Jerry Juhl

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Jerry Juhl
Jerome Ravn Juhl

(1938-07-27)July 27, 1938
DiedSeptember 25, 2005(2005-09-25) (aged 67)
Resting placeNeptune Society Columbarium
Alma materSan Jose State University
Known forwriting and puppeteering for The Muppets

Jerome Ravn Juhl (July 27, 1938 – September 25, 2005) was an American television and film writer, best known for his work with 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.[1] The two later met Henson at a puppeteer gathering in California.[2]

Juhl was recruited by Jim 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 from seasons 2 to 5 (season 1 had Jack Burns as head writer). 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.[2] 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."[3]

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.

He was married to Susan Doerr Juhl and lived in Caspar, California. In his last few years he semi-retired from writing, but taught at local colleges, coached at local Mendocino Coast theatres such as Gloriana Opera Company, and spoke at puppeteer conventions. He died on September 26, 2005, from pancreatic cancer at the age of 67.[2]


Juhl 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.


Year Title Role Notes
1955-1961 Sam and Friends Muppet performer
1969 The Cube
1969-1975 Sesame Street
1970 The Great Santa Claus Switch
1971 The Frog Prince Taminella voice
1972 The Muppet Musicians of Bremen
1974 The Muppets Valentine Show
Tale of Sand co-writer Originally written as a live-action screenplay, it found release in 2012 as a graphic novel, Jim Henson's Tale of Sand.
1976-1981 The Muppet Show writer head writer from 1977 to 1981
1977 Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas
1979 The Muppets Go Hollywood
The Muppet Movie
1981 The Muppets Go to the Movies
The Great Muppet Caper
1983-1987 Fraggle Rock writer also creative producer
1985 Gonzo Presents Muppet Weird Stuff
Fozzie's Muppet Scrapbook
1986 The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years
1987 A Muppet Family Christmas
1989 The Jim Henson Hour writer also co-producer
Living with Dinosaurs co-producer
1990 The Muppets at Walt Disney World
The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson
1992 The Muppet Christmas Carol also co-producer
1996 Muppet Treasure Island
1999 Muppets from Space


  1. ^ International Puppet Museum: Lettie Connell Schuburt
  2. ^ a b c Monica Potts (October 9, 2005). "Jerry Juhl, 67, Award-Winning Head Writer for Muppet Shows, Is Dead". The New York Times. p. 1 44. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  3. ^ "Jerry Juhl: Puppeteer behind the witty dialogue of the Muppet Show". The Guardian. October 12, 2005. Retrieved July 17, 2011.

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