Jim Henson's original Muppets include Kermit the Frog, Rowlf the Dog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and Animal. Kermit the Frog and Rowlf the Dog first appeared in commercials and on late-night talk shows in the 1960s. Rowlf the Dog was also the first Muppet with a recurring role on network television as Jimmy Dean's sidekick on "The Jimmy Dean Show."
Having already created Kermit the Frog and Rowlf the Dog, Jim Henson began work on "Sesame Street," where he created, designed and performed the voices of several characters. After the show's debut in 1969, Henson wanted to create a television show that could be geared towards both children and adults. In 1976, that creation, known as "The Muppet Show," made its debut, with already-known characters Kermit and Rowlf leading the bill. Henson gave the show a sketch comedy, variety show format and introduced characters Gonzo the Great, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and Animal.
"The Muppet Show" became increasingly popular throughout the late 1970s and into the 1980s, and it allowed Henson's company, Henson Associates, to begin production on Muppet movies, as well as a Saturday morning cartoon, "Muppet Babies." The movies, which are still popular as of 2015, include "The Muppet Movie," "The Great Muppet Caper," "Muppets Take Manhattan" and "A Muppet Christmas Carol."