Can you guess what was the first Western television series to air on Soviet Television? Here’s a hint: it was also the first series to air on HBO - still stumped? Fraggle Rock starring Jim Henson's Muppets. Yes, before The Sopranos, before the Game of Thrones, there was Fraggle Rock.
In Jim Henson, a biography, by Brian Jay Jones, we see how Jim was born into a big family where holidays and birthday gatherings were marked by laughter and stories of growing up. His creativity and ideas were encouraged by his family- especially by his Grandma Dear. But he knew from the time he was a young man he knew he wanted to work in television. He mourned the fact that television’s great potential was was used to sell products and to dull minds. It was important to him that television be used
to educate and excite people- adults as well as children. Jim had that type of single- mindedness that showed him what to do, and the tireless creativity to do it.
Hence his creations- muppet and otherwise, reach out to us like real living breathing people. He also had that rare gift of attracting innovative and inventive artists like himself and giving them the power and opportunity as well, to be experiment, to dream, to create.
If Jim Henson were still alive now what would he be doing? Something tells me that he wouldn’t be putting the muppets on Survivor unless it was to show how they could all live on a desert island together. But best of all we would still be experiencing the fresh creativity of a man who was able to achieve what no amount of political diplomacy has achieved before or since-stimulating our minds by touching our hearts with laughter and song and love. As it is, he left us with a unique legacy. One that his favorite invention allows us to still enjoy. As Uncle Matt says in Fraggle Rock: "The magic is always there."