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HC Cinderella Rufus

Cinderella and Rufus.


The Fairy Godmother's floundering magic act.


Jim Henson with some of the Muppets from Hey Cinderella!.

HC Kermit the Frog
HC Goshposh Featherstone

King Goshposh dictates his invitation to the masked ball: "Bring a present for the King."

HC Cinderella Prince masked ball

Hey Cinderella! is a one-hour special which tells a cracked version of the classic fairy tale, "Cinderella." It debuted on the Canadian network CBC on March 16, 1969. It was broadcast in the United States of America a year later, debuting on ABC on April 10, 1970.

King Goshposh decides to hold a masked ball so that his son, Prince Arthur Charming, can choose a girl to marry. The Prince dislikes the idea because he feels that all the girls he knows are snobs, and he takes a walk in the garden (which he's not very adept at maintaining), where he discusses the problem with Kermit the Frog. (Kermit's advice: forget gardening, stick to being a prince)

Cinderella, whose cruel Stepmother has ordered her to perform an unpleasant chore, meets the Prince and mistakes him for a gardener. The Prince is delighted that Cinderella doesn't recognize him; he withholds his true identity from her and tells her that his name is just Arthur. Manipulating Goshposh to allow for commoners to attend the ball as well (under the king's condition of "No Frogs" to keep Kermit out), Arthur secures Cinderella a means to come as well. But although her stepmother tries to prevent her from attending, Cinderella's Fairy Godmother comes to the rescue and prepares her for the event.

After a bit of coaxing, Kermit becomes the footman for Cinderella and brings along his friend, a monster named Splurge, to help escort Cinderella to the ball. Yet it is there where a case of mistaken identity threatens to keep the young lovers apart -- the Prince is still smitten with the servant girl whom he met in the garden, and Cinderella pines for the gardener Arthur (without mentioning all the other chaos going on around them with the ball itself).


Writers Jon Stone and Tom Whedon originally conceived the idea as an episodic series for Saturday mornings based on the Snow White fairy tale. A pilot script was commissioned by CBS, and Jim Henson signed on to create and perform Muppet characters for the show. CBS eventually passed on the series, so Stone and Whedon took it to ABC, who approved it on the condition that it instead be based on Cinderella. The resulting half-hour pilot, produced in 1965, was Henson's first collaboration with Stone and composer Joe Raposo. The series again was not picked up, and the pilot went unaired. A few years later, Henson expanded the concept to an hour-long special, which reunited much of the original creative team (including Stone, Raposo, and Muppet performers Frank Oz and Jerry Nelson) who would then work on Sesame Street shortly after. A number of elements from the pilot were refitted for the special, including the song "If I Could Go Dancing."

Filmed in Toronto, Canada in the fall of 1968, this production was the first to formally feature Kermit as a frog, being redesigned with a pointed collar and flippers. By the time the special aired in the U.S. in April 1970, Kermit the Frog was already recognized for his appearances on Sesame Street, which had premiered several months before.

The initial U.S. airing of Hey Cinderella! was sponsored by R. J. Reynolds Foods division (Hawaiian Punch, one of the Reynolds products, offered hand puppets of the characters). The sponsorship drew a harsh review from The New York Times critic Jack Gould, particularly over Kermit providing commercial lead-ins and his assumption that Children's Television Workshop was directly involved. Jim Henson personally wrote to Gould to clarify the issue.[1] Due to the controversy, Look and Time magazine reported that Kermit would be phased out in the show's second season premiering that fall, though ultimately, Kermit's departure was temporary, returning as a regular in season 3.[2][3]



Muppet Characters



  1. ↑ CTW Achives. Letter from Jim Henson to Jack Gould. April 13, 1970.
  2. ↑ Street Gang, pages 92-94, 211-213.
  3. ↑ Sesame Street and the Reform of Children's Television, page 93.

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