I am Brian Henson, Chairman of The Jim Henson Company and son of Jim Henson. I directed The Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island. I was the Executive Producer of the series Farscape. I performed creatures such as Hoggle in Jim Henson's Labyrinth, Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors, and Jack Pumpkinhead in Return to Oz. Currently I have a new show premiering on Syfy this Tuesday that takes people into our award-winning Creature Shop. You can learn more about Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge by following @CreatureShopTV or liking us at Facebook.com/CreatureShopChallenge.


Thanks so much, guys! I had a great time. Wish I could stay longer, but I gotta go! All the best to everyone.

Comments: 256 • Responses: 39  • Date: 

BenMech46 karma

Hi Brian:

Condolences for your brother, first of all.

The Muppet Show was put on DVD season sets many years ago, but the series is incomplete. What can you tell the public about Seasons Four and Five, and possibly a Complete Series set?

Additionally, The Jim Henson Hour(s), and Muppets Tonight have not been released on dvd/BluRay. Will they? If so, when?

BrianHenson36 karma

Dang, you oughtta call Disney! I would if I were you!

isibell41 karma

Hello Mr Henson,

Being such good friends with Kermit the Frog I was wondering if you know what restaurants he frequents here in LA. You see, since I was very small my biggest goal in life has been to meet Mr. Frog, and now that I'm living in LA I might just have the chance to make that happen...if I can find him. Can you help a girl out?

As for the rest of you...don't you dare laugh. I will meet Kermit. It will happen. And when it does it will be the greatest moment of my childhood, which I have been holding on to for the entirety of my life.

BrianHenson20 karma

I believe he used to go Barfly on Ventura Blvd, but it closed and now I don’t know where he goes. But good luck to you!

SokDrawer28 karma

I love all the vintage material you guys have posted on YouTube from Jim's really early work. Where have you been finding all this stuff? Is there more we might see soon?

BrianHenson26 karma

We keep a Jim Henson archive and there is loads of cool stuff there. And we’ll share new stuff as and when it seems appropriate, but glad you are loving it!

robinsky123 karma

Who is your favourite muppet?

BrianHenson32 karma


macnbc23 karma

Rumors abound about a new Farscape TV movie happening. Any news on that?

BrianHenson23 karma

My lips are sealed.

scarecroe16 karma

Sal Minella and Johnny Fiama were a great duo. Disney seems to be focusing on the classic Muppets more right now, but is there any chance we might see that silly little monkey again someday?

BrianHenson18 karma

Disney is working hard to reintroduce the core Muppet Show characters. So that’s why you haven’t seen Sal & Johnny recently. But I do hope you can see that silly little monkey again someday.

thegreatfortier13 karma

will we ever see anything like your dads work? i mean like the old storyteller series or like the dark crystal?

BrianHenson25 karma

Recently in our industry, it has been difficult to set up these more ambitious projects. But it feels like we are getting closer and we hope to be bringing more big fantasy projects in the near future.

BagofLobsters12 karma

Hi Brian, thanks for doing this AMA. This show looks like so unique and fun. Were there any challenges getting a show like this on the air or was SYFY pretty receptive from the get go?

BrianHenson15 karma

Syfy loved it from the get go and put us into pre-production within weeks of us pitching the project to them. They have been great (except I want my billboard!).

thecurators11 karma

Hi Brian, for the past three years I have been running an non-profit oral history of the studios of Elstree and Borehamwood, called The Elstree Project. It's a project with my film degree students at the University of Hertfordshire and a group of local volunteers called Elstree Screen Heritage.

We've interviewed some of your old colleagues, including Martin G Baker (on Stage D at BBC Elstree Centre!), Walter Murch, props master Barry Wilkinson from Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal, as well as scenery, effects and stage crew from The Muppet Show and The Great Muppet Caper. Other interviewees include Brian Blessed, Sir Roger Moore and Steven Spielberg.

This year is the centenary of filmmaking in Elstree and we are preparing a special documentary for release in September. If you are ever over in the UK before September, we would love to interview you, if this is something you'd be interested in contributing to?

BrianHenson6 karma

Sure. It sounds cool, but I don’t know if I will be in London before September.

GonkGeefle11 karma

How is the development of The Happytime Murders coming along?

Also, do you think there's a chance we'll ever see Johnny Fiama and Sal in a Muppet production again?

BrianHenson20 karma

Happytime Murders is one of my favorite projects but you wouldn’t believe how hard it is to get a rated-R film-noir puppet movie greenlit to production. But I’ll keep swinging as long as my arms can swing!

megalbagel11 karma

Are you a man, or are you a Muppet?

Love love love all things Henson/Muppet-related. Just fantastic. All of it.

BrianHenson20 karma

I'm a muppetman!

MrLister10 karma

Puppet Up! is utterly brilliant.

Do you have any plans to bring Puppet Up back to L.A. on a more regular basis? I’ve taken countless friends over the years, and they all wish it were here more often. The friend I took last month laughed so hard I thought she was going to crack a rib or something at one point.

Thanks for providing so much puppet awesomeness over the years!

BrianHenson5 karma

I loved putting the show up at the Kirk Douglas Theater in Culver City, and I hope we’ll be back there in July. The show is off to Australia for six weeks in the meantime.

theroyalfrenchmen10 karma

Why are there so many songs about rainbows?

BrianHenson17 karma

That's part of what rainbows do!

kovalev2710 karma

Any chance that you do something more with Farscape at some point? I really miss that show.

BrianHenson16 karma

Working on it.

Lloth10 karma

Hi Brian,

I'm a huge fan of the work of you & your dad, when I was extremely suicidal and hospitalized, quoting Labyrinth was one of the ways I kept myself sane. So thank you for saving my life. My question is if the Creature shop challenge does really well (which I hope it does!) can we expect to see more Henson projects on television? One of my fondest memories is watching the Muppet Show with my dad as a kid.


BrianHenson21 karma

We do hope to do more creature oriented projects for television in the future and we hope that Jim Henson’s Creature Sop Challenge will help to make that happen. (I also loved watching The Muppet Show with my dad!)

Margrave9 karma

From a friend without a reddit account:

Is there any chance of convincing Disney to put the extended Muppet Christmas Carol on blu-ray? Especially if it's also your preferred cut. Even if the original film elements are gone or too difficult to access, a 3x blowup from the widescreen laserdisc would be better than nothing, right?

My question: Do you have a favorite Farscape creation (aside from the amazing Rygel)?

BrianHenson23 karma

To your friend, I do love the extended version of The Muppet Christmas Carol, but I also thought for the original theatrical run that the shorter version made sense. Disney and Henson would both love to see the extended version released on BluRay and we are trying to make that happen.

And as for your question, my favorite Farscape creation is Pilot.

emdee20068 karma

Hi, Mr. Henson! It's an honor to talk to you! I was wondering, what types of qualifications do you look for in someone who wants to be a writer for something the Jim Henson Company produces?

BrianHenson9 karma

Really good character-driven stories, and really good dialogue.

LordAverynth8 karma

I want you to know that your father is one of my heroes. I'm very glad you are continuing his work. I was wondering when can we expect the remaining seasons of The Muppet Show to be released on DVD? Is there any chance of an un-edited version of Muppet Family Christmas coming to DVD?

BrianHenson4 karma

Check out my other answers. Thanks!

zanimum8 karma

The inter-dependency of the Fraggles and Doozers (and Gorgs) was a major theme in "Fraggle Rock". Will the fraggle species (as opposed to specific characters) be referenced on your new preschool series, "The Doozers"? It seems like at least referencing them might help kids become accustomed to them in advance of the movie. (Congrats on getting that further through the development pipeline, exciting to see that happening!)

BrianHenson9 karma

Hmmm...you've got a good point there.

Frajer7 karma

Any word on what is going on with the Fraggle Rock movie?

BrianHenson17 karma

We're working on it!

RydellSmythsonian7 karma

Mr. Henson thank you so much for doing this AMA. Big fan here of you, your company, and your father's legacy.

I was wondering how you see the future of puppeteering developing? With CGI and other technologies making it easier to create and manipulate creatures and other figures non-human, how are puppets supposed to keep up?

BrianHenson19 karma

Well, first I would delineate between puppets and creatures. Puppets will never be replaced by CGI, it’s a completely different art form. But when it comes to creatures, there is always something delightful about actually having the creature in the space with the actors and the set. In the future, I do see CGI enhancement to animatronic creatures being a wonderful combination of the two techniques.

thrownobject7 karma

I'm so sorry about your recent loss! I loved Farscape - have you ever thought about doing a new show in the Farscape universe with a new cast? :) Thank you - your work is an amazing inspiration to us all!

BrianHenson20 karma

My brother could walk into a room and pick up a wild bird without it trying to fly away. I saw him do it twice. I kid you not.

puppetjohn7 karma

Hi Brian! I'm a young puppeteer and a freshman at UConn's Puppet Arts program, and recently attended a Sesame Street Puppeteer Workshop. I have since been really trying to improve my acting and performance abilities. Do you have any acting training, like Matt? If not, how have you been able to act so well and get so specific with your emotions? Do you have any recommendations for training or exercises? Thank you, and I really appreciate all of your work and I'm really excited for the new show!


P.S. Will Sal Minella/Dr. Phil van Neuter ever return? ;)

BrianHenson11 karma

Take improv comedy classes. Improv comedy combined with puppetry is the best way to refine your skills in developing character. Good luck!

BrianHenson7 karma

Hay Hee Hi Ho Hyou! (that was Phil talking...)

jimmy_rigger7 karma

Hi Brian, I'm a huge fan of all things Muppets.

Were there any characters that used to frighten you when you were young? And would your father ever test any new creatures on you to see if they got the reaction he was looking for?

BrianHenson8 karma

My oldest memory is a nightmare from when I was three years old. It was about a scary paper bag puppet with an orange face. He terrified me.

ragtagbunchof6 karma

First - thank you so much for everything you've done over the years. I was brought up on The Muppets, terrified by Return To Oz and still think that The Storyteller is one of the best television programmes of all time!

How did you enjoy your time in Vancouver for TED?

BrianHenson4 karma

Very. Vancouver was great.

YancyTravels6 karma

What is your "dream project" (and can I be a part of it?)?

BrianHenson7 karma

A flying squirrel act in a Cirque du Soleil show…that would be good.

cor-anglais6 karma

Which of the original Muppet voices is hardest?

BrianHenson17 karma

Of course, I didn’t performer any of the original Muppets, but I know my dad would lose his voice after performing Dr. Teeth. And Frank Oz would lose his voice after doing Animal. So I think those were the two hardest.

floodshark6 karma

Hello! My Uncle Joe is producing your show! Next time you see him can you tell him Andy says hello? Excited to watch the show, I've been hyped up about it for a while now!

BrianHenson7 karma

I’ll tell him you said hi! He’s the bomb.

imjust1n5 karma

Brian I will like to first say your fathers work was phenomenal and youre work as well. From you doing the work with Hoggle with using his head to do all the animintronics is this type of technology still what you would like to see be used in your syfy creature challenge?

BrianHenson3 karma

Yes, we are using a lot of that technology on the Creature Shop Challenge.

JarlesV35 karma

Hi Brian,

With the advances of Computer Graphics, especially recently, do you think there will always be a place and call for puppeteers and physical monsters and creatures?

BrianHenson6 karma

There is not as much “there” there with computer graphics. And you can never beat the spontaneity of a puppeteer’s performance with key-frame animation.

disneylander115 karma

Which way do you want to go? Up? or Down?

BrianHenson18 karma

She chose doooooooown.

BrianHenson9 karma

Oops. Just saw that somebody beat me to it.

StephenFletcher4 karma

Hi, Mr. Henson thank you so much for doing this. Big fan from the UK and there are two things I want to take this opportunity to say:

1) I LOVED 'That Puppet Game Show' and was really heartbroken about it getting cancelled. It gave me such fun Weekend TV that I hadn't really had since I was a kid, so thank you to you and everyone involved for that.

2) I loved your performances for Scooter and Janice in 'It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie'. I'd be really interested to know: how did you come to perform these characters and what did you do to prepare in bringing them back after being retired for a while?

BrianHenson4 karma

  1. I know. It was a great show, wasn’t it? But I guess in the end, Britain wanted their live-action Saturday night game shows.

  2. I only performed Janice and Scooter in that one production. The original puppeteer, Richard Hunt, was a very close friend of mine. I am thrilled that they are still continuing in the new Muppet movies.

NotSayingJustSaying4 karma

I recently watched Jim Henson's "The Cube". Though I've always been a fan of the CTW, the MS, the Dark Crystal & the awesome miniseries "The Storyteller", after watching The Cube I've been wondering if there is other non-muppet stuff out there (from you or your father) that I should check out.

BrianHenson10 karma

"Timepiece." It's a classic and my father was nominated for a regional Academy Award for it (that's right, in those days there were regional Academy Awards).

GonkGeefle4 karma

What would you say (or what do you say) to a filmmaker trying to decide between CGI and animatronics for creature effects in a movie?

BrianHenson16 karma

Creatures… They’re more fun.

InternetSpacePolice3 karma

Orange juice or apple juice?

BrianHenson6 karma


55redditor553 karma

Hey Brian, I was wondering what where you doing in your early 20s?

BrianHenson8 karma

I moved to London 3 months after I turned twenty to perform on Return to Oz. And I have been working ever since. Life is good.

Littlescreatures3 karma

Mr. Henson,

Why would you choose to use a puppet as opposed to an actor or vice versa?


BrianHenson6 karma

You use a puppet when you should use a puppet. And you use an actor when you should use an actor. Always have a good reason to use a puppet.