Some well-known Muppets are Kermit the Frog, Elmo, Big Bird and Grover. Other Muppets include Bert, Ernie, Gonzo, Oscar the Grouch and the Swedish Chef.
In 1955, Jim Henson created Kermit the Frog, the first Muppet, as well as the most famous. Kermit first appeared on the TV show "Sam and Friends," and the favorable reception led Henson to expand the Muppet brand, with more characters and additional TV appearances. Characters created by Henson include Cookie Monster, Gonzo and the Swedish Chef. Many characters, such as Miss Piggy, Elmo and Big Bird, were created by employees Henson hired to work on Muppet projects,
The Muppets were featured in their own segment on the first season of "Saturday Night Live," and, while popular, producers decided the tone of the show wasn't right for Henson's characters. This dismissal led to the development of "The Muppet Show" in 1976, and the release of "The Muppet Movie" in 1979. As of June 2015, there have been eight Muppet movies, all of which have proved popular with audiences. This success has also led to additional TV shows, such as "Sesame Street" and "Muppet Babies." These shows featured numerous minor Muppets as recurring characters, such as the Yip Yips and Smiley the Worm.