Sunday, December 30

Inspiration - Part 3

My first and most consistent source of inspiration has always been the charm, humor and chemistry between Frank Oz and Jim Henson character performances.

Kermit with Cookie Monster,
Grover with Guy Smilee,
Bert with Ernie, and
Grover with Kermit
You can't help but smile when seeing any of these puppet characters performing together, usually at odds with each other, or singing a song, playing a game, or demonstrating something for educational purposes.

These character combinations were priceless, their personalities would always clash and you could notice the improvisations between Frank and Jim and the obviously strong connection they had with each other, always able to adapt and play off each other. After countless years working together, Frank and Jim had an in depth understanding of the characters and each other. As a result, the puppets acted so naturally under their control that they had life in them displayed in ways rarely seen since.

To me that is the key to it all. Instilling life into puppets like few others could were one of their many talents. For instance, Tex Avery, Bob Clampett, and Chuck Jones breathed life into the Looney Tunes characters in such a convincing way that people are still trying to duplicate that amazing effect decades later. Jim and Frank have the same thing going, the stars aligned and the perfect circumstances occurred for Frank and Jim to meet and eventually collaborate and create fantastically entertaining characters for Sesame Street and many other television and film projects. Not to mention the killer combos of Kermit/Fozzie and Kermit/Miss Piggy for the Muppet show, along with many other immensely talented artists, writers, designers, technicians and craftsmen that all helped in the process.

See two rare clips of Jim working with puppet workshop students in France in 1987 here and here.

Frank & Jim will always be my primary inspiration. For me, nothing else comes close to their genius for storytelling and character acting.

Thursday, December 20

Episode 90

Jimmy discovers a bit of animation.

See Quicktime here.
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Sunday, December 16

Episode 89

Matt & Patt make their first appearance on the Wippets.

See Quicktime here.
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Sunday, December 9

Inspiration - Part 2

The Polyphonic Spree - "Hold Me Now"
This is an amazing puppet music video, probably one of the best!
Starring characters from Mario and Fafa's
Glove & Boots online puppet series.

Unfortunately they haven't done any new skits or videos in recent years, but their characters and scripts are the best things ever. There's 5 other short videos on their site. But it would seem this particular music video was their last epic endeavor. Seriously.... it's great! How did they bring a piano in the forest? I don't know. The lip sync, funny acting and editing is what I'm aspiring to achieve.

Thursday, December 6

Episode 88

Spafford has a chat with Kyle Miller.

See Quicktime here.
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Saturday, December 1

Episode 87

Lester sings Chocolate Rain.

See Quicktime here.
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