Kuwait on the Muppets Show (1978)

Post by Mark

This is a random little tidbit sent in by a reader. Back in 1978, the British-Irish comedian Spike Milligan appeared on an episode of the Muppets Show sporting a t-shirt with Kuwait written on it in Arabic. You can watch a clip of that episode above (Spike pops in at around the 1-minute mark) while the story about the controversy behind is t-shirt is below:

For years, it has been said that Milligan’s shirt translated to “hashish,” and this was a sly opportunity by Milligan to sneak a drug reference into the show (hashish is a preparation of cannabis). As the story goes, no one noticed what he was doing until the episode had already aired. Is it true? It is not true.

What Milligan’s shirt translates to is “Kuwait.”
Why Kuwait? Well, Milligan was, at the time, doing the TV series Q, which was a sketch comedy show that had a different number attached to it for each season it was on the air, beginning with Q5 in 1969. Because of the similar Monty Python’s Flying Circus program, which ran from 1969-1974 (it began a few months after Milligan’s series), it would not be until 1975 that Milligan was allowed a second season/series of Q, titled Q6. Q7 followed in 1977, and in 1978, as the time of the Muppet Show taping, Milligan was doing Q8.

Q8 was, appropriately enough, nicknamed “Kuwait” because of the fact that, well, you know, Q8 sounds like Kuwait! So no, no sneaky drug references for Spike Milligan! [Source]

So random.

Thanks Dalal!


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6 comments, add your own...


  1. Hey Mark, who was that British guy who had a children’s show in Kuwait in the early-mid 90s?

    I remember meeting him once when I was a kid, him and his partner but I can’t for the life of me seem to remember his name.

  2. Aziz says:

    During this period 1976 to 1979 many of the staff working in Sesame Street (NY) were coming to Kuwait to teach the Arabic staff how to do the arabic ver of the show (Eftah ya simsim).

    Check this video:

    https://youtu.be/IEm_b1c3_2Y

  3. Kong says:

    Back in the good old days when Arab culture was linked to hashish.

    Now any shirt with Arabic would be considered ISIS propaganda.

    Oh how low can we go….


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