Jim Lewis is a former Jim Henson Company staff writer with a wide variety of writing and production credits.
Lewis first worked with the Muppets as the editor of Muppet Magazine, having previously worked as a staff writer for Children's Television Workshop's Enter magazine. His first actual production was the 1988 direct-to-video Hey, You're as Funny as Fozzie Bear.
As is the case with fellow Muppet writer Craig Shemin, the credited work of Jim Lewis represents the tip of the iceberg of his true contributions. From the late 1980s through 2004, Lewis was the Muppets' primary in-house writer, contributing to countless interviews, promotional material and Muppet appearances. He was responsible for a large amount of web content and a great many of the press quotes attributed to the Muppets, and he also wrote much of the Gonzo, Rizzo, and Kermit material on the Muppets from Space DVD commentary. In this capacity, Jim Lewis contributed a great deal to maintaining the tone and consistency of the Muppet characters in the years since Jim Henson's death.
One classic example of his work was Kermit the Frog's 2002 acceptance speech on receiving a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame:
“The most important people I want to thank today are all you people over here, the fans ... Because of you, I'm able to stand here today, uh, on a huge stack of phone books, accepting one of the greatest honors in show business... When I was looking around yesterday, I saw all the stars of the great performers nearby. I'm proud to be their new neighbor. Like my friend Edgar Bergen, whose magic with Charlie McCarthy kind of inspired my career, and my closest friend Jim Henson. Now Jim not only inspired my career, he actually inhabited it. And Jim was a great man whose work moved us all, especially me.”
Although credited as co-producer of Muppets Tonight, according to Lewis,
“Someone obviously slipped up. Or maybe it was the 20 bucks I gave the guy who typed up the credits at the end of the show. Seriously, those titles are one of the mysteries of writing for television, but since I had involvement from the beginning I felt it was earned.”
Writing and other credits
- Hey, You're as Funny as Fozzie Bear
- Wow, You're a Cartoonist!
- Miss Piggy's Hollywood for The Jim Henson Hour (with Bill Prady)
- Billy Bunny's Animal Songs
- The Animal Show
- Muppet Classic Theater (with Bill Prady)
- "She Drives Me Crazy" (parody lyrics for Kermit Unpigged)
- It's Not Easy Being Green
- Yes, I Can
- Muppets Tonight (also producer)
- Telling Stories with Tomie dePaola
- Kermit's Swamp Years (with Joey Mazzarino)
- Muppets Party Cruise
- The Muppet Show Live (with Craig Shemin)
- It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (with Tom Martin)
- Studio DC: Almost Live (co-producer)
- Lady Gaga & the Muppets' Holiday Spectacular
- "Pure Imagination" music video
- The Muppets Present… Great Moments in American History (writing consultant)
- The Muppets Take the Bowl (co-writer)
- The Muppets Take the O2 (co-writer)
- Muppets Now (story team)
- Below the Frame Episode #9
- Lewis, Jim The Muppet Newsflash interview
- Lewis, Jim, Muppet Central Form: "The Brand New Ask Jim Lewis Thread," September 2008.
- Hill, Jim, "WDW's new "The Muppets Present … Great Moments in American History" show brings authentic Muppet mayhem to Liberty Square", The Huffington Post, November 9, 2016.