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Paul Henson (father of Jim Henson)

Discussion in 'Henson People' started by bobhopesite, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. bobhopesite Active Member

    I never knew that Jim Henson's father Paul Henson outlived him.

    According to Wikipedia:

    On May 12, 1990, Henson traveled to Ahoskie, North Carolina, with his daughter Cheryl to visit his father and stepmother. The next day, feeling tired and sick, he consulted a physician in North Carolina, who could find no evidence of pneumonia by physical examination and prescribed no treatment except aspirin.[27] Henson returned to New York on an earlier flight and canceled a Muppet recording session scheduled for May 14.
  2. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I think it was mentioned in Street Gang.
  3. cahuenga Active Member

    Jim Henson´s Stepmother Barbara Brown has died on 3 April 2012. But I have no idea on Jims father obituary..
  4. mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure if I can mention or discuss this on the forum but since this was mentioned in either a book or newspaper article, I think I will.

    Did anyone ever hear the story during the 1950s when Jim was doing Sam and Friends that his father told him that showbiz was a poor way to make a living and he wanted Jim to become a herb scientist like him and the article said something about how that made Jim want to follow his dreams more so.

    So I'm not sure if there was any kind of close father son relationship between them. A lot of the family related stuff I think Jim mentioned once that he preferred to keep personal and has been rarely mentioned. I find it however very fascinating as a historian to study these kinds of things. But I also noticed on the forum people can go so far when discussing these sort of subjects. Rats.

    I know in the blacklisted Muppet Man script (I think it's banned from the internet now) There was all this stuff with Jim's father and even Jane that I won't mention in detail. Great script, I loved it, I backed it up on a few CDs. But there's the whole thing of inaccuracy and stuff and how The Jim Henson Company bought it to basicly barry it. I think Lisa Henson mentioned in an interview how she didn't like the script because it was historically inaccurate and just mostly hollywood storytelling. (By the way, Muppet Man isn't on Muppet Wiki is it? I tried to find it and there's just a brief discussion on it and not any kind of investigation on what things are accurate and what's not, but that's just my opinion as a historian / fan)

    But yeah, Jim's family other than Jane and his kids we've heard them speak in interviews and stuff but Jim's mother and father and any other member never. And even Paul Jim's brother who was killed in a car accident when Sam & Friends started, that and Jim and Paul being very close brothers, that's basicly it.

    Again, Muppet Man sort of mentioned some stuff with Paul trying to study and Young Jim acting silly driving his brother nuts, but we don't know if this script had much historical fact source.

    Anyway I just wanted to kind of put that out there since I consider myself a Jim Henson historian. Though it's really hard to find new sources other than Jim's Red Book and trying to find old interview footage.
  5. Hubert Well-Known Member

    Interesting thing you say about the Paul Henson not wanting Jim to go into show business. The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Think about it: The whole time one of Jim's main themes was to follow your dreams no matter what gets in your way. But from the stuff we'd originally heard about Jim's early years, he'd kinda just gotten in there and didn't have serious opposition from family or friends. But with this, that makes sense as to what could have given Jim the basis to be able to tell us about this message through his work.
  6. mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    Totally agree. I think most artist's parents are like that sometimes. I know my Dad is a lot like that. And my mother doesn't think explosions are funny. lol

    Speaking of Jim's family. If you ever hear stories about them, there's a bunch of great funny stories out there.

    Like I think at the resent Disney convention thing where they honored a tribute to Jim and Brian excepted the award with either Lisa or Cheryl. Brain tells this story about how the Henson kids were kind of rough teenagers that had a bit of attitude and Jim would make them breakfast and he would constantly make goofy sound effects each time he pored the batter onto the pan or even when taking a pen out of his shirt pocket. lol And they are all yelling at him to stop and Jim's having a great time pestering them. lol Now that I can totally say brings out the Ernie in Jim. lol

    Then there was a piece of home movie footage on the People Profiles documentary of the family at their New Mexico ranch riding not horses BUT COWS running around tagging each other. lol

    And anyone ever hear the stories how Jim would work late nights and sometimes when he came home during the day he would just walk past the 5 kids, and they had a ton of pets (cats, dogs, hamsters, birds, etc) without saying anything, just quickly pass everything then going to his lawn where their was one lawn chair where he would sit at for a little bit which would be his moment of piece. I don't remember if I read that in the People Magazine or the Life magazine from 1990.

    Speaking of the People Magazine, amazing detail on Jim's final hours. All this stuff they didn't even cover on the documentary. I totally need a copy for my library. I know that it's free to read on their site. Heck, I need a new Life magazine because mine is sort of falling apart. If anyone has a spare copies of these, PM me.
  7. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I never saw the script when it was supposedly online, but I read that at a public event that Frank Oz spoke at he'd mentioned that he read that script and said that he would NOT have any part in it if it were made. This info came sometime after he'd mentioned that he didn't think the script for The Muppets represented the characters well. Considering he had problems with The Muppets script and even the finished film, and based on the fan reactions I read about the Muppet Man script, I am not surprised.
  8. mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    Really? Frank didn't like it, wow. Must have been totally inaccurate then. Though I did like how they wrote for Jim in terms of his vocabulary and stuff but then again, certain things were a bit exaggerated. It's a weird script and I think this screenplay writer really wanted this thing made, it goes so far as Kermit talking to Jim Henson in his New York Apartment. And something with Kermit marrying Miss Piggy to get her before she marries Link Hogphrob. lol Like Miss Piggy would marry Wart Brain. lol
    If anyone wants to read this script, PM me and I can send you the PDF of it.

    Personally as a screenplay writer myself, I think I can do a better job. I would love to write a Jim Henson documentry but I personally would want it to be 100% accurate and sources to back it up instead of error like in the script. Like how in the script they said Jim had 6 sisters. And it's Muppet movie songs every time there's an even in Jim's life. Like half musical / half inaccurate drama.

    If this guy seriously wanted this thing made, he should have pitched the idea before writing it and get a strong study team and of course the Henson Family and Henson Archives involved.

    But thank God for Jim's Red Book :) I can't wait to own the release this October. I'll probably pre-order it and carry around with me all the time like I do with It's not easy being green and other things to consider.


    Anyway It's kind of off subject but speaking of Frank Oz, I've heard that he didn't like the new Muppet Movie script. But then again I heard that was a draft. But did he really not like the finished movie?
    I heard he was going to direct and even write the next Muppet movie but it looks like Disney has got him beat since Muppets 2 is coming up next summer (Just my opinion, couldn't they come up with a better title like in the classic movies? And seriously, a sequal? Muppets don't do sequals. Ow well, I really enjoyed the new movie, no complaints surprisingly because I'm super critical about the new stuff now a days but this new movie I thought was beautiful. I can't get "Life's A Happy Song" out of my head, I'm still singing it when I'm waking up or walking outside. lol It's like "Together Again" lol)
  9. BobThePizzaBoy Well-Known Member

    From what I've heard, he has seen it but doesn't want to state his thoughts in public. It seems implied he wasn't impressed by it, but then again maybe he was. I really don't know.
  10. mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    I thought he refereed not wanting to state his thoughts about the script or when he does see the movie, because I think that interview was before the premiere of the movie.
  11. BobThePizzaBoy Well-Known Member

    He did an interview more recently saying that he has seen the film, is happy it's having the success it has but he apparently had some problems with it for him personally, but it seems he's keeping his mouth shut because he doesn't want to reopen that can of worms.
  12. Hubert Well-Known Member

    From what I heard he just had a few minor issues with it, but then when the media got ahold of that, they said "Aah! One of the big Muppet people hate this! Help!" and then bam! it got out of proportion.
  13. mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    That's Hollywood media for yah, oy! lol
    Though I feel kind of bad that Frank doesn't want to say his true opinion about the current Muppets because not only did a lot of the Muppet Show characters come from him and he performed them and have them life but wasn't he also co-creative consultant of The Muppet Show? My personal opinion is that Frank Oz and Brain Henson seem to have the strongest feelings of what The Muppets were about from interviews that I've read. Frank knows the characters super well in fact when he describes Miss Piggy he says that her character is all about pain that she's covering up all the time which I totally find fascinating. And Brain pretty much knowing how his father did things like how the Muppeteers would goof around on the set and have the characters say and do things that they wouldn't do on camera which became the Stuffed and Unstrung shows. And of course I don't want to leave out the current surviving original Muppeteers Steve Whitmire and Dave Goles, plus the others know how strong and how important it is to have characters stay in character and be with one performer at a time and stuff like that. Sorry, I'm rambling on about this but yeah Frank's opinions of the characters and how the Muppet humor was written, amazing theories. Like one of this quotes that I loved was "The Muppets were never goody goody, never mamby mamby, they were irrevereny anarchic and disfunctional and not matter how crazy and out of control things get, they still actually do care about each other." And I totally agree with that quote 100%.

    Personally I loved The new Muppet movie. It's a heck of a lot better than Muppets From Space (Which I've heard Frank also didn't like) and of course that movie had a bit of error, director changes from the scripts and surprisingly toilet humor. Sure fart shoes was a joke in the new movie and didn't look right in the trailer but it fit appropirately in the movie with Fozzie's anything for a laugh and despirate for a laugh personality. lol Though personally as a fan, I think things could be better like it was durring the mid 1990s with Christmas Carol, Treasure Island and of course Muppets Tonight (GOD I LOVED THAT SHOW lol)

    Anyway, sorry for getting off subject there. But yeah like I mentioned earlier, there's rarely been any kind of documentry knowledge of Jim's parents except for Jim's father was a herb scientist who had to travel so that's why the family moved from Missisipi, Washington to Marlyn or I'm not sure if Jim had a dorm room at The Universaty of Maryl because Sam & Friends was shown in Washington DC still right?

    By the way, Sam & Friends was only shown in Washington D.C. and same with Wilkins Coffee commercials right? They weren't nation wide just yet. Right?

    Anyway Jim's mother was a devoted Christian Scientist. Though Jim didn't seem to be really devoted into it in his later years. I think he was more into spirituality and meditation in general. I remember CNN mentioned a possible link to CS and his final hours but I've also read it wasn't related.
    Though Jim was mentioned quite a lot in The Christian Science Mirror. And I've even went into a Christian Science church just to understand the religion a little bit. It's basicly non-demoninational Christianity that experiments with spiritual healing of Mary Baker Eddy.

    Sorry, I'm rambling on again. I tend to get so knowledge able with Jim Henson history that I just talk and do towards different directions. That's just me as a huge Muppet / Jim Henson fan. lol

    Anyway, back to Jim's family. There was his grandmother "Dear" who was a painter and was she the inspiration for Jim to get into Art?

    I know before The Muppets, Jim was into painting, design and even running his own poster company during high school. And of course his college major was Business and wanted to figure out how to bring art and business knowledge together.
    Then of course the inspiration with the Television medium and the history that followed. But from what I heard, Jim was thinking of ending The Muppets durring Sam & Friends because he didn't think that it would be possible to market tv puppets for adults so he took a trip to Europe and watched these risky adult puppet shows and just cracked up which made him take The Muppets more seriously and brought them to the success they became today. Anyone ever hear this story?
  14. CalciferBoheme New Member

    That's most likely it. You have to think that he would have problems that the general public would never even notice just because of how close he is to everything. I'm sure it was nothing too major though. man, I love that movie. I need to pick up the blu ray next time I have money.
  15. mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    You guys talking about Frank Oz' response to The Muppets?
    From what I've heard he didn't like the script because he felt it was disrespectful about the characters and didn't want to get too into it. But did he have a reaction when he seen it?

    Frank was suppose to write the next Muppet movie too but I guess Muppets 2 is taking over that. I think Muppets 2 is coming out next summer from what I heard. But I'd love to see Frank's script get turned into a movie. Even The Cheapest Muppet Movie Ever the abandon script from Jim, Frank and Jerry (Juhl) from the 80s.

    But speaking of Jim's family, it's really sad that Paul died before The Muppets became successful. I'm not sure if Paul got a chance to see Sam & Friends before the tragity of the car accident. If Paul was still alive, I wonder what he would say about being Jim's brother. Because there's no document of his comments at all, unless you want to count the blacklisted controversial "The Muppet Man" script which I don't even know if anyone could even mention it on the forum. I know it's not on Muppet Wiki, and it's still unknown if any real resources like interviews were used to inspire it or if it was just drama for the sake of entertainment. :(, All I know was it was written by a Muppet Fan, sold to The Jim Henson Company, Lisa and people from the company didn't like it (mentioned in a newspaper article) and that was that. But if there was any real interviews that inspired it, I'd like to read those interviews for proof as an historian which I like to consider myself. :)

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