This was made by Jim Henson for Bell System in 1963. The video notes:
It also may be the same robot that appeared on the Mike Douglas Show in 1966. Henson created a different — but similar — robot for the SKF Industries pavilion at the 1964 World’s Fair.
So essentially Elmo’s great grandfather is this Steampunk robot.
I’ve mentioned a few cool videos from Jim Henson shows. The Muppets covering Bohemian Rhapsody is especially awesome. Enjoy.
Also noteworthy is it’s one of the first 1080p videos on YouTube that I’ve seen. Looks like it’s done via MP4 (not sure Flash supports anything else at that quality).
By far one of the better Jim Henson songs ever on the show, this one dating form . This was a version with Aaron Neville done after Jim Henson’s death. If you listen carefully you can tell it’s the same voice track mixed with Aaron Neville’s vocals.
Ok, enough with the retro videos for now.
If you’re a member of any of the Sesame Street generations, meaning you were a child in 1969 or later (a group including the president) you may want to ignore this post. That is if you value those pure innocent memories. Don’t blame me for ruining your childhood 😉 .
Otherwise, watch the video linked above and enjoy. Here’s a bonus video featuring the count censored.
Here’s a video of Harry Belafonte’s appearance on The Muppet Show. This is generally considered one of the more memorable episodes. He also did The Banana Boat Song but Turn the World Around seems to be the one that people most remember. According to Wikipedia it was reportedly one of Jim Henson’s favorites.
Perhaps at some point in the future I’ll revisit the Muppets with some more classic clips I find on the Internet. It’s a nice break from some of the more technical stuff found on this blog.
This performance was the closing to the Jim Henson Memorial Service at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine 19 years ago. This was part of a larger complication [part 1, part 2]. There were quite a few notable performances at the memorial including Big Bird singing “It’s not easy being green“.
Very cool video.