When I was a kid I was obsessed with all things Jim Henson. I loved his films, the Muppets, Fraggile Rock. Even stuff like Dinosaurs or the original live action Mutant Turtles appealed to me because the creatures were designed and operated by Henson’s creature workshop. These creatures were completely real to me. My Mum tells me that the Muppet show was the first thing I laughed at, she could put me in front of the TV at barely two years old and I would chuckle throughout. I would not move from the spot, mesmerised by the fuzzy felt faced magic before me.
As I got older I knew the names of the performers, Nelson, Hunt, Goelz. And the Lennon/McCartney of puppeteering Henson and Oz. Seeing them perform the puppets didn’t break the spell for me, these guys were rock stars to me. Comic genius ran through this hippy troupe of dreamers. I dreamed of working for Henson or on Sesame Street, I performed my own puppet shows in school talent contests.
This feeling never really left me and Henson has had a big influence on my work, in the way I think children should be treated as equal not spoken down to, and in my writing – some of my favourite fiction I’ve written involve creatures that could have stepped off the set of the Labyrinth. I even started a spec script for The Furchester hotel, because the Cookie Monster is such a big pull for me. Even though Oz doesn’t perform him anymore he’s still such a great character. Imagine my delight when he came back to perform Yoda again in the latest Star Wars movie.
Jim was and is a big hero of mine and today’s prompt was a perfect opportunity for me to share my love of Jim and all his wonderful creatures.
What is your favourite Henson creation? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you.