Muppet Monday: The Great Muppet What?

Jim Henson the Biography Countdown from This Happy Place Blog

If you’ve been following around for the past few Mondays, I’ve been sharing my excitement for the upcoming release of Jim Henson: The Biography. Well, TOMORROW is the big day. My pre-order is already on its way and I cannot wait to see the final product in all its colorful glory.

Before we get to today’s fun fact, first, a little housekeeping: Random House has a treat over at their website with the prologue of the biography live on their website for you to check out. For those of you interested in seeing author Brian Jay Jones in person, he has a few fantastic events coming up around New York City. And for those of you not in the area, Brian is going to be on the Today Show with FRANK OZ on September 26.

And now let’s chat a little bit about The Great Muppet Caper!

The writing of the second Muppet movie began during the fifth and final season of The Muppet Show. (Surprisingly, I was more upset about the end of TMS than Jim was… at that time, he was ready to move on.) In the beginning, Jim knew he wanted the movie to channel early movie musicals with Kermit playing a detective. Every other detail was pretty much vague and up in the air. Unhappy with the first attempt at the script, Jim changed writers and things started to finally fall together. Except the title.

So Jim held a contest at work and had the staff brainstorm some ideas. (How fun is this?!) Turns out that Jim’s daughter, Lisa, (who was 19 at the time) threw her own idea into the ring with The Great Muppetcapade. But there’s more…

Written in pencil next to it, as if rolling the words around in her mouth, she had scrawled “escapade? escPIGaide? caper?” and then scratched all three alternatives out. Jim circled The Great Muppetcapade and the crossed-out word Caper. Problem solved.

(From page 315 of the Jim Henson: The Biography galley.)

For your enjoyment, here’s a scene from The Great Muppet Caper:

There are a ton (A TON) of noteworthy moments to share from Jim Henson: The Biography but I picked this one because I thought it described what a fun environment working for this company was. I don’t know about you but it would have been a blast to come up with a few names for a new Muppet movie.

I do hope you enjoyed this countdown to Jones’ book. There’s a ton to celebrate tomorrow. Not only a great book release, but Jim Henson’s birthday as well.

I’ll be back next Muppet Monday with a review of the biography. (I imagine it will be hard to put it all into words but I am going to try.)

Happy reading, everyone!

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Jim Henson: The Biography by Brian Jay Jones on Amazon + Barnes & Noble

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A book publicist who loves writing about Disney and books, and sometimes Disney books.

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