21 years ago today was the death of Muppets creator Jim Henson. This is the final song of a medley of Henson's favorite songs, sung at the end of his funeral in New York on May 21, 1990. I dare you not to cry. Richard Hunt, the voice of Scooter, died less than two years later, and seeing his face among other early Muppeteers who are now gone or retired makes it even sadder and sweeter. I grew up with the Muppets during what was possibly the height of their popularity when I was a very small child in the early 1980s, and was a regular viewer of the early(ish) days of Sesame Street. I don't think it would be a stretch to say that Jim Henson is responsible for many children's happiest moments. His vision and imagination rival virtually anyone born in the past century. My mother told me I had a particular love for the Swedish Chef, and would laugh uncontrollably when he came on. (In fact, he's still one of my faves).
Anyway, this month has been pretty good so far, breaking me out of my recent stretch of crappy Mays, but last week I was getting fed up with some of the shitty news out there (the Botox mom, among two or three other stories), and needed something to give me hope in humanity. Somehow, I stumbled across this, and I was able to break out of thinking that mankind is irretrievably damaged and think on the people who have been touched worldwide by one of my heroes, and put my focus back on the possibilities in the world that every single person represents. There is also a new Muppets movie coming out the week of Thanksgiving, starring and written and produced by Muppet enthusiast Jason Segel, with Amy Adams co-starring, and cameos up the wazoo. So really, that's a double rainbow. At any rate, I hope this clip brightens your day, and that our children, and children everywhere get to enjoy simple, innocent days with goofy Muppets cavorting and scampering across the screen and bringing pure joy with them.