Monday, September 30, 2013
M is for MISSISSIPPI and the MUPPETS
DID YOU KNOW...
Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets, was born in Greenville, Mississippi ....September 24, 1936.
He spent his early childhood in Leland, Mississippi moving with his family to Hyattsville, Maryland, near Washington, D.C., in the late 1940s. In 1954 while attending Northwestern High School, he began working for WTOP-TV, creating puppets for a Saturday morning children's show called The Junior Morning Show. After graduating from high school, Henson enrolled at the University of Maryland, College Park, as a studio arts major, thinking he might become a commercial artist . A puppetry class offered in the applied arts department introduced him to the craft and textiles courses in the College of Home Economics, He graduated in 1960 with a B.S. in home economics. As a freshman, he had been asked to create Sam and Friends, a 5-minute puppet show for WRC-TV. The characters on Sam and Friends were forerunners of Muppets, and the show included a prototype of Henson's most famous character: Kermit the Frog Henson would remain at WRC for seven years from 1954 to 1961 In 1969, Joan Ganz Cooney and the team at the Children's Television Workshop asked Henson to work on Sesame Street, Part of the show included a series of skits with Henson's funny, colorful puppet characters. They became wildly popular.
In 1994 Kermit the Frog was donated to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History . Last week , on Jim Henson's birthday, the Henson family announced it would be donating 21 of Henson’s other cherished puppets from “The Muppet Show,” “Sesame Street” and other shows and films—a group that includes Elmo, the Swedish Chef, Fozzie Bear and, Miss Piggy. Fans of the Muppets will be able to see some of these latest additions to the collection, beginning in December, in a new exhibition on puppetry. The Count, Oscar the Grouch and others will be showcased first with other Muppets rotating in every few months. Miss Piggy will be a part of the museum’s permanent “American Stories” exhibition. There is. also, a small Jim Henson/Muppets Museum in Leland, MS located on the locally well-known Deer Creek.