Jim Henson Teaches You How to Make Puppets in Vintage Primer From 1969

Give Jim Hen­son 15 min­utes of your time, and the father of the Mup­pets will teach you how to make your own pup­pets, using noth­ing oth­er than house­hold items – socks, pota­toes, tacks, ten­nis balls, rub­ber bands, wood­en spoons, and the rest. This primer orig­i­nal­ly aired on Iowa Pub­lic Tele­vi­sion back in 1969, not long before Hen­son joined a fledg­ling TV pro­duc­tion, Sesame Street, where he helped cre­ate the most famous pup­pets of our gen­er­a­tion: Oscar, Ernie, Ker­mit, Bert, Cook­ie Mon­ster, Big Bird and the rest. Though record­ed 40+ years ago, the advice is sim­ple and time­less. When you’re done watch­ing this old favorite of ours, you can go deep­er into Jim Hen­son’s imag­i­nary world with these var­ied clips.

Jim Henson’s Orig­i­nal, Spunky Pitch for The Mup­pet Show (1975)

Watch Jim Henson’s Vio­lent Wilkins Cof­fee Com­mer­cials (1957–1961)

Jim Henson’s Zany 1963 Robot Film Uncov­ered by AT&T: Watch Online

Jim Henson’s Ani­mat­ed Film, Lim­bo, the Orga­nized Mind, Pre­sent­ed by John­ny Car­son (1974)

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  • Gary Lister says:

    Dig­ging through the Open­Cul­ture archives and found this gem. While watch­ing Jim Hen­son give a demon­stra­tion in pup­pet build­ing is such a great thing as it is, watch­ing Rufus, the dog mup­pet that pops up about 10:30 is the best — the act­ing sub­tleties of the mup­peteer mak­ing Rufus look so inter­est­ed watch­ing Hen­son make the envel­op pup­pet or Rufus dis­cov­er­ing he’s got a thumb too. I won­der if Hen­son & co. ever did lessons in pup­pet ‘act­ing’?

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