Jim Henson and the Birth of the Muppets

Some of you may know this, but for those that don’t, it’s probably surprising. Kermit and Miss Piggy’s creator, Jim Henson, was raised here in the D.C. area.

Henson’s father was an employee at the Department of Agriculture and moved from Mississippi to Hyattsville at the end of the 1940s. Jim attended Northwestern High School in the 50s (also the school attended by Len Bias) and went to the University of Maryland. Henson’s time in college was where his passion for puppetry really blossomed and he had his first taste of success, creating Sam and Friends for WRC-TV (now NBC4). The show ended up running for nearly six years.

Below are a few of clips of the show which ran from 1955 to 1961. You’ll recognize some of the early versions of our popular Muppet friends. This is a great way to spend your hump day.

 

More from Ghosts of DC

Gas range avertisement 1916

Need a Gas Range circa 1916?

If you live in the D.C. metropolitan area, and you pay bills, chances are, you’re paying Washington Gas (formerly known as Washington Gas Light Company).

D. Mullany's Saloon at 14th and E St. NW in 1913

Lost History: D. Mullany’s Saloon

We’re trying out a new category called “Lost History” today. We spent a good part of the weekend reading James Goode’s excellent (and depressing) book Capital