I first saw Jim Henson’s experimental art film “Time Piece” in 2001, during the first (and only) Muppet convention in Santa Monica. (MuppetFest was awesome, so shut it!)
Started as a personal project, Henson would go on to storyboard, write, direct and star in the film starting in the spring of 1964. It premiered in May 1965 at the Museum of Modern Art, and was even nominated for an Academy Award in the category of “Best Short Subject, Live Action Subjects” in 1966.
Since 2001, I’ve tried to track down the film online. Finally, someone put it on YouTube. Awesome.
So here it is, Jim Henson’s “Time Piece” in all its jazzy glory. You can totally see how it would go on to influence some of the shorts from “Sesame Street” years later.
Be sure to keep an eye out for brief cameos from Frank Oz (with a full head of hair) as a messenger boy, Muppet designer Don Sahlin as a stand-up comic, and head Muppet writer Jerry Juhl as a bartender.
When you’re done, check out this short “behind the scenes” segment on the making of “Time Piece.”