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Have a Muppet Christmas and a Henson New Year!

The Museum of the Moving Image gets into the seasonal spirit by presenting Happy Henson Holidays – a program featuring classic movie adaptations, television specials, and 25th, 30th, and 40th anniversary screeningsfrom Saturday, Dec. 2, through Sunday, Dec. 31. General admission is $15. 

Organized by The Jim Henson Legacy President Craig Shemin, the program opens with a double shot on Dec. 2 at 1 p.m. First, a 1979 “Muppet Show” episode hosted by singer John Denver will screen, followed by a 75-minute Christmas special from the same year, “John Denver & The Muppets: A Christmas Together,” which begins with a classic rendition of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

This double feature will repeat on Dec. 3 at 1 p.m. and Dec. 10 at 11 a.m.

A 30th anniversary screening of “A Muppet Family Christmas” will happen on Dec. 9 and Dec. 10 at 1 p.m. As well as the complete, uncut version of this 50-minute special, Shermin will present rare, behind-the-scenes home movies from its production and a compilation of some memorable moments from other Henson holiday productions.

Attendees can watch “The Muppet Christmas Carol” on Dec. 16 and Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. This 50-minute, 1992 show recasts the Charles Dickens classic with Gonzo as Ebenezer Scrooge, Kermit the Frog at his employee, Bob Cratchit, and Fozzie Bear as the unique Fozziewig. Human actor Michael Caine also stars.

The 40th anniversary screening of a restored version of “Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas” is set for Dec. 23 at 1 p.m. This 60-minute 1978 show offers a take on “The Gift of the Magi” starring two Muppets, Ma Otter and her son, Emmet. Each one secretly enters a talent contest to win money for the other’s Christmas present.

The restoration includes segments with Kermit, and as part of the fun, Shemin and Marilyn Sokol (voice of Ma Otter) will be in attendance to present outtakes.

Christmas Eve on Sesame Street” will show on Dec. 24 – when else? – at 1 p.m. In this Emmy-winning special from 1978, Big Bird camps out on his roof to prove to Oscar the Grouch that Santa Claus does, in fact, deliver presents to every house on Christmas Eve. The episode will be preceded by a compilation of clips from “Sesame Street” holiday programs.

Two of the voice actors, Noel MacNeal and Tyler Bunch, will be on hand for a 20th anniversary screening of “Bear in the Big Blue House: A Berry Bear Christmas” on Dec. 30 at 1 p.m. In this 46-minute episode, Bear sets out to find the traditional Winter Berry while he and his friends prepare for the holidays.

Closing night is a double feature with “The Christmas Toy,” a film during which toys come to life whenever their owner leaves the room, and “The Bells of Fraggle Rock” on Dec. 31 at 1 p.m. In “Fraggle Rock, Cantus arrives for the Festival of the Bells, and Gobo sets out to find out if the mythical Great Bell of Fraggle Rock is real.

At much of the same time, the museum, which is located in Astoria’s Kaufman Arts District, will provide access to its permanent exhibition on Henson. The display includes about 300 objects and Muppets—including Kermit, Miss Piggy, Rowlf, The Swedish Chef, Statler, Waldorf, Big Bird, and Elmo—from throughout Henson’s career.

Images: Museum of the Moving Image

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