2/14/1979 – ‘Fly to LA – think I have bought house on Church Row. Looking at final edit of film and plan Mups go to H’wood’

Having shot The Muppet Movie over the summer of 1978, Jim spent much of the next nine months on various promotional efforts for the film (along with continuing with The Muppet Show and furthering development on The Dark Crystal in London). On April 6th, Jim hosted a prescreening party at the Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Los Angeles to serve as backdrop for a celebrity-studded television special, The Muppets Go Hollywood. Populated by numerous Muppet Show guest stars, the special included interviews conducted by Dick Van Dyke and Rita Moreno, performances of songs from the film (including Johnny Mathis singing Miss Piggy’s ballad “Never Before, Never Again,”) and clips from the film. The guests were actual guests at a party (rather than playing roles), and Miss Piggy was appropriately feted in true movie star fashion, arriving on a chaise hefted by bronzed bodybuilders. Audiences got a vague sense of what to expect when they headed the theaters the following June, and Jim got a chance to entertain his friends and acquaintances in Hollywood splendor.

Invitation to The Muppets Go Hollywood party explaining to guests that they might be taped for a television special.

Invitation to The Muppets Go Hollywood party explaining to guests that they might be taped for a television special.

Dick Van Dyke with Miss Piggy and Kermit at the Cocoanut Grove, 1979.

Read more from Jim Henson’s Red Book in Imagination Illustrated: The Jim Henson Journal available from Chronicle Books.

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