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The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years
GenreFamily film
Television special
Created byHenson Associates
Written byJerry Juhl
Directed byPeter Harris
StarringJim Henson
Frank Oz
Jerry Nelson
Richard Hunt
Dave Goelz
Steve Whitmire
Caroll Spinney
Country of originUnited States
Executive producerJim Henson
ProducersAndrew Solt
Diana Birkenfield
EditorsSusan F. Walker
Jim Milio
Steve Muscarella
Mark West
Production companyHenson Associates
Original release
ReleaseJanuary 21, 1986 (1986-01-21)

The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years is a one-hour special starring Jim Henson's Muppets. It was shot in Toronto, Ontario in 1985 and aired January 21, 1986 on CBS.


Muppets from various productions, including The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Sam and Friends, as well as characters from Fraggle Rock such as Uncle Traveling Matt and Sprocket, convened to commemorate their thirtieth anniversary through a celebratory banquet. The event featured a retrospective of their cinematic and television endeavors.

The proceedings commenced with a montage of Muppet clips spanning from 1955 to 1984, accompanied by Ethel Merman's rendition of "There's No Business Like Show Business." The gala unfolded in an opulent ballroom teeming with Jim Henson's esteemed creations, save for those unable to attend, as noted by announcer John Harlan. Hosted by Fozzie Bear and spotlighting guest of honor Kermit the Frog, the program delved into the Muppets' chronicles and musical highlights.

Despite Kermit's reluctance to accept Fozzie's effusive praise, the latter persisted, underscoring Kermit's pivotal role in launching the Muppets' careers. A retrospective journey ensued, featuring clips from seminal Muppet productions such as The Muppet Movie, The Muppets Take Manhattan, and The Great Muppet Caper. Notable segments included Fozzie and Rowlf's rendition of "I Got Rhythm", Gonzo the Great's daring motorcycle stunt, and Rita Moreno's performance of "Fever" alongside Animal.

Following a tribute to Miss Piggy and a showcase of Muppet book, record, and magazine covers, a comical interruption by Sweetums and other Muppet monsters led to a raucous montage. Count von Count then introduced Bert and Ernie, followed by a compilation of memorable scenes from Sesame Street featuring beloved characters such as Cookie Monster and Big Bird.

The presentation continued with a showcase of clips from animated Saturday morning cartoons like Muppet Babies and Little Muppet Monsters, as well as excerpts from Fraggle Rock. Imaginative sequences curated by Uncle Traveling Matt and musical interludes presented by Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem added depth to the retrospective.

The tribute to Kermit culminated with a poignant reedit of Linda Ronstadt's performance of "When I Grow Too Old to Dream", evoking heartfelt emotions among the Muppets. The program concluded with a clip from The Muppet Movie, featuring the ensemble singing "Rainbow Connection".

Jim Henson briefly appeared at the program's conclusion, humorously presented with a bill by Grover. Kermit, in the closing remarks, expressed gratitude for the celebration, signaling the dawn of the Muppets' next thirty years with a rehearsal scheduled for the following day.



Muppet performers

Additional Muppets performed by Terry Angus, Kevin Clash, Camille Bonora, David Rudman, Michael Earl, Jonathan Paine, and Fred Stinson

Appearing in archive footage