Craig Shemin (b. September 19, 1966) is a former Jim Henson Company staff writer, and currently serves as the President of The Jim Henson Legacy. Shemin began his career with Henson as a college intern during the summer of 1987. After he graduated, he was hired in the Public Relations Department, during which time he also worked with the Jim Henson Archives. By 1996, however, he had transitioned to writing, contributing to a wide array of programming, merchandising, and appearances.
In TV, Shemin served as writer and consultant (and sometimes lyricist) for the first season of The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss and received a Writer's Guild of America Award nomination for his work on the show. For the Hallmark Channel, Craig co-wrote all 26 episodes of Telling Stories with Tomie dePaola, and contributed to two seasons of Donna's Day. Shemin also co-wrote a single episode of Dog City ("Comedy of Horrors").
For the Jim Henson's Muppet Stories book series, Shemin wrote three short stories for The Muppet Show characters as illustrated by Richard Walz: "Let Me Help!" and "Forgetful Rowlf" from Off to Storyland, and "Hot Off the Presses" from Cozy Campfire Stories.
In the multi-media realm, Shemin scripted two 1996 video games, Muppets Inside and Muppet Treasure Island, as well as MuppetWorld.com's MuppeToon series. Song lyrics include the "Muppets Party Cruise Rag"." In the publishing realm, he helped Miss Piggy with her 1996 cookbook, In the Kitchen with Miss Piggy, coined the title for One Frog Can Make a Difference, and contributed humorous text and character quotes to The Muppets Big Book of Crafts. He also wrote material for countless Muppet press interviews and appearances, and text for innumerable licensed products, such as the Palisades action figures. In 2001, he hosted the second day of MuppetFest, and with Jim Lewis, co-wrote The Muppet Show Live.
In recent years, Shemin researched and wrote the liner notes for Music, Mayhem and More!, co-wrote the "Muppet Morsels" feature on The Muppet Show Season 1 DVD, and produced the extras on the 2005 Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas DVD, including directing and editing the behind-the-scenes featurette. He also directed a documentary on Muppet photographer John Barrett for The Muppets Say Cheese, a 2005/06 exhibition of Barrett's work at New York's Museum of Television and Radio. He also hosted a feature for the Dinosaurs DVD set. In 2014, Shemin wrote and compiled The Muppets Character Encyclopedia, a 200-page guide to The Muppets characters released by DK Publishing.
Shemin's non-Henson writing includes seven installments of the Cartoon Network series Courage the Cowardly Dog, two episodes of Rory's Place (co-written with wife Stephanie D'Abruzzo) as well as an episode of the Nickelodeon series Gullah Gullah Island. He collaborated with D'Abruzzo again on special material written for Empty-Handed, a 2004 showcase by Avenue Q performers Jennifer Barnhart, John Tartaglia and D'Abruzzo directed by Alan Muraoka. He is also is the co-author, with Dep Capone, of the award-winning book Families Are Forever, about a Chinese girl adopted by an American family.
A graduate of Northwestern University, with a B.S. in Speech-Radio/TV/Film, Craig Shemin is a member of the WGA-East, BMI, The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and The Dramatists Guild.
- The first piece of material written by Craig and actually performed by the Muppets was a video featuring Kermit the Frog to be used at a Disney shareholder meeting around the time of the Henson-Disney deal. During the shoot, Craig recited, off-screen, the lines that would be said by Michael Eisner, who would appear live at the event.
- In the final scenes of The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson, an all-hands-on-deck crowd scene, Craig, who once contemplated becoming a Muppeteer himself, puppeteered Waldorf.
- On day one of MuppetFest, emcee Kirk Thatcher brought his Muppets Tonight Emmy onstage. Not to be outdone, day two emcee Craig, a non-Emmy winner, proudly showed off an old bowling trophy.
- Shemin was one of several writers originally involved in the script of Avenue Q, in its first incarnation as an unproduced TV pilot.
- Shemin was one of the first Muppet related employees to start an open discussion forum with fans on the now defunct Prodigy internet service, on their puppetry bulletin board. Other Muppet notables who participated in discussions included Steve Whitmire and writer Jerry Juhl.