Muppet Retro Reviews: An Evening with Jim Henson and Frank Oz


Adam Bush – There’s nothing like watching old videos of Jim Henson puppeteering. If you’ve seen the behind the scenes footage from The Muppet Show DVDs, you’ve experienced what I’m talking about. To watch Jim in his natural habitat, in a time when he was inventing the world of puppetry as we know it now, is really thrilling.

In 1989, Jim Henson and Frank Oz were invited to perform at the Puppeteers of America national festival at MIT in Boston. Due to, as Frank puts it, their laziness, they instead ended up doing a Q&A session with the audience. There are two wonderful things that happened that evening.

1. It was filmed.
2. They brought a few friends.

Below, for your enjoyment, is An Evening with Jim Henson and Frank Oz. The camera work is terrible, the audio is hideous, yet the video is just fantastic. It’s all about the content. Throughout the one-hour discussion, you hear from Jim on several shows and films, Frank talks about directing features, and they do plenty of performing with (to name a few) Rowlf, Cookie Monster, and Grover (I don’t want to give all the character performances away. It’s be fun to be surprised.)

Frank introduces the entire video circa 1993. As you watch this, it’s cool to think about what was going on with Jim at the time. 1989 was the year he initially started talks with Disney to purchase rights to the Muppets, and it was during the only season of The Jim Henson Hour. It’s also around the time he was developing Muppet*Vision 3-D for Walt Disney World.

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier,

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