Upcoming Video Releases: The Muppets' eighth theatrical movie, Muppets Most Wanted, will be released on August 12, 2014 to DVD and Blu-ray; the latter will include three different cuts of the film. New and upcoming video releases from Sesame Street include the DVDs Monster Manners, Learning Rocks, and M is for Mystery (coming in September).
The "Bird" on the Street: The long-anticipated documentary I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story had its world premiere at Canada's 2014 Hot Docs Festival in April, and will have several screenings in the U.S. during the coming months. Meanwhile, Sesame Street's 45th season is set to debut on September 15. Among the guest stars appearing during the upcoming season are Seth Meyers, Janelle Monáe and One Direction.
John Henson (1965-2014): John Henson, the fourth of Jim and Jane Henson's five children, died Friday, February 14 at the age of 48. He served as co-owner and board member of the Jim Henson Company and was active as a performer, most notably as Sweetums in various Muppet productions for over a decade. Henson also originally portrayed the Coca-Cola Polar Bear for live appearances.
Other recent developments: The Muppets on A Capitol Fourth | "A Lovely Sunny Day" with Bert and Zachary Levi | Muppets Most Wanted promotional appearances | The Doozers on Hulu | Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge | The Furchester Hotel | Muppisodes | Little Children, Big Challenges
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.