Home » People & Society » Kids & Teens » Children's Interests » Jim Henson originally wanted the Muppets to be for adults and didn’t see his characters as a vehicle for children’s education and family entertainment. Indeed, he first envisioned something closer to South Park rather than Sesame Street and in the 1950s they did dark comedy in commercials.

Jim Henson originally wanted the Muppets to be for adults and didn’t see his characters as a vehicle for children’s education and family entertainment. Indeed, he first envisioned something closer to South Park rather than Sesame Street and in the 1950s they did dark comedy in commercials.

It’s Not Easy Being Evergreen: An Oral History of the Muppets

Brow Beat

Can the Muppets find a future as bright as their past?

Jim Henson started making television programs starring his distinctive googly-eyed creations—part puppet, part marionette—in the 1950s. And they were hits. Early versions of Kermit the Frog, Fozzie Bear and Cookie Monster made the rounds as guest stars on variety shows.Although fuzzy and feather-covered, Henson very much considered his Muppets as entertainment for adults—borrowing heavily from the song and dance variety shows of early television and Borscht Belt humor.

But when Henson was enlisted to put the characters on Sesame Street, they became known as children’s fare. It was a turn that Henson had some ambivalence about, and for years he struggled to reintrod… Continue Reading (14 minute read)

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