Jim’s appearances with Rowlf on The Jimmy Dean Show from 1963 to 1966 were formative experiences, not the least because they helped him establish his performing partnership with Frank Oz. Having met Jim back in 1961 at a Puppeteers of America festival in California, Oz joined Jim, Jane Henson, Jerry Juhl and Don Sahlin in New York in 1963 at age nineteen and became integral to the team. He began performing Rowlf’s right paw while Jim performed Rowlf’s head, left paw and voice. This extraordinary partnership led to the development of some of the most inventive comic duos on television: Ernie and Bert, Kermit and Miss Piggy, Kermit and Fozzie Bear, Dr. Teeth and Animal, and the head (Jim) and hands (Oz) of the Swedish Chef.
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.