Jim Henson: Idea Man (2024) Movie Script

[harp music playing]
You know, I'm an idea man.
I spend a lot of time thinking.
Thoughts are funny things.
They can lead to ideas.
There's one now.
["II B.S." playing]
Now, when you get an idea,
you have to look at it
from every direction.
- [gunshot]
- [glass shatters]
[children giggling]
- [screams]
- [groans]
Then along comes
a new, fresh idea.
And this gives you other ideas,
which gives birth
to other ideas.
And finally the whole thing crystallizes
into one gloriously marvelous,
great, big, beautiful idea.
[music ends]
[crew chattering]
- [Seeff] Looks fantastic.
- [shutter clicks]
[Seeff] Stand up. There's, uh...
There's a little rectangle on the floor.
Stand up.
I think he looks so good
this way that I'm...
It's just it's so
graphic an image.
- Yeah.
- I don't do this for a living.
- [Rockwell] You got a great face.
- [Seeff] Oh.
[Rockwell] Oh, yeah.
[Seeff] How would you define yourself
now, as a puppeteer or a filmmaker or...
- [stammers] Any of those.
- [Seeff] Yeah, right.
- And all of the above?
- Yeah. Sure.
Do you get a lot of fear wondering
whether your perceptions are correct?
[Jim] Uh, when you're running a whole,
you know, several-hundred-person unit,
uh, you have to keep
everybody else enthusiastic.
- [Seeff] Uh-huh.
- You can't really express
grave doubts and stuff,
whether or not your...
this whole thing is
a good idea or not.
[Seeff] Yeah.
- [shutter clicks]
- Is this a nine-to-five job?
No, it's sort of... [chuckles]
an all-the-time job.
- [laughs]
- [Seeff] Yeah.
It's every... "every moment of one's
life" kind of a job, I suppose.
[Oz] I met Jim when I was 17.
And it took about ten
years to get to the point
where we could sense
each other's rhythms.
[shutter clicks]
I was the mainstay performer
with Jim for 35 years.
Jim created out of innocence.
He was a very rare,
rare creature.
He was so internal and quiet
that his inner life must
have been sparkling.
He had so many ideas and so
many things he wanted to do.
And so the idea of time, I think,
was very much on Jim's mind always.
[clock ticking]
[Rockwell] I was what they
called a "creative assistant,"
an assistant that would travel
with Jim and shadow him 24-7.
You should be much more active.
You need to be running around.
[ticking continues]
His ideas came from
excitement in him.
[Rockwell] He said to me
that from a very early age,
he had the feeling that he was
here for a purpose and a reason.
And that was largely
what drove him.
I feel like he came onto this planet, and
he knew he had a mission and a calling.
He's like, "Gotta get it
done. Gotta get it done."
[Rockwell] His schedule was so packed.
New York to London to Toronto to LA.
His drive was superhuman.
Uh, we have to keep going,
and you get to go home.
[Goelz] It was a restlessness.
He was always doing, always
creating. And he was urgent about it.
Wrap it up and
get to the ending.
[Jim] I've always operated doing
a few things at the same time.
And I find it very exciting.
It's just an incredibly busy life
with a shocking amount of things
that got done in every year.
[Oz] Why he kept going
so much, I don't know.
There's no real one answer.
That's the trouble, you know?
Muppets, they're superstars.
250 million people
enjoy them every week.
And just because
they're so popular,
we may neglect to notice
that Muppetry is also an art.
Sitting beside me here is
the Muppet master himself.
There's only one word for Jim.
He's a genius.
Think of Rasputin
as an Eagle Scout.
[audience laughs]
And in the chair next to him,
and, indeed, seldom far from him,
is Jim's close associate and friend,
a man who truly fits his name.
Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Frank
Oz and Mr. Jim Henson.
Let's get this on the
record. How did you start?
So when I started, it was,
like, just out of high school,
and I just heard about
a television station
that was looking
for a puppeteer.
And so I made puppets
and auditioned
because I really wanted
to work in television.
I don't recall ever seeing a
puppet show when I was a kid.
You never saw a puppet?
No. And I never played with puppets.
I never had any to play with.
[Lisa] He grew up in rural
Mississippi. Leland, Mississippi,
on a Department of
Agriculture research station.
His mother was a
Christian Scientist,
and his father agreed to be Christian
Science because he loved her.
His older brother
was his best friend.
They would spend a
lot of time outside,
a lot of time exploring.
If you imagine the
he really had that kind of childhood
where your mind is allowed to fill in.
[Jim] When I was fairly young,
we just got a television set.
Television was in
its early days,
and I thought it was
such an exciting thing.
This television picture that
was happening in one place,
and you could see what was
going on somewhere else.
From the first time he saw a television,
I think that's where he wanted to go.
[Cheryl] You think of a guy
growing up in Mississippi.
A television set could bring
the world into your home.
Like, that's just like,
boom, mind-blowing.
- [static]
- His name is Jim Henson,
the most famous name in the
whole history of puppetry.
And you're telling us that
you went into puppetry
just as a way to
get into television?
Yes, because I wanted to work
in this field. I-I loved it.
- [scoffs]
- [audience laughs]
[Jim] Throughout, I'd get
all the credit and so forth.
But back in the early
days, it was my wife, Jane.
Actually, she wasn't my wife
when we started working.
She and I were the whole thing for
the first, oh, five, seven years.
My mom had a wicked sense of humor.
She was really, really funny.
She was very, very artsy, but
she was also extremely earthy.
She was a painter and a ceramicist,
and her art was very important to her.
I met Jim in a puppetry class.
It was my senior year,
and he was a freshman.
When he was young, everything
was absolutely intriguing to him,
and he just couldn't wait
to get on to the next thing.
The puppetry class really was the
first thing he did with the university.
It was a senior class,
and Jim was coming
in as a freshman.
He started writing all the
scripts, designing the puppets,
and he pretty much
took over the class.
And he had that boy-genius
quality about him.
His skin wasn't perfect.
He wanted to take
care of his acne,
and his mother didn't want
to have him go to a doctor.
So as soon as he could grow a
beard, he just wanted to have one.
[Lisa] He thought of himself as
a pimply-faced, skinny teenager,
and then carried that
with him for a long time.
When they first met, she was much
worldlier on multiple levels.
She came from New York. She
had had other boyfriends.
She was more socially
adept than him.
They both had a sophisticated
appreciation of nonsense and absurdity.
That's probably what
pulled them together.
[Jane] He already had some puppets on
TV 'cause he started in high school.
And it was in that spring semester
that Jim asked me to help him at WRC.
Jim was an artist.
He wanted production design, but
he was fascinated by television.
[crew] Action.
I heard of a TV station that
was looking for a puppeteer.
So I painted the scenery
and I built the puppets,
and wrote the materials and
auditioned and got a job.
And that's kind of
how it all started.
I did this thing that was
called Sam and Friends.
It was late at night.
It was on at 11:30,
which was a strange kind
of time for a puppet show.
- [audience laughing]
- But, uh...
But, at the time,
we never thought of ourselves as
being particularly for children.
Going now to two of the best
people in the world, I think.
They're Jim and Jane Henson.
And they have two friends.
They call 'em Muppets
because they're neither puppets or
marionettes, but kind of a combination.
They invented them.
Here we go to Washington
and Jim and Jane Henson.
Yes! We have no bananas
We have no bananas today
[Jane] It almost always started
with some kind of a musical piece,
and do his visual
Jim would pick a record, and he
would build puppets to go with it.
And I would help perform.
...old-fashioned tomato
[Juhl] Sometimes it was a sort of
sophomoric, uh, record pantomimes.
Other times, it was completely
zany sketch comedies.
The truth is out!
[Juhl] And it attracted
this huge following
in Washington D.C.,
of all places,
where everybody
watched the news.
[Jane] Everything was
live. Nothing was taped.
Whatever you did, went out
over the air as you did it.
And our style of puppetry, we
didn't even try to be sophisticated.
Television was very new, and
really, Jim went to play.
[record scratches]
[Oz] There's so many things that Jim
did at that time to explore puppetry.
Old black magic
has me in its spell
Old black magic that
you weave so well
What Jim did is he took
the first proscenium away,
and made the TV set the stage.
Like a leaf caught in a tide
I should stay away
But what can I do?
Not only that, but he
worked with the close-up.
Most shows at that time didn't
have close-ups of puppets.
The old black
magic called love
[music ends]
[presenter] Oh,
that's marvelous.
Jim and Jane, I'm... I'm glad
that you run the lady's part.
- Oh.
- [chuckles]
- [Jane] This is Kermit.
- It's Kermit.
And this is Sam. Some of our
characters change sex very easily...
- [Jane chuckles]
- with the addition of a wig.
[presenter] Kermit...
Uh, yeah, I see. Okay.
[Brian] To start with, my dad just had
sort of a... a troupe of puppets that...
that he had designed.
And they were very
different from each other.
And Kermit was just one of them.
So deep in my heart
Dad was still trying to, like, find
what he felt was the right look
for... for puppets for him.
In the very early experimentation,
Kermit was right there.
Kermit wasn't a frog then.
Keep your shirt on, King.
[narrator] Said the
little green guy.
[Lisa] Initially, it was
just one of the troupe.
My mother puppeteered
it sometimes. [chuckles]
Kermit wore a wig at times.
I've grown accustomed
to your face
[audience laughs]
You almost make
the day begin
[host] Where were you
first born, Kermit?
The first... The first me actually
came from, uh... I was a, uh...
I was a coat that belonged
to, uh, Henson's mother there.
- Actually was. Yeah.
- [host] That's how you began?
[Jim] It was my mother's coat
and a Ping-Pong ball, you know,
which I cut in half
to make the eyes.
[Lisa] He was sort
of sitting vigil
with his grandfather,
who was very, very ill.
The story is he used Kermit to entertain
his grandfather as he was dying.
My mom thought there was a little bit
of a spiritual connection to the puppet.
It was a way of bringing
lightness and bringing humor.
My dad always felt like humor was an
antidote, that it was a saving grace.
[Brian] Kermit was one of the
more generic of the puppets,
but it fit his hand really well.
He could puppeteer
really well through it.
[no audible dialogue]
He was learning that a really
simple puppet, like Kermit,
could be very expressive just by using
the fabric and letting it distort,
but controlling the distortion
so that they become expressions.
- Give me a dozen eggs.
- How about a loaf of Claussen's bread?
Nah, just give me the eggs.
Give him the eggs!
He'll learn to buy Claussen's.
The fact that the puppet is so simple,
and it really almost exposes the hand,
makes it very close to him.
And, over time, he really imbued
that character with more of himself.
[Jim] Kermit is... is more
outgoing than I am, certainly.
I am more laid back. I...
I don't do outrageous.
I... I do his outrageous
things. That's true.
[eggshell cracks]
I guess it's close to an
alter ego of some sort.
How's that for
happily ever after?
- Yeesh.
- [laughter]
[water splashes]
Oh, Harry, we're blocking
some people's view.
Oh, excuse me. I sure don't
want to keep anybody from seeing
this gorgeous Esskay
bacon package.
It's a very tasty package.
[Jane] Jim was doing Sam
and Friends daily shows.
Even though it was fun,
he was very confined.
[Cheryl] He was particularly
sensitive to being boxed in.
[Lisa] He wanted
to be an artist.
He was interested in filmmaking.
He was interested in television,
not strictly puppetry.
He was figuring out what he
wanted to do next in his life.
[Jim] I was going through those
sort of early times in one's life.
I was breaking up with a girl.
[Jane] We were kind of dating
other people and everything.
We had life going on
during Sam and Friends.
[Brian] Well, he clearly
had a moment of self-doubt.
Here's a track. I could
stay on this track,
but is this the track I want?
[Jim] So I decided
to go away and paint.
Then I went to Europe.
[horn honks]
[shutter clicks]
[Jim] I wandered around.
Then I met a lot of
other puppeteers.
[Cheryl] He could see that puppetry
was taken more seriously in Europe.
I mean, they got funded. They
had companies. They had theaters.
[Oz] He started to believe
that puppetry was an art form,
and could express things
that humans couldn't express.
[Jim] In the course
of that little trip,
I found that people were
doing interesting things,
and it was something that, uh,
you could get into and develop
and... and turn
into something else.
That's what you did, all right.
[Jim] I came back from
that trip all fired up.
[Jane] He really had it in his
mind. "This is what we're gonna do."
We're gonna do this with the puppets,
and then we're gonna get married.
Falling in love is a kind
of a funny way of putting it
because, I don't know, we
were just with each other,
and we were very fond of
being with each other.
He and my mom founded a
company called Muppets, Inc.
[Jane] But as soon as it was incorporated,
that's when we settled on the 60-40,
which it kind of always
was from then on.
It was around October or so
that we decided to get married.
But I don't know at that time we
knew what the future would be.
[Lisa] My mom sometimes said
that they got married too young.
She was aware that he was maybe too young
to settle down for the rest of his life,
having gotten married at 23.
Now, that was probably not
too young for her though.
[Jane] Right about that
time, we got that local Emmy.
I do remember Jim getting
it from Richard Nixon,
and you have to stand there
having your picture taken.
You have to say
something, right?
But I do remember Jim came up
and he said, "Nixon said to me,
'I knew a man in the navy
with a beard.'" [chuckles]
[Brian] At that time, he was holding
it all together with my mother.
[chuckling] Just the two of
them figuring it all out.
[Jane] Then we had a
baby in May of '60.
And then in August '61, we went
to Puppeteers of America Festival.
Jim was anxious to
know other puppeteers,
and also to look for
somebody to work with him.
He really was in search of
putting together a team.
[audience laughing]
Jim started asking
around for someone.
And everybody was saying,
"You really should see a very
young man named Frank Oznowicz."
[Oz] I was 17. I hadn't finished
high school when Jim saw me.
I had worked for four or five years doing
puppet shows all around the Bay area.
I think Jim could sense
that feeling and timing
I learned through all those
years of doing all those shows.
And I could hold an audience.
I think that was the key thing.
[Lisa] Frank Oz was, initially,
a very mischievous son of
a very serious puppeteer.
[Oz] My dad and mom escaped
from Antwerp, Belgium
at the beginning of the war.
My father was a window
dresser and a sign painter.
And, to the degree that I know,
he carved puppets out of wood.
Then when he met my mom, she
made the characters' clothes.
They really took the art
of puppetry so seriously
that Frank could never take
the art of puppetry seriously.
Frank and I met Jim
at exactly the same time.
In fact, Frank and I were
doing a show together.
[Oz] Jerry was asked
by Jim to join him.
I probably never would have had the
job except that Frank was too young...
to leave home.
[Jane] Jerry Juhl came in '61.
I was pregnant with
Cheryl, and Jim felt
that I was no longer
dependable. [chuckles]
[Juhl] Shortly thereafter,
Don Sahlin joined the team
and became the genius
builder of the Muppets.
He was this quiet, very
funny, obsessed man.
[Oz] I completed high school, and
that's when he asked me to come on.
[Juhl] That was the core
group for quite a while.
I arrived at 53rd and Second
Avenue, and there were two rooms.
One room was a little
cubicle for a secretary,
and then there was a
workshop for Don Sahlin.
And he had the gerbils
running around.
[Juhl] Don took a basketball
one day and cut it in half.
And that became the
basis of Rowlf's head.
[Jane] And, of course,
Rowlf became the big star.
- Howdy.
- Was that him?
- Yep.
- Howdy.
- Is that all he says?
- He's a star.
- Any more and we have to pay him.
- Howdy.
[Jane] Immediately, Jim and Frank
started performing together.
And almost the first thing that Frank
did was to play the extra hand of Rowlf.
He then had a weekly spot
on Jimmy Dean's show.
- You're on the other side.
- I'm on the other side.
- Now, Rowlf...
- I got water in my ear.
[audience laughs]
- Okay. Now I'm running again.
- All right. Now you're running.
- Now you're going faster and faster.
- Faster.
- Lickety-split.
- I'm lickety-split.
- [grunts]
- What's the matter?
- I think I just split my lickety.
- [audience laughs, applauds]
[Oz] My part was
basically an apprentice.
I didn't do anything, you
know, except the right hand.
- All right, Jimbone.
- [laughs]
[Jane] Frank always had such a emotionally
loaded relationship with puppets.
Jim could relate to that a lot, too,
'cause he didn't intend to be a puppeteer.
And here was Frank, who didn't
intend to be a puppeteer,
but Jim very quickly
picked up on that.
Frank also wanted to do
things really, really good.
And that was really their bond.
That's right It's
friendship, friendship
Just a perfect blendship
[Jane] You do it great,
and I'll do it great.
We'll do it great together.
- Woof, woof, woof.
- [laughs]
[Jim] This is what it looks like when
we're doing a television show backstage.
We stand up here. The four of
us, we're working this one.
We're watching a television set
here while we're doing the show.
We'll play back a little bit
of the show so that you can see
what it looked like from backstage
while we were doing that last skit.
"Okay. Now, once upon a time, there
was a lovely girl named Cinderella."
Cinderella, come here,
you wretched girl.
Oh, no. It's Gretel, and
she's back from the moon.
- [slide whistle plays]
- [piano plays]
I shall kiss you on the nose.
[Rowlf] That's a
magical transformation.
Three bowls of porridge.
[Jim] Using the television monitor, you
can perform and see your performance
exactly as the audience does.
And so, as we're performing,
we're also editing.
We're framing the shots.
It's a magical transformation.
[Oz] At the end of the day,
what that monitor is, is life.
Purina Dog Chow will really
make a hit with your dog.
Are you sure it'll make a hit?
[Oz] During that time, we were
making a lot of commercials.
But the amazing thing with Jim was,
even though he had to do something
that he didn't
really want to do,
he always made it fun
for himself and for us.
I'm gonna convince everybody to
buy nothing but Claussen's bread.
What's the club for?
To get their attention.
We had 6.5 seconds of audio in which
to sell a product and tell a joke.
What do you mean Taystee bread
is baked while you sleep?
I'm awake.
Like I said, Taystee is
baked while you sleep.
[Jim] In the old days, a lot
of our stuff was very violent.
It was before we even started
talking about violence on television.
Uh, or maybe they were talking
about it, but I didn't hear it.
- Uh...
- [laughter]
That's a lot of...
Well, I'm gonna go.
What do you have
against Jim Henson?
What do you have against me?
What do you have
against Wilson's Meats?
Well, actually,
I'm a vegetarian.
[Juhl] Doing commercials was
a practical matter for Jim.
It allowed him to build
a-a small team of people
that would be able to move
on and do bigger things.
Jim created a big dollar bill
like this that hung on the wall,
and it was all made with coins and
money, and that was the altar to money.
It was an awareness
that, damn it,
we have to... we've got to pay
attention to that. [laughs]
I want that green ammunition That's
the stuff of which I'm wishing
Fill my closets with deposits
I'm a demon at addition
Give me shekels, give me pesos
Let me see their smiling face-ohs
Give me money, money
Money, money, money
You could see how conflicted
he was about advertising,
and just selling for
the sake of selling.
I want you to get out
there and sell, sell, sell.
Merely spray it...
Quick-cooked in dragon fire.
What else do you do
besides just puppets?
Well, I've been into
filmmaking for a while.
Jim was an experimental filmmaker.
That's what he really, really was.
[drums playing]
[Jane] Jim wasn't a musician himself,
but he thought like a musician.
He was just always rather
intrigued with the idea of music
and time being
measured out in beats.
[Brian] Everything he
did was experimental.
And that's the way my dad
approached everything.
He was such an ambitious guy,
he'd do a little shoot
for his home movies.
[Lisa] He was doing stop-motion,
experimental television...
experimental film.
- Moms.
- [both] Dads.
[all] Kids.
Flapsole Sneakers
hit the spot
[both] Vita-Juice.
Let's have a shot.
- [gunshot]
- [glass shatters]
[actors] Tippy Toys
for a happy tot.
[actor] Boo-boo
Band-Aids help you clot.
I have a short film that I
made I called Time Piece.
- [bell rings]
- [film projector whirs]
It's just a study of
contemporary man sort of thing.
You know, kind of
a fun look at it.
[heart beating]
[shutter clicks]
So if you want to know my dad, watch
Time Piece and then go from there.
[Jim] It's a film that's made of a lot of
little short segments chopped together,
and it's a way of editing that I
was enjoying doing at the time.
[bell dings]
It's sort of, like, kind of
train of thought editing.
[drums playing]
- [phone rings]
- [register clicks, dings]
[Brian] The idea was mixing seemingly
unrelated images in quick sequence
in order to communicate
one feeling, one thought.
- [gasps]
- [gunshot]
[glass shatters]
[Oz] We did that on weekends.
We'd make commercials,
and then we'd have enough
money to shoot on the weekend.
And that's how we shot Time Piece
for a year with an old Rackover 35.
For my dad, time was
ticking all the time.
Because he wanted to do more
than is humanly possible,
there was never
gonna be enough time.
[Brian] That idea that
time could run out,
I'm sure came with the
death of his brother.
It was huge. It was huge. Losing
his brother was huge to him.
[Brian] They were inseparable. Like,
they were brothers and best friends.
And my father was, uh, two or
three years younger than him.
He died in a car accident
at the army base.
He was very young.
It was a huge shock
to the family.
Absolutely shattered
my dad's world.
[Cheryl] The whole family
had a really difficult time.
He saw his mom get
really depressed.
He saw his mom, like,
start to give up.
And he wasn't gonna do that.
He was gonna keep going.
["I'm a Man" playing]
[Oz] In the 1960s, Jim
was excited to create work
that reflected everything that
was going on in the country.
I think part of it is shocking, and I
think part of it is very interesting.
He did this show
called Youth 68.
I think it's finally getting down to
the nitty-gritty of artistic expression.
[Cheryl] It was very much
about the generational divide.
It was about the music. It was about
the politics. It was about the protests.
It was about what is
happening in the world.
- Well, I think it's garbage.
- I love it.
- I don't understand it.
- I think it's wonderful.
Yeah, sure. It's always
more exciting. Then what?
[music continues]
[Jim] How can you do
a program like this
where you could take all
these people's statements
and you could re... rearrange
it, you could reedit the film
so that, uh, one person
comes out saying something
they really never
intended to say?
This is no way to make
a television program.
Jim was not into
drugs or anything,
but he... he loved the
expression that was going on.
You know, I've learned to walk
around inside my own head.
That may sound silly to you,
but it's been very,
very helpful to me.
[Oz] Jim wanted to do more
than just the Muppets.
He wanted to experiment.
One of the things he did during
that time was called The Cube,
which was about a man who was
trapped in an alternate reality.
What is this place?
What's it for?
We ask that question
ourselves once in a while.
[Oz] But what Jim was most excited about
was creating a discotheque called Cyclia,
which would have, like, 24
projectors all over the ceiling
with different angles of white.
And then he would project
all this 16 millimeter film
while the music was going on.
[Lisa] He didn't really care
that it was gonna be a nightclub.
It was all about what
is technically possible.
He was always excited
about the next idea.
[clock ticking]
He wasn't sure that
puppetry would be his thing.
And, in some ways, he was starting
to drift away from the family.
But then he got this invitation.
[no audible dialogue]
[Stone] Children were watching a
tremendous amount of television.
Forty, 50 hours a week.
Some of it bad television.
Joan Cooney had the notion that
if you're going to watch
that much television,
why don't we find out what it is
they like to watch on television?
Then go out and find out what
preschool children ought to know,
and put those two
things together.
So Joan found seasoned television
professionals and said,
"Do your thing and we're gonna
teach you how to be educators."
Joan had seen Jim's work and knew how
valuable he would be to the program.
I knew Jim very well, and
I had worked with him.
So I could call him up and say,
"Come on over and talk to us."
[Oz] But Jim wasn't sure
he wanted to do that.
And we weren't into children's
shows. We never did children's stuff.
But there's also a part of him
that sensed the value of the show.
Because he always sensed that
television could do more.
[Stone] Jim latched on to the idea
that we could create a television show
that would really do some good
for a very specific audience
that needed good done for it.
[Jim] I think that television is
such a huge influence on children.
I think it's the next most
important influence to the family,
or the church or the school.
[no audible dialogue]
As an industry, we don't generally
face up to that responsibility,
and I think we need to be a
great deal more responsible
to what we put on the medium.
[Lisa] He had four kids, all kind
of Sesame Street age at home,
and another on the way.
My younger brother John
had learning difficulties
and was not speaking yet.
So the whole idea of "How do kids
learn?" was really personal to him.
[door creaks]
But he didn't think that educating
children was anything he was good at.
[door creaks]
- Can you sing the alphabet, Joey?
- Yes.
A, B, C, D, E, F, G
H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P
- Q, R, S
- Q, R, Cookie Monster
Cookie Monster isn't a letter
of the alphabet. It goes...
- Q, R, S, T, U, V
- R, S, T, U, Cookie Monster
[scoffs] You're...
You're just teasing me.
W, X, Y and Z
- Now I know my A, B, Cs
- Now I sung my A, Cs
- Won't you...
- Next time Cookie Monster
Next time Cookie Monster
can do it with you.
I'm leaving. Whoo!
I love you.
- I love you too.
- Thanks.
[Jim] Sesame Street is one
of those interesting things
where the time was right
for that particular idea.
Here's one half of my
chicken salad sandwich.
Where's the other
half? It's gone.
Egad, the hunt's afoot.
Show me the clues.
[Brian] I think Sesame Street was
almost the most unlikely thing,
probably, in terms
of his life plan.
[Cheryl] The fact that he did Sesame
Street instead of a series of nightclubs,
yay. Like I... [chuckles] I
think everybody was like, "Phew!"
One, two, three, four, five, six,
seven Eight, nine, ten, 11, 12
One of the ways they lured him
into doing the show was to say,
"You can do a lot of
experimental films."
Seven, eight,
nine, ten, 11, 12
[Lisa] He did one
set of number films
that has the syncopated
animation of Time Piece.
[actors] Two.
[Lisa] And then ten other films, which
was the most exciting to him of all,
where he could do
whatever he wanted.
[fanfare playing]
I'm the King of Eight,
And I'm here to state
That everything here
Has to total eight
The guards, for
instance, by the gate,
Must always number
exactly eight
[actors] One, two, three,
four, five, six, seven, eight.
[Lisa] They weren't coming at it
from how to teach preschoolers.
Like, they were all about doing
the coolest, funniest, fun show.
One wedding cake.
[children] And that's
our song of one
[Stone] In the summer of
'69, we did some test shows.
And the original concept was
the street would be real,
and everything else
would be fantasy.
The result was the
street was deadly dull.
So we realized we had to populate the
street with some interesting puppets.
[pencil scraping]
[Jim] I had in mind that we would
do this large, silly character
who would represent the child.
Oh, good morning.
[Stone] It's possibly the
world's most magnificent puppet.
He's also a very highly technical puppet,
which a lot of people don't realize.
And it was Jim's
design, top to bottom.
[Jim] Caroll Spinney was one of the
few that had not worked with us before.
I met him at a puppet festival and I
described this very large, yellow bird.
I'm sure he'd had no
idea what he was in for.
[crew] Caroll.
There we are.
Ah... [speaks German]
Jim offered it to Frank Oz but he'd
already done the La Choy Dragon.
He says, "You're not getting me
into one of those things again."
And so Jim said, "Whatever you
want to develop, it's all yours."
[Oz] And then he asked
Caroll to do Oscar also.
Ta-da! Hey, that was rotten.
[Heather] I think that having both
Oscar and Big Bird on the street
sort of brought
the street to life.
[crew] Here we
go. Rolling sound.
[laughing, chattering]
[Stone] The puppets,
from the very beginning,
were an integral part of our
whole concept of the show.
[no audible dialogue]
There would be no Sesame
Street without the Muppets.
What's the big one, Big Bird?
Oh, what's the big one?
Oh, that's a picture of
me when I was little.
Wasn't I cute? [chuckles]
Characters have come about
from many different ways.
Some of the characters were puppets
that we had before Sesame Street,
and they took on a personality.
Uh, Cookie Monster
certainly was that.
I will count them.
- No, me eat them.
- Count.
- Eat. Eat, eat, eat.
- No, count. Count, count.
- Wait.
- What?
- Why don't we cooperate?
- Ah!
[Oz] The Count was
invented for Jerry Nelson.
Grover was closest to my heart.
Oh, they're coming!
- Which way? Which way? Which way?
- That way. [giggles] That way.
[Oz] Guy Smiley was invented on
the show and he was brilliant.
Jim was absolutely brilliant
with him. God, he was so funny.
Wonderful. I'm Guy Smiley.
They call me Guy Smiley because I
changed my name from Bernie Liederkranz.
- [audience cheering]
- Yes, thank you. Yes.
Some of his absolute best performances
took place on Sesame Street
because he didn't have to
be watching the budget.
He didn't have to be producing.
He was just there to perform.
- [crew] Quiet, please.
- [coughs]
[Jim] Performing the Ernie
and Bert pieces with Frank
has always been one of the great
joys of... of doing this show.
[director] Action.
- [Bert] Good night, Ern. [groans]
- Good night, Bert.
- Bert?
- [Bert] What?
Oh no, I'm not saying this to
you. I'm sorry, this is to me.
- [Bert] Oh, I didn't hear that.
- Hmm.
This is where I could use that
close-up, Jimmy. If you wanted to.
- [Bert] Oh, you want a close-up now.
- Oh.
I remember in the very beginning,
we... we first built these characters,
and then we were trying to
decide who should do which.
And I remember trying Bert, and
Frank tried Ernie for a while.
[Oz] We were in front of the mirror
and he was Bert and I was Ernie,
and that wasn't working.
I mean, Jim didn't even
have to make the decision.
It was obvious that Ernie was more
of Jim because Jim was very playful.
Wubba, wubba, Bert.
- You're it, Bert.
- No, I'm not.
Yes, you are, Bert. Bert's it!
Bert is it.
And Bert was me because I was
uptight and neurotic at that time.
Ernie, I am not going
to play this game.
- Mmm.
- Angry, right?
Yes, I am angry!
I knew it. Very good.
That's one for Ernie.
[Jim] In the beginning,
Frank didn't like Bert.
In the beginning, Bert... he...
he felt Bert was too dull.
[Oz] And then I realized, okay,
I'll make the negative a positive.
And then I created the character who
just want to be left alone and read.
And that allowed for the comic
impulses of Jim to interrupt me.
Twenty-two. Oh, the red one.
Twenty-three. [stammers] Twenty-four.
- Bert. Bert, Bert. Cut, cut. Bert.
- [laughing]
Jim is somebody if he's on the
river, he will pull his paddles in,
and he'll allow the
river to take the boat.
Me, I get in the boat and
I go upstream. [chuckles]
So, we're so different
in that area.
And one of the best things about
comedy, from Abbott and Costello on,
is that the characters
are opposites.
Pretend like you didn't
hear any of that stuff.
- That was just fine.
- All that stuff you just heard,
- you didn't hear that.
- We were kidding around.
[Jim] About half the time
when Frank and I are working,
we decide not to use the script.
And so we're really
working spontaneously,
and just sort of playing
off of each other.
And it's a lot of fun.
The opposite of
stop is go, Bert.
Go, Bert, go.
Go, Bert!
- Bert, Bert, the opposite of stop...
- [laughing]
At first...
When I came, I was 19, and I think
I used Jim as a father figure.
I was unfair to him.
I was dependent and
it took a while.
And the more
independent I became,
the more we came closer.
- Grover, is that you?
- Mm-hmm. That's right, Froggy. It's me.
[stammers] You're a salesman?
Uh, you know, you got to do
something to pay the cookie bill.
[Oz] He was my boss.
I worked for him.
He paid me, but, I mean,
he never acted like a boss.
Why am I doing it
and you're not?
- Because I'm just doing the words now.
- Okay.
[Oz] So it really
was a partnership.
Eventually, it
was like brothers.
- That's... that's...
- [growls]
- Good. Good. That's good. That's good.
- [growls] Yeah?
[growls] Yeah?
- [Oz] A little higher. To the left.
- [chuckles] That's awful.
[Jim] During the '70s,
I suppose, the whole country felt
it was slightly in a depression.
Emotional type of depression.
And when you were working
for the preschool kids,
you can't be
depressed about that.
I mean, you know, this
is such a wonderful age,
and it's this wonderful innocence
that you're dealing with.
["1-2-3 Sesame Street" playing]
- One, two, three
- Sesame Street
- A, B, C and...
- Sesame Street
[Cheryl] The fact that Sesame
Street was such a giant hit
was a big surprise to everybody.
- One, two, three
- Sesame, Sesame Street
[Lisa] It was beloved
immediately on every level.
Sesame Street
Sesame Street
[Lisa] The success of Sesame Street
meant he did have to expand at that point
bringing new people
into the company.
[Brill] There was an
ad in the paper saying
that Jim Henson was looking to train
puppeteers for a television show.
I was an actress. I had
just come to New York.
I met with Jim and Frank.
The next thing was him asking me
if I wanted to do Sesame Street.
[no audible dialogue]
Fran Brill was a friend of a
friend, and she called and said,
"Jim Henson is looking
for a costume designer."
I wasn't sure what to expect
when I went in to meet Jim.
There were all these people working using
foam rubber and all kinds of materials.
And I was fascinated, and that was
the beginning of a whole new life.
[Oz] He chose
people really well.
People that had the same spirit.
This affectionate anarchy.
That was the culture.
[Goelz] I was working
in Silicon Valley.
One day, I'm sitting in my cubicle,
phone rings and it's Jim Henson.
Sounds like Ernie.
[imitating Ernie] "Hi,
Dave. This is Jim Henson."
[normal voice] And I
thought, "Oh, my God."
[Frith] I was an editor and
illustrator working with Dr. Seuss,
but I was fascinated
with Sesame Street.
With the books, we could
reach hundreds of thousands.
But with television, we
could reach millions.
So, I said goodbye to Dr. Seuss
and hello to the Muppets.
It's probably the best group of
people I ever could have walked into.
It was Jim finding these
people, putting them together,
and trusting them to do what
he thought they could do.
It was amazing.
[Jim] All right,
guys. Here we go.
[Cheryl] I don't think he
really liked advertising,
and Sesame Street gave him a really
good reason to drop out of it.
He didn't have to do it
to make money anymore.
Ribbit. Ribbit.
[Brian] It was a very, very
creative period for him
the early year or
two of Sesame Street.
But then, definitely the
box closed hard around him.
[clock ticking]
[Oz] After a year of
Sesame Street, he felt,
"Oh, my God. I... I
made a big mistake."
[Brian] He was suddenly America's
favorite preschool entertainer,
and that didn't sit
comfortably with him.
He had all these ideas, and
then when he became successful,
now was the opportunity.
[Brian] If he had wanted
to do two more kids shows,
it would have been no problem.
He would have sold
them in a second.
But he didn't.
[Juhl] He had plans
for Broadway shows.
He had plans for ballets. He
had plans for amusement parks.
Lots of things in
lots of directions.
[wind whistling]
[Heather] He had
a great ambition,
and he really wanted to contribute
to the world in a huge way.
One more time.
I don't think Jim was ever
afraid of anything creatively.
[Lisa] He kept on trying stuff.
He did Hey, Cinderella,
The Frog Prince
and, uh, one that hardly anybody's
seen called the Musicians of Bremen.
And those productions were
where he would work out
a lot of cool, new
ideas in his mind,
whether it was figuring out how
to puppeteer the frogs in water,
or how to build puppets with
a different look and feel.
He would work two days on a
trot sometimes without sleeping.
He would do that regularly.
And that was normal
for Jim. Normal.
I think it was Jerry Juhl who
said that Jim had a whim of steel.
He was very thin, and
he looked vulnerable,
but he was the toughest
one of the bunch.
He was the strongest
man I've ever known,
both with integrity, but
also that skinny body.
He would just work and
work and work and work.
["A Song Without
a Reason" playing]
Well, you don't need rhyme or
reason To sing a happy song
This is a song
without a reason
[intercom buzzing]
- [player clicks]
- [music ends]
[Jim clears throat]
[Heather] He loved the work. He relished
in the work and he thrived in the work.
But it did mean that he was
doing the work all the time.
[chuckling] You know?
Like even on vacation,
he's bringing his work.
It wasn't really a vacation.
[birds chirping]
[Oz] So I think what happened
was that Jane didn't foresee
how popular things would come.
And she didn't always
want it to grow bigger.
She wanted her
husband home more.
[no audible dialogue]
[Brian] They were the
cofounders of the company.
And then my mother started
having babies very quick.
It was very hard for them to
be cofounders of the Muppets
and have five kids
at the same time.
[Cheryl] My mom
was an anarchist.
My mom was a creative thinker.
My mom was strong
and... and dynamic,
and she was often rebelling against
the concept of the perfect wife.
And my dad had some
traditional expectations
of how things are
supposed to be done.
[Brian] It was when it came
down to talk about the company.
I'm sure all of my siblings will
say they remember the friction often
at the dinner table because
my father wanted to know
how... how was my math quiz,
and how... how did the science
project work out with my sister.
But my mother only wanted to... my
father to talk about the company,
which was the last thing
he wanted to talk about.
[Jane] Jim certainly
had respect for women.
He assumed that I was either interested
in what the children were doing,
or I was interested in what he was
doing, and that was what wives do.
I probably just kept it inside for
so long until I made a declaration.
"Hey, look. I have a life too.
It's just not about
you and your career.
It's about me too."
[Cheryl] What is a
declaration of independence?
It's a cry for recognition.
[Lisa] She felt left out.
She loved the creative collaboration,
and I think it was hurtful to her
that the collaboration could
keep going without her.
She wasn't thinking of ending the marriage
because she didn't believe in divorce.
She continued to be a
very good talent scout.
She discovered a lot of the puppeteers,
particularly the young ones.
She would say that she was the first
person who discovered Jim Henson.
[Cheryl] No matter what happened
in my parents' relationship,
my mom was always supportive
of my dad as an artist.
[Brian] I think my mother
would've been super happy
if he did just stay
on Sesame Street.
'Cause my mother always wanted
to dedicate her life to kids.
My father never
wanted to do that.
He had this idea for a Muppets variety
show that predated Sesame Street.
[phone rings]
He had been selling
it for years.
That was gonna be
the ultimate show.
He tried to pitch it to
every single network.
Anyone who would listen.
[no audible dialogue]
[Oz] In the beginning, Jerry
and me and Jim and Don Sahlin,
we'd have the puppets
in these big boxes,
and we would go to ABC or CBS or
whatever, to try and get them interested.
And, invariably,
what would happen was
they'd say either, "Oh, no. They're
puppets," or "Kids' stuff. No."
Or they'd say, "Well, it's interesting,
but I'm not the guy to see.
You should see Bill." And, of
course, Bill's on vacation,
and we gotta come do it all
over again in two weeks.
[no audible dialogue]
[Brian] My dad was very confident that
The Muppet Show was going to be great.
But the effort he had to go
to to convince the industry
was almost superhuman.
[Lisa] People were saying, "Well,
the Muppets are for preschoolers."
So, then he overreacted by creating a show
called Sex and Violence with the Muppets.
[announcer] Ladies
and gentlemen,
presenting the end of sex
and violence on television.
Ladies and gentlemen,
it's The Muppet Show.
["Love Ya to Death" playing]
Well, I might be able to get you a
job on an educational show for kids.
Incidentally, this show
has been prerecorded.
I mean, it was really strange,
because I couldn't sell the Muppets
who have now done Sesame
Street, and were a huge hit.
So he put together
a new presentation.
Friends, the United States of
America needs The Muppet Show.
And you should buy this show.
Now, we're not pulling
any punches here.
I mean, there's nothing
subtle about this pitch.
So buy the show and put it on
the air, and we'll all be famous.
The Muppets will be famous,
and CBS will be famous
because we'll have a
hit show on our hands.
And we'll all get temperamental
and hard to work with,
but you won't care because
we'll all make a lot of money.
And Schlatter and
Henson will be happy.
And you will be happy.
And Kermit's mother
will be happy.
And God will look down on us
and smile on us and he will
say, "Let them have a 40 share."
I... I couldn't sell it.
It was passed on by everybody.
It was enormously frustrating.
[Lisa] The idea for a
Muppets variety show
was quickly replaced by
other things to be busy with.
[theme song playing]
[announcer] NBC's
Saturday Night.
With Jim Henson's Muppets.
[Brian] The most adult show that
has ever been made... [chuckles]
is the way Saturday Night Live was being
set up. And he was like, "I want in."
Yes, oh, High Supreme
Mucky-Muck, sir.
Scred, I'm hungry.
Ah, what would please
your flatulence?
That was a great example of two
completely different groups of people
with completely different styles
of comedy clashing together.
We weren't allowed to
write our own material.
It was their show, and
we were taking up time.
Michael O'Donoghue could not say
a good thing about the Muppets.
He despised them. "I hated
writing for that felt."
We were all pretty sorry to hear
you guys got canceled, Scred.
But, uh, you know,
that's show business.
It was not a happy
experience. It really wasn't.
It was halfway through that season
that he got a call from London.
[phone rings]
So one of the last two Saturday
Night Live shows we did,
Jim pulled me over and say,
"Hey, listen. We just got 24
half-hour guaranteed shows."
Lew Grade had ATV Studios
in London, which was empty.
He wasn't shooting anything there, so
he needed something to shoot there.
[Brian] It was two of the most
ambitious men on the planet,
and they come from two
completely different universes.
[Oz] Lew used to be
a Charleston dancer.
Then he became this very
successful producer.
He was absolutely the
greatest financial sponsor
that my dad could have had because
he gave him so much freedom.
Lew would always say,
"Okay, if it felt right, let's
do it. Here's the money."
As opposed to today,
you go to a committee.
It was just visceral for
Lew, and he trusted himself.
[Brian] Lew was very
bullish about this plan
of selling back into little, local
TV channels across the country.
So we said, "Okay, well, that's a
way to get it on the air anyhow."
And so we went over to England.
[military band playing]
[Lisa] The whole
crew went over there,
and they were working with British
directors, with British writers.
It was a big collaboration,
and nobody really knew what
was gonna come out of it.
[Juhl] We started frantically
trying, grasping around,
trying to find characters
and ideas and concepts
that would fit with this basic
shape that Jim had put to the show.
We knew we wanted a comedian,
and that he was gonna be a bear.
That's about all
we knew about him.
And we knew that Gonzo the Great
was a guy who thought that eating
a tire to music was great art.
Jim gradually hit upon this idea
based on old English music hall.
[piano playing]
I mean, there's a lot of influence,
the way that theater looks.
All we were doing is taking
a chance with 24 episodes.
I had no idea that it would be such
an extraordinary, phenomenal success.
It's time to play the music
It's time to light the light
It's time to meet the Muppets
On The Muppet's Show tonight
It's time to put on makeup
It's time to dress up right
It's time to get
things started
Why don't you get
things started?
It's time to get
things started
On the most sensational, inspirational
Celebrational, Muppetational
This is what we
call The Muppet Show
[trumpets playing]
[audience laughs, cheers]
Thank you, thank you!
Hello, everybody. And
welcome to The Muppet Show.
[Oz] Everything evolved
in that first season.
- Mahna Mahna
- Do doo be-do-do
- Mahna Mahna
- Do do-do do
- Mahna Mahna
- Do doo be-do-do
Do do do, do do do Do do
do, do do do, do do do
Tonight, ladies and gentlemen,
I will eat this rubber tire to the
music of the "Flight of the Bumblebee."
- Music, maestro.
- [music playing]
- Frog of my heart...
- Yes.
you will just wait until
I say the word "here."
When you hear me say the word "here,"
you will rush up to me and say,
"Good grief, the
comedian's a bear."
- Good grief, the comedian's a bear.
- Check.
- When you say the word "here."
- Right.
- Gotcha.
- Okay.
He's doing it.
He's eating a tire.
- Boring.
- [audience member boos]
Hiya, hiya, hiya! You're a
wonderful-looking audience.
It's a pleasure to be here.
- Good grief, the comedian's a bear!
- I...
Not yet!
- You just said "here."
- That was the wrong "here."
- Which is the right "here"?
- The other "here."
- Stomachache, check.
- Mmm.
- [shouting, indistinct]
- [audience laughing]
Hey, hey, folks. This is a
story you're gonna love to hear.
- Good grief, the comedian's a bear!
- Will you stop it?
- But you said "here."
- Not that "here."
- Well, which "here"?
- Another "here."
- How am I gonna know?
- You'll know when you hear!
- Good grief, the comedian's a bear!
- Not...
[audience laughing]
[Oz] The concept was these bizarre
people trying to put on a show every week
Next on stage, Prince Rudolph
and His Invisible Cheeseburger.
I'm sorry, guys. I've got a full show.
I cannot use a jug band number tonight.
Way to go, samurai. To
your dressing... [shouts]
[Oz] And this poor frog trying to
make it happen every damn week.
Everybody's onstage for the
opera except the spear carriers.
They want more money.
No way.
- Uh, see how much they want.
- Right.
Kermit's function on this
show is very much like my own,
in that he's trying to hold
together this group of crazies.
And that's not unlike what I do.
The Muppet Glee
Club, "Temptation."
One and two and...
[Jim] And the very first show, we
had a, sort of, an animal chorus.
You came
[Jim] Kermit was conducting...
I was alone
[Jim] ...and this one pig came forward
to sing the solo in "Temptation."
Born to be kissed
I can't resist
You are temptation
And I...
[Jim] And so she was sort of
coming on to the conductor.
So that really started that... the whole
relationship in that little moment.
Only a slave
To you
One show in rehearsal, it
said for Piggy to slap Kermit.
And, for some reason, I don't know
why, I karate chopped him instead.
- Hi-yah!
- [grunts]
- [audience laughs]
- [Oz] And Jim went with it.
It is a lightbulb that...
Okay, I know her character now.
- I'll show you.
- What...
- Hi-yah!
- Piggy... [shouts]
- Hi-yah!
- [screams]
- Hi-yah!
- [laughs]
- Hi-yah!
- [shouts]
So Piggy was plucked from
the chorus and became a star.
Hello, Morley.
- May I ask you a question? Please?
- [chuckling] Yes.
- Is your wife here?
- No, she's not.
- Great.
- [chuckles]
- I thought he was a good interviewer.
- [person] Yeah, right.
- He's just overwhelmed by your beauty.
- Could've fooled me.
All right. That's a wrap.
She has so many limitations.
All she can do is have bravado.
Okay, Piggy, you were good.
I was great.
[Oz] She covers all her pain 'cause
she knows she's not talented.
She knows she can't tell jokes.
She knows she can't dance.
I'm too delicate
for show business.
[Oz] And, of course, her magnificent
obsession in life is the frog.
And he is just kind of
namby-pamby about her.
That comedic conflict, I think
that's what makes it memorable.
Kermie, would... [grunts] ...would you
help me take this mermaid outfit off?
- You want me to do the zipper back here?
- Yes. Back there, the zipper.
- Okay.
- It's just...
- [zipper opens]
- [exclaims]
Ah! What a relief.
[sighs] Thank you. Oh!
Don't look. Don't look.
- [stammers]
- No peeking.
- [screams]
- [audience laughs]
[Oz] Is the pig ready?
[crew 1] The sofa goes across.
- [crew 2] All right.
- [crew 3] Yeah.
[crew 4] Bye, Frank.
The necessity of, uh,
doing a shot like this,
you have to, uh...
you have to, uh...
In order to make it look good up there,
it has to be uncomfortable down here.
Oh! Come sit, Roger.
Roger, I'm so glad
you asked me up here.
Well, actually,
I didn't ask you.
It was both a joy and a grind.
[all laughing]
- Two, three, four...
- [Jim] "They call him the pillage idiot.
He was stupid with his
pillaging." We'll get there.
[Oz] We do a show a week.
Every number we do has to
go through the same stages.
We have the guest
star on a Sunday.
We do a read through, we do
rehearsal, we go through music.
[performer] Oh, is that me?
[Oz] And then the next
day, we record the band.
[band playing]
And then the vocals
are laid down.
And then we had
three days to shoot.
- In the navy
- Yes, you can sail the Seven Seas
- In the navy
- Yes, you can put your mind at ease
- In the navy
- Navy
[both] In the navy
Cut. Right? Okay.
[Oz] And then one day off, and
we start it all over again.
- Take it slow
- [stammers]
Easy goes
[Oz] There were no live
people, except one guest star.
And we had everything raised.
We would have the floor in,
like, three-foot sections.
We'd be underneath, and
then we'd have our hands up.
- And Jim invented all this.
- [Fozzie Bear] What is it?
that you'd like to come
to my dressing room
and, uh, have a cup of tea?
- Could I bring a friend?
- [laughing]
- Well...
- It's just... just my mother.
[audience laughing]
[Jim] The concept of taking and designing
the show around a guest star each week,
uh, worked out very nicely too.
Each guest would come in, and the
whole show would change personalities.
You, sir, are a freako.
- Why, thank you.
- [audience laughs]
Oh, oh, so is life
Abatiwaha, so is life
- Odl lay ee
- Odl lay ee
- Odl lay hee hee
- Odl lay hee hee
Odl lay ee Odl
lay ee odl lay
La, la, la, la, la, la
La, la, la, la, la
He was literally turning away the
biggest movie stars in the world,
'cause he just didn't have
enough episodes to put 'em in.
[Oz] Dave Lazer would
be there at the airport
meet them, bring them to
the hotel, have flowers.
And exec producers don't do that,
but he knew how important it was.
Jim couldn't do that. It's
just not something Jim did.
He was shy, first of all.
I don't know that
it was shyness.
Jim was a reticent person when it
came to communicating with people.
He never gave long
and detailed answers.
I loved making him laugh.
[both babbling]
[both exclaiming]
If I could make his eyes crinkle,
I was one happy Puerto Rican.
["Fever" playing]
Never know How
much I love you
Never know How much I care
When you put your
arms around me
I get a fever That's
so hard to bear
You give me fever
"Fever" was extremely complicated
and I kept breaking up.
- [Animal groans]
- [audience laughs]
And then Jim at one point said,
"Rita, we don't do overtime here.
This is London.
If you break up again,
that's what we have to use."
I got to the end of the
number... [chuckles]
[audience laughs]
and Animal says...
[groans] That my kind of woman.
[Moreno] You can see my
nostrils flare at the end,
which is me trying
desperately not to laugh.
[applause, cheering]
There was nothing that
Jim didn't entertain.
Jim never thought of color.
Jim never thought
of nationality.
Jim just simply
thought of characters.
It's not easy bein' green
Having to spend each day
The color of the leaves
When I think it might be nicer
Bein' red or yellow or gold
Or something Much more
colorful like that
[Moreno] "It's not
easy being green."
I mean, come on.
We know what that means.
Everybody knows what that means.
It seems you blend in With
so many other ordinary things
And people tend
to pass you over
'Cause you're not standing out
Like flashy sparkles in the water
Or stars in the sky
[Moreno] That frog was green.
He was a little f...
green, funny looking frog.
And I know the children understood,
that they just understood.
Or tall like a tree
[Brian] That's one of the main
thrusts of my father's work.
It's why he very rarely
celebrates tribalism in any sense,
because he thinks if
we all loved each other
for our differences and
not our similarities,
we would... There
would be no more war.
I'm green And
it'll do fine
It's beautiful And I
think it's what I wanna be
[frogs croaking]
[Jim] The Muppet Show is now
seen in over 100 countries,
and I'm just delighted
with the show's success
because until this
program came along,
no one had ever done a
show quite like this,
where the real
stars are puppets.
[Juhl] For its day, it was the most
watched television series in history.
My dad really got
the final laugh
'cause the networks all passed
twice on both of his pilots.
[shutter clicks]
[Cheryl] He and the puppeteers,
they felt like rock stars.
They had tried so hard
to get that show made,
and against such odds,
and then for it to hit in that way,
it was really, really satisfying.
Puppets are very
ancient entertainers.
They don't just go
back to the crib.
They go back to the cave.
They were beginning to
show their age a little
until you came along and dragged
that whole squeaking box of dolls
into the 20th century,
into the mainstream.
The Muppets, for my money,
are the most original thing
that ever happened on the box.
Don't you agree?
[Oz] We were so incredibly
popular around the world.
And so I... It's just a
natural decision to do a movie.
[cameraperson] And zooming.
[Jim] Jim Frawley,
who was the director,
at first, he wanted to shoot in studio,
create a world like The Wizard of Oz.
And I was really trying to talk
him into shooting outdoors.
I said, "Come on over." He
brought a Super 8 camera,
and we shot footage of...
of the characters outdoors.
[Oz] Jim Frawley didn't
really get the Muppets,
and he wasn't sure if they really would
work on the big screen and in real life.
- I apologize for that.
- [Fozzie Bear] Hey, Kermit.
Look at the windshield
wipers. Look at them go.
Isn't that terrific? I
think I'm gonna be sick.
Uh, excuse me, guys. We're
looking for Hollywood.
Uh, Hollywood, California.
No, it's... it's over
near Los Angeles.
Do you... Have you ever been to Lo...
Have you ever been to Lo... Excuse me.
Jim, of course, knew it'd work.
For the opening scene of the movie,
we were shooting Kermit in a swamp.
[no audible dialogue]
Jim had to be squeezed into this
steel canister under the water.
When they finally let him out,
it took him about 20
minutes to get unfolded.
But Jim wouldn't think twice.
[projector clicks, whirs]
["Rainbow Connection" playing]
[Jim] It's the Muppets
meeting the world.
Why are there so many
Songs about rainbows
And what's on
the other side?
What's so amazing That
keeps us star gazing
And what do we
think We might see?
Someday we'll find it
The rainbow connection
The lovers, the
dreamers And me
All of us...
[Juhl] The Muppet Movie opened
us up into a whole new world
that allowed us a
whole emotional range.
It afforded him chances to do more
things, to fulfill more dreams,
to go off in a
different direction.
He knew that he could pick up
the phone and call anybody,
and the best people in the
world in any given field
would be willing to listen to
him because he was Jim Henson.
Just look at all this. Boy!
How did a frog
make the big time?
- [static]
- [chattering]
- Do you know me? I created the Muppets.
- [all] Big deal!
Everybody knows
them, but not me.
So when I travel, I carry
the American Express card.
[Brian] And from that point on,
my dad couldn't walk a block
without getting recognized.
[Lisa] He bought a new building
on 69th Street in New York City.
Much lovelier,
fancier headquarters.
And all of a sudden he's wearing a
much more fashionable kind of wardrobe.
California cowboy chic.
[Lisa] He got a Lotus with custom
green paint in Kermit color...
and he started new
parts of the business.
He had his own merchandising
department and distribution,
and everything was getting
a little bit bigger.
[interviewer] The Muppet Show,
Sesame Street, the movie,
the bits and pieces of Muppetry,
the whole Muppet empire.
- What's it worth?
- [laughs]
I have no idea. I really don't.
- [Jim laughs]
- [interviewer] Scores of millions?
- [Jim] Oh, no. No.
- Millions?
Probably, but I
wouldn't swear to that.
Yeah. [chuckles]
[Brian] Becoming famous was
definitely what he wanted.
But I could see and feel that there
was an innocence getting lost,
and that it was gonna impact his
relationship with us and everything.
And that was complex.
[Jane] This kind of success
has less peace in it.
It's, um, troublesome
in many ways.
There's a lot of work,
a lot of separation.
There's a lot of pressure
in a success that involves so
many people and so much money.
He was also trying to commute back
and forth between New York and London.
That was challenging
because The Muppet Show
would tape months
on end in London.
And then when he would get to New
York, everybody needed his attention,
whether it was on
the family side,
or even at the company needing more
leadership and more of his presence.
So there was stress involved
with getting bigger, for sure.
You're a very busy man.
How do you find enough time
to spend with your family to keep
those home fires burning, let's say?
You know, it... it is difficult,
and certainly I... I, um...
But I like to travel with them.
I often, you know, have one or two
of my kids with me at the time,
and, uh, we enjoy family
vacations and that sort of thing.
Come on, everybody. Try it.
[Goelz] And meanwhile, Jim is still
doing Sesame several weeks a year.
He felt completely committed
to service Sesame Street
and not leave them behind.
[Cheryl] My dad was
working incredibly hard.
And, regularly, at the end of each
week, they'd have, like, one day off.
And he would be sick.
He would just crash, and then
he'd have to get back up and go.
[Oz] We always said, "Oh, Jim is
taking on too much this time."
If there was a
week off in London,
he'd say, "Hey, we're doing the Queen's
Silver Jubilee during that week."
[no audible dialogue]
He wasn't against doctors.
He just didn't want to
go to doctors first.
I remember doing a shoot with him
in Chicago out in the dead winter,
and he... he had
walking pneumonia.
And he just barreled through.
He... He wasn't scared of dying.
I-I remember when Don Sahlin
died, which was a huge shock,
and I was in the workshop
and I was crying.
And Jim came behind me
and said, "It's okay.
He's just on a different plane."
And Jim believed that.
He saw it as another adventure.
He believed there was
something else there.
[Cheryl] He was interested in Buddhism,
TM, Transcendental Meditation,
different ways of
seeing the world.
What is reality?
What is human nature?
What is this world
that surrounds us?
[Lisa] My father
never spoke of God,
and he was not a Christian
Scientist, in spite of his mother.
He was the kind of person who just
believes in the greater power,
and a very intense interconnectedness
between all beings.
[Erickson] Jim was always trying to
broaden his mind, his sensibilities.
He was a seeker.
- [laughing, chattering]
- [band playing]
[no audible dialogue]
- I don't really make speeches, uh...
- [guests laugh]
as... as everybody knows.
But, uh, listen, it's been really
a great five years. And I'm not...
[Brian] After five seasons,
he was like, "I did it all.
I did The Muppet Show. I'm
gonna start repeating myself."
And he canceled it.
We're proud of the work
that we've done together.
All of you people and all of us.
And, uh, it's stuff that will,
uh, stay with me a long time.
So, thank you very much.
[Brian] Nobody does that
with a show that successful.
But he had the next chapter
already in his head.
[Jim] Sometimes you feel you
should continue moving forward.
From a creative standpoint,
it's a lot more interesting to change
and do something different and new.
[Brian] Dark Crystal
was really the beginning
of this next chapter
of creativity.
[Jim] We intended
to do something
that would jump styles
completely from the Muppets.
And about the same time we
started thinking about it,
I saw the work of Brian Froud.
And I immediately loved it.
It's a wonderful challenge to design
the creatures and what they wear,
the castle and the landscape and
the color palette of the skies.
[Oz] Jim needed a shop.
So he bought a place in Hampstead,
an old derelict post office.
And that became
the creature shop.
[Erickson] Jim was
a detail person.
He would say, "Go ahead and
stitch that three times,
and do a handmade embroidery
because that'll just enrich it."
[Brian] He just started collecting
artists into this building in London.
So that's when he named it
the Jim Henson Creature Shop.
So it was literally a shop
where you can come and buy
your creature for your movie.
[Frith] Jim loved the technology
involved in all of this.
This extraordinarily complex system
of moving mouths and eyes and eyebrows
and wiggling ears, and anything else
that you needed to have a puppet do.
It was an interesting challenge
because these puppets were unwieldy,
and they were also capable
of nuance and subtlety
that we didn't have in
the regular Muppets.
There were mechanisms on the characters
that made them mimic life more closely.
[Jim] The images in the
shirt have to be vertical
because that... that's the
kind of shape we're going into.
Certainly not three,
and probably not two.
[Oz] It was getting
closer to the shoot.
And in his own quiet
way, Jim just said to me,
"Frank, do you want to direct
this movie with me?" [chuckles]
I said... [stammers]..."I've never
directed before. Why... Why ask me?"
And this is typical
Jim. He said,
"Because it would be better."
He knew that I had some
strengths that he didn't have.
[no audible dialogue]
And that's always Jim.
[no audible dialogue]
The reaction of him hitting
that stone should be nice.
[Lisa] They were in the creative
sandbox the whole way through.
Everything was something new.
[Goelz] First day we shot,
Jim had 30 or 40 people
in this uncomfortable
position in the dark...
on a 2-foot-high platform.
And I step off the platform,
and now we're going over.
And somebody caught us, and
put us back on the platform.
And I remember thinking
Jim's optimism has really gotten
the best of him this time.
[crew] And one,
two, three, action!
[performers shouting]
[crew] One, two, three, action.
Uh, Mr. Oz, how do you
think the picture is going?
Mr. Oz doesn't say
much about that.
[crew 2] ...and one, two, three!
[Brian] The first time
he showed the movie,
the executives all got up and walked out
of the theater without talking to him.
They so disliked the
movie. [chuckles]
Fools! Skeksis fools!
What do you want with me?
Well, a large portion of the movie was
not in English, was in made-up languages.
When the characters were
just babbling nonsense words,
the test audiences
rejected it completely.
So they had to go back and
create a script in English
that would fit with the lip
sync of what they had shot.
[Jim] That entire film was almost
rewritten twice after we shot it.
Something I don't
recommend to anybody.
my home.
[Jim] We ended up just loading
the thing with dialogue.
And, in many ways,
I slightly regret...
Oh, how crude.
Dark Crystal came out
about the same time as ET.
And ET had one character in
it, one fantasy character,
and the rest of
the world was real.
[both screaming]
You just had to
believe that character.
Dark Crystal, we had
to believe everything.
[Oz] When Jim believed in
something, he will go all the way.
It wasn't a huge hit,
but it was successful.
A one-of-a-kind piece of work
that was artistic for him,
and got back to his
experimental roots.
[crew] 754, take six.
[Heather] My dad wasn't really
living in the house at that time.
Oh, hello.
He was living wherever
the productions were.
[interviewer] Tell
me what you're doing
for my friends at home
I'm gonna show this to.
- What are you doing?
- This is underneath the first Muppet orgy.
We just tighten up.
[Heather] My mom didn't want to
live where the productions were.
She wanted to live
in a stable house.
I think they might have been
done on my 18th birthday.
I was in boarding school,
so they saw me the least.
And for my birthday they said,
"Why don't you come to Toronto?"
They had a conference
or something.
So I went to spend one night
with them, which was my birthday,
and they fought all night in
a hotel room next to my room.
And I thought,
"Oh, they're done."
And then they pretty
much were done.
I knew they had tough times. I
didn't know it could be this tough.
[Lisa] They had such
different emotional realities.
He'd be like, "Hey, everything's
great the way that it is,"
and she was taking it very hard.
So their whole
worldview was dividing.
He got an apartment in New York
City at the Sherry-Netherland Hotel.
[Brian] So there he was, late
40s heading into his 50s,
and what he wanted was
to be single but dating.
He really liked the idea of dating
and not having it become too serious.
[Lisa] Eventually, in
the legal separation,
they did change the
ownership of the company.
A lot of my mom's
shares came to us kids.
While my father was going
through that with my mom,
Lord Grade sold his
company to Marble Arch.
And they both were
really worried
'cause all of a sudden The
Muppet Show, the Muppet movies
and The Dark Crystal were all gonna be
owned by this company that he didn't know.
This was a pretty big
turning point for him,
and he made a big, big gamble.
He basically borrowed every penny
he could and mortgaged everything.
And he said, "I want you kids
to know what I'm gonna do
because it's very risky and maybe you
won't have as much money in the future."
[Cheryl] Well, even though
they weren't living together,
my mom said, "Yes, do
it. You need to do it."
[Lisa] So he took all his money
and he bought back Muppet Show,
the Muppet movies
and The Dark Crystal.
That was a real reach to do
that, and really, really brave.
[no audible dialogue]
My parents didn't talk about
their romance, so to speak,
but they'd been through so much.
[Brian] I'm sure they were both
the love of each other's lives
who couldn't live
with each other.
[no audible dialogue]
- a great deal. Always tighter.
- [Seeff] Yeah.
[shutter clicks]
Uh, would... would you say that
you have a philosophy of life?
If our message is
anything, it is that...
is that it's a... it's a
positive approach to life...
- Uh-huh.
- and that life is basically good.
And by taking a positive
approach to it all,
it... it makes it, uh...
makes life a lot easier.
Right. Now... Now what
about the conceptualizing?
I mean, writing the stories.
I mean, for instance, Dark Crystal
was a film that I absolutely loved.
- Oh, good. You're gonna love our new one.
- Yes. Oh, good.
Our new one is, uh, I think it's...
it's similar to Dark Crystal,
but I think it's, uh... Well,
I'm... I'm very excited by it.
[Seeff] Is it more
sophisticated or...
Yeah. It's a good deal
more sophisticated.
Every time you do a film,
everything advances a little bit.
[shutter clicks]
[sighs] The Labyrinth.
- [chattering, laughing]
- ["Magic Dance" playing]
- You remind me of the babe
- What babe?
- Babe with the power
- What power?
Power of voodoo
- Who do?
- You do
- Do what?
- Remind me of the babe
[Connelly] When you think
about it, it's bananas, right?
You're in this kids movie, and I have
David Bowie as the kind of, like...
I mean, it's a mad idea,
and it's kind of great.
It doesn't look that far.
It's further than you
think. Time is short.
[Lisa] It was a very ambitious
film being a musical,
working with David Bowie,
working with human actors.
For him, that was
actually harder
because he hadn't been directing
humans. He'd been directing puppets.
[Jim] It comes down slowly into
your hand and the moment...
I was 14, and there's
this huge production.
You know, this world
that he had created,
and I'm kind of at
the middle of it.
[crew] Ta-da-da!
[Jim] When you're casting
a part like Sarah...
[crew] And playback.
which is the part in the film,
you hope someone walks in the
door and is the right person.
And when Jenny walked in,
she was the right person.
[Connelly] Despite having felt so
nervous, Jim is such a calming presence.
He would say, "Okay, so now
you're going to sit here,
and you're going to turn over
and then you're gonna talk
to this little worm that's
coming out of the wall."
I'm like, "Great. Okay.
Is this right?" [chuckles]
Say something, worm.
[Connelly] There was so much
imagination and creativity.
And it was so spectacular
to be around people
who are creating in that way.
It was like being
in a dream world.
- [Jim] One. Drop.
- [Sarah] Help!
[Connelly] I love all
the sporty, stunty stuff.
"Take me higher.
Throw me down a chute.
Can I be on the wires
a little longer?"
- I loved it.
- [bell rings]
The way that the puppeteers
would work together,
it was really incredible.
Ooh, yes. Hmm. Hmm.
Yes. Which way? Hmm?
[Brian] My dad never urged any
of us kids into the industry.
He just sort of supported us.
[Lisa] My dad did notice,
like, what we were good at,
encouraging Heather's work both as
a show creator, a theater maker.
Cheryl was so talented
with textiles and fabrics,
but she was also
really good on story.
[Cheryl] Lisa was always gonna
be a television executive.
My younger brother John, he was
doing, sort of, body performing,
and wound up doing Sweetums and
doing the Coca-Cola polar bear.
[Lisa] Brian, he had training
in everything technical.
On the directing side, he just knew that
Brian was a gearhead in a way. [chuckles]
[Brian] For Labyrinth,
my dad wanted to do a fully
radio-controlled character, Hoggle.
And he was saying, "Brian, can
you figure out how to do this?"
This was the beginning of
animatronics at the Creature Shop.
We both stayed open too long.
- [crew] Action! Shut up!
- [actor] Thank you.
- Oh! That makes it worse.
- Oh, come on. [grunts]
- [actor 2] That makes it...
- Ain't it? Yeah.
What a nice surprise.
Hello, Hedgewart.
- Hogwart.
- Hoggle.
[Brian] So, I got to really work with him
side by side and call him Jim, not Dad.
And I got to feel how rewarding it
was to work alongside Jim Henson,
which was very different than
being his son and in his family.
He was a kid at work. That
was the biggest difference.
When he was home, he was always
trying to set a good adult example.
And when he was at
work, he was free.
[Brian] So how do you think
the film's going so far?
I think this will probably be the
finest motion picture ever made.
[Brian laughs] Good thing I'm
only showing this to my family.
- [laughs]
- What does that laugh mean?
[Brian] No, no. I... I... I'm glad
I'm not shooting for the evening news.
This is gonna be the
best movie ever made.
[Brian] Okay. All right. Well,
I... I'll agree with that.
Uh, I'm happy to hear
that actually. [laughs]
- You better agree with it.
- [laughs]
[Lisa] Labyrinth was
a colossal failure.
I do think Labyrinth was the one where he
thought they just... they don't like it.
People don't like it, and he
really didn't expect that.
[Oz] It's hard to put one's
heart and soul in something,
and then be rejected to a degree
and not carry it around with you.
[Goelz] He was sad about the
reception that the film was getting.
This was unlike Jim.
We had lunch one day.
We were about to leave
and he said, "I love you."
And I said, "I love you too."
I mean, it was one of those moments
where I think he was just...
He was feeling vulnerable enough that
he would just say something like that.
[no audible dialogue]
[Oz] That's one thing about
Jim, when he did something,
he always had two other, three
other things he wanted to do.
As sad as he was about the
movie, he didn't dwell.
He kept on going and did
other things that excited him.
[Goelz] One day, Jim
called a meeting and said,
"I'd like to do a
show that stops war."
And that became Fraggle Rock.
[Lisa] Storyteller's is the gem.
He was so proud of it.
[Brian] It was a culmination of
everything he had been striving for.
[Cheryl] He always had
so many projects brewing.
Good. Now I can make my entrance
like I do in every show.
[Rockwell] He was all about
the next technological advance.
He was flirting with CGI
with a character on the Jim Henson
Hour that was computer-generated.
Watch, watch this. Here we go.
[inhales sharply]
[Jim] I'm very excited
by computer graphics,
and performing 'em,
uh, as puppets.
It is mostly being
done like animation.
And what we're trying to do with it
is perform it live like a puppet,
so you can capture real
performance, a dramatic performance.
[Oz] He always wanted to go
back and do exciting things.
And he was just worrying about overhead,
and essentially not having time to create.
[no audible dialogue]
It was not long after that that he
decided to sell the company to Disney.
He was a huge Disney
World fan. Like, fanatic.
[Oz] He wasn't just
selling outright.
He wanted to get back to not worrying
about business as much and having fun.
With us, from Walt Disney
World this morning in Florida,
are Michael Eisner and Jim Henson.
Good morning to both of you.
- Good morning, Charlie.
- Good morning.
They had a handshake agreement, and
it was really, you know, joyful.
I... As far as I can tell,
this is... this is a wonderful
place for my characters to be.
[Brian] It was really the beginning
of the next chapter of creativity
that he was excited about.
[no audible dialogue]
Jim had so many new ideas and
so many things he wanted to do.
I remember he called.
He said, "Hey, Frank. I want to
talk to you about something."
And that's the last
I ever talked to him.
[ticking stops]
[newscaster 1] A little
of the magic is gone.
Jim Henson, the man who
created the Muppets,
has died at the age of only 53
from what is described as a
massive bacterial infection.
He had pneumonia, which went
untreated for three days.
[newscaster 2] To call
Jim Henson a puppeteer,
comes nowhere near describing
his accomplishment,
or the love, affection and knowledge
that his characters brought to the world.
[newscaster 1] For millions of people,
it will seem like a death in the family.
[Lisa] I was in Los
Angeles, and I was too late.
And Brian was too late too.
But my mom went to the
hospital to be with him.
And what they discussed
is private to them.
And it's nice that they had whatever
closure they had right there.
This was just unthinkable to us
because this frail giant had just
been so unconquerable all these years.
It was just one of the
worst days of my life.
It was just this feeling
that the light had gone out,
and that it was not
gonna come back on.
He was ripped away
from us way too young.
It was an unfair early death.
[Rockwell] We all gathered in the New York
office, people from all around the world.
Our focus was to put this
funeral together in five days.
Someone came over 'cause the
kids had the instructions.
There was a set of
directions in the will.
It was like, "Oh, well, there are
instructions for... for making this show."
So it was uncanny in a way.
And then we read the
instructions at the table,
which was like a
voice from, you know,
it was just like his...
in his... It was so him.
[Brian] "I suggest you first have a nice,
friendly little service of some kind."
[guests laughing]
"It would be lovely if some of the
people who sing would do a song or two,
some of which should be
quite happy and joyful.
It would be nice if
some of my close friends
would say a few nice happy words
about how much we enjoy
doing this stuff together."
[no audible dialogue]
"This all may sound silly
and over the top to you guys,
but, what the hell, I'm gone
and who can argue with me?"
I don't want to pretend that I
know what happens after this life,
or that Jim really knew what
would happen after this life,
- but he had great plans.
- [laughing]
["Bein' Green" playing]
It's not that
easy bein' green
Having to spend the day
The color of the leaves
When I think it could be nicer
Bein' red or yellow or gold
Or something Much more
colorful like that
Hello there, my name is Jim
Henson, and I'm a puppeteer.
But green is the
color of spring
And green can be cool
And friendly-like
And green can be
big like a mountain
Or tall as a tree
Or big as a sea
[Jim] I love doing what I do.
I can't imagine anybody else having
as much fun in their work as I do.
[no audible dialogue]
There's an honesty and an
integrity to what he was creating.
He was creating it because
he needed to create it.
[Oz] I think what Jim really wanted to
do was to sing songs and tell stories,
teach children, promote
peace, save the planet,
celebrate man and be silly.
[Brian] He showed that
creativity, artistry, metaphor,
can be used as a
great power of good.
You can make people appreciate
the good in all of us,
and laugh at the
absurdity in all of us.
[Jim] I think if the audience wants
these characters to continue to live,
they... they will.
[Rockwell] For me
and many others,
it became very important for us
to believe that we could carry on.
We felt like it was our life's
work, and that if it could continue,
we would love to carry on.
There's so much loyalty to Jim
because he was loyal to us.
We all do whatever we can
because he gave us so much.
[Lisa] There are just endless
things that have been changed
by the way he saw the world.
The tenderness that he
clearly had for humanity,
and the space he gave to creativity
and expression of imagination,
I see that in
everything that he did.
Well, I don't think there'll
ever be another Jim Henson.
[Oz] If Jim was here...
my heart would say
something a tad quietly,
but I wouldn't say it to him
because he... he'd be embarrassed
and... and couldn't accept it.
Uh, so on the outside,
I'd probably say,
"Jim, I'm busy. Could
you please move?"
That's what I'd
probably say. [chuckles]
But on the inside, um...
I just have to thank him.
["The Magic Store" playing]
It starts when we're kids
A show-off at school
Makin' faces at friends
You're a clown and a fool
Doing pratfalls
and birdcalls
And bad imitations
Ignoring your homework
Is that dedication?
You work through the mirror
You're getting
standing ovations
You're burning with hope
You're building up steam
What was once "juvenilish"
Is grown-up and stylish
You're close to your dream
Then somebody out
there Loves you
Stands up and
hollers For more
You found a home
At the Magic Store
Yes, sir. It's a
standard Muppet finale.
If you don't know how to
end it, go out with a...