Before the days of Kermit, Miss Piggy and Gonzo the great…there was Wilkins and Wontkins.

Henson and team would take W&W on the Today Show and the very popular Jimmy Dean Show.

Henson loved to blow up characters.

He thought it was hilarious.

The extreme was hysterical to him.

Muppets Inc. was hired by Claussen’s bakeries for a series of TV commercials.

Henson had an idea…let’s set Wontkins on fire.

They used a solution called Cold Flame. In normal cases, the solution would burn quickly and cleanly while not harming the actual prop.

One hiccup…they baptized the Wontkins puppet in the liquid cold flame.

Henson stands next to the camera.

Frank Oz, the future voice of Yoda, puts his hand in Wontkins and holds him up to camera height.

Henson yells “Action.”

An assistant kneeling next to Oz lights Wontkins.

The puppet doesn’t just burn.

Poor Wontkins erupts in flame.

So much so, Frank Oz’s arm is burning.

He immediately slams Wontkins and his arm into a cold bucket of water sitting next to him.

How does Henson react? Allow me to actually quote Jim Henson, “Hmmmm…let’s do it again.”

Be like Henson.

Instead of getting stuck on what didn’t work, try again.

Failure can so wreck our hearts and minds.

We expect perfection of ourselves.

And if we’re not perfect, we dread the shame it will bring from others.

Try again.

So what if people see you fail?

If they’re watching you, then they’re not trying themselves.

Keep trying.

Keep innovating.

True failure only happens when you give up.

Be like Jim Henson and say, “Let’s do that again.”

Hope will triumph.

Easy never changed the world.


– Brian Sanders

Brian Sanders is an author/speaker and Executive Vice President of Positive Alternative Radio. To contact him or for more information about his book, Leadership Endurance, visit .