Something I've been wondering about episode 1839..."Goodbye, Mr. Hooper"

Convincing John

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We all know the episode. We've all seen the scene. We all tear up when we see it to this day. We all still miss Mr. Hooper.

I've been reading about what the different cast members had to say about the episode, which is, of course, the most famous episode in the series.

One thing I've thought about is (even though he wasn't there), has anyone ever heard Jim Henson's thoughts about that scene and the way they handled the topic of death on the show? True, Jim would have been working on The Muppets Take Manhattan at the time (with maybe some Fraggle Rock and a few Ernie or Kermit segments for Sesame).

Still, knowing how much of a visionary Jim was and the way he gave such articulate, insightful and appreciative comments about the work of his colleagues, I'm curious to what he would have had to say. He worked a lot on Sesame Street in the early years, so I'm sure he got to do at least some bits with Ernie (or Kermit) with Mr. Hooper.

I suppose the same could be said for Frank Oz, too. Instead of the same types of interview questions he always gets, one could ask him about Mr. Hooper and that famous scene, if they were so inclined.

I just wondered if anyone else thought about this. I can assume Jim would have said about the same as the cast or anyone else involved with Sesame Street but not on set at the time (like Joan Ganz Cooney, for example). "They were brave to tackle the subject, the scene was very memorable, etc.", but I just wonder how Jim would've put it in his own words.
 

fuzzygobo

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If not on Sesame, Jim did express his sentiments very well in the Fraggle episode with Wembley and Mudwell the Mudbunny.("Gone But Not Forgotten", I believe?)

Even if Jim didn't get to express the subject of death in his own words, every cast member, puppeteer, and crew member made it very clear how they felt about him after he died.

Jerry Juhl once hinted Jim knew he didn't have a lot of time on this earth (especially handling his brother's death at such a young age), so he packed so much into every day, it makes his legacy that much stronger. Nobody will forget him any time soon.
 

Convincing John

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True, there have been many poignant ways they have dealt with the subject of death in other Muppet productions, as well as Jim's thoughts in his letters to his kids.

But what I was wondering about originally was if Jim had anything to say about the "Goodbye Mr. Hooper" episode specifically and what it was like to work with Will Lee. (like if anyone had asked him in an interview the way they asked in the interviews with the Sesame cast). In 1983, certainly someone would have brought the episode to Jim's attention while he was working on The Muppets Take Manhattan. I thought about the famous "Gift of the Magi"-inspired scenes from Christmas Eve on Sesame Street and how Mr. Hooper saved the day. It's another one of Sesame's best scenes, and it had Lee, Henson and Oz all performing together.
 
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