Overview

There are millions of people who have grown up with the Muppets on television, or had it on for their children to enjoy. The group of puppets are known for performing variety sketch comedy and have appeared in a number of titles, from Sesame Street to their own movies. Originally, they appeared on the TV series Sam and Friends between 1955 and 1961 after being created by Jim and Jane Henson. Since then, they have grown into a franchise owned by Disney which covers TV, film, music and more.

After the group began to appear on Sesame Street in 1969, they became celebrities in their own right by hosting their own show called The Muppet Show between 1976 and 1981. Impressively, the five years this show was on air resulted in four Emmy wins and 21 nominations at the awards.

Premise

The Muppet Show is a title which showcases sketches, musical numbers and various plotlines which form an overall variety show. There is a huge range of characters, with Kermit the Frog being the first and the most recognisable. Kermit is both the showrunner and the host, and he is depicted as attempting to control the antics his fellow Muppets get up to as well as trying to keep the guest stars happy.

Cast and characters

  • Kermit the Frog
  • Miss Piggy
  • Fozzie Bear
  • Gonzo
  • Rowlf the Dog
  • Scooter
  • Rizzo the Rat
  • Pepe the King Prawn
  • Dr Bunsen Honeydew
  • Beaker
  • Statler and Waldorf
  • The Swedish Chef
  • Sam Eagle
  • Walter
  • The Electric Mayhem – Dr Teeth, Animal, Floyd Pepper, Janice, Zoot and Lips

Other media

  • Sam and Friends
  • Sesame Street
  • The Muppet Movie
  • The Great Muppet Caper
  • The Muppets Take Manhattan
  • The Jim Henson Hour
  • Muppets Tonight
  • The Muppet Christmas Carol
  • Muppet Treasure Island
  • Muppets From Space
  • The Muppets
  • Muppets Most Wanted
  • Muppet Babies
  • The Muppet Show
  • The Ed Sullivan Show
  • The Jimmy Dean Show
  • The Muppets Kitchen with Cat Cora
  • Muppets Now

Production

To begin with, Jim Henson the puppeteer created the characters back in the 1950s – with one of his first being Kermit the Frog. He stated that he came up with the word Muppet as a combination of the words marionette and puppet. The Muppets were first introduced in 1955 on Sam and Friends, where they soon became more popular. As a result, Kermit and Rowlf the dog, among other Muppets, appeared on late-night talk shows and in TV commercials. Furthermore, Rowlf had regular appearances on The Jimmy Dean Show.

From 1966, plans for an educational children’s TV program were begun, and Sesame Street came out in 1969 with Children’s Television Workshop as the producers. After much more success, Henson negotiated with The Walt Disney Company in 1989 and had them acquire Jim Henson Productions, along with the Muppets.

Episodes and reception

The Muppets first released its episodes in 1976, and had a total of five seasons. The show has been both nominated for and won numerous awards. For example, they won at the Emmys in 1977 and 1978 for Outstanding Continuing or Single Performance by a Supporting Actress in Variety or Music and Outstanding Comedy – Variety or Music Scenes. They went on to win in 1980 for Outstanding Video Tape Editing for a Series, plus again in 1981 for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy-Variety or Music Series.

Other wins include a BAFTA in 1977 for Best Light Entertainment Programme, and another in 1978 for Most Original Programme/Series. They also won a BAFTA in 1979 for Best VTR Editor, and they went on to win many awards in 1979. These were the Grammy Awards for Best Recording for Children, the Peabody Awards and Best Entertainment Show at Golden Camera.

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