There are many people associated with The Muppets from Jim Henson to Frank Oz, but one puppeteer who doesn't get as much recognition is Richard Hunt. Hunt was a performer on Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock, and more. He was known for providing the original voices of Scooter, Statler, Janice, Beaker, and Sweetums. Recently, the Twitter account @HistoryMuppet shared some old behind-the-scenes Muppet photos and it caught the eye of Star Wars star Mark Hamill. Hamill is no stranger to the Muppets, having appeared on The Muppet Show back in its heyday.
"We all miss Jim Henson, but my family had a special relationship with the brilliant Richard Hunt. We all loved him dearly & my kids called him Uncle Richard. We lost him at only 40, but he lives on through Scooter-Janice-Statler-Beaker-Sweetums & so many more. #GoneTooSoon," Hamill wrote with a broken heart emoji. Sadly, Hunt passed away in 1992, only two years after Henson. You check out the tweets below:
We all miss Jim Henson, but my family had a special relationship with the brilliant Richard Hunt. We all loved him dearly & my kids called him Uncle Richard. We lost him at only 40, but he lives on through Scooter-Janice-Statler-Beaker-Sweetums & so many more. #GoneTooSoon 💔 https://t.co/aGw4lhpDfy— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) January 22, 2021
Big news came this week for fans of The Muppets when it was announced that the entire run of The Muppet Show would be coming to Disney+ in February. All five seasons of The Muppet Show will be streaming on the site, which is especially exciting since only the first three seasons were previously available for home entertainment.
"It’s going to be great to welcome back longtime fans, and to give a new generation of fans a chance to see how we got our start, how Miss Piggy became a star and so much more," Kermit the Frog said in a statement. "Today, I’m proud to say: 'It’s time to play the music, light the lights and meet the Muppets on Disney Plus tonight!'"
The Muppet Show was a variety talk series that debuted in 1976, and featured many celebrity guests. In addition to Hamill, the show had famous moments featuring Steve Martin, Elton John, Julie Andrews, Liza Minnelli, Diana Ross, Gladys Knight, Bernadette Peters, Alice Cooper, Gene Kelly, and much more.
The Muppet Show drops on Disney+ on February 19th.