Sunday, May 16, 2010

Stumbling Upon Heroes in Unlikely Places - Jim Henson

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the death of Jim Henson. It was a shock to me then and I still find myself at a loss at times even today. I never met the man and rarely saw him speak out of character. But I still regard Jim Henson as one of the most influential people in my life.

To me The Muppet Show wasn't just another TV program. It was what life revolved around. Whenever it was on, I'd slide onto the floor in front of our old 13" TV and sit there glued from beginning to end. My sister was bigger and older than me but she knew not to mess with me and my Muppets.  There was also board games, toys and my first magazine subscription.

Watching the Muppets today, they're still as fantastic as I remember them. The Star Wars episode is a little awkward but the genius is still there. Of course, it wasn't all Henson's doing. He had an immensely talented crew working with him. But without Jim Henson, there were no Muppets. To prove that, one just needs to look at what's happened with the franchise since. Only recently have they started to become relevant again. And with a new movie on the horizon with Hollywood hipsters attached, maybe Kermit and company won't be relegated to semi-dictated DVD viewings at the hands of uber-nostalgic parents (sorry, Ethan and Ella). Rather, folks might just seek out the Muppets because they want to.

The Muppets have been featured in several card sets over the years. None have been fantastic and if a manufacturer were able to get the rights for not only the show but the notable guest stars as well, I believe it could be a very popular card license. Costly, but the autograph possibilities are impressive.

Disclosure time: I bought a set of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie cards a short while back. I'd already bought some wacky stuff, so what's a little more. The set was itching to bring back a little nostalgia. There was no other agenda than to flip through some odd cards. Then I stumbled across these:

 That would be the master himself working not long before his untimely death. I don't think of Ninja Turtles when I think of Jim Henson, but I am certainly very excited to see him honored on these cards.

Jim Henson
September 24, 1936 - May 16, 1990

1 comment:

Erick said...

Wow! 20 years already? Jim Henson was a great talent and is sorely missed.