This Saturday, May 16, will mark thirty years since Muppets creator and puppetry icon Jim Henson passed away. As a means for remembering the entertainer, and raising money for frontline workers during the COVID-19 coronavirus, four original Muppet performers will be livestreaming a reunion discussion this weekend which you can watch for free! Performers Bill Barretta (Pepe the King Prawn, Johnny Fiama, Bobo the Bear and Big Mean Carl), Fran Brill (Prairie Dawn, Zoe, Little Bird and Betty Lou), Dave Goelz (The Great Gonzo, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Zoot and Boober Fraggle), and Frank Oz (Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Cookie Monster and Grover) will all appear, having previously opened up about their work in Oz's documentary Muppet Guys Talking: Secrets Behind the Show the Whole World Watched.
The producer of Oz's film, Victoria Labalme, who conceived and co-produced Muppet Guys Talking, will facilitate the livestream. In a statement, Labalme said: “We wanted to lift people’s spirits and raise money for Covid-19 frontline workers."
Fans interested in watching the event can pre-register at www.MuppetGuysTalking.com/Jim where they'll get a special reminder for when it goes live on Saturday, May 16, at 4 p.m. ET. There is no cost to watch and participate in the event however attendees will be asked to make a donation to a selected Covid-19-related cause.
The Muppets, created by Jim Henson in 1955, were massively successful during his lifetime, with The Muppet Show and Fraggle Rock being watched by huge numbers of people in their first runs as well as in syndication. Henson approached Disney to purchase his assets in 1989, and they came to an agreement in principle, but Henson passed away in 1990 before the deal could be completed. Without Henson there to anchor it, the deal fell apart, and Disney didn't get the Muppets until 2003, when they bought a much smaller batch of rights (this time excluding a number of projects, which Henson's company now retains the rights to) but did get they key Muppet characters.
This online Muppets reunion marks the latest at-home reunion conducted by a beloved group of performers as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this month the Parks and Recreation cast reunited for a special episode that raised nearly $3 million for charity. Other casts that have also reunited include Back to the Future, The Goonies, Smallville, and Community.
(Cover photo by Frank Edwards/Fotos International/Archive Photos/Getty Images)