- Writer: Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand
Photo by The Jim Henson Company
Jerry Juhl became interested in puppets as a child in Oakland, California and was performing on local television there during college when he met Jim Henson at a puppetry convention. Joining The Jim Henson Company in 1961, Jerry worked on Jim Henson’s first television show, Sam and Friends, as a staff puppeteer and eventually as a writer. Of the gradual change to writing exclusively, Juhl once quipped, “I did it for self-protection…I never rated much [as a puppeteer]—so I figured I’d better save my job by doing something else.”
Jerry worked closely with Jim throughout the ’60s developing the many sketches they would perform on variety shows like The Mike Douglas Show and The Ed Sullivan Show. During that period, Jim and Jerry also collaborated on the development of numerous experimental or long-form projects, including The Cube, Tale of Sand and The Great Santa Claus Switch. After Sesame Street began in 1969, Jerry spent six seasons as a writer on the show and received two Emmy Awards for his work there. Jerry also wrote extensively on every season of The Muppet Show.
And when the Muppets went to the big screen, Jerry was right there as well. He co-wrote The Muppet Movie (1979) and went on to co-write the Muppet features The Great Muppet Caper (1981), The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), Muppet Treasure Island (1996) and Muppets from Space (1999).
Jerry was also instrumental in the 1980s television show that Jim Henson created “to make world peace”—Fraggle Rock. As head writer and creative producer, Jerry led the multiple-award-winning series for five seasons, creating episodes and characters that continue to have devoted fans around the world.
President, The Jim Henson Legacy