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Tales of the Tinkerdee

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Title.tinkerdee
Muppets Inc. invite you to watch the pilot production of its new series, Tales of the Tinkerdee!

This unaired pilot, produced by Jim Henson and written by Henson and Jerry Juhl, was shot in Atlanta in the summer of 1962. The pilot featured Kermit the Frog, Taminella Grinderfall and King Goshposh, characters who would all reappear a few years later in the Tales From Muppetland TV specials.

Other characters included Princess Gwendolinda, the Prime Minister, Charlie the Ogre, and the Palace Guard. In the book Jim Henson: The Works, Jerry Juhl spoke of Kermit's role in the show:

Tinkerdee was a fairy tale kingdom and Kermit narrated the story in song. He had a lute, and you'd see him on little grassy knolls singing the narration we had written in the form of quatrains with god-awful puns and hideous rhymes, which he performed to very sweet, lilting music. That's how we made the transition from one scene to the next.

This pilot is held in the Museum of Television and Radio collection, and can be viewed by visiting either of the museum's locations in New York City or Los Angeles.

Another Tinkerdee pilot, The Land of Tinkerdee, was created in 1964.

According to Brian Jay Jones' biography, at the time, Jim Henson felt that Taminella Grinderfall (as played by Juhl) was the Muppets' best character yet. In this special, Kermit also appears for the first time with a fringed collar, albeit an orange, tightly-cropped one to suit his role as a medieval minstrel.

Credits

  • Produced by Jim Henson
  • Directed by Carl Degen
  • Written by Jerry Juhl, Jim Henson
  • With the talents of Bob Payne, Jane Henson, Walt Teas (opening announcer), Robin Reed, Charlie Byrd
  • Technical Director: Keith Price
  • Lighting: Larry Bowling
  • A Muppet Production

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