When Jim Henson passed away in May of 1990, his loss was felt by fans the world over. With his work on Sesame Street and the Muppets, Henson left a legacy that continues to impact people of all ages and demographics. This beloved legacy is why his memorial service was open to the public, with just one stipulation; no one who attended could wear black.
The memorial was a celebration of Henson’s life, with appearances by the Muppet family and their puppeteers, both in and out of costume. However, the highlight of the evening was an emotionally charged rendition of “It’s Not Easy Being Green” by one of the most famous and beloved Muppets of all time, Big Bird. It’s odd to call anything Big Bird does haunting, but the performance will stay with you long after this video ends.
Henson’s memorial closed with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band playing “When The Saints Go Marching In,” ending the somber occasion with a bombastic song of joy. Even now, over 25 years after his death, Jim Henson’s legacy remains an important and enduring part of American history. It’s not easy being green but, thanks to the work of Jim Henson, life is just a little sweeter for all of us.