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Sunday, 31 July 2016

The Muppets

The Muppets are an ensemble cast of puppet characters, who were first created by puppeteer Jim Henson in 1955.

Jim Henson has said the name "muppet" came from combining the words "puppet" and "marionette," but he also said that he just liked the way the word sounded.

Henson's first Muppet was Kermit the Frog, who would become Henson's signature character. Kermit was originally a lizard and was made from Henson's mother's discarded spring coat and two halves of a Ping-Pong ball (no flipper feet or eleven-point collar).

Kermit The Frog By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, Wikipedia Commons

Jim Henson wore a beard to cover up acne scars from his teenage years.

Jim Henson majored in home economics in college.

Jim Henson turned down the role of Yoda in the second Star Wars film, "The Empire Strikes Back."

The Muppets were first introduced on Sam and Friends, a television program that aired locally in Washington, D.C., on WRC-TV on weekdays from May 9, 1955, to December 15, 1961.

"The Art of Visual Thinking" sketch of Sam and Friends Fair use, Wikipedia Commons
After appearing on skits in several late night talk shows and TV commercials during the 1960s, the Muppets began appearing on the children's program Sesame Street in 1969. The Muppets were a crucial part of the show's popularity and their success brought Jim Henson national attention.

The Muppets attained celebrity status and international recognition through their breakout roles in The Muppet Show (1976–1981), a primetime television series that garnered four Emmy Award wins.

The Muppet Show was shown in 106 countries at its peak in the Seventies and was watched globally by more than 235 million people.

The Muppets first diversified into theatrical feature films with the 1979 The Muppet Movie.

Muppet designers use different sized pupils depending upon how young or old they want a Muppet to look. The smaller the pupil, the older the Muppet looks; the larger the pupil, the younger the Muppet looks.

Most Muppets are left-handed. Because most Muppeteers are right-handed, they operate the head with their favored hand.

Kermit was the first puppet to address the Oxford Union.

Animal, the crazy Muppet who loves to drum, has really big biceps—they're 4.5 inches around.

The Muppets are now owned by The Walt Disney Company. The term "muppet" is trademarked and owned by Disney.

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