Lessons from The Muppets

Serendipity is a beautiful thing.

I had the chance to today to slow down, reflect, and catch up on my backlog of podcasts.  I often listen to episodes of The Nerdist podcast. The one I listened to today featured Brian Henson and really got my mind thinking about how artists create characters based on the mediums they work with.

As far back as I can remember I’ve always loved The Muppets.  Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, and all of The Muppet movies were active presences in my formative years.  They brought me joy, laughter, wonder, and occasionally a little fear (I really didn’t want Kermit to lose his legs in The Muppet Movie).  They were fun, creative, informative, and even witty.

The discussion I listened to today between Chris Hardwick and Brian Henson reminded me of all of that but also delved into the creative struggles Jim Henson dealt with, discussed how they developed the characters for individual Muppet puppets, and served as an insightful reminder that they way storytellers develop characters is directly impacted by the medium they are working with to portray them.  It was delightful to listen to them discuss Jim Henson as an artist, the creative process, and techniques used to keep the characters and storytelling fresh and appealing after so many years.

If you’re a writer, artist, or have a general interest in creative pursuits I’d highly suggest you check out this particular episode of The Nerdist podcast with Brian Henson here.