"That's What Frogs Do. Everybody Knows That" (Smile for a Saturday)

Up until now, our “Smile For a Saturday” feature on Steady has mostly involved music. And we would like to think for good reason. Music moves the soul, but of course it is not the only art form to do so. There’s painting, dance, sculpture, poetry, and many others, like… comedy. Comedy at its best doesn’t only make you laugh. It can make you smile with the warm feeling of human connection.

So we wanted to mix it up this week for a trip back in time to a very different media environment. The year is 1975, and the setting is the famous set on Johnny Carson’s “The Tonight Show.” His guest that night was the one and only pioneering puppeteer and storyteller Jim Henson. Well, that’s not exactly true. Because of course Jim brought along some guests of his own.

For those of us who remember these days, at least for this aging news anchor, it’s hard to believe that this moment occurred more than 46 years ago. And yet despite the years, despite all that has transpired, despite the deaths of both men (Jim at the tragically young age of 53), this feels so fresh. Henson was a comic genius. And watching him work in real time is a pleasure to behold. Plus, how can one not love Kermit the Frog? And by extension the magical world Henson created, for children young and old.

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