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Sesame Family Robinson – From making Muppets to Raising Moppets

Entries with tag tagdecember .

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HandyMan Loses His Shoes

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WHO IS HANDYMAN?

Most everyone on earth has done some version of HandyMan. Cavemen were undoubtedly explaining things using the metaphor of two walking fingers to represent a whole person. The first time I saw it done really well in a performance situation was by the great George Latshaw at the O’Neill Theatre Center’s National Puppetry Conference. It was a glove with a little face tucked into it.  Icelandic Puppeteer Bernd Ogrodnik has a brilliant one he does with two hands. There is a group called Gaia Theatro which has a character called Fingerman that is gorgeous.   Sesame Street’s own David Rudman was known for years as “Ziploc’s Fingerman.”   

So the idea is well worn … and well loved. My HandyMan is a bit of a blunt instrument compared to these, but he means well and perseveres in the face of adversity. I guess he began with Annie’s enormous pregnant belly seeming like a mountain in one of the photos we took. 

  The Mountain of Tummy
The Mountain of Tummy

We thought it would be fun to have a little guy actually scaling that mountain, so I made some shoes and we shot a bunch of footage and edited it together into “Tummy Mountain.”

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Since then, I plan and storyboard most of his films. It’s weird. He’s evolved into this metaphorical replacement for me … like Annie is just married to this enthusiastic, helpful little bumbler … an idea many new fathers would probably find familiar.

Smartest Child Ever

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Like your family we have twins, boy/girl, that turned three last month. I saw your blog entry for January and it looks like we have something in common, potty training twins. Like one of your girls, my son WILL NOT pee in the potty but his sister was doing well until she caught on to "Bubbie" not trying. I was just letting things run their course but our local pre-schools/mommy day out programs require the children to be potty trained and this mommy needs a day out. Bribery isn't working. Have you had any success?

Sommer

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How often is the telly puppet renewed or replaced?

Katherine Sydney, Australia

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I read in 40 Years of Life on the Street about an incident involving Snuffy's puppet where a sombrero caused the wood frame to collapse on you and Bryant Young. Did they rebuild the puppet after that or did they just make a new one?

Edward

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I just wanted to say thanks for the blog. My daughter Kylie (who just turned two yesterday) loves to ask if we are going to see "the babies." Thank you so much to you and Marty for bringing the joy of Sesame Street into our lives every day.

Kendal and Kylie Montreal, Canada

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I've noticed that there are fewer Muppets and people in an episode now than there were twenty years ago. Does everyone show up on the set for filming days or only certain ones? Who decides who gets to play the Anything Muppets? There are some voices I hear more than others.

Glenda

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