After his first television performing job on Washington, DC’s WTOP in June 1954, seventeen-year-old Jim moved over to the NBC affiliate, WRC, in late July. Jim performed his characters on a number of shows there including Circle 4 Ranch and Footlight Theatre. The following March, a variety show began to air at 2:25-3:00 PM, appropriately called Afternoon. It was hosted by Mac MacGarry and a young Willard Scott, and featured Jack Maggio singing with the Mel Clement quartet. The entertainment was rounded out by a fashion and cooking segment with Inga, and a musical or comedy bit from the Muppets. Their popularity led to Jim’s first solo show later that spring: Sam and Friends. Jim continued to perform on Afternoon during its year-long run at various time slots and with various personalities.
In June 1965, 28-year-old Jim Henson started a written log of his activities in what became known as “The Red Book.” He noted down what had happened up until that point (deemed “Ancient History”) and then recorded anything that he felt was worth recording as single line journal entries until the end of 1988.
Selected curated entries courtesy of The Jim Henson Company Archives.