Your Favorite Jim Henson Moments?

fg7xf0a

I had so much fun doing 60 for 60 last year for Steve’s birthday that I’ve been toying with the idea of doing something similar in honor of Jim Henson—who was, after all, the founder of the feast. The year 2020 not only marks the 30th anniversary of Jim Henson’s death (as unbelievable as that seems), but it also would have been his 84th birthday. Now, 84 is not a milestone the way we usually think of it, but it is divisible by 12. So in theory, I could do what I did for 60 in 60, only with seven pieces a month instead of five. 

Nevertheless, it’s a daunting prospect. Jim was so prolific that even with an extra two pieces a month, it would be difficult to cover everything. I could make an entire year-long tribute out of Sesame Street clips alone. Also, so much of his career happened before I was born, and there’s a lot of material that I have never even seen. 

I haven’t decided yet if this is an idea I will follow through on, but it got me wondering: What are your favorite Jim Henson moments, friends? What are the songs and skits that make you laugh or cry? What would you cite to represent the best of him and his work? Why do you gravitate toward the productions that you do? What about a specific work resonates with you?

Share your ideas in the comments, and please feel free to include video clips as well!

8 thoughts on “Your Favorite Jim Henson Moments?

  1. This may be as difficult for me as it is for you. for I was never exposed to Jim Henson’s work until I was an adult. My mom refused modern times and kept the house as a museum after my dad was killed. She did not have PBS access, thus no Sesame Street. Later after marriage, I remember fondly sitting in my first home, in the dinning room with my ex hubby and we had the TV sitting on the end of the table. The Muppet Show was becoming a sensation and we never missed it, even if it was the dinner hour. We laughed unwell we were nearly delirious. Yet I never separated him out from the rest of the cast nor even stopped to think that there was a guy behind all this. No internet in these days, only small TVs and information was minimal. I knew I loved Kermit. My first heavy memory beyond this was that I found a love affair with the music and The Rainbow Connection. I began to watch the films in the cinema. Which one’s I cannot remember. It’s all a blur. All the characters were fabulous in my mind. Can’t wait to see what you do with this one.

    Like

  2. Oh well, I just found it impossible to pick a single thing. Speaking of favorite productions, it’s probably TMS and Labyrinth for me this week, with Muppet Movies, Dark Crystal, Fraggles and Sesame Street very closely following. However, speaking of favorite moments… come to think of it, it’s so very much everything for me, because what always left me open-mouthed about Muppets is, basically, a way of looking at life. As the famous quote goes —

    “I know it’s easier to portray a world filled with cynicism and anger, where problems are solved with violence…It’s an easy out. What’s a whole lot tougher is to offer alternatives, to present other ways conflicts can be resolved, and to show you can have a positive impact on your world. To do that, you have to put yourself out on a limb, take chances, and run the risk of being called a do-gooder.” –Jim Henson

    It’s the point of view. It’s both simple and sophisticated, childlike and wise, humorous and sincere at the same time. It’s full of sympathy and empathy and basic civilized respect to the opinions of others. It says you don’t have to be ill-tempered or mean and you don’t have to be hopeless or bored. All it takes is a tiny shift in perspective.

    It’s that ‘world through Jim Henson eyes’ thing in all Muppets productions. It may not show as much in the early commercials and training videos, but the seeds of it, the inexplicable Henson quality, is there already.

    So, pretty much all of it. I wish there was more of that around! And thank you for deciding to revisit it here — i think it’s a great idea!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Here’s a few just off the top of my head:

    Swedish Chef – brilliant. “Do-nut” my favourite clip from the old series.

    Kermit raging at Forgetful Jones while directing “Oklahoma”… or, well, Kermit raging at Forgetful Jones in general. Or Guy Smiley’s gentle backhanded snark while featuring Forgetful on “This is Your Story” (“and here’s an album with pictures of all your family, so that next time you’ll recognise them!”) Jim and Richard Hunt had some great chemistry on Sesame Street. Kermit/Don Music had a few memorable moments.

    “I Think That It Is Wonderful”. Nuff said.

    Sax and Violence – pure artistry in every movement from Dave Goelz and whoever performs Mahna Mahna, presumably Jim (after Nigel leaves the scene), but even if not, he deserves credit just for writing the music:

    The absolute, essential Muppety randomness of early pieces like this one:

    (is anybody else KILLED by the expression on Frank’s blue puppet at 1:36??)

    And, for a Jim cameo of sorts, I think Muppera deserves a (dis)honorable mention…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, J.S. I agree with you about Frank’s blue puppet and the Sesame Street stuff in general. I didn’t recognize your reference to Muppera at first though. I’ve never seen that episode. I know a little about that bit, though. I just didn’t know that is what it is called.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ha… I did make sure, before throwing that last line in, that the first Google hit would take you to what I had in mind, just in case. Some people LOATHE that sketch. Me, I think it’s so hideously hilarious that everybody should be reminded of its existence once in a while. 😉

        It was a bit of a random grab bag, I know, but how does one pick one or ten or twenty favorite Muppet moments where Jim is featured?

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s