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The Last Muppet Show Elstree Studios 1980

This was just posted yesterday on Youtube- a behind the scenes look at the last Muppet Show day of shooting at Elstree Studios! Amazing footage of all those involved in the show including Jim Henson and Frank Oz!

Russell Hoban dies at age 86

Russell Hoban was best known for his book called “Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas”, which further reached fans through Jim Henson’s adaptation 1977 special originally created for HBO. The book was illustrated by Hoban’s first wife, Lillian, whose drawn renditions of these characters were faithfully replicated by Henson Studios. The story tells of a poor mother and son who do what they must to try to provide a special Christmas to one another, taking a route neither of them expected.

Hoban was also known for children’s books, writing over 50 children’s books including “The Mouse and His Child” and the Frances The Badger series. Hoban died on Tuesday at aged 86, after quadruple bypass surgery.

His final book is Soonchild, about a shaman making a dangerous journey across the Arctic, and it’s coming out in March in the U.K.

Our 6th Anniversary!

Tomorrow will mark Puppeteers Unite! 6th Anniversary. In appreciation to all of our fans we have posted a bit of a contest.

The contest is simple…when we get 2,000 likes on our Facebook Fanpage (CLICK HERE) we will be drawing a name and rewarding the lucky person a New Brother Sewing Machine (Retail value $150 Canadian)!

So go tell other fellow puppeteers, friends, family to “Like” Puppeteers Unite! For a chance to win!

Please note: If the winner of the draw is not from North America, then the value of the sewing Machine ($150 Canadian) will be given via Pay Pal. Sorry but hey, free money instead!

Washington Trip Part 3

Continuing my trip to the Smithsonian I came across the work of Basil Milovsoroff. I didn’t know anything about Basil, so when I got home I searched the internet and was actually surprised I hadn’t heard of him until now. Here is the Wikipedia’s “historic” findings 🙂

Basil Milovsoroff (1906-1992) was an accomplished Russian-American puppeteer. He was born in Siberia, close to the Mongolian border and emigrated to the United States when he was very young. He received a BS and Masters degrees from the Oberlin College, and in 1957 he joined the Department of Russian Studies at Dartmouth College.

In 1931 he married Georgia Taylor and together started The Folktale Puppet Theatre. He was widely recognized as one of the best puppeteers in the United States, and in 1983 he received the President’s Award of the Puppeteers of America (a year before Frank Oz received it)

His puppets can be best described as surrealist compositions of pieces of wood that preserved their original shapes, with their voices having a resemblance to the sounds of the forest.

I have looked everywhere for a recorded performance of Basil’s work but unfortunately cannot find anything 🙁

Correction: The Puppeteers of America sell a video found HERE– perhaps i’ll just have to purchase a copy :-))

Washington Trip Part 2

Here is a picture of Kermit’s rounded feet. I loved how you can actually see the stitching; Henson did some good sewing.

In another display I saw a Simba mask from the Broadway hit “The Lion King”.

My Recent trip to Washington

I was hired to perform at the American Childhood Cancer Organization holiday party located in Washington DC. I had some time to visit key locations one must see when they go to Washington. In the next couple of days i’ll be posting some photos of my trip. The first couple of photos are from the American History Smithsonian Museum. I literally ran up to the 3rd floor to see the original Muppets! When I finally reached the 3rd floor I was surprised to be greeted by Edgar Bergens Charlie McCarthy. An amazing surprise, as I was only focused on the Muppets. I spend a good time looking at the craftsmanship and fine detail put into Charlie. There was also a group of teen kids looking at him and asking why there was a dummy on display. I took it upon myself to play curator and gave them a quick background of Charlie and Edgar Bergen. They laughed when I told them Edgar did the majority of his show on Radio but still performed Charlie on air.

After my chat I decided to go directly to the Muppets. On display were ten Muppets from Sam and Friends. As I (again) studied the stitching and materials used the teens appeared once again. This time they recognized the Muppets but only Kermit. One teen stated “These Muppets are the prototypes of the Muppets”… I (again) jumped in with my historical knowledge (LOL) and let them know the history behind these particular Muppets- pointing out that the Kermit they see is the original Kermit made by Jim Henson from his mother’s old coat.

A great exibit! I fully recommend checking it out!

Project Puppet Contest Winners!

All the results are in and the winners of Puppet Contest 2011 are…

  • GRAND PRIZE – Emerson Bartholamew Toppit by Larry Merrill
  • FIRST RUNNER-UP – Kichiro the Samurai Koi Fish by Michael Higgs
  • PEOPLE’S CHOICE – Graf Carl Gustav von Rotz by Jessica Bruckschen

All the enteries were outstanding! Everyone did an amazing job and should all be congratulated.
To see all the other entries click HERE!

Project Puppet is also having a FALL SALE! Check out the great prices for some great puppet patterns! Buy some for that special puppet builder or yourself. 🙂