Monday, August 31, 2009


I've written before about our FOX series
where I co-starred with the lovely and exuberant
Specifically here:
and here:

I just found a parcel of BEHIND-THE-SCENES shots circa 1989. Now I can give some well-deserved props to the DJ Kat Show Team:
That's me and Carmen (I'm the pony-tail on the left) putting our heads together on the couch set.
The Red Sea parts to reveal our director, the finger-snappin' STEVEN FELDMAN. (We were very aware of gender roles on the set, so to me, he was - - and will always be - - Feldperson.)
Carmen gives the Metal Horns, while our producer TERESA MATTHEWS, looks concerned.

Rehearsing with Carmen. . .

. . . enjoying the resulting playback.

Backstage with Steven, DJ KAT in tow.

The brain trust, including former Saturday Night Live scribe, BRUCE PADDOCK (L).

Director in his natural habitat.
Steven and I worked together on several television projects besides the DJ Kat Show, including ACTV and SHINING TIME STATION. We enjoyed a mutually beneficial working relationship throughout much of the '90's.

Producer Teresa Matthews.

Shooting the station owner, Midas G. Merkle (M.G.M.)

The popular VIEWER MAIL segment.

With the legendary ELI BERGMAN.
Eli was with WNEW (now FOX) from the begininng, and he worked with all the kid show greats: SOUPY SALES, CHUCK McCANN, SANDY BECKER, BOB McCALLISTER, and, DIALING FOR DOLLARS (heh-heh). Eli was the tether to the halcyon day's of old, and whenever I wasn't working, he'd regale me with stories about my heroes (see above.) The nicest thing he ever said to me was "You know, Craig. You're one of them!"

I loved doing the DJ Kat Show, and I hope that everyone - - Carmen, Steven, Teresa, Tommy Terranova, Scoop the Cameraman, Ron on Sound, Donna on the floor (!?) et al - - look back fondly on the memories we created for our kids in the FOX viewing area. I'll see if I can post an episode sometime. . .

All photos by ALAN (the) SEMOK

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


With marionettes by

One of the all-time GREAT TV PUPPET SHOWS of the 50's.

And now FLEXITOON is thrilled to be working with Art Carney's son, BRIAN, on a soon-to-be-announced television special of our own. Brian is the star of those hysterical GEIKO commercials, as well as the INTERVIEWER on our TALKING STAIN SPOT.

stay tooned. . .

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Back in 1975, my company was called THE PUPPETEERS.
My then partner Holly Smith and I were the featured cover story on PARADE MAGAZINE.
It wasn't long after that we went our several ways. However, in re-reading the article after all this time, I'm amazed at how things change, yet also stay the same. . .

(click on pages to enlarge)

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Not only was our TALKING STAIN spot voted the #3 Super Bowl commercial of all time, and the World's Funniest Office Commercial, but several friends said they heard it referenced last night on COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN (8/12/09). I guess we are officially part of the cultural fabric of America.
As the Stain himself might say:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009


While we're busy making the FELIX the CAT puppet cast, here are some pictures and a promotional video from the exhibit "PULLING STRINGS: ART THAT MOVES. THE WORLD OF FLEXITOON".

Promotional Video by Mike Campbell

Photos by Kati Meister, Greg Hodgeman, Steven Widerman

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The John K Connection

John K - - for those of you that don't know - - is the animation genius who created REN & STIMPY, the cartoon series that changed animation forever. We were all huge R&S fans here (I even made my son his very own MUDDY MUDSKIPPER CEREAL BOWL CADDY.)

John and I had been in touch through the years - -both of us having been part of the orbit of RALPH BAKSHI (John was one of his top animators on Mighty Mouse, and I did the voices for Ralph's WHAT-A-CARTOON series MELVIN & MALCOLM); and JK was very close with BOB CLAMPETT (his mentor) while Olga & I were working with Bob to create new BEANY & CECIL PUPPETS for a modern go at TIME FOR BEANY. John and I also share a mutual affliction for early children's television shows in general, and SOUPY SALES in particular.

We thought it'd be kool to work together on a project, then one day last fall he called and said "I have one!" John wanted us to make marionettes of GEORGE LIQUOR and his nephew JIMMY THE IDIOT BOY. The marionettes were going to do live-action commercials for the PONTIAC VIBE as part of a new Internet series starring his great cartoon characters. We got under way at once. Sadly, the project was derailed when GM went belly-up (whoda thunk THAT would've happened?) Note to John: Hey! Maybe you can get a CASH-FOR-CLUNKER deal?

John stretched our techniques to the breaking point. We came up with mechanisms where they not only move their mouths, but George could also rotate his eyes 360 degrees, and Jimmy could stick out his tongue while flipping up his upper lid. Working with John was rough and tumble, but I look forward to doing it again.

Here are some pictures of the marionettes. Note all the different expressions they have. . .

(above: Jimmy meets his hero: SOUPY SALES!)
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