Season’s Greetings from the U.S. Information Agency: “Vision USA” Visits Emmet Otter

Inside the Muppet workshop.

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.

Clip from “Vision USA” Episode 72 (306-V-72)

Emmet Otter only plays a small role in Episode 72. Check out the clips below to see what else “Vision USA” covered in 1978.

Skateboarding GIF by US National Archives - Find & Share on GIPHY
Vision USA” reports on the “new fad” called skateboarding. (From 306-V-72)
Fire Laser GIF by US National Archives - Find & Share on GIPHY
A physicist from the University of California, San Diego uses laser light beams to clean and restore works of art. (From 306-V-72)
Scientist Notetaking GIF by US National Archives - Find & Share on GIPHY
The “Failure Analysis Associates” of Los Angeles investigate machinery failures. (From 306-V-72)
Alarm Ambulance GIF by US National Archives - Find & Share on GIPHY
Residents of The Woodlands, Texas demonstrate a two-way communication alarm system for fire and medical emergencies. (From 306-V-72)

Explore the entire “Vision USA” series in Record Group 306, records of the United States Information Agency.

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