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Jim Henson's Muppet stamps officially debut

Eleven Muppet stamps honoring Jim Henson and his creations will go on sale nationwide September 29; Henson's statue also unveiled in the Academy's hall of fame plaza

Courtesy of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
September 28, 2005

Henson and his beloved Muppets were immortalized on United States postage stamps today in Los Angeles at the Academy of the Television Arts & Sciences, the same organization that bestowed several Emmy Awards upon the extraordinary artist and visionary, and also inducted him into the Television Academy Hall of Fame.

The first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony for the Jim Henson: The Man Behind the Muppets commemorative stamp sheet coincides with the 50th anniversary of Henson's most famous Muppet, Kermit the Frog, who emceed the event. The 11 stamp pane of 37-cent First-Class stamps is available in North Hollywood, CA, today and nationwide tomorrow.

"The strong legacy of family fun Jim Henson created still resonates around the world," said Anita Bizzotto, U.S. Postal Service Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President, who dedicated the stamps. "When people see the stamps, they will be a reminder of the man who taught us to not take human flaws so seriously - a reminder that one person can make 'a difference in this world,' " she said, referring to Henson's quotation on the stamp selvage.

Joining Bizzotto in dedicating these stamps were Lisa and Brian Henson, children of Henson and Co-Chief Executive Officers of The Jim Henson Company; and, Dick Askin, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Academy of Television Arts & Sciences; and, Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy.

Lisa Henson characterized the stamps as fitting her father's sense of humor. "We are honored that the U.S. Postal Service chose to recognize our father's legacy with this fun and irreverent stamp collection - a perfect reflection of his inspired silliness and creativity."

Her brother Brian welcomed the stamps as an homage to his father's work. "Our father created wonderful characters that continue to be loved around the world. These stamps are also a tribute to his millions of fans who continue to support his work and believe in his vision," added Brian Henson.

Heather Henson, Brian and Lisa Henson, Muppets Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog, Anita Bizzotto, and Dick Askin dedicate the "Jim Henson: The Man Behind the Muppets" stamp series.

Kermit the Frog viewed the stamps from the Muppets' perspective. "On behalf of the Muppets, it is a great honor to be featured on our own set of stamps," said Kermit the Frog. "These commemorative stamps couldn't have come at a better time - to celebrate my 50th Anniversary, I'm hitting the road next month on a 50-stop World Tour. I'll need to send a lot of letters home to Miss Piggy if I want to stay in her good graces!" The World Tour will begin October 14 in Kermit, TX.

The Television Academy's Dick Askin testified to Henson's legacy. "Jim Henson was a master storyteller and technical innovator who created unforgettable characters and entertainment," commented Askin. "He left us far too soon, but it's a testament to his unique talents that we still are captivated by his whimsical creations."

Uniquely Designed Autographed Stamps

This pane includes a 1986 Norman Seeff photograph of Henson accompanied by his visionary quote: "When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little bit better for my having been here."

Ten additional stamps depict 13 famous Muppet characters: Kermit the Frog; Sam the Eagle; Statler and Waldorf; Animal; Rowlf the Dog; Fozzie Bear; Miss Piggy; Swedish Chef; Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and his assistant, Beaker; and the Great Gonzo and Camilla the Chicken.

When applied to a white envelope, each of the individually photographed Muppet stamps appear to burst through. This effect was created by photographing the characters and torn white paper separately to enhance highlights and shadows. The two images were merged and digitally enhanced to produce a fun and lighthearted stamp sheet.

The back of each stamp sheet features humorous autographed notes from each of the Muppet characters. The reverse of Miss Piggy's stamp reads, "Moi is thrilled...for all those lucky people who will get your letter with Moi's gorgeous face on the envelope. Don't even think of canceling moi, sweetie! Kissy, Kissy (signed Miss Piggy)."

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