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The Muppets

Jim Henson first created The Muppets in 1955 for his TV show called Sam and Friends.

Jim Henson first created The Muppets in 1955 for his TV show called Sam and Friends.

Sam and Friends was Jim Henson’s first TV show. The show was only five-minutes long and aired twice daily on WRC-TV, in Washington, D.C. The show ran from May 9, 1955 to December 15, 1961.

According to Jim Henson, the Muppets got their name from a combination between the words “Marionette” and “Puppet.”

Then came Sesame Street. A longtime favorite of children and adults, and a staple of PBS, “Sesame Street” bridges many cultural and educational gaps with a fun program. Big Bird leads a cast of characters teaching children numbers, colors and the alphabet. Bert and Ernie, Oscar the Grouch and Grover are just a few of the other creatures involved in this show, set on a city street full of valuable learning opportunities. Let’s take a look at some amazing behind-the-scenes photos that just might ruin your childhood.

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The popularity of garage rock starts here. Garage rock and Muppet history was made on September 18, 1966 as this date marked the first television appearance on CBS-TV’s The Ed Sullivan Show of Jim Henson’s Muppets. For this first appearance, Henson chose a 1966 garage rock song called “Rock It To Me” by a teen band called The Bruthers.

Long before he found fame with the Muppets, Jim Henson made a name for himself in the world of advertising with Wilkins and Wontkins, producing a pretty violent series of commercials who showed what happens when you drink too much coffee, or not enough.

When we talk about puppets in television and film, Jim Henson is the first name that comes to mind. Henson’s legacy endures at his Creature Shop, where fabricators, engineers, and animators continue crafting the art of puppet-making and performance. Tested were privileged to be able to visit Jim Henson’s Creature Shop and learn how modern technologies combine with classic techniques to bring characters to life.