Everyone knows the beloved creations of Jim Henson, from Kermit the Frog to Elmo to Yoda, and it’s a commonly-known fact that the Jim Henson Company lot is located in Hollywood, if not open to the public. But walk around the lot and you may find a seemingly out-of-place legendary actor standing in front of a door, doffing his hat to welcome the visitors.
It’s none other than Charlie Chaplin, the silent comedy star, dressed in the costume of his iconic Tramp character. He has never made a guest appearance in any of the Muppet Show episodes, as he had already been gone by the time it first aired. Then why, one may wonder, is he there?
The answer is simple: this lot used to be home to the Charlie Chaplin Studios.
Built by Chaplin in 1917, the studio on La Brea is where such classics as The Gold Rush and Modern Times were filmed. After a new owner bought it in 1957, many more movies were shot here, including Roger Corman’s original The Little Shop of Horrors, and later went on to be home to the Hanna-Barbera animation studio from 1960 to 1963, during its earliest years when The Flintstones and The Yogi Bear Show first aired, to name a few.
In 2000, the Jim Henson Company purchased the lot and even installed a sculpture of Kermit the Frog on the studio entrance, dressed in the iconic Chaplin costume. It has since made an appearance in the 2011 Disney film The Muppets as the Muppet Studios.
While most visitors can only gaze upon the studio from the outside, the studio has been known to open its gates to visitors as part of the Adventures by Disney Southern California vacation package or by attending the adult improve puppet show Puppet Up Uncensored, which offers tours as part of the VIP package.