70 years, Sept 24th 2006
September 23, 2006 10:47 PM   Subscribe

Happy Birthday Jim. Today, Sunday the 24th 2006 would have been Jim Henson's 70th Birthday. (and is the 46th birthday of current Kermit Muppitter Steve Whitmire) Rarely has one person had such a impact with their vision for the world. From Sam and Friends, Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, The Dark Crystal, and on and on and on. Lots of Muppets on Youtube, lots of muppets on Metafilter. Henson died on May 16th 1990 of pneumonia. A Boy and his Frog (mp3) Happy Birthday, and thanks.
posted by edgeways (36 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
according to the Wiki.

Richard Curtis describes an episode at Henson's funeral:

At the end of (the funeral)... Frank Oz was talking and he suddenly lifted up Kermit's puppet and started to sing this song called One Voice. [Frank Oz was actually performing Fozzie Bear and the final song the puppeteers sang was Just One Person.] And it turned out that all the guys in the memorial service had brought their puppets with them, and they lifted them up, and when you turned around and looked backwards there were fifty puppets all singing. And Big Bird walked down the aisle of Saint Paul's Cathedral [the service was actually held at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine] and they all came forward and just this massive chorus of puppets all singing...It was an extraordinary thing...
posted by edgeways at 10:48 PM on September 23, 2006


mahna mahna : >
posted by amberglow at 10:53 PM on September 23, 2006


Weird. 70? It would have been F. Scott Fitzgerald's 110th.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:05 PM on September 23, 2006


Mah Ná Mah Ná

(Pay particular attention to the second paragraph.)
posted by L. Fitzgerald Sjoberg at 11:07 PM on September 23, 2006


I still think of you Jim Henson.
posted by kenko at 11:29 PM on September 23, 2006


Jim Henson is a huge part of who I am.
I was the original target audience for Sesame Streat (I was 1 when Sesame Streat went on the air) and when I watch old shows, memories and lessons learned to come flooding back...

...but that Boy and his Frog song is really, really awful.

Sorry.
posted by chococat at 11:34 PM on September 23, 2006


That man was my only childhood hero.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 11:47 PM on September 23, 2006


I've heard some people trash the song chococat, and some people love it, I'm pretty neutral on it myself, but the sentiment is in the right place.
posted by edgeways at 11:55 PM on September 23, 2006


Dark Crystal sequel is coming, just FYI.
posted by Kickstart70 at 12:37 AM on September 24, 2006


I don't know how true this is but I heard that Henson refused to go for medical treatment due to some religious belief.
posted by MrLint at 12:44 AM on September 24, 2006


I heard he died of necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating virus).

But nice post anyways. I have very fond memories of watching the Muppet Show as a kid with, of all people, my dad.
posted by bardic at 1:10 AM on September 24, 2006


Happy Birthday dead guy!

Other peeps who slid out of a womb today [via Wikipedia]:

* 15 - Vitellius, Roman Emperor (d. 69)
* 1301 - Ralph Stafford, 1st Earl of Stafford, English soldier (d. 1372)
* 1501 - Gerolamo Cardano, Italian mathematician (d. 1576)
* 1534 - Guru Ram Das, fourth Sikh Guru (d. 1581)
* 1564 - William Adams, British navigator (d. 1620)
* 1583 - Albrecht von Wallenstein, Austrian general (d. 1634)
* 1625 - Johan de Witt, Dutch politician (d. 1672)
* 1705 - Leopold Josef Graf Daun, Austrian field marshal (d. 1766)
* 1717 - Horace Walpole, British novelist and politician (d. 1797)
* 1724 - Sir Arthur Guinness, Irish brewer (d. 1803)
* 1739 - Grigori Alexandrovich Potemkin, Russian statesman (d. 1791)
* 1755 - John Marshall, 4th Chief Justice of the United States (d. 1835)
* 1801 - Mikhail Vasilievich Ostrogradsky, Ukrainian scientist (d. 1862)
* 1802 - Adolphe d'Archiac, French paleontologist and geologist (d. 1868)
* 1817 - Ramon de Campoamor y Campoosorio, Spanish poet and philosopher (d. 1901)
* 1857 - Richard Mansfield, German-born actor (d. 1907)
* 1870 - Georges Claude, French chemist and inventor (d. 1960)
* 1871 - Lottie Dod, English athlete (d. 1960)
* 1878 - C. F. Ramuz, Swiss writer (d. 1947)
* 1884 - Hugo Schmeisser, German weapons designer (d. 1953)
* 1884 - Gustave Garrigou, French cyclist (d. 1963)
* 1890 - A. P. Herbert, British humorist, barrister, novelist (d. 1971)
* 1890 - Mike González, Cuban baseball player (d. 1977)
* 1892 - Adélard Godbout, premier of Québec (d. 1956)
* 1894 - Tommy Armour, Anglo-American golfer (d. 1968)
* 1895 - André Frédéric Cournand, French Nobel Laureate (d. 1988)
* 1896 - F. Scott Fitzgerald, American novelist (d. 1940)
* 1898 - Howard Walter Florey, Nobel Laureate (d. 1968)
* 1899 - Sir William Dobell, Australian portrait artist (d. 1970)
* 1900 - Ham Fisher, American cartoonist (d. 1955)
* 1905 - Severo Ochoa, Nobel Laureate (d. 1993)
* 1909 - Gerard Ciolek, Polish architect (d. 1966)
* 1911 - Konstantin Chernenko, Soviet premier (d. 1985)
* 1912 - Don Porter, American actor (d. 1997)
* 1918 - Audra Lindley, American actress (d. 1997)
* 1919 - Dayton Allen, American actor and comedian (d. 2004)
* 1921 - Jim McKay, American sports commentator
* 1922 - Theresa Merritt, American actress (d. 1998)
* 1923 - Louis Edmonds, American actor (d. 2001)
* 1923 - Fats Navarro, American jazz trumpet player (d. 1950)
* 1924 - Nina Bocharova, Soviet gymnast
* 1924 - Sheila MacRae, Singer, actress
* 1925 - Autar Singh Paintal, Indian medical scientist (d. 2004)
* 1929 - Edward M. Lawson, Canadian politician
* 1930 - John W. Young, American astronaut
* 1931 - Anthony Newley, British actor and singer (d. 1999)
* 1932 - Dominique Michel, French Canadian comedian
* 1934 - Manfred Wörner, German politician and diplomat (d. 1994)
* 1934 - Tommy Anderson, Scottish footballer
* 1936 - Jim Henson, American puppeteer (d. 1990)
* 1941 - Linda McCartney, American singer (d. 1998)
* 1941 - John Mackey, American National Football League player
* 1942 - Ilkka "Danny" Lipsanen, Finnish singer
* 1942 - Gerry Marsden, English singer (Gerry and the Pacemakers)
* 1945 - Lou Dobbs, American journalist
* 1946 - "Mean" Joe Greene, American football player
* 1946 - Lars Emil Johansen, Prime Minister of Greenland
* 1947 - Erik Hivju, Norwegian actor
* 1948 - Gordon Clapp, American actor
* 1948 - Phil Hartman, Canadian actor (d. 1998)
* 1950 - Alan Colmes, American talk show host
* 1951 - Pedro Almodóvar, Spanish movie director
* 1952 - Mark Sandman, American musician (d. 1999)
* 1955 - Riccardo Illy, Italian politician
* 1956 - Hubie Brooks, American baseball player
* 1958 - Kevin Sorbo, American actor
* 1959 - Steve Whitmire, American voice actor
* 1961 - Allen Bestwick, Nascar Broadcaster
* 1961 - John Logan, American screenwriter
* 1962 - Nia Vardalos, Canadian actress
* 1962 - Jack Dee, British comedian
* 1964 - Rafael Palmeiro, Cuban-born baseball player
* 1966 - Michael J. Varhola, American author
* 1966 - Bernard Gilkey, American baseball player
* 1969 - Shawn "Clown" Crahan, American musician (Slipknot)
* 1969 - Donald DeGrate, Jr., American music producer
* 1973 - Eddie George, American football player
* 1976 - Stephanie McMahon-Levesque, American professional wrestler
* 1978 - Wietse van Alten, Dutch archer
* 1978 - Tarek Saab, American TV show contestant
* 1980 - John Arne Riise, Norwegian footballer
* 1980 - Sabrine Maui, Filipino pornstar
* 1982 - Morgan Hamm, American gymnast
* 1982 - Paul Hamm, American gymnast
posted by srboisvert at 2:43 AM on September 24, 2006


bardic, someone had told me that he had died of AIDS (or that the pneumonia was AIDS-related), which was devastating to me as a child. (The idea that AIDS was "bad" had filtered down to me, sans actual facts or understanding of what it was all about.)
posted by needs more cowbell at 3:42 AM on September 24, 2006


Wow, the SO and I just watched The Dark Crystal last night. I bought Jim Henson's Fantasy Film three pack: The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and Mirrormask. All three movies well worth watching.
posted by djeo at 4:09 AM on September 24, 2006


Muppets Overtime on youtube

A tributed to Henson? I don't know. But perhaps related to this post. And always interesting to watch.

And, srboisvert..... nice use of bandwidth. Do we get another list tomorrow?
posted by HuronBob at 4:51 AM on September 24, 2006


And, srboisvert..... nice use of bandwidth. Do we get another list tomorrow?

My point exactly h.bob.
posted by srboisvert at 5:42 AM on September 24, 2006


I suspected as much, srboisvert.

Out of curiosity, did you object to the posting of a tribute to someone who had died, the posting of a tribute to Jim Henson, the content of the posting, or was there some other reason?
posted by HuronBob at 6:14 AM on September 24, 2006


Jim Henson died of pneumonia caused by severe Streptococcus "A" bacteria. He was raised Christian Scientist, which meant he tended not to go to hospitals unless he had a really severe illness, but, as I recall, the real issue was that he was on an extended airplane flight, and so by the time he landed the Streptococcus had already moved into his heart.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:16 AM on September 24, 2006


if i remember correctly, jim henson and sammy davis jr. died on the same day, same year, hours apart.
posted by brandz at 6:59 AM on September 24, 2006


I'm still not over this one. Jim Henson, we miss you.

.
posted by Hildegarde at 7:08 AM on September 24, 2006


He rocked my world. I grew up learning from Sesame Street, and watched ancient tapes of The Muppet Show for years. I remember only vaguely when he died (I was fairly young), but I do recall my mother being visibly angry that he died of something that could have been treated. Rare, for a woman who didn't show much emotion.

I've seen The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth obscene numbers of times....perhaps tonight I'll rent MirrorMask in tribute.
posted by kalimac at 7:10 AM on September 24, 2006


.

I'm another one who's still sad and angry that he's gone. In one episode, he sang Jim Croce's "Time in a Bottle" (performing as a nameless whatnot Muppet), and the recording always makes me cry.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:28 AM on September 24, 2006


I recall a Time in the Bottle with a scientist muppet taking a series of drinks from various concoctions, each making him younger, as he sings. The last concoction makes him old again.

Is that the one? I also always liked it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:42 AM on September 24, 2006


That's the one, AZ.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:56 AM on September 24, 2006


Out of curiosity, did you object to the posting of a tribute to someone who had died, the posting of a tribute to Jim Henson, the content of the posting, or was there some other reason?

I probably don't have quite the same sentimental attachment to the muppets as others here being just a bit older but this post is just a sentimental google search result. There really aren't any great links in the mix.

Everyone has their heroes and villains and we can turn this place into a bizarre death/birth shrine flooded with nostalgia and periods if that's what people want. I don't so I threw in my little 2p snark.

For those who want to go down that road you can search for the births, deaths and events from a day by entering the month and day such as September 25 in wikepedia.
posted by srboisvert at 8:02 AM on September 24, 2006


Let me be the first to say: srboisvert has no soul.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:36 AM on September 24, 2006


Everyone has their heroes and villains and we can turn this place into a bizarre death/birth shrine flooded with nostalgia and periods if that's what people want.

I know. Isn't it awful when people post about things that move them emotionally? When people actually express feelings, admit that something moved them to tears? Being open and sharing the joys of childhood is for the weak and the sentimental.

Me, I was going to add a comment about how much I loved the Muppets as a child, how they brought joy to a fat, lonely, awkward kid with coke-bottle glasses and buck teeth. But now, thanks to srboisvert, I know better. I will assume The Stiff Upper Lip.

Later this afternoon, I will post a link to a site which has doctored photos of President Bush to make him resemble Adolf Hitler. And then all with be Right in MeFiLand.
posted by jason's_planet at 9:03 AM on September 24, 2006


I'm still pissed that Disney uses the Muppets as backup singers for C-list celebrities in commercials for unhealthy food. I'd like to think that Jim wouldn't have approved.



On the other hand, there are occasional cameos on Family Guy. Those are fun, and probably more in line with the original Muppets attitude -- only not as loving.



Seems like even the best modern comedy can't be loving anymore...and that's why we need to remember and honor Jim Henson.


posted by jdfalk at 9:41 AM on September 24, 2006


It's not easy being greensrboisvert
/couldn't resist

I can't believe mahna mahna is originally from porn! : >
posted by amberglow at 11:07 AM on September 24, 2006


I probably don't have quite the same sentimental attachment to the muppets as others here being just a bit older

I doubt if it has anything to do with age, srboisvert. (I remember seeing Kermit in 1964 on The Jack Paar Show performing "Gloworm" only to be eaten by Big V).

I agree with edgeways point about Henson's impact on the world. Anybody that can make as many people happy as he did with a frog made from the sleeve of his mothers old coat and two halves of a ping-pong ball deserves some respect in my book.

"Life is meant to be fun, and joyous, and fulfilling. May each of yours be that - having each of you as a child of mine has certainly been one of the good things in my life. Know that I've always loved each of you with an eternal, bottomless love. A love that has nothing to do with each other, for I feel my love for each of you is total and all-encompassing. Please watch out for each other and love and forgive everybody. It's a good life, enjoy it."-J.H.

We need more people in the world like Jim Henson. When he died, it hit me like losing a member of my family ... which, come to think of it, was exactly the case.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 2:02 PM on September 24, 2006


I watched Sesame Street and the Muppet Show as a little kid, and loved them, and still love them. The day Jim Henson died, my mother saw it on the news and came and woke me up to tell me - the same way as my father woke her up 10 years before to tell her John Lennon had been shot. The emotional or psychological reaction was probably pretty much the same, too.
posted by dilettante at 2:24 PM on September 24, 2006


I adore Jim Hensen's work, as many in the thread do. But my truthiness/extreme hyperbole detector couldn't let this go:

Rarely has one person had such a impact with their vision for the world.

Really?
posted by LooseFilter at 3:26 PM on September 24, 2006


Thanks for the heads-up about that 3-pack, Djeo. I've never seen Labyrinth, strongly want to see MirrorMask on acount of its two creators and have been mistaken for a Gelfling from a young age (and can quote the prophecy by heart) so Dark Crystal would just be damn good to have. Hoorah!
posted by Sparx at 3:57 PM on September 24, 2006


What's wierd about his death was just days before, he told Steve Whitmire he was going to find a major character for him to play.
posted by evilcolonel at 4:08 PM on September 24, 2006


if i remember correctly, jim henson and sammy davis jr. died on the same day, same year, hours apart.

I remember that clearly, because all the news around me was about Sammy Davis Jr. and no one had even seemed to notice the passing of Jim Henson. It angered and saddened me.

As for the "just another death thread" a la srboisvert, I have been noticing lately -- maybe it's always been that way -- posts that raise topics on flimsy linkage because there is a will in the community to discuss them. Not necessarily a bad thing IMO, though the pretense seems to stand in sharp contrast when a non-favoured topic is chosen for discussion.
posted by dreamsign at 11:27 AM on September 25, 2006


My ex-boyfriend's university graduation commencement speech was given by Elmo and Kermit (in December 1996). As part of the build-up towards the event, there was a Jim Henson exhibit in the student union, which had costumes, early drawings, props, and miniature sets used in much of Henson's work. Later, Henson was honored as an alumni with this statue.
posted by parilous at 12:32 PM on September 25, 2006


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