Puppeteer Kathy Kim on how ‘Sesame Street’ created Ji-Young, the show’s first Asian American muppet

ji-young kathy kim

Take an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Ji-Young, the first Asian American muppet, and hear from puppeteer Kathy Kim about how the character came to life. 

A glimpse into the creation of muppets on “Sesame Street,” the video shows the meticulous stitching of Ji-Young’s clothes, the care given to brushing her hair, and the gentle tweaks that shape her features. In a heartwarming moment, Kim meets the finished muppet and hugs her before lifting her up for the first time and exclaiming, “Hi, I’m Ji-Young!” before adding in her own voice, “Oh, I’m going to start crying now.”

“To be able to be the representation that I did not have as a kid … you can’t put words to it,” says Kim. “We’ve all been involved in the process. It’s been really important for us at Sesame to have Asian American voices represented in the development of this character. And I think it shows in the final product.”

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“Sesame Street” announced on Monday that they will be introducing Ji-Young during a Thanksgiving special featuring Asian and Asian American celebrities Simu Liu, Padma Lakshmi, and Naomi Osaka.

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