2/19/1977 – ‘In Baltimore – Advertising Club Personality of the Year award’

After the premiere of The Muppet Show in the fall of 1976, many groups wanted to honor Jim, particularly ones from his home state of Maryland. At The Advertising Club of Baltimore’s 69th Annual Banquet, they awarded Jim their “Television Personality of the Year”. The event also honored The Maryland Center For Public Broadcasting despite the fact that public broadcasting doesn’t actually air any advertising (the PBS underwriters were celebrated instead). As home to the local broadcast of Sesame Street, however, it seemed like a nice fit. Not to be outshone by their neighbor, the Washington Advertising Club named Jim “Luminary of the Year” the following month. Given that Jim’s very first efforts in advertising for his Sam and Friends sponsor Esskay Meats and for the Wilkins Coffee Company were in Washington and Baltimore, these honors seemed most appropriate.

The Maryland Center for Public Broadcasting’s program guide detailing the Advertising Club banquet, 1977.

Sam and Harry the Hipster promoting the products of Baltimore-based Esskay on Sam and Friends, 1960.

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

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