The Word on the Street: Sesame Street becomes the first television show to receive the Kennedy Center Honor. The ceremony was broadcast on December 15 on CBS, and featured appearances by Lucy Liu, Cedric the Entertainer, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Thomas Rhett paying tribute to the show. The legendary children's series celebrates its historic 50th anniversary, with a commemorative prime-time special airing on HBO November 9, and on PBS November 17. Season 50 began airing on HBO on November 16. A new series of web videos "Sesame Street Memories" features celebrities remembering their favorite memories from the past fifty years.
Caroll Spinney (1933-2019): Caroll Spinney, the longtime Muppet performer behind Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, died on December 8 at the age 85. In the months leading to Sesame Street’s premiere, Spinney was chosen by Jim Henson to portray the two characters he had created to add some fantasy to the street. Spinney would continue to perform his iconic roles in thousands of episodes, multiple television specials, feature films, and guest appearances spanning across five decades. Spinney retired from the show on October 17, 2018, recording his final vocal performances the following day to be aired during Season 50. Muppet Wiki, and the rest of the Muppet fan community, celebrate his life and work. Check out some of the cameos he made (along with his wife Debra), his many artworks, and some of the lesser-known characters he performed.
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance: On August 13, 2019, Netflix released its final trailer for The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance ahead of the show's August 30 premiere on the streaming service. The highly-anticipated prequel series to Jim Henson's original fantasy film uses an all puppet cast and features the voices of Helena Bonham Carter, Harvey Fierstein, Mark Hamill and others.
Muppet Babies Return: Disney Junior's successful Muppet Babies series returns for its second season, and has recently been renewed for a third. In the weeks leading up to season two, which premiered August 9, the network's YouTube channel released weekly editions of a new short-form series, Muppet Babies Play Date. The series featured Baby Kermit and the gang as puppets interacting with live children.
Sesame Street Movie News: Following several years of development, a new theatrically-released (as-yet-untitled) Sesame Street movie is in production at Warner Bros. Slated to be directed by Portlandia’s Jonathan Krisel, and starring Anne Hathaway alongside the Sesame Street Muppets, the film is scheduled to be released in cinemas on January 14, 2022.
Jim Henson began working with puppets as a college student, creating the show Sam and Friends in 1955 for a local Washington, D.C. television station. The energetic Muppets soon became a popular fixture, and led to appearances on national variety shows. Henson's commercials for a local coffee company, Wilkins Coffee, were so popular that he was hired to create similar commercials around the country. In the early 1960s, Henson moved to New York City to work on a variety of projects, including a regular guest spot on The Jimmy Dean Show for the first Muppet star, Rowlf the Dog.
In 1969, Henson was invited to participate in a ground-breaking educational show for television, Sesame Street. Initially, the Muppets were meant to be just one element among many on the show -- but the popularity of Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, Cookie Monster, Grover, Ernie and Bert soon made the Muppets the core of the show. Over the years, the Muppet cast has grown to include Mr. Snuffleupagus, Count von Count, Telly Monster, Rosita, Baby Bear, Zoe, Abby Cadabby, and of course, the international superstar Elmo, who starred in his own segment, Elmo's World.
In 1976, Henson created his signature project -- The Muppet Show, a weekly prime-time variety show filled with songs, sketches and talented guest stars. Kermit the Frog is the charming and mostly unflappable host, presiding over a motley crew of performers, including diva Miss Piggy, hopeful comedian Fozzie Bear, daredevil performance artist Gonzo, young eager gofer Scooter, and the house band, Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. The Muppet Show was a huge international success, making unlikely stars out of the Swedish Chef, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and his assistant Beaker, Sam the Eagle, and the two old cranks in the balcony, Statler and Waldorf.
The Muppet Show cast has continued to entertain audiences for over 30 years, spinning off into a popular series of movies, including The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, The Muppets Take Manhattan, The Muppet Christmas Carol, and Muppet Treasure Island.
In the 1980s, Henson created new worlds -- the magical underground civilization of Fraggle Rock, the imagination-filled nursery of Muppet Babies, and the fantasy worlds of The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. Henson's work has continued to live on beyond his death in 1990, and new productions featuring his creations are always in progress.
This wiki is dedicated to documenting, exploring and enjoying the enormous body of work that Jim Henson has created and inspired.