|Born||Jerome Ravn Juhl
July 27, 1938
St. Paul, Minnesota
|Died||September 26, 2005 (aged 67)
San Francisco, California
Cause of death
|Neptune Society Columbarium|
|Alma mater||San Jose State University|
|Known for||writing and puppeteering for The Muppets|
Juhl was born in St. Paul, Minnesota; his family moved to Menlo Park, California, when he was 14. He received a bachelor's degree in theater arts from San Jose State University in 1961 and worked on children's shows for local television stations while in college. He met Frank Oz when they both worked for the Oakland Recreation Department's Vagabond Puppet Theater as teenagers. The two later met Henson at a puppeteer gathering in California.
Juhl was recruited by Henson as a puppeteer and writer on Sam and Friends. He focused increasingly on writing as other puppeteers, such as Frank Oz, joined the Henson stable.
Juhl was the head writer on The Muppet Show. He also wrote for the television shows Fraggle Rock, and The Jim Henson Hour. He was involved in some capacity with all of the Muppet films from The Muppet Movie in 1979 to Muppets from Space in 1999. According to Lisa Henson, "So much of the humour, irreverence, caring and heart began with Jerry. He was, in many ways, the real voice of the Muppets."
He appeared as himself in the 1981 documentary Of Muppets and Men: The Making of The Muppet Show, the 1984 documentary Henson's Place, and the 1994 documentary The World of Jim Henson. In addition to being interviewed in all three, he also appeared in archival footage in the last two.
In August 2005, Juhl was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died five weeks later.
He co-wrote The Muppet Movie with Jack Burns, for which the two shared a Saturn Award nomination for Best Writing. He was nominated for a shared Emmy four times, for his writing on The Muppet Show, finally winning the award in 1981 for Outstanding Writing in a Variety, Music or Comedy Program. He was also awarded for his work on The Jim Henson Hour (Outstanding Children's Program, 1989, 1990) and The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson (Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program, 1991). His work on A Muppet Family Christmas won him the WGA Award for Variety - Musical, Award, Tribute, Special Event.
Jerry Juhl was the writer, unless otherwise mentioned.
- Sam and Friends (1955–61, Muppet performer)
- The Cube (1969)
- Sesame Street (1969–75)
- The Great Santa Claus Switch (1970)
- The Frog Prince (1971, Muppet performer for Taminella)
- The Muppet Musicians of Bremen (1972)
- The Muppets Valentine Show (1974)
- Tale of Sand (1974, co-written with Jim Henson) – Originally written as a live-action screenplay, it found release in 2012 as a graphic novel, Jim Henson's Tale of Sand.
- The Muppet Show (writer 1976, head writer 1977–81)
- Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas (1977)
- The Muppets Go Hollywood (1979)
- The Muppet Movie (1979)
- The Muppets Go to the Movies (1981)
- The Great Muppet Caper (1981)
- Fraggle Rock (1983, writer and creative producer)
- Gonzo Presents Muppet Weird Stuff (1985)
- Fozzie's Muppet Scrapbook (1985)
- The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years (1986)
- A Muppet Family Christmas (1987)
- The Jim Henson Hour (1989, writer and co-producer)
- Living with Dinosaurs (1989, co-producer)
- The Muppets at Walt Disney World (1990)
- The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson (1990)
- The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992, screenplay, co-producer)
- Muppet Treasure Island (1996)
- Muppets from Space (1999)
- International Puppet Museum: Lettie Connell Schuburt
- "Jerry Juhl, 67, Award-Winning Head Writer for Muppet Shows, Is Dead". New York Times. October 9, 2005. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
- "Jerry Juhl: Puppeteer behind the witty dialogue of the Muppet Show". The Guardian. October 12, 2005. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
- Jerry Juhl at the Internet Movie Database
- An interview with Jerry Juhl
- A tribute to Jerry Juhl at IGN FilmForce
- A tribute to Jerry Juhl at Jim Hill Media