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Posted at 1:00 PM ET, 08/23/2010

Smithsonian to get the original Kermit

By Washington Post editors

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.

By Washington Post editors  | August 23, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
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Will Statler & Waldorf also be in attendance?

Posted by: Robbnitafl | August 23, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

This is great news! As a two-time UMd alum I need to point out that Jim Henson graduated from there, in 1965? Anybody know the year? Or was it '67?

Posted by: arlingtonian6 | August 23, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

I thought Larry King was the original Kermit the Frog.

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | August 23, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Larry King is the only one older than the 2 old geezers, Statler & Waldorf!

I know Henson graduated from Northwestern High way back when. . . Kermit was once the pitchman for Wilkins Coffee?

Posted by: Robbnitafl | August 23, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

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