Jim Henson, the man behind The Muppet Show and Sesame Street would have turned 75 today and Google's celebrating him with a Doodle. Henson was born on the 24th of September, 1936 in Mississippi in the United States. In 1954, while he was still in school, he worked for a local tv station making puppets for a morning show. After graduating in 1960 with a Bachelor of Science in home economics (which introduced him to the various materials he could use to build puppets) he created a five minute puppet show for television, Sam and Friends, which would have prototypes of some of the Muppets he would later make, including Kermit the Frog. He also evolved the way puppets were built, thinking that puppets in television needed more 'life and sensitivity'. He started using foam rubber to build puppets, which would allow a greater number of expression in comparison to the traditionally used wood. He also used rods to manipulate the limbs of his puppets which would allow for more movement control compared to the traditionally used string.
Want to play with some muppets?
In 1969, Henson was asked to create a show for children's television and that's when Sesame Street came about. Up until then, he was using his muppets for television commercials. In 1976, Henson started work on The Muppet Show. After being rejected by American television networks, the show was financed and produced in England. Henson was also a performer for a lot of his muppets including Kermit the Frog, the Swedish Chef, Waldorf, and Rowlf the dog. He died on the 16th of May, 1990 at the age of 53 from organ failure due to Streptococcus pyogenes.
The Doodle itself is fun to play with. It comprises of six muppets from both The Muppet Show and Sesame Street. If you click on the hands under the head of the muppets presented, you can move them around. If you click and hold the hand, the muppet's mouth will stay open. The red muppet forming the first 'o' of Google does something fun when you play around with him if you're lucky. If your cards are played right, his glasses will be tossed off his head and land right back on his face animatedly. There's also another surprise in the green muppet forming the 'l' in Google and the red muppet forming the 'e'. If you bend the green muppet too far right, the red muppet will eat him up and spit him out. For those of you who grew up on the Muppet Show, this Doodle will definitely be fun to play around with. And, as an added treat, check out the video below. It's the pitch video Jim Henson used to get networks to buy the Muppet Show.