Ron Howard reveals his favorite Muppet after directing Jim Henson documentary

While the answer is predictable, the reasons are worth a read!

The Everett Collection

It's not easy being green... or being Opie, or Richie Cunningham, or one of Hollywood's most successful and respected directors. 

Ron Howard may be treasured for his appearances on classic sitcoms like The Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days, but these days, he's also becoming quite the documentarian. 

With his eighth non-fiction directorial effort, the celebrated filmmaker focuses his lens on another respected media personality, Muppets creator Jim Henson. The resulting documentary, Jim Henson: Idea Man provides an incredibly in-depth narrative of Henson's career and creative process, as told by the people closest to him. Henson's children and collaborators disclose never-before-heard stories about his work while highlighting the peaks and valleys of his artistic and personal life. 

Howard guides the narrative with a surgeon's precision, ensuring the film focuses on some oft-overlooked corners of Henson's career. That level of expertise came from immersing himself in the Muppets world, and Howard emerges as one of our pre-eminent experts in the field.

In a 2024 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Howard discusses how his view of Henson evolved, and how his favorite Muppet never changed. 

"It's Kermit, which is kind of an easy answer," Howard told EW. "Jim related to Kermit for a set of reasons that makes me relate to Kermit— he's a pretty regular guy just trying to get along, and yet, he's surrounded by a bunch of high-octane, eccentric folks. He's trying to be the reasonable one in a world that could sometimes seem kind of mad. Jim got that, and I do, too."

Kermit is the obvious Ron Howard analog on any film set, as the director is the one keeping the show running. But Kermit is also a great Howard stand-in on Happy Days, where Richie Cunningham was often the voice of reason in a world of wacky cut-ups.

The connection runs a bit deeper, as Howard explains how he relates to Henson's creative energy.

"The interesting thing is that Jim was an introvert, but he became an extrovert when he had a puppet to work through," said Howard. "He became playful and more buoyant, and he could say more outrageous things. For me, being on the set and directing is when I become an extrovert. It's when I open up and feel freer to express myself."

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4 Comments

ZeroToPatrick 22 days ago
Crazy Harry will always be my favorite.

With an Honorable Mention to The Muppet News Flash Anchorman.
Tresix 22 days ago
I kind of thought it would be Kermit.
Snickers 27 days ago
My favorite has been and always will be Animal.
Runeshaper 27 days ago
Henson, Howard, and Kermit all ROCK!
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