Saturday 21 April 2018

Kermit back home as museum exhibit

Jane Henson with some of Jim Henson's early puppets, including the original Kermit (AP)
Jane Henson with some of Jim Henson's early puppets, including the original Kermit (AP)

The original Kermit the Frog, his body created with an old dull-green coat and his eyes made of pingpong balls, has returned home to Washington DC, where the puppet got his start.

The first Kermit creation from Jim Henson's Muppets collection appeared in 1955 on the early TV show Sam and Friends, produced at Washington's WRC-TV.

Henson's widow Jane Henson donated 10 characters from the show to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

She said the original characters provided five minutes of fun each night after the local news.

"I think people realised that if you put Kermit's face up there, it was just as powerful," Mrs Henson, 76, said. "We were mostly just doing it to entertain ourselves."

The Smithsonian already has a familiar Kermit the Frog puppet made famous on Sesame Street and The Muppet Show.

But the original Kermit was more lizard-like, and a duller green. His body was made from an old coat thrown out by Henson's mother.

Some of the other early Muppets donated to the museum include the puppets that inspired Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch, as well as Sam from Sam and Friends.

Press Association

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