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Celebrating Jerry Juhl

Discussion in 'Henson People' started by Fozzie Bear, Sep 28, 2005.

  1. amiki chan

    amiki chan Active Member

    Man I hadn't heard about this on the news at all today :cry:
    My condolences to Mr. Juhl's family as well.
  2. dizzyizzy

    dizzyizzy Well-Known Member

    Man this is hard to hear. I"ll be thinking of Jerry and his family. May he rest in peace. :cry: :sympathy:
  3. unclematt

    unclematt Well-Known Member

    I cant believe we lost two of our dearest friends in such a short period of time. The only thing that scares me is they say that deaths occur in threes.
  4. theprawncracker

    theprawncracker Well-Known Member

    Good lord no!


    This is horrible news. Utterly horrible news.

    RIP Jerry Juhl
  5. BEAR

    BEAR Well-Known Member

    They did... Bob Denver, Don Adams, and Jerry Juhl
  6. Infinity Sirius

    Infinity Sirius Well-Known Member

    I alwats felt there was a shared niche between Jerry Juhl and me, because of the writing. I'll miss him, but all the lives and memories are still alive. I just wish I could have met him before he passed away. At least he, Jim, and Richard are together in heaven. :)
  7. Squigiman

    Squigiman Well-Known Member

    I am pretty much in complete and utter shock. I was just going through my checking of the usual IGN sections as a check of my usual sites, when I saw something about "Remembering Jerry Juhl". I hate finding out like that, how it doesn't register right away, because I didn't already know he'd passed. Here's their sweet article commemorating his genius: http://filmforce.ign.com/articles/654/654602p1.html . I was lucky enough to see him speak, both in 2003, and last November at BAM, where I was even luckier to meet him and get his autograph. He was really terrific and very sweet, and as funny as ever in his recollections of the various works being screened.

    I can't believe he's gone. The Fraggle movie sounded like it could possibly be a return to Muppetty form, getting all original talent involved, staying true to the original intent and form of the show. Now, my hope is all but completely lost. In fact, any return to any kind of form for any Muppetty thing is sorta lost. Sorry to sound so down, but things have never been the same since Jim died, and now this. Jerry was almost as much the heart and soul of the Muppets as Jim, himself. All of the great Muppet lines are most likely his, and there is no scale capable of measuring how much he will be missed by the Muppet fan community at large. Rest In Peace, Mr. Juhl.

  8. Chilly Down

    Chilly Down Well-Known Member

    Holy smoke. I'm in shock. I don't even know how to react.

    I knew he was getting up in years, but didn't know he was ill.

    We've lost the most significant person to the company since Richard Hunt passed away in '92.

    I secretly hoped for Jerry to return to writing for the Muppets, or at least consult on a script. He didn't come to MuppetFest, and I couldn't make it to any of the NY things, but I thought for sure I'd get a chance to see him at some upcoming Henson event, and thank him for all the years of joy he brought us. I never got the chance, but I thank him anyway.

    For that matter, I hoped to study under him someday in one of his classes or something. He had so much to share, so much to learn from.

    When I was growing up, there were 3 powerful creative influences on me: Charles M. Schulz, C.S. Lewis, and Jerry Juhl. Since I was watching Sesame Street before I can even remember, Juhl was influencing me before I can even remember. He is one of the main reasons I want to write professionally. I am greatly indebted to him.

    Good night, Prospero. Time to put away your books of magic.
  9. Gorgon Heap

    Gorgon Heap Well-Known Member

    First time in years I've actually felt like crying over the death of someone I didn't know.

    Only recently, after Juhl's departure from the Henson company, did we, the fan community, take stock of what his contribution was, and how it hasn't been the same without him. He put forth not only the out-and-out silliness, but the subtlety and mastery that grounded that silliness, and the character that made it all worthwhile. IMO if you want a comparison, look at FR and its animated counterpart- animated show is much more generic, characters are weakly written, gags and one-liners lack punch, the whole lacks heart and gravity, characters are harder to care about and take to heart, the emotion is ingenuine and written in cliched, obvious ways- THOSE are the things so often lacking in the newer Muppet productions, and everywhere, really- the things that Jerry did successfully for the Muppets.

    Watching FR has opened my eyes once again to Juhl's genius, and I recently took to making a more concentratred study of his writing techniques, aside from what I learned just from studying TMS's humor structure and copying it. Wish I could've had the chance to ask him about writing. I think the best things I've ever written around here were merely more successful imitations of him.

    He operated at levels which all writers would be fortunate to aspire to. He is sorely missed. RIP and God bless him.

    David "Gorgon Heap" Ebersole
  10. unclematt

    unclematt Well-Known Member

    Excellently written and so true. Your comparrison with the animated FR really opened my eyes.
  11. PukkaPukka

    PukkaPukka Well-Known Member

  12. Juno42

    Juno42 New Member


    I feel strange.

    I got the news yesterday, cried, posted here, started working on a small tribute comic...Now I feel better. Which is weird. I feel like I ought to still be upset and wanting to cry. Either I really did get it through my head that it's okay, or there's still some extra grief waiting to snap back at some later time. I've been thinking about him all day, trying to drum up some kind of...well, something. But in fact I was feeling pretty cheerful through most of the day. The only real pangs I've had were over the idea that his death was cancer related, which just fills me with rage. Seems like most of the important people in my life have died of or are otherwise inflicted with the stuff! But other than that I really don't seem to be all that sad anymore.

    Because I kinda feel like, instead of being stricken, I should be applauding his life, a standing ovation for a virtuoso performance. I wanna put on the Muppets From Space version of Celebrate and rock the house in his honor.

    Because I really do feel like Jerry is still around. I'm upset that I put emailing him, and that I won't be able to show him my writing someday, like I thought I would. But it seems to me that he's almost more with everyone now that he was. Death is an intolerable insult, no matter what your beliefs are, I think. That fact that there's no long a tangible, worldly connection to someone is the most upsetting thing. But you know he's around. Jerry's been my biggest motivation to persue writing, and he still is. He's practically been my muse. Now I'll just have to wait until I graduate this life to chat with him again.

    Speaking of graduating, Jerry spoke to my high school graduating class at the ceremony. He said: the final song of the Muppet Show says, "Life's like a movie, write your own ending." But the truth is that the really life of a movie is in everything leading up to the ending. So it would be better to say, "Life's like a movie, write your own middle."

    Okay, there's a few more tears leaking.

    Anyway, all of us, let's keep writing our middle. And CEEEE-le-BRATE good times, COME ON!

    Cheers, Jerry!:)

    P.S. I'll post when I finish that tribute comic.
  13. Kimp the Shrimp

    Kimp the Shrimp Well-Known Member

    we will look fwd to it
  14. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    That post was wow...

    I am looking forward the the tribut comic. Other tributes I know of this week will be Vic's Weekly Creative Visual, and a fan-fiction written by Myself, Lisa, and Ryan.
  15. ReneeLouvier

    ReneeLouvier Well-Known Member

    For a moment I was genuinely worried. I had thought nearly all of them were gone in some way or another. But..then again they are.

    Frank Oz - Pretty much retired, just does producing/exe. producing jobs.

    Jerry Nelson - Retired.

    Dave Golez - still doing Gonzo.

    Steve Whitmire - Now doing Kermit. (I had forgotten he had been there since nearly the beginning.)

    Carrol Spinney - Still doing Big Bird, but not any dance sequences for the most part.

    Martin P. Robinson - ...I honestly don't recogininze that guys name. :smirk:

    Fran Brill - Sorry, don't really know her either.

    David Rudman - Again, I don't recoginize this person's name.

    Kevin Clash - ...He does Elmo. 'Nuff said. *Believes that Elmo's World pretty much kills those last 20 mins of SS*

    Noel MacNiel - Yet again, don't recoginize his name.

    Pam Arciero - And again.

    Karen Prell - As far as I know, not really doing that much with the muppets. Perhaps she's working in the background?? Waiting for Red to take the spotlight again? :excited:

    Perhaps you guys can help aquiant me (and maybe others as well?) with the jobs of these Muppeters. ;) I would greatly love that!
  16. Vic Romano

    Vic Romano Well-Known Member

  17. matleo

    matleo Well-Known Member

    I had posted this on my blog but I thought I would post it here too....enjoy.

    --Matt :zany:

    Muppet fans are mourning the loss of another dear and talented friend this week. Monday afternoon writer, Muppet collaborator and all around great guy Jerry Juhl passed away. Jerry was one of the key influences on the Muppet humor and served as head writer for both the "Muppet Show" and "Fraggle Rock". Jerry was credited for writing five of the six Muppet feature fiilms and countless tv specials and shows featuring Kermit and friends. He had begun his work as a puppeteer at a young age before finally teaming up with Jim Henson in the mid-1960's. Jerry had been one of Jim's first collaborators and consequently one of the most influential. He also remained one of the closest. Writing for the Muppets for more than 30 years on countless projects, commercials, tv shows, specials, appearances and films.

    On a personal note, Jerry was an inspiration. People who have worked with me know that my favorite part of the creative process is in the writing stage. I love polishing and working on a script. I love good characters who are motivated and strong. I love ensemble comedy forcing you to balance which characters are being used and how they're being used. And I love the process of realizing a weak idea and reaplcing it witha strong one. I credit this heavily to Jerry's influence. Just as Jim had made puppetry accessible to the American culture Jerry made writing and development accessible to Muppet fans. Those jokes had to come from..somewhere. And those characters had to come from someone. Jerry had a firm grasp over the characters and could put them into situations that they would react or not react well too. He knew how to mix characters like a chemist creating a volatile composition that usually ended with humorous or heartwarming results. He was a skilled craftsman and talented writer and creator.

    I had the honor of meeting Jerry last year at a Henson Film festival in Brooklyn. He was generous with his time and his fans. Stopping occaisionally to tell stories, answer questions, and sign autographs. The first thing that struck me about him when I met him was his joviality and I couldn't help but wonder if his good spirit came from having worked with the Muppets for so long or if the Muppets good spirit came from having him work on them for so long. At a screening of classic Muppet sketches and songs he spoke of the two ways in which Jim would often work. He said sometimes Jim would walk into his office and announce "We're going to do the war protest song "For What It's Worth" only we're going to do it as a wildlife piece." Jim would then sketch out the whole thing in detail and in two weeks time they would shoot it EXACTLY as Jim had planned. Other times, Jim would come in and announce "Musical Number: I get Around. Detail to follow" then at a following writing session Jerry would remind Jim about this piece and Jim would go make a sandwich. he would spend agood portion of time making sure there was the right amount of lettuce and mayonnaise on it. Make sure he had the right pices of cheese and meat and then having completed his masterpiece, Jim would sit down and say calmly..."Pigs on motorcycles" which would then lead the writing team to develop it further.

    He spoke of the creation of Lew Zealand "That came from Chris Langham." And of his two favorite characeters one the show, The Swedish Chef and Rowlf the Dog "I love Rowlf. Rowlf always seemed to me to be a real guy. You know, the kind of person you'd want to have as a neighbor. He was always just laid bak and easy going. And I love the Swedish Chef for the opposite reason. I don't understand him at all. Whatever we were doing in the writer's room it would always come to halt and we would go down onto the set whenever Jim was doing the Chef cause it was usually hilarious."

    At a screening of 'The Great Muppet Caper", I had the thrill of being able to watch Jerry watch that movie and enjoy it somewhat throug his eyes. Seeing which bits made him laugh and seeeing him enjoy the film. Aftwerwards, he spoke of the development the film citing that after the Muppets had completed the first movie they sat down and made a list of possible films styles they could parody and for some reason a heist movie just had the most potential. He also spoke of the late Richard Hunt, speaking of him as "the heart of the Muppets." He said that Richard was always entertaining visitors and would do everything he could to make them feel welcome. Following the screening of Caper, I had the chance to chat with him and thank him for his influence. We talked a little about puppetry and the movie that we had both just seen and agreed on it being "one of the best". He politley signed a photo of the "Pigs In Space" for me. And we parted ways.

    I value this moment in my life very greatly now. I'm glad I had the chance to meet him and to thank him. I'm glad I had the opportunity to be touched by him and his genius. And I'm glad to feel that I'm a better person because of his influence in the world. I hope we can all be a bit better off from Jerry's work and I hope that somewhere he, Jim, Richard and Don Sahlin are working on something truely extraordinary together.

    Thank you, Jerry. We'll miss you and your warm spirit.
  18. FAZ

    FAZ Member

  19. unclematt

    unclematt Well-Known Member

  20. Kimp the Shrimp

    Kimp the Shrimp Well-Known Member

    he i posted it Thur. morning i tell you an end of a ERA

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