N E W S
   2006 | 2005 |
2004
   2003 | 2002 |
2001    2000 | 1999 | 1998



Shop for Muppet DVD's,
Replicas and Puppets

 

New Collectibles

8/12 - Muppets Most Wanted Blu-ray: The Unnecessarily Extended Edition and Muppets Most Wanted DVD

3/20 - Muppets Most Wanted Exclusive 7-Piece PVC Figurine Playset, Muppets Most Wanted Constantine Plush, Muppets Most Wanted Rowlf Plush, Muppets Most Wanted 75 Sticker Pack

3/20 - Muppets Most Wanted Deluxe Edition CD (Original Soundtrack)

2/11 - Muppets Most Wanted Read-Along Storybook and CD and Muppets Most Wanted: Kermit's Double Trouble Book

2/07 - Muppets Character Encyclopedia Collector's Book

 
     

 

Join the Muppet Central Mailing List

 

NEWS

Sesame Street Season 45 premieres Monday September 15

Muppets star in Toyota Super Bowl ad campaign

"Lady Gaga & The Muppets' Holiday Spectacular" airs Thanksgiving

Frank Oz, Brian Jay Jones honor Jim Henson on The Today Show October 15

Muppet tech master and puppeteer Franz "Faz" Fazakas dies at 95

More >>

MERCHANDISE

"The Great Muppet Caper" and "Muppet Treasure Island" coming to Blu-ray December 10

"Jim Henson: The Biography" releases on September 24

"The Muppet Movie" anniversary edition arrives on Blu-ray

Video: "The Muppet Movie" coming to Blu-ray in 2013

More >>

Muppets return to roots with Maryland exhibit

Courtesy of the Associated Press
March 13, 1998

Kermit the Frog began life looking more like a lizard -- made of an old spring coat and a split pingpong ball. Now, his original incarnation is back in an exhibit that traces Kermit's 42-year journey to stardom.


The original Kermit in 1955, with Jane Nebel and sidekick 'Sam.'.

The split pingpong ball, with a couple of dashes of black paint, became Kermit's eyes when he and other ''Muppets'' first appeared in 1955 on a Washington television show called ''Sam and His Friends.''

And while Muppets creator Jim Henson originally developed Kermit and his pals for entertainment, they became known worldwide for children's education when, 14 years later, they got their big break on Public Broadcasting System's ''Sesame Street.''

The Muppets ''are largely commercial entertainment, but there's always a little heart, a little moral to it,'' said Paul Avery, a University of Maryland instructor who put together the exhibit, ''The Muppets Take Maryland,'' at the university's College Park campus.

''There's always the message that people need to work together, and how you treat people is important,'' said Avery, who teaches a course related to the Muppets.

Kermit got his start at the College Park campus, where Henson met his partner and later wife, Jane Nebel, as a student.

On ''Sam and His Friends,'' Kermit became ''frogified,'' as Henson put it, from his original lizard-like image.


The modern Kermit.

But it wasn't until 1969 that producer Joan Ganz Cooney, appalled by the state of children's TV, put Kermit and others onto ''Sesame Street.''

The characters went on to even wider fame in their own television show, and in Hollywood movies.

Henson, who died in 1990, invented the word ''Muppets'' by combining ''marionettes'' and ''puppets.''

''There was nothing in Kermit outside of the piece of cardboard,'' Henson once said. ''It was originally cardboard -- and the cloth shape that was his head.''

''He's one of the simplest kind of puppet you can make, and he's very flexible because of that ... which gives him a range of expression.''

Kermit still makes appearances on ''Sesame Street.'' Now, says the Henson firm's publicity, he is the bright green, ''gentlemanly, sophisticated and intelligent'' frog-reporter.

The American version of Sesame Street appears in 39 countries, and 34 other countries have their own versions.

The exhibit runs through Friday.

Another early Kermit is on tour as part of the traveling ''America's Smithsonian'' exhibit celebrating the museum's 150th anniversary. That show travels to Portland, Ore., April 3, Birmingham, Ala., May 29, and later to California, Illinois, Ohio and Texas.

     
Search:
Keywords:
In Association with Amazon.com

home | news | collectibles | articles | forum | guides | radio | cards | help

Fan site Muppet Central created by Phillip Chapman. Updates by Muppet Central Staff. All Muppets, Bear
characters are copyright of The Muppets Studio. Sesame Street characters are copyright of Sesame Workshop.
Fraggle Rock, Creature Shop and similar likenesses are copyright of The Jim Henson Company.
Muppet Central is hosted by KnownHost.