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The Wizard of Id

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Wizardofid-07

The most prominent denizens of Id, from left: Wiz, the Spook, and the King

The Wizard of Id is a comic strip created by Brant Parker and Johnny Hart in 1964.

In March 1969, Jim Henson shot a short pilot presentaion with puppets built by Don Sahlin. It featured the Wizard, the King, and the Spook, based on designs from the comic strip.

The pilot features a painted castle set against a plain backdrop, as the King discusses Id and the protestors in the courtyard. The Wizard reports that the protestors want the right to bear arms. The King relents: "If they want bare arms, we'll rip off their sleeves!" When the protestors refuse to hear him speak, he asks the wizard if he has a potion to give him courage in the face of adversity. "No," the Wizard replies. "We drank all the gin last night." The King finally tells the protestors that he will put their town on the map. He then tells the Wizard to find a map and put their town on it.

The Spook protests from his prison. He tells the Wizard he's not getting the proper nutrients. "That's your own fault," the Wizard tells him. "You're not eating your spoons!" The King doubts the Spook's complaints, pointing out he has gained weight. "That's because of my new work detail," the Spook replies. "I empty the garbage cans." The King ignores the Spook and asks the Wizard to poll people to find how many are sympathetic to his cause. "That's easy," the Wizard replies. "How many people are on your payroll?" The Wizard then polls the Spook, telling him to say "Aye" if he's in favor of the King. The King then hits the Spook with his sceptre, prompting a pained "Oy!" "So far it's unanimous," the Wizard declares.

The Anti-Pollution League are in the courtyard: the moat is full of scum! "Listen, the peasants have a right to swim too, you know!" the King tells them.

The Wizard tells the Spook that his application to join the royal band has been accepted: he's the drum. The Wizard promptly beats him with a club.

The King tells the audience that Id has its problems, but also some accomplishments. The Wizard appears with an accomplishment: a magic spell that removes unsightly blemishes, which he uses to explode the Spook in a puff of smoke with his trademark spell. He explains that it's good for all the petty annoyances around here, before using the spell on the King, causing him to explode in a puff of smoke. The Wizard then explains, "It's a standard Muppet finale. If you don't know how to end it, go out with a --," at which point he too explodes in a puff of smoke. Then all three characters return to dance and bow to a fanfare, with the Spook making a particularly hammy exit.

At the 2003 "Muppet Rarities" event at The Paley Center for Media, Craig Shemin cited this as the earliest known occasion when Jim Henson created puppets based on pre-existing characters and designs.

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