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Question about Jim Henson's Performer Credits on SST

Discussion in 'Classic Sesame Street' started by minor muppetz, Jan 15, 2010.

  1. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    During the first season, Jim Henson was credited as a Muppet performer. And then for several seasons, he was pretty much uncredited, though the performers credits did say "Puppets by Jim Henson's Muppets" (I guess it's debatable whether that would/ should count as a performer credit... I don't count it). But I know that Jim Henson was credited as a performer during the 1990s, up until season 32.

    So, does anybody know when Jim Henson was credited again as a performer? I'm sure that there are probably episodes in circulation from eahc season of the 1980s with the credits crawl, but I'd still like to know, whether Jim Henson was given a credit again before he died, as opposed to a "Featuring Jim Henson's Sesame Street Muppets" credit.

    I have started to wonder if maybe it was in 1987 or 1988. I know that the earliest Sesame Street videos don't list Jim Henson as a performer, but I'm pretty sure he was given a credit on videos by 1988. Then again, many of the videos credited performers who went uncredited on the show (like Jane Henson and Bob Payne). And I'm pretty sure Jim Henson was credited in Sesame Street, Special, though I don't know whether the performer credits in that special matched the performer credits from the 1987-1988/ 1988-1989 season (not sure which season would be considered the corresponding season to the special).
  2. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Slightly OT, but I was under the impression that maybe Jim felt he didn't need to take credit for something that by then most everybody was aware he was responsible for... I don't even remember seeing him being credited as performer on TMS, but I'd have to look again.

    And you're right, the home video tapes of the 80s do list him as a performer, usually at the very end of the list ("and Jim Henson"), but occasionally, he got top billing of the other performers.

    As for his credit during the 90s (as well as Richard's) I wonder if that was out of respect for his passing? I don't know... again, my number one assumption as to why he didn't always receive credit as a performer is that he didn't want to take too much credit for what he'd done. It's a similar case with Rocky and Bullwinkle creator Jay Ward and his business partner Bill Scott - unlike most shows, they handled both the producing and the executive producing of the show, but they didn't want to seem like they were taking too much credit (Scott also wrote a lot of the shows, but didn't receive a writing credit, and did the voices of Bullwinkle, Mr. Peabody, and other various characters but didn't receive a voice credit), so during the closing credits when they needed an executive producer, they made up a name for the credits - the infamous yet fictional Ponsomby Britt.
  3. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I do wonder why some people don't feel the need to have too many credits. If it was me I'd want all credits that apply to me.

    I have often wondered about that thing regardign Bill Scott... He was the head writer, and he voiced practically every star character on Jay Ward's animated shows, so he would have earned the writer and voice credits. Though I know he got writers credit on a handful of productions. I'm npot sure whether he was uncredited as a vocie actor on the non-Jay Ward Wuzzles or first season of Gummi Bears.

    I guess I should see if I can find every closing credits sequences on youtube for seasons 11-25.
  4. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Well, I found the season 18 credits on youtube, and Jim was credited in that season. I couldn't find credits for seasons 17 or 16, and gave up on searching for lower season number credits afterwards. But before findign season 18 credits I found the season 12 credits sequence, which also didn't give Jim his own special credit.

    So I guess it would have been sometime between seasons 13 and 18.

    Man, I wish the 40th anniversary DVD had end credit sequences from every season, like the Old School DVDs did.
  5. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Some of it might be modesty... then of course, sadly there's occasions where people don't get any credit at all, and spend the rest of their lives trying to clear the air about it; one example is Bewitched - Sol Saks was recruited to write the pilot episode of that show, and as such, he is credited as the show's creator, inspite of the fact that it was really executive producer Harry Ackerman who came up with the concept for a sitcom about a witch marrying a mortal. Similar with M*A*S*H, as it was the networks who asked veteran television producer Gene Reynolds to turn the 1970 movie into a show for television, and he in turn, asked comedy writer Larry Gelbart (RIP) to write the pilot script, and again, he's the one credited as the show's creator, not Reynolds. The only major difference is that Gelbart really was involved with a lot of M*A*S*H's production for its first four seasons, from writing episodes, producing and directing, whereas Sol Saks only wrote the pilot of Bewitched and nothing more to do with the series.

    Personally, I could go either way as far as me being credited for things is concerned; I wouldn't want to seem like a self-righteous glory hog, so I try not to take too much credit for something unless I really have to... I don't mind like "Directed By" and "Created and Produced By" credits, but when it comes to writing, I really don't like to seem like I'm doing everything around here, so often times if someone else forwards even a simple suggestion for a story, I give them writing credit.

    So again, it could be a modesty thing, as Caroll Spinney has oftened described Jim as being very humble.
  6. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    He was credited as a performer on The Muppet Show. I think he was uncredited on one of the pilots, but not both. Can't remember which one he wasn't credited in. I think he was also credited on The Jim Henson Hour. It seems like he was usually either uncredited as a performer or credited last... The movies are the main exception, where he's usually the first performer credited (he's the second credited performer in Follow That Bird). In the Fraggle Rock episodes where he performed he was sometimes credited and sometimes uncredited.

    He was uncredited in quite a few specials, including Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas, The Fantastic Miss Piggy Show, and The Christmas Toy (that last one makes sense, as with the exception of Kermit, the only known character he performed was the jack-in-the-box, who only had one line).

    It seems like on Sesame Street most people only got one credit, no matter how many duties they had. Of course for each season the credits were pretty much the same for each episode, aside form some things that would have been required (trademark credits for all post-2000 appearances by Kermit, dedication credits, occasional special thanks credits, etc.). Jon Stone was a writer, producer, and director, but it seem slike he was only credited as either writer or producer (can't remember which one). Most people who worked as both puppet builders and performers seem to have only gotten credited as puppet builders (though there was the one season, either 8 or 9, where Caroly Wilcox was credited). It also seems like many performers work for at least a year before getting credited (Leslie Carara in season 37, Michael Earl and Brian Meehl in season 10).
  7. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    He received a performer credit in The Muppet Musicians of Bremen, but not a vocal credit, when he obviously voiced Mean Floyd. Jerry Nelson even received both performer and vocal credit.
  8. Xerus

    Xerus Well-Known Member

    At the old Filmation studios, producers Lou Scheimer and Norm Prescott did voices but always went uncredited in the voice casts. Or Lou would go by the alias name, Erik Gunden.
  9. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    You know, not to get too off-topic, but there is a bit of posts here regarding people with many production duties not getting all the appropriate credits, and I think I should bring something up, regarding myself.

    Back in febuary 2009 I started my own youtube channel, mwermuthland, and I'm pretty much the only person who worked on the many videos that I've done, and in many of the videos I've given myself several of the credits that I know I've earned, sometimes listing them all seperately and sometimes listing a few types of credits in the same credit ("written and directed by...", "Written, Edited, and Directed by...", etc). This was especially true for my first six months of videos, where I would always include a title card and give myself a "Presents" credit at the beginning (though it hit me recently that that kind of credit is usually given to executive producers, and I don't really consider myself an executive producer or producer for any of my videos).

    Of course I figured it might seem redundant to give myself so many different credits, so in some of them, especially the earliest ones, I would also include special gag credits, sometimes crediting fake names (I.E., "Produced by I.M. Nobody") and sometimes providing "spell checker" credits which deliberately misspell something.

    After awhile it became common for me to make videos that don't have any credits at all, as well as ones with no on-screen title. And there are quite a few where I only gave myself the credits that I care most about (starring, written by, and directed by... some contain credits for titles, editing, and visual effects but those aren't too important for me). There are quite a few in which I only improvised, as opposed to writing a script (though I often do paraphrase and improvise in addition to going by the scripts), and in many of those I didn't put in any credits at all... Though in the earlier ones that are just improvised I gave myself the "presents" and starring" credits (and there are some where I credited myself as director but not writer).

    But if I did make some youtube videos (or any bigger mainstream productions) with other people I'd give them the appropriate credits and myself the credits. If I wrote something with somebody else I'd share the writers credit, and depending on the project I'd list the writers alphabetically by last name (which would likely put me close to the bottom).

    Oh, and please don't send me youtube idea suggestions via private message. There are a few who do so regarding fan fiction. But I feel that youtube videos are more "professional" than fan fiction, which I've been trying to do less of (I haven't rea dmuch of other peoples fan fiction in months, either).
  10. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    That's not necessarily true...

    The "presents" credit at the beginning of projects are usually for the CREATOR(s) of the project, and the creators aren't always the executive producers... like Sid and Marty Krofft for example, they put their name on top of all of their shows ("Sid and Marty Krofft's" or "Sid and Marty Krofft Present"), and most of the time, the only produced their shows, and didn't executive produce it - that job was usually saved for the likes of veteran television producer Si Rose; though later on Sid and Marty DID executive produce some of their shows later down the road.
  11. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Oh, I saw that being discussed in talk pages at Muppet Wiki (mainly concerning the "Lord Grade Presents" credit in The Great Muppet Caper).
  12. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Well, in the case of movies like that, then yeah, it all depends on what studio company (or in this case, individual) who finances the movie is who usually gets the "presents" credit.

    But again, mostly in television and things like that, it's usually the creator of the show who gets the "presents" credit.
  13. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    This gets me thinking, Jim Henson never got a "created by" credit. Maybe he didn't feel the need for such a credit. Though Charles Schultz usually got a "created by" credit in the Peanuts specials (I know, they're different people, I'm comparing apples and oranges....).

    Though quite a few Henson shows have "Jim Henson's" listed above the title (or the credits say "Starring Jim Henson's Muppets"). Not sure if that's basically a creator credit, though most Henson series with his name above the title were made after his death.
  14. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Well, as far as SST goes, it wouldn't work, because he didn't create SST, he just contributed Muppet characters to the show, whereas Schulz created the whle kit and caboodle as far as Peanut specials go... if anything, the one who would get the "Created by" or even "Developed for Television by" credit for SST would be Joan Ganz Cooney.
    It's not so much a creator credit, as it is like a "brand" credit, so-to-speak... it's something that was started by Walt Disney, to put your name on top of something that you create/produce/conceive/etc, because that's a way to ensure that it's your creation (which is why I'm steamed the Disney company has been erasing Jim's name from Muppet productions, and replacing it with their own); a lot of people do that, like Sid & Marty Krofft, Tim Burton, Tyler Perry, etc.
  15. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Has Walt Disney's name been above any of the Disney films made after his death? I feel like they have but I'm not very sure. I have noticed that some of the recent Henson productions had "The Jim Henson Company's" above the title isntead.
  16. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    As far as the Disney thing goes, it's similar to what you've seen with JHC, it's mostly like "Walt Disney Pictures'".
  17. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    In the Muppet Show Jim is credited for being a writer, producer, and Muppeter, Frank gets credit for being a Muppeter and the creative consultunt, Dvae get credited for being a builder and a Muppeter so there wheer many hats worn by them all
  18. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure if Frank really truly was an actual creative consultant, or if that was a title given to him since he's essentially Jim's number two guy, kind of like a lot of movies where Steven Spielberg is credited as executive producer, even though he had no actual involvement in the movie whatsoever, he's just given the credit simply because.

    But Dave, yeah, he originally started out as just a builder, though Jim felt he had potential as a performer as well.
  19. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Actually, come to think of it, for a while there in the mid-2000s, they did something similar with Frank Oz: during the end titles, all of the Muppet Performers were listed alphabetically (as opposed to seniority, like in the old days, Frank, Jerry, and Richard were always listed first), with the exception of Frank, who was listed last. Also, by this time, they stopped listed Richard altogether, as well as Jim (though until recently, the performers were always billed as "Jim Henson's Muppets").
  20. JLG

    JLG Well-Known Member

    Actually, I'm pretty sure that didn't start with Walt Disney, although he did kind of elevate it to a whole other level. I know that before he hit the big time, in other studios' films you'd see "So-And-So Presents" on top. And in the 1930s, when Walt Disney Productions was still a small independent having to rely on a big-name studio to distribute its films (it's so hard to imagine that today), it was sort of a double deal----Mickey Mouse cartoons all began with "Joseph M. Schenck presents Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse" with "A United Artists Picture" underneath. (No prints with this version of the opening remain in circulation----they've all been replaced with new title lettering that faithfully recreates the originals but omits references to Schenck and U.A.)
    Max Fleischer cartoons from the same period say "Adolph Zukor presents a Max Fleischer Color Classic." Same thing----a double deal.

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