Jim Boyd takes scowling lessons from Oscar

Jim Boyd (1933 - 2013) was an actor best known for his work on The Electric Company, staying for the entire run from 1971 to 1977. Boyd had originally been a puppeteer on the WPIX-TV series The Surprise Show and was hired by CTW to reprise his puppet character Lorelei the Chicken, perform the suit character Paul the Gorilla, and providing off-screen voice-overs, notably as the angry caller J. Arthur Crank. Beginning in the second season, Boyd brought Crank before the cameras and expanded his repertoire to include the Blue Beetle, The Wolfman, and the puppet Maurice the Plant.

Crank remained Boyd's signature character, however, and had the privilege of meeting two Sesame Street Muppets. He proved fairly sympathetic when encountering a tearful Grover at Vi's Diner, but later rejoiced in paying tribute to his mentor and role model, Oscar the Grouch.

Boyd also appeared in the 1974 prime-time network special Out to Lunch, reprising most of his characters and playing bit parts in the Electric Company/Sesame Street crossover segments, such as the ABC studios stage manager in the intro and a beaten gambler in the "Kookamunga Kid" sketch with Cookie Monster. He also supplied the voice of Spider-Man in the Spidey Super Stories album based on the Electric Company skits. Boyd later would make a brief cameo in Episode 3470 as a customer of a lemonade stand.

Boyd's post-Electric Company work was limited, mostly in supplementary DVD interviews and PBS documentaries about the series. He starred in the 1978 pilot Space Force as Captain Leon Stoner, along with Fred Willard and Larry Block, written by Norman Stiles and John Boni. He made a guest appearance on Law & Order.

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