In the 1970s, the United States Information Agency’s “Vision USA” brought images of American life to television screens across the globe. The program focused on current events, and occasionally, Muppets.
Episode 72 of “Vision USA,” released in 1978, takes a behind-the-scenes look at Jim Henson’s “Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas.” Emmet Otter was one of the first Muppet productions to use radio-controlled puppetry, and “Vision USA” took the opportunity to show the world American advancements in motion picture special effects technology. The clip below shows the Emmet Otter characters under construction in the Muppet workshop. Their soft and fuzzy exteriors mask intricate, remote-controlled metal skeletons.
Emmet Otter only plays a small role in Episode 72. Check out the clips below to see what else “Vision USA” covered in 1978.