Did you know that Kermit the Frog was originally from Washington D.C.? I know, you thought he was from the swamp where he sang Rainbow Connection. Perhaps he was, but he did make his first television appearance in Washington D.C. on Washington’s WRC-TV in 1955 on Sam and Friends. 55 years later, Kermit has found a permanent home there. Jane Henson, Jim Henson’s widow, has donated the original Kermit puppet along with 9 other puppets from the original Sam and Friends television show to Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
Originally, these characters provided approximately five minutes of entertainment per night after the local news. It mainly involved the characters lip syncing to various songs. Even though this show was in Washington D.C. no politics were covered on Sam and Friends. Sam, is not Sam the American Eagle who is incredibly patriotic. Sam is instead a human looking puppet who is the title character of the show (although he didn’t play that huge of a role in it). Kermit, you might notice, doesn’t have his color or webbed feet. He is also a much duller green than what we have become accustomed to. In fact, Kermit was originally made from an old coat that was thrown out by Jim Henson’s mother. His eyes are also made of ping pong balls. Some of the other characters donated were precursors to Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch.
This isn’t the first time that Kermit has come to the Smithsonian. The more recognizable version of Kermit as seen on Sesame Street or The Muppet Show already resides there. Here is a clip from Sam and Friends with Kermit and another character that is a precursor to Rowlf the Dog in a sketch called Visual Thinking.
Make it a GREAT day!