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Your Thoughts: "Pioneers of Television" with Jim Henson

Discussion in 'Muppet Appearances' started by Phillip, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    Tuesday night don’t miss the PBS special “Pioneers of Television” at 7 pm central, 8 pm eastern.

    This special episode will honor children’s TV pioneers including Muppets creator Jim Henson, Fred Rogers, animator Bob Clampett, actor Chuck McCann, Pat MacMahon, Nancy Claster, creator of "Romper Room" among others.

    Watch this special on your local PBS station Tuesday evening and post your thoughts here.

    If you happen to miss “Pioneers of Television” Tuesday night, the episode will likely reair several times in the next few days, check your local listings for times in your area. A DVD of the “Pioneers of Television” episode will be released March 1.

  2. beakerboy12

    beakerboy12 Well-Known Member

    I liked the show. Even though it didn't really focus on Jim Henson for most of the show. It was quite interesting! Plus, because of this show, I learned something about Jim Henson I hadn't known. It was just quite good! :):):super:
  3. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    Well, it wasn't much, but at least he was included.

    This reminds me, I need to the get the DVD set of their "Make 'Em Laugh" series.
  4. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Well I had to miss it. So what clips were included (or what productions were represented? I suppose Sam and Friends and Sesame Street, but what else?).

    I didn't know Bob Clampett was included. Did it only focus on Beany and Cecil, or were there clips from his Warner Bros. shorts?
  5. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    The clips came from Sam and Friends ("Ol' Black Magic"), some Wilkins Coffee Commercials, one of the Lay Choy commercials, The Muppets on Puppets and the first episode of SST (the punchline to the Rosie sketch).
  6. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    What really surprised me was the inclusion of Fat Albert (far from being a local show), and interviews with not only Bill Cosby bu Lou Schiemer (SP?) and Filmation's educational adviser.

    The Jim Henson stuff I was expecting, sure... but I really smiled when I saw that. i was also highly surprised by the inclusion of Adam West! :crazy:

    He was included ONLY for creating Time for Beany, the original puppet show, and only via the recollections of Stan Freberg. A clip of a Porky Pig cartoon WAS shown, but only to make another point.
  7. Lil0Vampy

    Lil0Vampy Well-Known Member

    I personally loved it! Although Jim Henson's part in the special was quite small, I think it was a great program all the same. :)
  8. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Well, everything was basically small, and some of it anecdotal...and there seems to have been a lot of things overlooked. These really should be 2 hours each or something... maybe the DVD's have the extended cut. Though, I do wish they got more people to talk about Jim Henson that actually worked with him.
  9. MelissaY1

    MelissaY1 Well-Known Member

    It was ok. Of course I know the whole show couldn't be about Jim or Sesame Street, but I thought they spent a little too long on some of those other shows. And they showed so many great personalities at the end, and showed a picture of Shari Lewis, how come we didn't see more of her? And I really think they should've included the NY area show "The Magic Garden" as it had a very long run.
  10. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Well, I would say that, but the Pioneers of Television series DOES tend to do that. It seems that there was a LOT of ground they didn't have time to cover... they even had a 10 second segment with Ernie Borgnine that they didn't call back to in the rest of the show. That Phoenix show was brought up too many times (is this a PBS Phoenix production?) But I guess they wanted something that bridged the 50's to a current era.

    And I didn't believe Sam and Friends was supposed to be a kid's show.

    Yeah, a lot of it was anecdotal, but VERY interesting... Ronald McDonald came out of that area dropping Bozo the Clown and needing a clown to make public promotions...

    Still, seems like some of the stuff didn't fit as local (Fat Albert), as fun as it was. They really need to do one JUST for national kid's TV.
  11. Yorick

    Yorick Well-Known Member

    Without reading other posts in this thread first, I'd like to say that I was very impressed and happy with the special...it was quite touching. When Mr. Rogers laughed in an interview, I just thought, "What a lovely man." He's one of the very few on TV that you could just tell was a sincerely sweet person.

    So, although there wasn't much Jim Henson I still thought it was very well done. I could have easily watched two or two and a half hours (and then they'd give Soupy Sales substantial time and have more of everybody).

    When I said, "I hope it's just about Jim" it was because that's what I initially thought it was, and was looking forward to. But I forgot to mention that I still cared about the other folks, for sure. And as a matter of fact, I really loved it.

    Kind of amazing The Wallace and Ladmo Show ran from April 1, 1954 to December 29, 1989—36 years, isn't it? Anyone here ever watch that show?
  12. Bellygrub

    Bellygrub Well-Known Member

    I was a little dissapointed at the short amount of screentime Jim recieved....but thems the breaks. I also agree that they spent to much time on that Wallace and Ladmo show.

    I was surprised not to see Captain Noah (Local Philadelphia show). He had a 27 year run which isn't to shabby. Wonder how many of us were hoping to see our local childhood favorites :D
  13. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Like minor muppetz, I too ended up missing the show last night (Comcast is so wonderful to work with, aren't they? :rolleyes:)... but, from reading comments and such from everyone else, it doesn't sound like I missed much, so oh well.
  14. Yorick

    Yorick Well-Known Member

    The "Pioneers of Television" show will be on again:
    Eastern Time
    Thurs 12:30 AM
    Fri 9:30 PM

    PS I've now read this entire thread, and I don't know if someone else here said that Wallace and Ladmo got too much coverage, but I found their portions interesting, and my comment on them was more about how great it was that they lasted on the air from the early 50's to a few days short of the early 90's.:D

    I would love it if each act mentioned (and then some) had their own hour show about them, but I know that won't happen.
  15. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    That show seemed to be on there because they wanted to have a constant theme. It's interesting, and I wish I saw it, but it's a shame they didn't devote more time to other things. Then again, there's clearly some stuff they either couldn't get the rights to or doesn't exist anymore.

    Still, I'd NEVER say you didn't miss much. It is a very interesting program and it has a very important history of how these shows, some of which we never heard of, shaped our popular culture.
  16. Canadian Fan

    Canadian Fan Well-Known Member

    I did see Jim's portion of the show, I liked what I saw. It was sad to see Fred Rogers being interviewed because it reminds me that he passed away almost 8 years ago.

    The other shows featured, I've never heard of except Romper Room, and we had a Canadian version of Romper Room taped in Kingston, Ontario. It aired on all CTV stations.
  17. ErnieBertGonzo

    ErnieBertGonzo Well-Known Member

    I think today(?)'s showing will be coming up on my DVR, but I won't be able to see it until maybe a week or two from now.
  18. Daffyfan4ever

    Daffyfan4ever Well-Known Member

    Yeah. The one I grew up with was "Romper Room and Friends" with Miss Molly. I was sort of wondering about that. I might want to look up the info for that show. It may have just been on a local station in my area. There was also one called 'Hatchy Milatchy' which was on channel 16, my local ABC affiliate. I also wish Jim's part would have been longer. Maybe they should do another episode that's more of a tribute to Henson and the Muppets. It was neat to see Mr. Rogers in an interview. I sort of wonder when those interviews took place. He really didn't look to great there. I'm assuming that was recently before he died.
  19. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I gotta tell ya, I was NEVER fond of Romper Room. I saw a few episodes when I was younger, and other than a Paddington bear cartoon, it left no impression on me whatsoever. It's like, no wonder Sesame Street was rebelling against that sort of kid's show.
  20. Canadian Fan

    Canadian Fan Well-Known Member

    Here's a link with some information about 'Romper Room & Friends' as it was known in Canada:


    Fran Pappert "Miss Fran" was the only Romper Room teacher I remember.

    Canada had some other good kids shows I remember - 'Harrigan', 'Oopsy The Clown', 'Treehouse Club', 'Mr. Dressup', 'The Elephant Show', 'Under The Umbrella Tree', 'Fred Penner's Place', 'The Friendly Giant', 'Today's Special'.

    We also had our own version of Sesame Street called Sesame Park which ran from 1996-2002. From 1969-96, the American version of Sesame Street was aired with Canadian content.

    You can find out more information about the shows I listed above at:

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