For one of the Muppets’ twenty-five appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, Jim chose “Java”, an abstract bit originally conceived by Frank Oz for television variety show appearances. It featured two dryer-hose creatures dancing to Al Hirt’s recording of the song by the same name. Jim and Frank first performed the piece on Al Hirt’s Fanfare in 1965, and after the Sullivan Show in 1968, Jim used it again on The Muppet Show and The Tonight Show. Typical of how things work with the Muppets, the piece ends with an explosion and the little guy gets the last laugh.
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.