Bonnie Erickson – Career Timeline

Published: January 17, 2012
Categories: Feature

Timeline provided by Bonnie Erickson in July, 2017.
Additional information from Bonnie Erickson added in October, 2017.
Images and videos included below.

1972 – Head of Muppet Workshop – began experimenting with
carved foam puppets

April 2, 1972 – Muppet Musicians of Bremen airs – design and build the puppet and costume human villains

April 17, 1973 – Dick Cavett Show airs – design and build puppets of Jim Henson, Frank Oz and Jerry Nelson

January 30, 1974 – Muppet Valentine Special taped – design and build George the Janitor, build Mildred

1974 – Miss Piggy Lee is born – design and build three pigs for
Return to the Planet of the Pigs for pilot – one became Miss Piggy, one became Dr. Nauga-Strangepork and one use- anywhere pig (Changed name from Bonnie Lewis to maiden name Bonnie Erickson)

October 13, 1974 – The Herb Alpert Special airs before the pilot is filmed and Miss Piggy debuts

1974 – Prepare for Sex and Violence Design and build Statler & Waldorf, Gene Shallit, Newsman, design Zoot, co-design Animal, build Janice, co-build Swedish Chef

1975 – Prepare for Muppet Show, design and build the Newsman, build Vazh for Saturday Night Live Muppet Land of Gorch, Muppet coordinator for Saturday Night Live first season

1976 – Move to London for The Muppet Show, set-up workshop at Elstree Studio

1977 – Marry Wayde Harrison and establish Harrison/Erickson, Inc. with focus on design and marketing of toys and production of characters for advertising clients

1978 – Burger King commercial, Pie Qui Chant (Cadbury)
series of commercials for French theaters
(Yogolos –;
design; build and lease Phillie Phanatic mascot to Philadelphia Phillies for performances (still going-still a client)

1979 – Commercials for Budweiser, McDonald’s, AT&T, first
Nutella commercials filmed in Switzerland; design, build and lease Youppi! to Montreal Expos (still going); design, build Big Shot mascot for Philadelphia 76ers; design, build Dandy mascot for New York Yankees; toy premium for national bank

1980-81 – Launch Harrison/Erickson licensing programs for Phillie Phanatic and Youppi!; more Nutella in Europe, American Diary commercials; Design Consultant/workshop director for Fraggle
Rock; Designed the toys for Maurice Sendak’s Wild Things

1982 – Lysol commercial; design and build Ribbie and Roobarb
mascot for Chicago White Sox; design, build Duncan mascot
for New Jersey Nets

1983 – Sharp commercial for Japan

1984 – Lysol commercial, Puppets for Alaska’s 25th Anniversary celebration

1985 – License line of Central Casting toys to Applause, Joy commercials, Party Animals for Nolan Bushnell’s Axlon

1986 – More Lysol; Vice President Creative Projects for Henson
Company including The Tale of the Bunny Picnic and The
Christmas Toy

1987 – Creative Director for Henson Company and Children’s Television Workshop through 2000

1988 – Meeting films for Deloitte Haskins; Set of puppets for
Mabou Mines production of Warrior Ant at Brooklyn Academy
of Music.

1989 – Design, build K.C. Wolf mascot for Kansas City Chiefs (still going); design, build Booster mascot for Houston Rockets; design, build Hugo mascot for Charlotte Hornets; design, build Stuff mascot for Orlando Magic (still going)

1990 – Meeting films for Bell Atlantic

1994  -Launched Acme Mascots independent mascot act with Sport
character; Meeting films for Deloitte Haskins, Flik Flak commercials in Europe; became Trustee of The Jim Henson Legacy

1995 – More Flik Flak; design, build Jaxson de Ville mascot for Jacksonville Jaguars (still going); design, build Pirate Pete
mascot for Delaware River & Bridge Authority

1996 – License line of Party Animals to Axlon

design, build Slyly mascot for Hiroshima Carp in Japan (still going)

1996 – Art Director for Sesame Street/Henson Company Tickle Me Elmo

1998 – Design, build G-Whiz mascot for Washington Wizards (still going)

1999 – Supply on-stage Gospel choir puppets and Delores De Lago doll for sale during Bette Midler The Devine Miss Millennium Tour

2000 – Travel to Hong Kong for a week once a month to develop art staff for Sesame Street licensee in China

2001 – Develop Jim Henson Legacy database and began review of the Henson Family Collection. Oversight of eventual Henson family donations, conservation and installations in Smithsonian Museum, Center for Puppetry Arts, Museum of the Moving Image and the Strong Museum of Toys.

2002 – Phillie Phanatic costume added to the permanent collection of
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Montreal Expo’s (now with the Canadiens hockey team) Youppi! is also there.

2003 – With Jane Henson, preside over selection of Jay Hall Carpenter as sculptor of Jim Henson statue installed at U of Maryland.

2004  -Began discussions on possible venues for Jim Henson permanent museum exhibit; presenter at Muppets, Music & Magic: Jim Henson’s Legacy at the Brooklyn Academy of Music; Palisades manufactures replica of Jim Henson Muppet Country puppet

2007 – Elected President of The Jim Henson Legacy; begin discussions with BAM to develop joint traveling film series;

2007-2012 – Worked with Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (S.I.T.E.S.) to develop Jim Henson’s Fantastic World exhibit opening at twelve museum venues

2008 – Forbes magazine names the Phillie Phanatic best mascot in sports

2009 – Presenter at Mar del Plata Film Festival in Argentina

2010 – Through 2014 Executive director of The Jim Henson Legacy; Sam and Friends donation to Smithsonian

2013 – Donation of additional Henson Collection to Smithsonian

2015 – Center for Puppetry Arts opens Jim Henson Collection exhibit in new museum building

2017 – Work with Museum of Moving Image to install their traveling exhibit The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited at
MoPOP in Seattle

2017 – Opening of permanent Jim Henson Exhibit at the Museum of
the Moving Image

2017 – Donations being made of Bonnie Erickson papers, sketches,
patterns, prototypes, toys, puppets, advertising videos, mascots to various museum venues

American Dairy Association D’Arcy MacManus, Masius 1980 Photo: Wayde Harrison

Burger King for J. Walter Thompson 1978 Photo:Wayde Harrison

Flik Flak – Swatch for kids for Sülzer Sutter Agency Switzerland Photo: Julien Vonier

McDonald’s Happy Meal for Needham, Harper & Steers Photo: Wayde Harrison

Nutella for BSSM Agency Switzerland

Sharp Japan for Creative Enterprise International

Saturday Night Live / Budweiser for J. Walter Thompson 1979 (this campaign was only shown on Saturday Night Live) 6 ads altogether

Joy Detergent for Grey Advertising 1985

H-24 for Mexico

AT&T for A.W. Ayer 1979

Axion Party Animals Toys Commercial:


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