Matt Baume Pays Tribute to “The Gay Man Behind The Muppets”

Richard Hunt was an integral part of ‘The Muppet Show’ and other projects featuring The Muppets. (Photo Credit: Muppet Wiki)

The Muppets have been a pop culture institution ever since the 1970s. Β What started out as minor puppets in a local access show and eventually coffee and other commercials turned into a Vaudeville-type show with the characters we all know and love today.

In his latest video, Matt Baume pays tribute to Richard Hunt, a gay man who was not only part of the core group right at the beginning of the Muppets popularity but also was the creator/ puppeteer/ voice for iconic characters like Scooter, Janice, Statler, Beaker, and Sweetums on The Muppet Show and Forgetful Jones, Placido Flamingo, Gladys the Cow, and more on Sesame Street.Β 


After The Muppet Show ended, Hunt went on to be a puppeteer for even more characters in another Muppet project, Fraggle Rock. And when Jim Henson died in 1990, Hunt was there to pay tribute to his mentor and friend.

In 1992, at the age of 40, Hunt died of AIDS complications.Β  Β 

Richard Hunt’s panel on the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt (Photo Credit: The Muppet Wiki)

The full video from Matt Baume’s YouTube channel can be viewed below.

Sources: The Bilerico Project, The New York Times, Matt Baume Official YouTube Channel, Muppet Wiki, The Jim Henson Collection Official YouTube Channel, Scott Pickering YouTube Channel,

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