Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas: A Gift for You
So many of the classic holiday TV specials from the 60’s and 70’s are still show on television every year; I’m talking you Rudolphs, your Charlie Browns, your Grinches…. and watching them is always an instant rocket ship back to my childhood. These shows are perennial classics for a reason, but every year I scan the channel guide for one show that’s rarely seen these days. I’m talking about ‘Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas.’ Made in 1977, it was shown on HBO in 1978 and aired on ABC in 1980, which is probably where I first saw it (our house didn’t have cable TV until the 1990s. For real.) It’s a charming little tale from Jim Henson and his muppeteers, with music by the underappreciated musical genius Paul Williams. If you’ve never seen it, then pull up a seat, grab a nice warm beverage, and slow your life down for an hour or so, and check it out. Here for you, in its entirety, is Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas. If you love it, and I don’t know why you wouldn’t, you can buy a copy on DVD for about 7 bucks.
If you saw the original airings of it, you may remember some scenes featuring Kermit the Frog. Well, in another example of corporations and lawyers screwing up a perfectly good thing, over the years ownership of Jim Henson’s Muppets went from company to company, eventually ending up with Walt Disney. The Emmet Otter show ended up somewhere else, so after the show’s original airings, the scenes with Kermit were cut. All official DVD releases (including the most current version I linked to above) pretend that the lost Kermit scenes never existed. Thankfully, today we have the internet to rescue such things from obscurity. Here are all the missing Kermit scenes:
Hey, why stop now when we’re on such a roll? Here’s a cool Behind the Scenes video. I’ve always been obsessed with how the Muppeteers worked their magic (not to mention the incredibly bad backs they must’ve all ended up with). Enjoy.
Have a wonderful Christmas! Hopefully you get to spend some of it with loved ones. If you’re traveling, please be safe.