Smithsonian to get the original Kermit
The original Kermit the Frog, which the late Jim Henson fashioned out of his mother's old coat and a pair of ping pong balls, will be donated to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in a special ceremony Wednesday.
While the museum has one Kermit in its collection that Kermit is from the Sesame Street, said Laura Duff, a Smithsonian spokeswoman. This is the original Kermit from "Sam and Friends," the Washington, D.C.-based children's show that first showcased the puppets that would eventually become the much-loved Muppets.
"Sam and Friends" premiered in 1955 on WRC-TV -- also then home to Willard Scott, a weatherman and children's host, who also played Bozo the Clown. Scott will be on-hand for the ceremony as well as Henson's wife Jane, co-founder of The Muppets and board member, The Jim Henson Legacy.
Duff said the original Kermit is a darker green and slightly less refined than later versions. Nine other Henson creations also will be donated to the museum including the oldest surviving Henson puppet -- Pierre the French Rat; Yorick, the purple skull with the big appetite that was a precursor to hungry monsters like Cookie Monster and Mushmellon, a yellow monster-type creature who looks a bit like Oscar the Grouch; and Sam, the main character from the show -- who never spoke but would lip-sync to popular music and comedy records of the time.
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