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Jim Henson
June 21, 2011 7:47 PM   Subscribe

The World of Jim Henson: 1 :: 2 :: 3 :: 4 :: 5 :: 6 :: 7 :: 8 :: 9 :: "An excellent biography of the Muppet master, this 85-minute film from the PBS show Great Performances mixes the history of Henson's projects with plenty of sketches that any fan age 6 and older should enjoy. The film shows the incredible range of Henson's creations, starting in 1955 with "Sam and Friends" then moving on to Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock, and beyond. It illustrates the breadth of his genius, from creating entirely new worlds in film (The Dark Crystal) to pithy '60s TV commercials that achieved branding and a laugh in less than six seconds. There's footage that most fans haven't seen in years, or at all: a regular bit from The Jimmy Dean Show; tantalizing bits of his 1965 Oscar-nominated short, Time Piece; appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Tonight Show; his explanation of Wall Street on Nightline; and Miss Piggy's hilarious deconstruction of Morley Safer on 60 Minutes."
posted by puny human (23 comments total) 104 users marked this as a favorite

 
Well, there goes my evening. :) Thanks!
posted by zarq at 7:48 PM on June 21, 2011


What zarq said.
posted by Melismata at 7:58 PM on June 21, 2011


*schmoopy nerd alert*
Jim Henson always makes me think of the Peter S. Beagle quote from his foreward to LotR: "We are raised to honor all the wrong explorers and discoverers--thieves planting flags, murderers carrying crosses. Let us at last praise the colonizers of dreams."

Henson gave much to us, and with a slighly baudy laugh, no less.
posted by smirkette at 8:00 PM on June 21, 2011 [22 favorites]


That man must have the strongest shoulders ever.
posted by Curious Artificer at 8:05 PM on June 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


which of these sequences has the early stuff -- the stuff from Sam & Friends, the D.C. years.

More specifically -- which one has the Hot Shots commercial?
posted by jason's_planet at 8:06 PM on June 21, 2011


Must. Not. Watch. Until I finish revisions for the evening.

But thanks!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:16 PM on June 21, 2011


I read somewhere (probably on metafilter) that except for the fact that it's in English, The Dark Crystal is the only Hollywood film ever made that doesn't have some connection to Earth: there just isn't anything else that doesn't include humans and/or earth animals. It was mentioned in the same article that originally, Henson et al wanted the film to use a made-up language, which truly would have made it the only completely alien film made, but the execs said no.
posted by nushustu at 8:35 PM on June 21, 2011


I just got to the part where they show this song from Sesame Street that features cameos from every celebrity ever. In a song about a rubber duck.

Damnit, Jim. Why weren't you immortal? Every second of footage from this documentary is timeless (in stark contrast to the documentary footage itself). How many artists can you say that about?
posted by schmod at 8:58 PM on June 21, 2011


Let's make a list:

Jim Henson
Mr. Rogers
Captain Kangaroo

We're done now, right?

Thanks for the links!
posted by tomswift at 8:58 PM on June 21, 2011


we was robbed.
posted by bicyclefish at 9:15 PM on June 21, 2011


I've still never tried Wilkin's coffee, but I surely would if I could.
posted by ShutterBun at 9:45 PM on June 21, 2011


I know it's all too much, but if I had a son, I would name him for this man.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:50 PM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I totally forgot about this:

Put Down the Duckie.
posted by loquacious at 1:43 AM on June 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thank you so much. What a lovely, sweet, creative man.
posted by lucien_reeve at 3:18 AM on June 22, 2011


In my short list of people who deserve the hype, Jim Henson heads it up. Thanks for this.
posted by DigDoug at 3:39 AM on June 22, 2011


If you never got to see The STORYTELLER, Jim Henson's Emmy Award winning set of obscure folk tales, they are wonderful ...and the whole series can be streamed from netflix.
posted by warreng at 5:17 AM on June 22, 2011


Let's make a list:

Jim Henson
Mr. Rogers
Captain Kangaroo

We're done now, right?


I think cases could be made for Walt Disney (or at least his staff), Charles Schulz, Hayao Miyazaki, Jay Ward, Roald Dahl, and at least a few others.
posted by cottoncandybeard at 5:49 AM on June 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hello, can you guys slow down? I'm still only on episode 12 of Arrested Development Season 1 from previous post!!! I've got two more whole seasons, then the wire, then back to the muppets. Phew!
posted by bquarters at 6:09 AM on June 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


cottoncandybeard: "I think cases could be made for Walt Disney (or at least his staff), Charles Schulz, Hayao Miyazaki, Jay Ward, Roald Dahl, and at least a few others."

Strike that entire list. Substitute Bill Watterson.

Disney, Schultz, and Dahl were all great artists, but people like Henson, Rogers, and Watterson actually lived what they preached. They're childhood heroes that are every bit as awesome as you expected them to be.

There's something to be said for this.
posted by schmod at 7:55 AM on June 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you want to delve deeply into the history of the Muppets, including bunches on Jim Henson, I heartily recommend Street Gang, The Complete History of Sesame Street. Some of the writing gets a bit sappy, but there are some great interviews and first-hand anecdotes.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:17 PM on June 22, 2011


And schmod, you best be adding Hayao Miyazaki back to the list. I don't want to fight you, but I will if I have to.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:19 PM on June 22, 2011


Last late comment: here's a playlist with the 9 clips (and more), for ease of viewing.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:24 PM on June 22, 2011


OK, the videos will have to wait until after work, but this post makes me think of one of my favorite film moments ever:

The scene in the original Muppet Movie where Dom Delouise (Bernie the Hollywood agent) tells Kermit he should reconsider leaving the swamp for Hollywood, because "you could make millions of people happy." The delivery that Jim Henson then uses for Kermit when he reflects upon the idea and says to himself "millions of people happy" just kills me every time I see it. (And yes, I've watched this with my kids many, many times). I always smile and think, "you did it Jim, you really, really did it!"
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 5:04 PM on June 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


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