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Jim Henson's Red Book

Discussion in 'Henson People' started by zns, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. dwmckim Well-Known Member

    Guilty Confession Time

    Okay, i'm one of the biggest Henson Geeks in the universe - you know the type that was practically born to be a Henson historian. The kind of trivia in this type of project is stuff i live for. And i've long wanted to have Jim's journals published in some manner for ages.

    ...but i'm actually getting very bored with this very quickly...

    I think it's because all the entries are just too random, especially considering their pithiness.

    Maybe if this was more of a teaser to some kind of publication of them in their entirety, i'd be more excited, but seeing random entries in this context just doesn't "do anything" for me. The last few times i checked the page, it seemed more of a habit or chore that i "had to do" rather than going there with any kind of excitement.

    Personally, i'd MUCH rather see these in some kind of more logical order...that way we can see them in a better historical context and really feel more connected to the progression of his life. Allow these to "tell a story" instead of small flashes coming from anywhere. That really is the best way to present these. The most obvious choice would be to start at the very beginning and go through chronologically. We can follow his career through the humble beginnings and trace his successes and setbacks - see the times that were a tad slower and those when he was juggling so many irons in the fire. Or if it was thought by someone that not enough people may not be as interested in the earlier years and would be too impatient to get to when he was a household name (though i don't see this as being a view held by many), you could start with a later year and go through that year's entries chronologically, then when done go to a different year etc. Then the reader gets a sense of history/story/progression even if the years presented were more random - and then they can be better pieced together at the end.

    So whether it happens via the blog or some other method, these really need to be presented in a different manner to have the most value to its target audience.
  2. zns Active Member

    The latest entry says that Jim gets new glasses. Did he actually wear them? I wonder if there are any photos of him wearing them.
  3. dwmckim Well-Known Member

    Okay, Jim's Red Book has been fun but now what i'm REALLY hungry to see is...

    Red's Jim Book

    ...you know the one where Red Fraggle writes down her observations of this weird bearded silly creature that occasionally shows up under things.
  4. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    The website had an interesting entry on The Witches: http://www.henson.com/jimsredbook/2010/11/19/11191988/

    I never knew that Jim Henson himself had pitched the movie. I would have thoguth somebody else pitched the idea to adapt The Witches into a feature, and that Jim Henson's Creature Shop was asked to make the creatures, and then either Jim asked to be executive producer or was offered the job.

    It's interesting that the film seems to have been completed in 1988, but wasn't released until after Jim Henson died, two years after compeltion.

    I wonder if the alternate ending still exists. I was sort of expecting to see a YouTube clip but didn't (it seems like the redbook often adds youtube clips during entries with historical context, and especially common for the clips to have just been added by Henson when the entries are added).
  5. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Today the site has detailed information on the 1971 appearance on The Dick Cavett Show, including scans of a script rundown which notes stuff that was planned but cut for time.

    I don't think any of us fans have video footage from this, but I know somebody recorded the audio from it when it aired, and the audio was posted on The MuppetCast a couple of years ago. I assume the recording was the entire episode, yet the script run-trhough lists a few things that I don't remember (and the rundown doesn't appear to note them being cut). It notes a few Henson SST films being included, for 3, 8, and 11... I don't remember hearing Henson #8 or Eleven Cheer in that podcast episode. Am I misremembering or were they cut but not noted?
  6. zns Active Member

    Does anyone know how to email Henson to see if there is a way to get video footage? This is definitely a Muppet appearance that should be shared with everyone, along with the Mike Douglas appearances from 1966.
  7. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

  8. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Yesterday info on the Muppet String Quartet sketch was posted.

    http://www.henson.com/jimsredbook/2011/01/17/1171971-ed-sullivan-show-–-string-quartet/

    It includes a number of things I didn't know. For example, I didn't know if was based on an earlier Muppet sketch. And I didn't know that the two violinists actually had names (Twill, the leader, and Harrison, the blue guy performed by Richard Hunt).

    The script for the early one features a character I've never heard of, Theodore. It also mentions a Mildred, but probably not Mildred Huxtedder. It's interesting how in the script for the Ed Sullivan Show appearance, at the beginning when describing the set-up it doesn't refer to any names, but then the names appear in dialogue.

    Considering that the script referred to Mahna Mahna as "Harry", I wonder if they originally had that character in mind, or if they intended on building an original character or reusing anybody.

    EDIT: I can't help but notice that neither script includes a writers credit. I would have thought most professional scripts list who the writer is.
  9. dwmckim Well-Known Member

    If i'm not mistaken, Theodore was an alternate name for Chicken Liver.

    Yeah, writers' names usually appear on scripts for longer things like films or television show episodes, but for something like the S&F sketch and Ed Sullivan appearance, given that it's a less-than-five-minute routine and a very small team of people working on it, there's no need to put the writer's name on it...everyone there knows who wrote it! Plus the main need for the script would be so the Muppeteers can refer to the lines as they perform it so why take up unneeded space on the paper with an author credit?
  10. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Some good info on the parachute sequence from The Great Muppet Caper. http://www.henson.com/jimsredbook/2011/01/21/1211981/

    Though I do see some sad things about it. Looking at the list of Muppets as options to use as costumes or oversized dummies, Lips is not listed (but neither are Lew Zeland or Sam the Eagle). But interestingly enough it lists Oscar as being one of the characters to have been thrown out of the airplane (a dummy for the trash can was to have been thrown). I can't tell but I think Kermit might have been considered to have been thrown seperately from Miss Piggy.

    Looking at the storyboard, it's hard to tell which characters are in the background of those drawings.
  11. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    There have been a few entries about certain scenes from The Great Muppet Caper (pool sequence, parachute sequence... I'm thinking there was another but can't remember), but I haven't seen any entries about any scenes from The Muppet Movie or The Muppets Take Manhattan. I would expect Henson to have noted down dates for scenes from those movies. Considering these entries reflect corresponding dates (meaning that, for example, a post on january 10 would represent something he hoted on january 10 in the past), I wonder when filming of those movies began.

    Somehow I have a feeling he didn't note down dates for when he worked on any speciffic Sesame Street or Muppet Show segments. He'd be more likely to have noted wokring on certain episodes. For Sesame Street several inserts were filmed in one day, and I'm not sure if Henson sensed any specific moments becoming classics in the future. There was an entry on when the "Body Parts vs. Heavy Equipment" film was shot, and I figure Henson's Sesame Street films are probably his only speciffic Sesame Street works noted in his red book. It would be interesting to see if he notes dates for when any speciffic characters were built or finished.

    It's always great whenever historical information is posted. Whenever additional historical information is included on the website it usually includes some piece of information that I did not previously know (that I care about). A few days ago there was an entry on an industrial film Henson did for a chicago-based company called APECO. Muppet Wiki didn't have a page for it (Apeco was previously a redirect to a chronological list of commercials and industrial films... But it has its own page now). I'd be surprised if the film was still in existience, but it's odd that that entry did not have any production photos (the only photos were related to other things mentioned in the article).
  12. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Here's an entry on the Ed Sullivan Show appearance by the Muppets performing Octopuses Garden, with some additional info on the Come Together performance: http://www.henson.com/jimsredbook/2011/02/23/2231970/

    It even has images of the characters from Come Together. And those band members appear to be dressed like Mahna Mahna.
  13. ploobis Well-Known Member

    WOW! I've read about the "Come Together" appearance. The photo of the Muppet band looks awesome! To bad that piece wasn't in the Muppet Ed Sullivan DVD.
  14. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Makes me curious as to who performed in it. There'd be four performers for the band, and I assume at least three for the Muppet who comes apart. Obviously Jim and Frank performed, and since it was after 1970 Jerry Nelson must have. I doubt Jerry Juhl performed in it, but I wonder if Richard Hunt or Caroll Spinney did.
  15. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    This one doesn't have historic info, but it is intriguing: http://www.henson.com/jimsredbook/2011/02/24/2-1970/

    It says "Shoot Kermit for US airing of Hey Cinderella". I guess that means they shot extra Kermit footage for the US airing. I wonder if the popularity of Sesame Street had anything to do with that (though Street Gang posted a letter Henson wrote to a critic explaining that the special was not produced to cash in on the success of Sesame Street). It's dated 1970 so considering it already aired in canada a year earlier I wonder why this was done.
  16. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Here's an entry which mentions that Henson planned on a theme park in 1988, a year before he considered selling the company to Disney: http://www.henson.com/jimsredbook/2011/02/25/2251988/

    If Henson did go through on a theme park, I wonder if they would have been allowed to include anything related to Sesame Street, considering the fact that there was a Sesame Street theme park.

    Also, this entry mentions Henson wanted there to be multiple theme parks around the country (much like Six Flags), and one feature was to include the Waldo system to allow people to arm wrestle from different parks. I guess this was another form of Henson being psychic, considering all the online game play and the ability to play xbox games with people in other homes.
  17. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Today's entry was about The Frog Prince, including images of promotional material and a review: http://www.henson.com/jimsredbook/2011/03/16/3-1971/

    It's interesting seeing some promotional material for the sponsor, including some images and being "written" by Kermit the Frog. Each frame is obviously illustrated as opposed to being actual photos, but it seems they were traced. I think that's the first time I've seen an illustration (besides drawings I made myself) of double-collar Kermit (thoguh you can barely see the collar underneath the front one). Judging by the review it seems the critic thought Sweetums stole the show. In my opinion none of the characters stole the show any more than any other characters (well, okay, so Featherstone and the towns people were less show-stealers than other characters).
  18. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

  19. zns Active Member

    I never even knew if they shot something with that pilot or not. It's definitely well done. This is the kind of stuff that makes us appreciate the legacy Jim Henson has left for us. Let's hope they keep it coming.
  20. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

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