American puppeteer and filmmaker Jim Henson (1936 - 1990) with some of the Muppet cast from the children's TV show 'Fraggle Rock', circa 1985. Along with the diminutive Doozers in the foreground are the Fraggle characters (left to right) Boober, Mokey, Gobo, Red and Wembley. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Jim Henson’s Violent Coffee Commercials Resurface After 60 Years, And Twitter Is Loving It (Video)

If you really want to be a creative genius but are currently stuck delivering Popeye’s to drunk people in the suburbs, don’t worry, everybody has to start somewhere. Andy Warhol drew women’s shoes for Glamour. Brad Pitt dressed in a chicken costume for El Pollo Loco. And Jim Henson made hilariously violent spots for a now-defunct beverage company called Wilkins Coffee.

Before the offers came rolling in for Kermit and the rest of Henson’s Muppets, things weren’t easy for a man who made inanimate objects talk for a living. Early in his career, Henson would take any gig he could get, and that included the now infamous Wilkins Coffee spots: 179 lightning-fast ads featuring a charmingly sadistic Wilkins and his unwitting victim, Wontkins.

Wilkins loved Wilkins coffee, but his friend Wontkins hated it. This genial dispute would lead to an argument that quickly (very quickly) escalated to the point of Wilkins committing passionate acts of manslaughter on his friend Wontkins – with each new murder more exciting than the last.

Way back in 1957 (before TikTok), local station identification only lasted 10 seconds, so ads needed to pack a punch fast. Henson figured gratuitous violence was the ticket to grabbing eyeballs. He was right. Now, the brevity of Henson’s little masterpieces once again fits perfectly into the hyper-speed media consumption of modern culture and Twitter is having a field day. See for yourself what all the fuss is about:

Like Itchy and Scratchy on WWII-era meth, it doesn’t get much better than this. The only problem now is, where the hell can we get some Wilkins Coffee?

Cover Photo: Hulton Archive / Handout (Getty Images)

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