Congratulations are in order for the Muppets, who received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today!
The Muppets were created by Jim Henson (1936-1990). In 1955, while Henson was a student at the University of Maryland, his own five-minute show, Sam and Friends, made its debut on WRC-TV, an NBC affiliate in Washington, D.C. The show, which won a local Emmy Award in 1958 and ran until 1961, featured a large cast of characters that Henson dubbed “Muppets,” including a green puppet named Kermit who would later become the world-famous Kermit the Frog.
For several years, the Muppets built a following by appearing in a wide range of television commercials as well as several network programs, including Today and The Ed Sullivan Show. During the late 1960s, Henson was asked to create characters for the groundbreaking educational children’s television show Sesame Street, which debuted on public television in 1969. Many of the show’s Muppets—including Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Bert and Ernie, and Oscar the Grouch—soon became icons of American popular culture.
Believing that the Muppets could entertain an even wider family audience, Henson produced the television comedy hit The Muppet Show. Running for five seasons between 1976 and 1981, The Muppet Show was hosted by Kermit the Frog and featured a new cast of Muppet characters, including Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, and The Great Gonzo, as well as an impressive array of celebrity guest stars. The Muppet Show was nominated for 21 Emmys and received four. Its success led to a slew of feature films: The Muppet Movie (1979), The Great Muppet Caper (1981), and The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984), all three of which were nominated for Academy Awards, as well as The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), Muppet Treasure Island (1996), Muppets from Space (1999), It’s A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (2002), The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz (2005), and The Muppets (2011).
In 2004, The Walt Disney Company acquired the Muppet characters and the Muppet film and television library from the Jim Henson Company. The Jim Henson stamp pane was issued in 1995.
Muppet Characters © Muppets Holding Company, LLC., a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company.
The JIM HENSON image, trademark and signature are used with permission from Henson Family Properties LLC