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Friday, June 27, 2008

Wilkins Coffee ads: The dark side of Jim Henson

Yesterday this blog reported the passing of Kermit Love, longtime Muppet designer and operator. His work on commercials led me to look around YouTube for any other examples of Muppets used in advertising.

That's what led me to re-discover the spots that Jim Henson made in the late 1950s for Wilkins Coffee.

Over fifty years ago, Henson was hired by Wilkins Coffee to create some commercials for their product. The result was a series of clips starring Wilkins and Wontkins. These are not only some of the earliest examples of the Muppets on television, they are also the longest-running campaign to feature the Muppets and certainly the most violent! Poor Wontkins dies by cannon, by point-blank shot from a pistol, run over by a bandwagon, not to mention threatened with a guillotine! In one of the commercials he's also shown smoking a cigarette (try doing that nowadays!). Definitely an indication that Henson in his younger days had some 'tude.

Enjoy the mayhem! And remember: People who don't drink Wilkins Coffee have bad things happen to them, muthah! :-P

Wilkins Coffee Commercials #1

Wilkins Coffee Commercials #2

Wilkins Coffee commercials #3


Anonymous said...

If it's dark stuff by Henson you're into, get thee to Google Video and search out Henson's "The Cube," a 1969 TV movie which involves no puppets, but plenty of technical wizardry and a complete and total mindf***. It's an hour long, but it's more than worth it.

Anonymous said...

Check out this one for Kern's Bread...


Or this one, remembered from childhood on WFBC out of Greenville, SC...