How Muppets Work

Jim Henson Company Productions

The cast of "Puppet Up! Uncensored" in Sydney, Australia
Patrick Riviere/Getty Images

More recent prime-time Muppet TV series include "The Jim Henson Hour" (1989), "Dog City" (1992-95) and "Muppets Tonight" (1996-97). The latter was an updated version of "The Muppet Show," hosted by a human-type Muppet named Clifford instead of Kermit and with a mix of classic Muppets and new characters. The same year that "Muppets Tonight" went off the air, the Disney Channel began airing "Bear in the Big Blue House," a children's TV series starring a full-body Muppet character named Bear. It lasted four seasons.

In 2001, the Jim Henson Company created a children's TV series aired in Great Britain called "The Hoobs." It ran for five seasons in Great Britain and began airing in the United States last year.


2006 marked a return to Henson puppetry for adults. Brian Henson debuted a live improv puppetry comedy show, "Jim Henson's Puppet Up! Uncensored," at the U.S. Comedy Festival. The show was also performed live in Hollywood, Scotland and Las Vegas. TBS aired the Las Vegas performance as a one-hour special in 2006 and began showing Web episodes in 2007 on "Puppet Up!" continues to perform in various locations, including Sydney, Australia, and at the 2007 San Diego ComicCon.

Classic Muppet characters like Kermit and Miss Piggy continue to make appearances on TV shows like "America's Got Talent" and "The Today Show" and in commercials. The Henson Company is developing a show for the Logo Network called "Tinseltown," which centers around the lives of a homosexual puppet couple. A "Fraggle Rock" movie is tentatively scheduled for release in late 2008 or early 2009.

For lots more information on the Muppets and related topics, check out the links below.

Muppets FAQ

Are the Muppets real?
No. According to some sources, including Jim Henson's wife, Jane, "Muppet" is a combination of the words "marionette" and "puppet."
How big are muppets?
Muppets come in all sizes, from just a few inches long to more than eight feet tall.
Who voices Kermit the Frog?
Kermit the Frog was originally performed by Jim Henson, until his death in 1990, and then by Steve Whitmire and now Matt Vogel.
What are the names of the old Muppet guys?
Statler and Waldorf.
Who does Kermit the Frog's voice now?
Matt Vogel.
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More Great Links
  • Bumgartner, Alice. Sesame Family Newsletter, February 22, 2006
  • Carroll, Larry. “Ahmet Zappa says 'Fraggle' flick will rock.” MTV News.
  • Durrett, Deanne. “The Importance of Jim Henson.” Lucent Books, 1994.
  • Goodman, Brenda. “Retired Muppets will move to Atlanta.” New York Times, July 25, 2007.
  • Gordemer, Berry. “Happy 50th Birthday, Kermit!” Morning Edition, NPR, May 9, 2005.
  • Finch, Christopher. “Jim Henson: The Works.” Random House, 1993.
  • ­Finch, Christopher. “Of Muppets and Men.” Alfred A. Knopf, 1981.
  • Halfway Down the Stairs
  • Hanford, Robert Ten Eyck. “Puppets & Puppeteering.” Sterling Publishing, 1981.
  • Harris, Judy. “Jim Henson Interview.” Cinefastique, September 21, 1982.
  • Muppets.com
  • Muppet Central
  • Puppet Planet
  • Sesame Workshop