Jim met renowned puppeteer Burr Tillstrom at the 1960 Puppeteers of America festival in Detroit. Given that Tillstrom was the most successful puppeteer working on television at the time (with his show, Kukla, Fran and Ollie), it was quite a thrill for Jim. They become good friends and performed together, along with Shari Lewis (Lambchop) and Bil Baird (Davey Jones’ Locker, Lonely Goatherd, etc.), at the Kennedy Center in Washington in 1980. In 1983, Jim helped organize a tribute to Tillstrom at the Museum of Broadcasting and when Tillstrom passed away in 1985, Jim participated in his memorial service.
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.