The Google Doodle above was created to mark what would have been the 75th birthday of a man who I feel has done more than most to entertain and educate generations of children and adults…. Jim Henson.
My brothers and I were hooked on “The Muppet Show” when it first appeared this side of the pond. We loved the characters of the Swedish Chef, The Animal, Gonzo, Miss Piggy and most importantly of Kermit the Frog.
We loved the way that well known people from showbiz and politics allowed themselves to become part of a show where they had to interact with a bunch of puppets.
My all-time favourite sketch was when the cast had to put on a show but couldn’t use the songs from that particular show and therefore used songs from about every other show whilst dressed in the costumes of the original show… it was absolutely hilarious.
Henson was not just about the Muppets though. His contribution to the outstanding “Sesame Street” has changed the way that television was used in education.Whole generations have grown up with letters and numbers that they first picked up on the show. Henson again was the guiding light of the whole thing.
He died suddenly when only 53 years of age. Goodness knows what he would have done in the last 22 years with the onset of the internet and the digital revolution.
Jim Henson was one of those rare beings that have so much to give to the world and thank goodness he was able to use the great creativity within himself to make his mark in history. He would no doubt have been in the vanguard of defending the role of the arts in education and the significance of creativity.
Happy 75th birthday to a man who influenced so many people’s lives.