Thursday, April 30, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
After his wife CORA passed away, Bil despaired of ever finding a female puppeteer of superior skill to take her place. Then one day, answering an ad in the trades along with 300 other applicants, in walks OLGA FELGEMACHER. Olga is a graduate of Northwestern University, and she cut her puppetry teeth touring the country with the wonderful Nicolo Marionettes. Bil was her childhood idol, and there was no turning back. So, after stealing her courage, she climbed onto that FRICKIN' SCARY RAIL-LESS MARIONETTE BRIDGE and? Nailed it! For the next eight season, Olga became leading lady at the Bil Baird Marionette Theater in New York City and on multiple national tours.
. . . she also puppeteered and voiced both the marionette Alice and the Red Queen. . .
. . . from that FRICKIN' SCAREY RAILESS MARIONETTE BRIDGE. . .
Olga backstage in Alice costume.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Only Sandy could make singing about the weather entertaining.
Then one afternoon, a COOCOO theme song came on WPIX Channel 11, accompanied by this picture:
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Like Sandy Becker portrayed HAMBONE. . .
. . .and Chuck McCann played LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE (definately more on this in the future!). . . . . . I also played several on-camera characters. One audience favorite was BRACKISH SWAMPWATER the villainous ventriloquist, aided and abetted by his wa-a-ay smarter cohort LUCKY STIFF. It was great to do ventriloquism on a kid show; didn't seem to be anyone one else doing it at that time.
The series was an MGM production: that stands for MIDAS GELT MERKLE. Mr. Merkle was the station owner who was always trying to get rid of the Kat. One of the reasons the show came from a "basement" is because he was allergic to kids - - er - - kats.
Mister Merkle calls for help in dumping the Kat.
After winning the New York State Broadcasters Award for Outstanding Children's Series, FOX decided to cancel the Sunday show, and they asked Carmen to leave (which I wasn't too happy about!) and wanted me to create the first FOX KID'S CLUB. So now we were on daily from 3:00 - 6:00 hosting cartoons. It was a softer show, but fun, too.
I really enjoyed working at Channel 5 - - fulfilling that part of my destiny, and having an impact on children's television.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
Here's the point of this post:
We inherited many of Sandy's puppets and memorabilia when he passed away, and the other day I laid my hands upon an ultra-rare contact sheet. One of the pictures in the group was taken in the exact same place at almost the exact same angle that my show came from. Below is a backstage shot of Sandy Becker puppeteering GeebaGeeba (wearing a tyroleon hat) and Wydeen the Witch, with Timmy Moriarty fronting out front. . .
And here from the same vantage point is Carmen (as Jennifer Davis) and me puppeteering DJ Kat backstage in a viewer's mail segment.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
OLGA on bridge above the set. . .
But she still needs help with her lines.
ME, slipping into something more comfortable.