|Index||7 reviews in total|
Jim Henson was right up there with Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. It's a real shame that this innovative show had to end so quickly, because I think that it could have gone on for a really long time. I only remember five or so episodes, but they were all great. This is one of those great shows whose segments could be culled for DVDs and such, as there were many Making-Of type segments. I wish I could watch it now that I could appreciate it.
It does my heart good to see that other people remember this series. I remember watching it on NBC and thinking it was the dawn of a new era of Muppet creativity on broadcast television. Then it was canceled. Then Jim Henson died, and a substantial part of my childhood went with him. Actually, I think the show was probably a summer replacement. But still, I was disappointed to see it go. "The Storyteller" segments came back, and are now available on DVD. I'd like to see the segments with Kermit again, and the new characters that didn't last.
I was only six or seven years old when this show was on, but I remember making sure I watched it. I still have some of the old episodes on videotape, and after rewatching them, I have realized that this would have been a classic TV show had it survived. The first half consisted of Muppet comedy sketches, and it usually had a guest star, like Ted Danson. Some sketches were one-shot deals (like a monster telethon), and some were series (like Bootsie, a spoof of the lives of Barbie and Ken-very funny sketch, I might add). The second half was usually devoted to the Storyteller, whose tales included Lighthouse Island and The Soldier and Death (You can still buy some of these stories on video). This was a very enjoyable show, and it's a shame that it didn't last very long.
The Jim Henson Hour was broadcast in 1989. It was a mix of The Muppet
Show and Jim Henson's Creature Shop. Jim Henson always introduced and
closed the show in a room with a white lion. The first half hour for
most shows was MuppeTelevision, which was similar to the Muppet Show
but also different. It had many characters from The Muppet Show, but
some were main characters (Kermit, Gonzo, and to a lesser extent Link
Hogthrob), some made a few appearances (Fozzie Bear, Rowlf), and some
only made special appearances (Miss Piggy, Bunsen, Beaker, The Swedish
Chef). This was partly due to the facts that Frank Oz (Fozzie bear,
Miss Piggy) and Richard Hunt (Scooter, Janice, Beaker) had limited
availability on the show.
However, the new characters on this show were great. They included Bean Bunny, who was only hired to be cute, Leon, a purple lizard-like character, Digit, an android technician who also played in a band called Solid Foam, Waldo C. Graphic, a computer-animated bird who later appeared in Muppet*Vision 3D, and Clifford, the bass player for Solid Foam who would later host Muppets Tonight. MuppeTelevision also took place in a room full of monitors and usually featured a guest star (Bobby McFerrin, K.D. Lang) and even a theme (Science Fiction, Garbage).
The second half hour for five of the shows was The Storyteller, starring John Hurt. There were also half-hour specials, including Miss Piggy's Hollywood, Songs of The Cloudforrest, and Lighthouse Island. Some shows had specials for the entire hour, including Dog City (although that did have a 20-minute pre-show with the Muppets), Monster Maker, and The Secrets of The Muppets. After the show was canceled, all of the second half-hours have been shown on their own, and the hour-long specials have been shown without The Jim Henson Hour openings.
In 2004, The Walt Disney Company bought the rights to The Muppets, and unfortunately this is the only production where ownership is split up between companies. Disney owns MuppeTelevision, Miss Piggy's Hollywood, most of The Secrets of The Muppets, and the pre-show to Dog City, while The Jim Henson Company owns the rest. I hope that Disney releases the MuppeTelevision portions on television or DVD soon, as I have't seen those since the shows original run. I also hope that more of the shows original characters (especially Digit) come back someday.
The Jim Henson hour is what you get when you cross traditional Muppet fare
with all the other creativity bottled up in Mr. Henson's imagination; This
show had it all! "Muppet Show" style entertainment with the likes of
the Frog & Miss Piggy, Science Fiction stories featuring some amazing
puppetry, and installments of Jim Henson's "Storyteller". You could even
learn "The Secrets of the Muppets" in one behind-the-scenes type special
It's sad that this show began so close before Jim's untimely death.
I was 9 when this show came out, and I have very fond memories of it.
The first half was "MuppeTelevision", and the second was "The Story
One skit I remember vividly was the Tokens doing "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" with a fabulous Muppet Lion. There was also this great ecology skit, staring Ted Danson. The special affects were fantastic for it's era, the gags were hysterical, and some great informative skits.
The Storyteller portion of the show is what I remember being excited over the most, however. There I learned about fairy tales that were quite different than I knew of. Fairtales such as the The Heartless Giant, or The True Bride. This portion is now available on DVD, but I wish the whole show series was available. I miss MuppeTelevision.
Maybe if we beg Disney and Jim Henson Productions hard enough, this wonderful show will be put on DVD in it's entirety.
The Jim Henson Hour was what happened when Jim Henson took the Muppet Show and the Dark Crystal and cross-bred them. It was split into two halves. The first half was the Muppet Show of the 80's. It featured both old (Jim Henson, Dave Goelz, Jerry Nelson, Steve Whitmire) and new (Dan Redican, Gordon Robertson, Fran Brill, Kevin Clash) puppeteers. Therefore, it also featured both old (Kermit, Gonzo, Link Hogthrob, Rowlf) and new (Digit, Lindburgh, Vicki, Leon) characters. The second half was sometimes serious (Lighthouse Island, The Storyteller) and sometimes funny (Miss Piggy's Hollywood, Dog City). Sometimes it was all one hour-long show. And it was great every time. I seriously suggest this to anyone who likes Henson.
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