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Jerry Nelson originally performed Statler in the Muppet Show pilot Sex and Violence.In a 1982 interview, Jim Henson shared that "I think we did the term Muppets before we got the show Sam and Friends - a few months after I started working. For a long time I would tell people it was a combination of marionettes and puppets but, basically, it was really just a word that we coined.We have done very few things connected with marionettes."Lots of people ask this question and unfortunately they are not available.Muppets are typically either stored away, destroyed after a period of time, or rebuilt into another character.Statler and Waldorf were performed by Richard Hunt and Jim Henson respectively on The Muppet Show.However, due to the untimely deaths of these gentlemen, they are now currently performed by Jerry Nelson and Dave Goelz.I remember hearing that there were several Lassies, and I never liked knowing that sort of thing.""... On May 7, 2003, Jim Henson's children (Brian, Cheryl, Lisa, John and Heather) bought back the Jim Henson Company from EM. Nine months later on February 17, 2004, the Henson family sold the rights to the Muppets and Bear in the Big Blue House characters to the Walt Disney Company for an estimated -60 million.The Jim Henson Company continues to exist without the Muppets creating new productions and retaining ownership of the Creature Shop, fantasy properties (such as The Storyteller, Dark Crystal, Labyrinth) and other puppet properties (like Fraggle Rock, Hoobs, Mopatop's Shop, Mother Goose Stories, The Ghost of Faffner Hall and Emmet Otter's Jug-band Christmas).
Puppeteers are sometimes replaced when a performer passes away (as in the case with Jim Henson and Richard Hunt) or when a performer can't puppeteer a character full-time (as with Frank Oz and his directing career).
I'm not even sure how many because often we'll also have a photocopy a character that's made that we use just for posing for photographs. There's one Kermit in the Detroit Institute of Arts and Ernie and Bert in Washington and that's about all."The 1990 merger between Jim Henson and Disney never took place due to Jim's untimely death.
It would be armatured, that sort of thing, but I don't think it's good to talk about that particularly. At that point, Brian Henson (Jim's son) took over the corporation with David Lazer acting as CEO of the company. TV and Merchandising AG announced they were buying The Jim Henson Company for a reported 0 million. TV's stock had dropped 90% and the Henson Company was once again up for sale, a process that would last more than two years. TV, however, had sold the rights to the Sesame Street characters to Sesame Workshop for 0 million, and partial ownership rights of several cable channels including Noggin, Odyssey (now The Hallmark Channel) and the defunct Kermit Channel.
It seemed like they had finally found someone who can do these integral characters when Frank was unavailable.
(Beginning in 2000 David Rudman has since taken over Cookie Monster when Frank is unavailable).