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The year 1969 saw the production of The Cube, another Henson-produced experimental movie.
Also around this time, the first drafts of a live-action experimental movie script were written with Jerry Juhl, which would eventually become Henson's last unproduced full-length screenplay, Tale of Sand.
He graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in home economics, after which he produced coffee advertisements and developed some experimental films. He also appeared on the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live.
He produced The Muppet Show in 1976, after scrapping plans for a Broadway show.
Wilkins asks, "What do you think of Wilkins Coffee? " Wilkins fires the cannon and blows Wontkins away, then turns the cannon directly toward the viewer and ends the ad with, "Now, what do you think of Wilkins?
" Henson later explained, "Till then, advertising agencies believed that the hard sell was the only way to get their message over on television. We tried to sell things by making people laugh." The same setup was used to pitch Kraml Milk in the Chicago area, Red Diamond coffee, several bread products, and even Faygo.
His nine-minute experimental film, Time Piece, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film in 1966.
James Maury Henson was born in Greenville, Mississippi on September 24, 1936, the younger of two children of Paul Ransom Henson (1904–1994), an agronomist for the United States Department of Agriculture, and his wife Betty Marcella (née Brown, 1904–1972).
He remained a Christian Scientist at least into his twenties when he would teach Sunday School, but he wrote to a Christian Science church in 1975 to inform them that he was no longer a practicing member.
Henson's 1960s talk show appearances culminated when he devised Rowlf, a piano-playing anthropomorphic dog.
Rowlf became the first Muppet to make regular appearances on a network show, The Jimmy Dean Show.Henson began developing puppets while attending high school.He created Sam and Friends while he was a freshman at the University of Maryland, College Park, a five-minute sketch-comedy puppet show that appeared on television. Henson became famous in 1969 when he joined the children's educational television program Sesame Street where he helped to develop characters for the series.Henson himself appeared as a guest on many shows, including The Steve Allen Show, The Jack Paar Program and The Ed Sullivan Show (although on his appearance on the September 11, 1966, episode of the show — released to DVD on 2011 as part of a collection of episodes featuring the Rolling Stones—Sullivan mis-introduced Henson as "Jim Newsom and his Puppets").