Henson Headlines: Steve Whitmire is no longer working with the Muppets, leaving Kermit the Frog in the hands of Matt Vogel. Netflix debuts Julie's Greenroom, a new Henson Company series created by and starring Julie Andrews; the streaming service also has a series in development based on Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal, subtitled Age of Resistance.
The Word on the Street: New DVD compilations include Singing with the Stars 2, Elmo and Cookie Monster Supersized Fun, and Elmo Loves Animals. In April, Sesame Street introduced Julia, a Muppet character with autism, in episode 4715. Julia was created for the initiative See Amazing in All Children.
Jim Henson began working with puppets as a college student, creating the show Sam and Friends in 1955 for a local Washington, D.C. television station. The energetic Muppets soon became a popular fixture, and led to appearances on national variety shows. Henson's commercials for a local coffee company, Wilkins Coffee, were so popular that he was hired to create similar commercials around the country. In the early 1960s, Henson moved to New York City to work on a variety of projects, including a regular guest spot on The Jimmy Dean Show for the first Muppet star, Rowlf the Dog.
In 1969, Henson was invited to participate in a ground-breaking educational show for television, Sesame Street. Initially, the Muppets were meant to be just one element among many on the show -- but the popularity of Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, Cookie Monster, Grover, Ernie and Bert soon made the Muppets the core of the show. Over the years, the Muppet cast has grown to include Mr. Snuffleupagus, Count von Count, Telly Monster, Rosita, Baby Bear, Zoe, and of course, the international superstar Elmo, who starred in his own segment, Elmo's World. Sesame Street is now in its 46th season, and the show's newest stars are Murray Monster and fairy-in-training Abby Cadabby.
In 1976, Henson created his signature project -- The Muppet Show, a weekly prime-time variety show filled with songs, sketches and talented guest stars. Kermit the Frog is the charming and mostly unflappable host, presiding over a motley crew of performers, including diva Miss Piggy, hopeful comedian Fozzie Bear, daredevil performance artist Gonzo, young eager gofer Scooter, and the house band, Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. The Muppet Show was a huge international success, making unlikely stars out of the Swedish Chef, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and his assistant Beaker, Sam the Eagle, and the two old cranks in the balcony, Statler and Waldorf.
The Muppet Show cast has continued to entertain audiences for over 30 years, spinning off into a popular series of movies, including The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, The Muppets Take Manhattan, The Muppet Christmas Carol, and Muppet Treasure Island.
In the 1980s, Henson created new worlds -- the magical underground civilization of Fraggle Rock, the imagination-filled nursery of Muppet Babies, and the fantasy worlds of The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. Henson's work has continued to live on beyond his death in 1990, and new productions featuring his creations are always in progress.
This wiki is dedicated to documenting, exploring and enjoying the enormous body of work that Jim Henson has created and inspired.
- 29: Trick or Treat on Sesame Street (DVD)
- 05: Grover's Eight Nights of Light (book)
- 8-10: Hollywood Bowl (concert)
- 19: Dark Crystal Visual Guide