In a recent episode of Conan O’Brien‘s talk show, renowned filmmaker Ron Howard shared some fascinating insights into his experience with the late Jim Henson and the Muppets. Howard revealed an interesting anecdote about the early days of “Saturday Night Live” when Henson and Frank Oz, the creators of the Muppets, had a small office on the sixth floor near the SNL studio. The office was adorned with drawings of characters on pipes, which have since been preserved behind glass.

According to Howard, some members of the SNL crew were initially skeptical of the puppets, considering them a misstep. However, Henson persevered and went on to create “The Muppet Show” after facing rejection from several networks. Howard praised Henson and Oz’s comedic timing, highlighting their brilliant performances as iconic characters like Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog.

The filmmaker emphasized that good comedy transcends age boundaries, citing Warner Brothers cartoons and “Sesame Street” as examples. Additionally, Howard mentioned that Henson’s early work included making television commercials, demonstrating his knack for humor and storytelling. Even though Henson initially had reservations about creating children’s programming, he eventually embraced it, incorporating educational elements into the “Sesame Street” segments to help children with learning disabilities.

Discussing the legacy of Jim Henson, Howard emphasized that the late puppeteer was more than just a performer; he was a true satirist. Howard recalled attending Henson’s memorial service, a moving event that celebrated the life of a man who had left an irreplaceable mark on the entertainment industry. The filmmaker also praised Henson’s positive outlook on life, despite the personal struggles he faced.

In a heartfelt tribute, Howard commended Henson’s approach to navigating difficult times, which served as an inspiration for many. The documentary they were discussing, aptly titled “Jim Henson: Idea Man,” offers viewers a glimpse into the life and achievements of this extraordinary individual. Howard recommended watching the documentary, promising a delightful experience filled with laughter and valuable insights.

Concluding their conversation, O’Brien expressed his admiration for Howard’s remarkable contributions to the entertainment industry throughout the decades. The talk show host humorously suggested they have a drink and discuss sunscreen, an inside joke referencing Howard’s past film “Apollo 13.” It’s evident that both Howard and O’Brien share a genuine appreciation for the creative spirit embodied by individuals like Jim Henson.

In summary, this engaging conversation between Ron Howard and Conan O’Brien shed light on Jim Henson‘s incredible journey, his impact on comedy and children’s programming, and his lasting legacy as a visionary artist. It’s a testament to the enduring power of good timing, genuine storytelling, and the ability to make people of all ages laugh.