The Word on the Street: Sesame Street is now in its 45th season, featuring guest stars such as One Direction, Sir Ian McKellen and first lady Michelle Obama. A new special starring Cookie Monster will premiere on PBS on February 16 (watch the trailer below). Also in store for this year will be a new line of Funko Sesame Street vinyl figures; the first of which, Super Grover, was unveiled at New York Comic Con last October. New and upcoming video releases include the DVDs Elmo's Super Numbers, Elmo's World: Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes and The Best of Elmo 3 (coming in March).
New Releases: The Tribeca Film release of I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story will be coming soon to select theaters and video on demand services. New graphic novels from Archaia include the final installment of the four-part Fraggle Rock mini-series Journey to the Everspring (released on January 14), and The Musical Monsters of Turkey Hollow (released October 1), a comic revival of an unproduced story by Jim Henson and Jerry Juhl, as adapted by Roger Langridge.
Gerry Parkes (1924-2014): Actor Gerry Parkes passed away on October 19 at the age of 90. Parkes was best known for portraying "Doc" on Fraggle Rock, a role he reprised for the television special A Muppet Family Christmas.
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 44th season, and the newest stars are host 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.
- 14: Fraggle Rock: Journey to the Everspring - Issue #4 (comic mini-series)
- 16: Sesame Street: The Cookie Thief (TV)
- 3: The Best of Elmo 3 (DVD)
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