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Why They Left

Discussion in 'Henson People' started by D'Snowth, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    This shouldn't be an inappropriate thread, because this isn't intended to delve into the personal lives of the performers.

    Caroll Spinney was on the verge of quitting SST, and was about to break the news to Jim - something he was dreading - until Kermit Love stopped him and told him to reconsider, as he had been given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that he'll never have again. Sure enough, things got better for Caroll afterwards, but there's still a number of people who had left the Muppets at one point, but there's no definite answer to their departures; Caroll wrote in his memoir that a few performers had left because they didn't because famous or rich quick by working for the Muppets. My question is why would anyone leave the Muppets at all? Working for THE puppet master himself, why would anyone bail out on Jim?

    The two that come to my mind are John Lovelady and Brian Meehl: nobody knows for sure why John left, some speculate the fame and fortune conspiracy, but there's also a thread here on MC that suggests he was unhappy with Jim relegating him to mostly building puppets and coordinating puppeteers instead of performing... either way, he certainly seems to have an impressive puppetry resume post Muppets, working on The Great Space Coaster for a number of years, and also working for Sid & Marty Krofft in the 80s. As for Brian, there's also the fame and fortune conspiracy (I think Caroll hinted about it in his book, but I can't remember for sure), but there are a few of his colleagues who have said he was wanting to refocus his career as a writer and actor, and lastly, there are interviews with Brian himself, who says that the long days with excessive downtime in the television atmosphere was putting a strain on his family life. It's a shame, he was one of the more versatile performers Jim had, IMO.
  2. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    We all know Frank grew as something outside of a Muppet performer and wanted to move on. Sometimes, that's just how it goes. Some people stay in one place when they feel something's good enough for them, some want something else. Sometimes they manage to come back for a brief period of time. Brian performed Bruno on Dog City years after he left Sesame Street, even though that was only a brief 3 or so season gig.
  3. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Eren Ozker left The Muppet Show to get married and start a family in the united states, but she did perform in a few Henson productions afterwards.

    One performer who I really wonder about is Camille Bonora. She was kind of major during the late-1980s and early-1990s but then she was suddenly gone. I wonder what happened to her. Seems not much is known about her, either.

    I also wonder about Michael Earl Davis (he is a member of this forum so maybe he can shine some light here). He was under contract with Henson for three years, and performed on Sesame Street during that time, but it seems he left Sesame Street just because his contract ran up, but he has continued to perform with the Muppets every once in awhile afterwards.

    I wonder what performers Caroll Spinney was talking about when he said some left due to not getting enough recognition. Everybody I know of who stopped performing with the Muppets I either know the reason or had continued performing outside of the Jim Henson Company. Maybe the ones who left for that reason were the more minor (and perhaps uncredited) background performers.

    I find it ironic that Brian Meehl left the Muppets to be a writer, but he has performed on occasion afterwards, including major roles on Eureeka's Castle and Dog City. Those aren't mere one-time guest appearances, after all.
  4. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Well, Michael Earl was interviewed by Tough Pigs, and he gave the reason why he was no longer on Sesame Street after season 12. He was let go, due to budget cuts and because the workshop didn't think his performance had improved during his three years on the show (he was told he needed training from Henson or Oz, but they weren't on the set enough). Jim Henson had told the workshop to let him know that he was always welcome to perform in any Jim Henson Productions.

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