Blooper reel from Jim Henson's "Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas"

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Jim Henson and crew were doing gods work! They made childhood so magical.

If you like the idea of puppets acting like real people - THIS trailer played in front of Deadpool 2 and they seem to know the audience they are catering to as we all thought it looked hilarious.


That show was a lovely seachange for Henson’s work, elevating the look, feel and technique from everything they’d done before. And in all the work seemingly simple stuff like that drum roll always end up being the most time consuming. In the film musical Little Shop Of Horrors (which Frank directed) there’s a shot where the plant fishes a coin out of a payphone to make a call - it took them something like 70 takes to get that.

Alice Otter (Emmet’s mom) was puppeteered by Frank but her voice was replaced by Marilyn Sokol. Emmet himself was played by Jerry Nelson. Being crammed under a set with your arm locked in a hole ain’t easy. Being crammed under a set with Frank is even harder - but fun.

Here’s a clip of Emmet and Annie singing When The River Meets The Sea. It’s a Paul Williams song that Jerry and Louise Gold sang at Jim’s Memorial and that we all sang at Jerry’s.

And here’s a clip of Emmet and Annie in their rowboat, which really showed off the set and Faz Fazaka’s radio control work in the wide shots. Extraordinary back then and it all still holds up as a lovely marvel.


I like how they maintain character throughout.


I don’t know… I watched the red band trailer yesterday… I don’t know how I feel about it.


I only saw the Emmet special once. I should try again.

Blooper real is adorable!


They used to replay it every year when I was a kid. I loved it.


Was it shown on cable channels? Because we didn’t have cable in my parents’ house until, like, 1999. I would have to have seen it at a relative’s house.

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Yeah, from what I remember, HBO showed it, around the same time Fraggle Rock was on it.


Best Christmas movie EVER!


Not remembering seeing Emmet Otter, if I even ever did, I was curious about why the drum scene took so many takes. Here’s a video explaining that they took over 200 takes and settled for the most interesting of those (hitting the milk jug and landing half on the curb, half in the street); what they had planned, and managed to do before the cameras were rolling, was for the drum to hit the milk jug and wobble/precess on its side.


i watched this yesterday and laauugghhhed and laughed. i love how they maintain character, too – and it’s so funny to hear “what the hell was THAT?!?” in grover’s voice.


I lacked Cable much less HBO as a kid. But I liked Fraggle Rock when I went to friends houses. But often times they’d seen it a dozen times and wanted to see something else :confused:


Emmet Otter was a Christmas staple and is still a household favorite, though the weird re-edited version that’s out there now has some jarring cuts. Try to find the old VHS or a YouTube. You’ll know it’s the right one if Kermit introduces it and Ma tells Gretchen Fox to fall off the dock.

A few years ago I saw an Emmet Otter musical in tryouts for Broadway (it didn’t make it). Same story but they padded it with a big intro that had a human girl going into the world of animals to help Emmet out, which was a huge mistake in my opinion. It was worth seeing, however, because they used the original Emmet and Ma Otter puppets as well as several others.

One more Emmet Otter thing of note, because it’s a favorite of mine. Down at Disney World there’s a new pizza restaurant, PizzaRizzo, that’s Muppet-themed. It has one little hidden easter egg for dorks like me: a sign outside the banquet room announcing a wedding reception… but if you look really closely, you’ll see faded spots where letters used to be, announcing “Pa Otter Memorial Service with tribute performance by The Frogtown Hollow Jubilee Jug Band”. It’s such a ‘deep cut’ for fans that it really touched me.


Good thing you can get it on DVD now! No time like the present to get caught up!

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They were both on HBO in the US. This was in 1977 or so and Fraggle didn’t start until 1982 - but I’m sure HBO was showing them both concurrently.

I would have been five when this came out and I too have never seen this. I only learned about it’s existence in the past ten years.

But I also have no memory of the Star Wars Holiday Special either, so I suppose I had an unreliable memory at that age.

You’ll probably want to avoid Meet The Feebles. It’s very disturbing for any muppet fans.


I’m pretty sure that my parents rented this on VHS when I was a kid. We didn’t have cable, let alone HBO. We only saw it once but the whole family really loved it and talked about it over the years.

I found it on Amazon Prime streaming about a year ago and watched it again. It’s a real classic. Great story, characters, music and set designs. I really wondered how they did the scenes in the boats, picturing Jim and Frank in wet suits and scuba tanks. This answered my question!

There was? :open_mouth:

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