The Incredibly Sadistic Wilkins Coffee Ads Of Jim Henson

So here are crude prototypes of Muppets Kermit the Frog and “Telly” (remember Telly?) hawking Wilkins Coffee from 1957-1961. The ads are mostly some variation of the sad-sack Telly character (Wontkins) saying he doesn’t want the coffee, and the Kermit character (Wilkins, of course) maiming and/or killing him.

That’s it.

It’s important to remember here that the “Looney Tunes” cartoons of the era (and earlier) were similarly violent; in “live-action,” what seemed tame in animation might be a bit more jarring.

That said, there is a sort of blunt, savage humor to the creative misfortunes visited upon Wontkins (including apparently disappearing out of existence) and the Wilkins/Kermit refrain: “Things just ‘seem to happen’ to people who don’t drink Wilkins!”