Staff Picks: A political satire, some literary maps, and obscure Jim Henson content

Henson Rarities YouTube channel

Thank heavens for the VHS junkie, the VCR jockey, and the other nonprofessional, copyright-flouting cultural archivists preserving the not-so-recent, videotaped past on the internet. In the highly specialized field of Muppet preservation, there’s no more valuable public resource than Henson Rarities, a YouTube channel overseen by artist, writer, and filmmaker Garrett Gilchrist. Gilchrist has pulled hours and hours of Jim Henson- and Muppet-related footage from video-cassette sources, keeping commercially unavailable odds and ends like The Muppets Go To The Movies, The Fantastic Miss Piggy Show, and The Jim Henson Hour (the last of which proved handy for me on a recent assignment) in circulation. In addition to pulling Sam And Friends and Muppet Inc.’s anarchic advertising work back from broadcast oblivion, the channel also collects material that didn’t make it to air, like the pilot presentation for Handmade Video (a proto-reality show starring …

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