Henson Associates (HA)
The Muppet Show is a comedy-variety television series produced by puppeteer Jim Henson and featuring The Muppets. After two pilot episodes produced in 1974 and 1975 failed to get the attention of America’s network heads, Lew Grade approached Henson to produce the programme for his ATV Associated Television franchise in the UK. The show premiered on 5 September 1976, and five series were produced until 15 March 1981 at ATV’s Elstree Studio just north of London, lasting 120 episodes. The series shows a vaudeville or music hall-style song-and-dance variety show, as well as glimpses behind the scenes of such a show. Kermit the Frog stars as a showrunner who tries to keep control of the antics of the other Muppet characters, as well as keep the guest stars happy. The show was known for outrageous physical slapstick, sometimes absurdist comedy, and humorous parodies. Each episode also featured a human guest star. As the show’s popularity rose, many celebrities were eager to perform with the Muppets on television and in film.
Many of the puppeteers also worked on Sesame Street. Muppet performers over the course of the show include Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, Dave Goelz, Fran Brill, Eren Ozker, Steve Whitmire, Louise Gold, Kathryn Mullen, Karen Prell, Brian Muehl, Bob Payne, and John Lovelady. Jerry Juhl and Jack Burns were two of the show writers.