Sunday, 18 March 2012

Remembering Jim Henson

Mrs G was showing the minions excerpts from Jim Henson's 1990 memorial service this evening.  Back then, for those of a certain bent, this was a very big deal.  There are a couple of reasons.

First there's Jim.  I grew up with the Muppet Show, and the Muppet movies.  Jim's absurd sense of humour completely appealed to me, and has stayed with me.  How he was able to touch so many lives with his energy and creativity is a blessing to us all.

In addition, there's his selection of songs.  The clip above features some of his favourite songs, performed by Dave Goelz, Frank Oz, Kevin Clash, Steve Whitmire, Richard Hunt and Jerry Nelson.  This is a long clip, and at the end, if the Muppets ever meant anything to you, you may need a box of tissues.  Near the start, though, there's "Lydia the Tattooed Lady".  I don't remember when I first heard that song, but I remember it best as performed by Kermit the Frog.  Such a strange song for a seven year old to memorise, but the wonder of it is that Jim made it accessible, amusing and harmless to me.

Lastly, this was one of the very first big "celebrity memorial services".  It was very unusual in that it was televised, so it was ground-breaking in that way.  It was also ground-breaking because it was conceived as an entertaining tribute to his fans and there was no casket in the building.  It was just brilliant.

Now, the minions are familiar with Fraggle Rock and a wide range of the Muppet movies (including the latest one with Jason Segel), but they were still mesmerised by this memorial service, and the fact that Jim's dream is still generating entertainment 22 years after his death.  Take a moment to indulge in this stuff every now and then.  It's a genuine tonic.


  1. I saw this a little while ago and it made me sad :(

  2. Yep, I also remember seeing that. Very poignant.


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