Remembering Jim Henson

It's hard to believe that twenty years have passed since Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets, passed away on May 16, 1990. A half-dozen authors at GeekDad got together to post remembrances and a tribute to the Muppetmaster. Matt Blum says:
I was seventeen when I heard Jim Henson had died. It seemed impossible: he was Kermit, and Kermit was always there. He was only a few years older than my parents, so what kind of world was it where someone that young and that brilliant could die? I was, truly, as sad as I would have been if a friend had died suddenly, and felt the loss as keenly. I was angry, too, when I heard that he had died of untreated pneumonia, angry that he hadn’t gone to the doctor. Angry that the Muppets would never be the same.

I’m not angry any more, but the sadness is still there. I feel it every time I see — or, more accurately, hear — any of the characters he used to play. I don’t envy Steve Whitmire his job: how hard must it have been to pick up Kermit the first time after Henson’s death, put his hand inside the sleeve, and try to sound as much like Henson as possible? I’m glad that the Muppets, and Henson’s former characters, are still around. But they will never quite be the same.

Oh yes, there are videos as well. Link

(Image credit: Alan Light)

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My fav Muppet movie is "Muppet Christmas Carol" and I remember that came out right around the same time Henson died.
I can't say that I've liked any of the "Henson brand" movies since he passed on. Its like something is just missing from them.
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Thanks for calling attention to this date. I had the pleasure of meeting Jim Henson as a kid and grew up on a steady diet of The Muppet Show and Fraggles.

I recently posted a retrospective on my site that fans might dig.
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Every time I watch "Muppet Family Christmas" I cry uncontrollably at the end when Jim Henson comes on and says something about letting them (the Muppets) have their fun. My husband just listening to me sniffling from the other ro and I get a quietly placed question of "Jim Henson?" to which I reply in sobs "Yes." It's so heart breaking. The world is a different place without Jim Henson. I grew up watching the 'Muppets and Sesame Street and I though I'm just another viewer I can't help but feel that a good friend is gone and that void can never be replaced.
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A year after he passed away, by a serious of odd coincidences, I found myself hanging around with some of the Henson workshop puppeteers. They had finished work for the day on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II. They weren't enjoying it. We were having a few beers and idly chatting about all sorts of things including what an incredible jackass Vanilla Ice was.

I then asked if Jim Henson was as good a guy as seemed. I'm sure I sounded like I was looking to dig up some dirt. The room went silent. The guy I was talking just shook his head. Across the room someone said "yeah," then put his beer down and left. The party ended.

These guys were all broken-hearted.

It's an incredible shame and a tragic loss that he was taken so early.
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