Brian Jay Jones

  • Aired:  10/10/13
  •  | Views: 21,590

Jim Henson biographer Brian Jay Jones outlines Jim Henson's lingering cultural imprint on America. (5:18)

>> Jon: MY GUEST TONIGHT,AUTHOR HIS NEW BOOK IS

CALLED JIM HENSON, THEBIOGRAPHY, WELCOME TO THE

PROGRAM BRIAN JAY JONES.

>> THANK YOU.

>> THANKS, GREAT TO BE HERE.

>> YOU KNOW, JIM HENSON, THEBIOGRAPHY, HERE WAS FOR ME I

THINK ALMOST THE MOSTSTUNNING PART.

IT'S BEEN OVER 20 YEARS.

>> YEAH.

>> SINCE JIM HENSON'S DEATH.

>> YEAH, AND FOR A LOT OFPEOPLE IT STILL SEEMS LIKE

YESTERDAY.

THAT MATH I THINK REALLYSTUNS PEOPLE SOMETIMES.

>> IT'S INCREDIBLE.

AND I STILL REMEMBER, YOUKNOW, THERE ARE ALWAYS

PEOPLE THAT WHEN THEY PASSAWAY YOU THINK OH, THAT WAS

A GOOD MAN, THAT'S A SHAME.

BUT BOY, HE LEFT A BIG HOLE.

>> MAN.

>> YEAH.

>> IN EVERYBODY'S HEART.

I MEAN IT WAS REALLY VERYSPECIAL GUY.

>> YEAH.

I MEAN THERE IS A REASONTHAT EVERYONE STILL KNOWS

AND LOVES THE MUPPETS ANDTHAT DISNEY IS REBOOTING

THEM AND TRYING TO GET THEMBACK IN OUR CONSCIOUSNESS.

IT'S A HUGE LEGACY, THAT HEDID AND ACTUALLY WHEN YOU

THINK ABOUT IT IN AVERY SHORT TIME.

>> AND WHAT'S FUNNY, YOUKNOW, WE HAVE SUCH MEMORIES

OF IT.

AND YET AS YOU GO THROUGHTHE BOOK YOU GO OH, RIGHT,

THE ORIGINAL SHOW WAS HOSTEDBY A PUPPET NAMED NIGEL.

>> RIGHT.

AND HE CALLED IT SEX ANDVIOLENCE.

>>I REMEMBERTHINKING THAT DOESN'T

SOUND RIGHT AT ALL.

THAT DIDN'T REALLY WORK.

>> THAT DIDN'T REALLY WORK.

>> IT TOOK HIM, THAT WAS AREAL STUDY IN STICK TO

ITIVENESS FOR HIM.

THERE AREN'T A LOT OF PEOPLEWHO WOULD PUT OUT A PILOT, HAVE

IT FAIL, AND ANOTHER AND ITDOESN'T TAKE HOLD AND

DOES IT AGAIN AND ITFINALLY CATCHES ON.

>> AND THE STRANGE THING ISHOW IT CATCHES ON.

YOU KNOW, "SATURDAY NIGHTLIVE" WHICH IS THIS

INCREDIBLE COUNTERCULTUREAND EXPLOSIVE, SATIRICAL NEW

WAY OF LOOKING AT THINGS, IMEAN REALLY CREATED A WHOLE

DIFFERENT GENRE OFTELEVISION AND THEN HERE IS

THIS GUY WITH HIS PUPPETS.

>> YEAH, HE'S ON THERE.

AND JOHN BELUSHI CALLED THEMTHE MUCKING FUPPETS

THEY HATED SHARING AIRTIME WITH THEM AND IT WAS

SORT OF A BAD DNA BETWEENTHE MUPPETS AND SNL

MENTALITY.

IT TURNED OUT OKAY.

THE MUPPET SHOW CAME ALONG THEFIRST SEASON AND THEY COULD

WAVE GOOD-BYE NICELY.

BUT THE TEAM DID SEND APOSTCARD BACK FROM LONDON

AND SAY WHATEVER HAPPENED TOTHE MUCKING FUPPETS, HERE WE

ARE, BIGGEST SHOW IN THEWORLD.

AND JIM HENSON HAD THE SOUL,THIS GUY HAD ARTIST SOUL AND

INVENTOR SOUL AND REALLY ABIT OF A RENAISSANCE MAN.

>> YEAH.

AND DID IT ALL IT WAS SORTOF CREATIVELY RESTLESS.

THROUGHOUT THE '60s HEWANTED TO DO AN INFLATABLE

NIGHTCLUB AND DROP IT IN ANALLEY IN NEW YORK CITY AND

BRING DOWN WOMEN IN WHITELEOTARDS AND

PROJECT MOVIES ON THEM ANDPLAY MUSIC.

>> EVERYBODY IN THE AUDIENCEWAS GOING, WHERE IS THIS

PLACE.

I WILL GO THERE.

>> AND THE TECHNOLOGY WASN'TTHERE FOR HIM YET.

HE WAS A LITTLE TOO FARAHEAD OF THE CURVE A LOT OF

THE TIME.

HE IS DOING SORT OF HIPPIEDOCUMENTARIES AND HE'S DOING

SORT OF TWILIGHT ZONIE SHORTSPECIALS FOR NBC.

AND FINALLY THE EXCLAMATIONPOINT AT THE END OF THE '60s

IS WE KNOW "SESAME STREET"COMES ALONG. BUT EVEN HE SAYS IN

THE 60S, YOU KNOW I HAD TWOCAREERS GOING, I WAS AN

EXPERIMENTAL FILMMAKER ANDTHEN I HAD THE MUPPETS.

THE MUPPETS FINALLY TOOKHOLD.

>> BUT THE FUSION OF THE TWOIS ALMOST WHY IT WORKED.

BECAUSE WHEN YOU WATCH THEMUPPETS, THERE WAS-- IT

DIDN'T HAVE THECONDESCENSION OR THE SORT OF

STRANGE ADOLESCENT NATURE OFMAY BE SOME OF THE OTHER

PUPPET THINGS.

IT WAS INFUSED WITH A VERYSOPHISTICATED AND

SUBVERSIVE SENSE.

>> NOT TOO TIRED AN NOT TOOSWEET.

THAT SWEET SPOT BETWEENLOONEY TUNES AND DISNEY, AND

YOU KNOW, THE MUPPETS AREFUN AND THEY'RE FAMILY.

AND I THINK THAT'S WHYPEOPLE REALLY ENDED UP

LOVING THEM.

THE RELATIONSHIP THEY HAVE,THE MUPPET SHOW WITH KERMIT

IS KIND OF THE EYE OF THEHURRICANE, THAT WAS THE WAY

IT WAS WITH JIM.

HE WAS THE EYE OF THAT HURRICANE THE GLUE THAT HELD

THEM ALL TOGETHER.

IT WAS CRAZY, HE WASINSTIGATING SOMETIMES BUT

BROUGHT THEM ALL BACKTOGETHER AND THAT IS REALLY

WHAT MADE THEM ALL WORK, JIMLOVED TO WORK.

IT WAS ALWAYS FUN AND THATSHOWS UP.

>> AND HE WAS THE IRON MAN.

THAT IS WHY I THINK HISDEATH WAS SO STUNNING, A,

THAT IT WAS SO ABRUPT ANDSUDDEN AND HE HAD BEEN SO

HEALTHY.

AND I STILL REMEMBER, BOY,IF YOU WANT A GOOD CRYFEST

GO ON YOUTUBE AND FINDHENSON FUNERAL BECAUSE

THIS IS, PEOPLE ARE INSHOCK.

AND THERE'S THE PUPPETS.

I MEAN IT IS ONE OF THE FEWTIMES YOU CAN REALLY BRING A

PUPPET TO A FUNERAL.

>> RIGHT.

>> AND IN HIS ABSENCE IS NOTABLE IN THERE YOU

I MEAN YOU AREREALLY MISSING HIM WHEN

YOU SEE THAT IT ISHEARTBREAKING.

>> IT IS HEARTBREAKING.

AND IT IS, I ALWAYS USED TOTHINK I WILL GO TO THE

DOCTOR, LIKE THREE DAYSEARLIER THAT IS NOT REALLY

THE CASE.

>> IT WAS SO SEVERE, BY THETIME THE SYMPTOMS WERE

SHOWING SOME SAID IT WAS SOSTRONG BY THE TIME SYMPTOMS

SHOWED UP IT WAS PROBABLYTOO LATE ANYWAY. IT'S JUST

ONE OF THOSE THINGS, MOSTGUYS WOULD SAY RIDE IT OUT.

I'LL BE FINE.

>> I'M THAT WAY, IF I GETSICK, NO, I'M NOT GOING

TO GO TO THE DOCTOR.

I WILL SLEEP THERE.

>> EXACTLY.

>> WELL, I'M REALLY GLAD,YOU KNOW, IT STRIKES ME THE

FIRST TIME ANYBODY HASREALLY CATALOGED HIS LIFE

AND PUT IT OUT THERE AND ITIS A WONDERFUL MEMOIR.

>> THANK YOU.

>> A WONDERFUL MEMORY FORHIM.

CALLED JIM HENSON THEBIOGRAPHY, ON THE BOOK

SHELVES NOW.

BRIAN JAY JONES.

THANK YOU, SIR.

(APPLAUSE)

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