Kermit the Frog. In 1955, 18-year-old Jim Henson joined the workforce—hosting a five-minute-long Washington, D.C. TV show called Sam and Friends. It aired between the local news and The Tonight Show. He was pretty much responsible for the whole show, including creating the manic puppet characters. He took an old coat of his mother’s, made eyes out of a table tennis ball split in half, and created a lizard-like puppet he named Kermit after a Sam and Friends cameraman. Eventually, the lizard Kermit evolved into Kermit the Frog, king of the Muppets.