Minelli was 33 in 1979 when she appeared on the Muppet Show performing a few numbers, including a song and dance version of Barry Manilow’s Copacabana.
Copacabana was released in 1978 and written by Manilow, Jack Feldman and Bruce Sussman. The inspiration of the song was a conversation between Manilow and Sussman who had decided that nobody had ever written a song called “Copacabana.”
Surely they may have wondered about Sinatra’s 1950 Meet Me At The Copa, written about the same club. It has a similar salsa-shuffle rhyme to the chorus, but stays in the present tense instead of the multi-decade storyline in Manilow’s Copa, which may well have taken place during the time Sinatra was reading his list of attractions worth seeing near the club.
This Muppets episode made it to the Emmys. The director of the episode, Peter Harris, was nominated for Outstanding Directing in a Variety or Music Program, and John Hawkins won for Outstanding Video Tape Editing. Muppet Shows often had an overarching theme or storyline. This episode featured a murder mystery, and it received a 1980 Raven Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Mystery Field Outside of the Realm of Fiction.
Watch this RAOAMFORF-winning clip here: