WEIRD TALES: The 85 Weirdest, Day 48: Jim Henson

WEIRD TALES is honoring the 85 Weirdest and today is Jim Henson.

Think JIM HENSON (1936-1990) and you think Muppets — yet there’s so much more to the man’s genius. His experimental filmmaking ranged from Time Piece to The Cube. Though his interest in puppetry started as a way to get on television, he stayed with it because of the stories it allowed him to tell, and the weirdness from his film work shone maniacally through. Even with the Muppets. Like those dancing tubes with eyeballs in “Java.” (Wait for it.) And hey, what exactly is Gonzo, anyway? ((I wrote most of this description.))

I backed this video up a couple of times because the puppet turns around and I was trying to figure out where the heck the rods are. I’m pretty sure they must be below, but the the darn thing goes and steps on another character. Still… they’ve got to be below.

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13 Responses

  1. Julia

    I’m also thinking below, but way to the back of the puppet. So that most of the foot can step on the puppet and make you think all of it is, but it’s really not.

    Having watched all of the Special Features on my copy of Labyrinth, I’m so impressed with Henson puppeteers. Wonderful stuff.

      1. Julia

        I’ll admit that, as a child, I always looked for the strings, wires, and other support mechanisms on the Sesame Street cast, which is why I’m hypothesizing about the dancing inchworm. But that was just because I wanted to know how it all *worked*, not to ruin it. I used to just study them over and over, reruns and everything, just because. And yet I still did not know the half of what went on underneath the screen!

        Puppetry really is so amazing. It looks so deceptively simple, and anyone can play with finger puppets and hand puppets, but the really cool stuff is just so expertly technical. I intensely admire anyone who’s any good at it. 🙂

  2. RaeBryant

    I have a confession. My favorite muppets were the grouchy old men that made fun of everyone. Them and Animal. Well, then there was the Swedish Chef . . .

  3. Mike F

    One of my favorites was Beaker. Something bad happened to him in every episode but he always bounced back. And those eyes! Plus, he had a great part in The Twelve Days of Christmas song.

      1. Mike F

        No. That was great. Beaker can really hit the high notes. I guess that should be expected. Animal really got into it. He looked so sad.

  4. RaeBryant

    OMG! Laughter and tears. I had forgotten just how fun they are. All my faves in one act! That was such a great way to start the day–mucho thanks!