Jim Henson and his Muppets are staples of childhood. From “Sesame Street” to “The Labyrinth,” everyone has watched one of his many iconic programs at least once in their lives. It's hard to find someone who hasn’t heard of at least one of his many famous creations, including Kermit, Miss Piggy, Rowlf the Dog and a plethora of many more beloved characters.
Henson created his first puppets in high school and developed more characters throughout college before establishing the Jim Henson Company in 1958. His first Muppets, a combination of the words “marionette” and “puppet,” appeared as characters in advertisements for the Wilkins Coffee Company and starred in the local WRC-TV program “Sam and Friends” in the late 1950s.
After finding his footing in local television, Henson made the move to national syndication in 1969 with the premiere of the landmark children’s show “Sesame Street” as the head puppeteer and puppet character creator. The success of the program allowed him to stop producing commercials to supplement his income and he gained the ability to work on his Muppets full time.
In 1974, Henson branched off with “The Muppets Show,” a weekly variety/sketch comedy show that premiered on ABC. The show ran until 1981 and would later spin off into a popular and successful film franchise, producing such classics as “The Great Muppet Caper” and “The Muppet Christmas Carol.” In the 1980s Henson went on to direct the “The Dark Crystal” in 1982 and “The Labyrinth” starring the late rock legend, David Bowie, in 1986. While his darker fantasy films were box office bombs, they later found success on home video, becoming cult classics revered to this day.
Sadly, Henson passed away from pneumonia at the age of 53 in 1990, leaving behind a legacy that can still be felt to this day. In honor of what would have been Jim Henson's 84th birthday, we are celebrating his life and work with the amazing tattoos inspired by his magnificent imagination.