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World Puppetry Festival

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1980 World Puppetry Festival promo01:03

1980 World Puppetry Festival promo

10, 20, and 30 second TV spots.

The 1980 World Puppetry Festival was held between June 8th and 16th as a joint venture of the Union Internationale de la Marionette (UNIMA) and the Puppeteers of America. Jim Henson helped organize the week-long event which was primarily held at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.[1] and Georgetown University.[2] The festival was attended by 2,000 puppeteers and helped gain attention to puppetry from the National Endowment for the Arts, an independent agency of the United States federal government.[2]

To promote the festival, Statler and Waldorf appeared in a series of TV spots from their box in the Muppet Theatre. Two of them end with Statler stating that he hates puppets.

A stage performance featuring Henson and the Muppets with several other famous puppeteers was taped for PBS and aired as Here Come the Puppets!

The Smithsonian Institute participated by curating a long-term puppet exhibit initiated by donations such as Edgar Bergen's Charlie McCarthy and Jim Henson's Kermit the Frog.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Jim Henson's Red Book 5/31/1975 – ‘Ernie and Bert open at the Smithsonian in exhibit “We the People”.’
  2. 2.0 2.1 American Puppetry: Collections, History and Performance edited by Phyllis T. Dircks, published by McFarland, 2004

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