat.

However, after Big Tiny Tall Saddle put his nephew on air, a comedian who made fun of Fozzie, Kermit challenged the DJ and stood up for his friend and The Muppet Show.

During the course of the episode, Cash performed several songs, but the highlight was likely his performance of "Riders in the Sky," which featured Gonzo running around as an outlaw.

Sylvester Stallone

By 1979, when Sylvester Stallone appeared on The Muppet Show, he was a household name, thanks to his performance as fictional boxer Rocky Balboa on the silver screen. So it made sense that The Muppet Show invite him to share their stage. However, Stallone's appearance on the show created a situation when all his groupies arrived, who caused problems for Kermit in the show's backstage area. Scooter, though, who was more sympathetic to the groupies' cause, pretended that the girls were there for him and managed to sneak them past Kermit and into Stallone's dressing room.

Even with all the craziness going on in that episode, Stallone still managed to perform sketches with the Muppets, including chatting with Link Hogthrob. The actor also dressed up as an ancient Roman gladiator and did a song and dance number to "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" with a Muppet lion.

Milton Berle

Once known as "Mister Television" from his days as an actor and comedian during the golden age of TV, the legendary Milton Berle also did time on The Muppet Show. In that episode, Fozzie Bear had such a fanboy moment that he spent most of the episode hiding from his idol, even donning costumes so that Berle would never see him. However, all that changed when he overheard Berle mention he'd like to do a comedy sketch with the bear, so Fozzie found his nerve and the two performed together in the show's closing number, both dressed in baggy pants and big shoes.

Berle's crowning achievement on the show, though, is probably his opening monologue when he goes toe to toe with hecklers Statler and Waldorf. The old curmudgeons in the balcony won this round: even Berle's biting wit couldn't stand up to the likes of the those two.

Elton John

Elton John's appearance on The Muppet Show in 1978 nearly took over the show and brought controversy to the Muppet Stage, mostly because Sam the Eagle thought that John "dresses like a stolen car." Kermit attempted to explain to Sam that many great musicians dressed extravagantly, even Mozart, but Sam didn't buy it. Of course, in the end, Sam was proven wrong and the Muppets forced him to wear an outfit even flashier than John's.

Meanwhile, the Swedish Chef tried to make an omelet, but his chicken laid ping-pong balls instead of eggs, which bounced all over the stage and interrupted many of the show's ongoing skits.

John not only did sketches with the Muppets, but also performed some of his biggest hits to date, including "Crocodile Rock," "Bennie and the Jets" and "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," all accompanied by The Muppets' in-house band, Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. But it was probably John's performance of "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" with Miss Piggy that stole the show.

Carol Burnett

When one of the top comediennes of all time, Carol Burnett, visited The Muppet Show stage, she faced a show being taken over by Gonzo, who insisted that the entire episode get devoted to a dance marathon, instead of its usual sketch comedy, music and variety performances. As usual with Gonzo, he got carried away and began interrupting every skit and musical performance, frustrating their guest star in the process. This resulted in Burnett confessing to Kermit that the show was terrible, but Gonzo responded by pairing her up with Animal for the dance marathon.

However, Kermit somehow convinced Burnett to stick around the show by promising that she could do one particular sketch, but Gonzo insisted that the marathon wouldn't end until everyone collapsed from exhaustion. Burnett accomplished that by singing "I Was Made For Dancin'."

In 1990, Burnett made a cameo appearance in The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson.

John Cleese

John Cleese's wacky brand of comedy was a perfect fit for The Muppet Show, so the Muppets invited him to join them on stage in 1977. The Monty Python member even co-wrote the episode he appeared in, which featured Gonzo with an unusually stretched out arm: the result of catching a cannonball. During the episode, Gonzo asked Cleese for help, but Cleese, who was grumpy throughout the entire show, only did so by stretching out all of Gonzo's other limbs.

Cleese's ongoing gag on the episode was that he was not happy about being on the show, which meant that he spent most of his time complaining about his participation in skits, including the closing number.

Cleese also had a small role in The Great Muppet Caper in 1981 and did several projects with Jim Henson's Creature Shop.

Vincent Price

The king of horror and all things eerie, actor Vincent Price, visited the Muppets for a Halloween-themed episode in 1976. The Muppets honored the actor and his horror film reputation by performing spooky acts, including sketches that featured monsters, bats, vampires and other creatures. The Muppets even performed appropriately creepy songs on the episode, including "Under My Skin" and "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered."

Price brought his signature voice and style to several skits during the show, including a spooky "House of Horrors" sketch that terrified Muppets and children alike.

Price joined the Muppets again in 1979 when they hosted The Tonight Show and even made a cameo appearance in a Muppets special, The Muppets Go Hollywood.

A Muppet based on Price, Vincent Twice, became a recurring character on Sesame Street in the 1990s.

Alice Cooper

One of the strangest, but also possibly the coolest, guest stars to grace The Muppet Show stage was macabre musician Alice Cooper, who opened the show by telling Scooter that the monsters in his dressing room weren't Muppets, but belonged to him. Things got even weirder when the Muppets discovered that Cooper was an agent of the devil, after which he offered them riches and fame, which tempted some of the Muppets, including Gonzo.

However, the Muppets eventually realized that they should not sell their souls to the devil for such unimportant things, and instead, Gonzo used the power of special effects to scare off Cooper.

Cooper performed several of his songs on the show, including "Welcome to My Nightmare" and "You and Me."

At the time, it was a well-known fact that Cooper was friends with The Muppet Show creator Jim Henson, which probably explains his appearance on the series. However, this episode was definitely one of the show's weirdest.

Luke Skywalker, C-3PO and R2-D2

In 1980, Star Wars characters Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) and R2-D2 (Kenneth Baker) appeared on stage with the Muppets. The three crashed the show during a search for a missing Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), but much to Kermit's chagrin, they refused to perform for the audience. Luke, however, brought in his cousin, actor Mark Hamill, as himself, to placate an upset Kermit, but his song and dance number was so bad that the Muppets kicked him out of the show.

Eventually, the Muppets – with Miss Piggy filling in for Princess Leia – joined Skywalker and crew to save Chewbacca by facing off against Death Nadir (Gonzo).

Perhaps the most interesting scene in the episode, though, is the end, where the Star Wars actors joined the Muppets on stage in a medley of songs that included "When You Wish Upon A Star," one of the songs most associated with Disney, the company that eventually acquired the rights for both The Muppets and Star Wars.

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