Your Thoughts: "Jim Henson: The Biography" by Brian Jay Jones

D'Snowth

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Maybe it's just me, but reading through the Big Ideas and The Mucking Fuppets chapters, it seems as if the Hensons went on more vacations than the Obamas. Just reading about how busy and hectic Jim's work schedule became in the mid-70s, it's a wonder he was able to find the time to go on vacations with Jane and the kids.
 

D'Snowth

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Just finished The Mucking Fuppets character, and I have to say, I experienced something really odd: reading about David Lazer, him working for IBM, and being a native of NYC didn't register with me, because in watching HENSON'S PLACE, I rememberd Lazer speaking with a British accent; so saying, I broke out my HENSON'S PLACE DVD, popped it in, watched it again... and Lazer didn't have a British accent... I swear he did, and I'm not mixing him up with Lord Grade, I couldn't get those two mixed up. I think maybe what it was is Lazer seemed to have particularly articulate and proper way of speaking and pronouncing certain words and vowels that made it seem like he had a British accent.
 

D'Snowth

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Looks like I'm pretty much halfway through the book now, lol.

After reading Muppet Mania, there's just one little thing... maybe I overlooked it or something, but wasn't CBS (the actual network, not the CBS O&O stations) actually on board with TMS at one point before the deal with Lord Grade and the O&Os? Again, I recall from Caroll's interview with the Archive of American Television, him saying that Jim came into work (SST) one day, relating to him the news that CBS picked up TMS and was going to put it on the air in the fall, to Caroll's delight and excitement, but then the very next day, when Jim came in, before Caroll could even finish asking him how he was doing that day, Jim defeatedly said, "They canceled already." Caroll was like, "They canceled? After one day?"

Aside from that, it was a nice little read behind the work that went into establishing TMS (and Emmet Otter too) - I see more of the Frank being an intimidating figure stigma written in the chapter, but then again, Frank is a pretty complicated person... always has been, and probably always will be.
 

Oscarfan

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I really wish that when I die, I get a biography as in-depth as this one.
 

D'Snowth

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Said the guy who said my 5-year retrospective years ago was "too long." :stick_out_tongue:
 

D'Snowth

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I'm pretty sure I am, indeed, fer shure, halfway through the book now.

I just finished reading the chapter on TMM, and once again, I find myself in just a little bit of confusion. In the book, it says Jim approached Lord Grade, wanting to do not only a Muppet movie, but also a movie that would eventually become DC; however, in the HENSON'S PLACE documentary, Lord Grade tells a different story, saying that he heard a rumor that Jim was wanting to make a Muppet movie, and then gave him a deal for two Muppet movies (TMM, and presumably GMC).

Other than that, I think my favorite part of the chapter was the little "bad cop/good cop" anecdote of Richard Hunt bad-mouthing a TMS guest, it being spread in the tabloids, and David Lazer verbally punishing him for his gaffe to the point of tears, then sending him in to see Jim about the matter, and all Jim could do was hug him because that's how much he hated confrontations.

I think it's also interesting in reading about some of the bruised egos, and slight jealousy that stemmed from Frank receiving "special treatment", such as receiving special billing among other performers during the titles, receiving a Creative Consultant credit, his own dressing room, among other things... I've often wondered how other performers felt about those kinds of things, such as later on, the like of Kevin Clash and Bill Baretta becoming Muppet Captains, in spite of the fact that other performers have been with the Muppets longer than they have.
 

pileobunnies

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I am very curious who it was Hunt badmouthed but my internet search turned up no leads.
 

D'Snowth

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I also forgot to mention another thing about the chapter that hits close to home with me, in that Jim didn't like when people would compare him to, or say that he was the next Walt Disney, because I, from time to time, get similar things from people telling me I'm going to be the next Jim Henson, which I think is incredibly unfair: I'm nowhere near the person Jim was... just because he's my biggest hero, and my passion for puppetry and being a puppeteer is largely attributed to what he gave us with the Muppets (among other things), doesn't mean I'm trying to be like him, or try to do any of the things he did... I wouldn't even begin to try to any of that: what Jim did was change the art of puppetry as we know it, all I'm doing is doing my part to help keep the art of puppetry alive for generations to come; and I seriously doubt I'm ever going to be even moderately successful at it, so I can also do without some of the, "You're going to be rich and famous one of these days" comments as well. To compare me to Jim Henson, there is no comparison, and again, I just think it's unfair for people to do that. Besides, I'm not the only one out there who was influenced by Jim as a puppeteer, and I'm sure there are others out there who may also hear people tell them, "You're going to be the next Jim Henson", but the fact of the matter is, Jim Henson was one-of-a-kind - there will never be another Jim Henson.
 

minor muppetz

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I think it's also interesting in reading about some of the bruised egos, and slight jealousy that stemmed from Frank receiving "special treatment", such as receiving special billing among other performers during the titles, receiving a Creative Consultant credit, his own dressing room, among other things... I

I wonder why puppeteers would need dressing rooms. It's not like the home audience is going to see how they are dressed. Well, unless they were performing full-body characters. I would think maybe there'd be a special room for the performers to relax if needed, but a dressing room would be just as appropriate for a puppeteer as it woul a crew member.
 

minor muppetz

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After reading Muppet Mania, there's just one little thing... maybe I overlooked it or something, but wasn't CBS (the actual network, not the CBS O&O stations) actually on board with TMS at one point before the deal with Lord Grade and the O&Os? Again, I recall from Caroll's interview with the Archive of American Television, him saying that Jim came into work (SST) one day, relating to him the news that CBS picked up TMS and was going to put it on the air in the fall, to Caroll's delight and excitement, but then the very next day, when Jim came in, before Caroll could even finish asking him how he was doing that day, Jim defeatedly said, "They canceled already." Caroll was like, "They canceled? After one day?".

I thought it was said in that chapter that CBS was interested in airing it during the 7PM hour, but then the FCC made rules that each individual station air local or syndicated programming during that hour, and apparently CBS didn't want to air the show at a later hour.
 
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