On September 24, 1936, Jim Henson was born in Greenville, Mississippi. From this modest beginning he went on to become a global phenomenon thanks to his groundbreaking work on Sesame Street and with the Muppets. Not only did he revolutionize children’s programming by creating material that talked to children instead of at them, he also changed the way puppetry was looked at as both artform and entertainment — influencing a generation of lovers and dreamers in the process. Henson would have been 81 today, and we remember this bittersweet occasion by rewatching some of his most entertaining material. As the above screen tests to see if the Muppets could be filmed outside and still look realistic in advance of The Muppet Movie proves, even when just riffing with Frank Oz the result was nothing less that pure magic. So if you find yourself struggling, follow Henson’s lead and keep believing, keep pretending and you’ll eventually do what you set out to do.
Check out our Jim Henson archives here.