Friday, October 30, 2009


HALLOWEEN was always big around my apartment growing up. Dad was a professional make-up artist and when he'd come home from work on All Hallow's Eve, kids would be lined up out the door and down the stairs (we lived on the 6th floor) for Dad to make them up.
My favorite make-up for many years was EMMETT KELLY, the famous sad-faced hobo. One time the Community Center across from my building was having a Halloween Costume Party and my dad couldn't be home in time, so I went into his make-up kit (unleashing that gloriously pungent-fresh-from-vaudeville grease paint smell!) and did my first make-up. I won First Prize, too. I was 6. . .

I always liked portraying different people and things. That's why puppets and puppetry suit me like a glove. If I saw something or someone I liked, I had to be it or them. Guess I was an early Zelig-teer!
Like, Steve McQueen as Josh Randall in "WANTED- DEAD OR ALIVE"

Who's cooler? Him or me?

Or CHUCK McCANN. Boy I wanted to be him. We even have the same initials!

SOUPY SALES was another fave wannabe. . .

I guess you never have to outgrow it. . .

My friend PAUL RUBIN and I used to dress like LAUREL AND HARDY and perform at schools and events as the duo (I was Chubby Ollie). We even made several TV appearances. . .
The zombie in the middle is JOE FRANKLIN.

In (very) High School we put on attic shows as THE MARX BROTHERS

I'm GROUCHO (and the red-eyed fella in the red was (nay IS!) DUG COHEN - - soon to become my partner in the MARKO PUPPET THEATRE.

I carried this joi-de-make-believe into adulthood, and played the villianous ventriloquist BRACKISH SWAMPWATER on my FOX series DJ KAT.

Have a wonderful OctoBoo 31, 2009.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Soupy Sales Memorial Service 10/26/09

The Soupy memorial service yesterday was beautiful and memorable. It was put on by the Friars Club at the Riverside Memorial Chapel on West 76th Street in Manhattan. The room was packed.
The female Rabbi handled the assembled with New York elegance and aplomb.
Freddy Roman spoke/joked: "Soupy was born in North Carolina, a hot-bed of Judaism." Professor Irwin Corey raised a ruckus! He began with "This is not an audition!" then segued into Holy Roller praise which morphed into a major rant against the Heath Care industry in America. As if on cue, the Friars rose as one and escorted him from the podium. Freddy Roman said "And I just want to remind you that next month he'll be appearing on the cover of GQ ."
Soupy's 2 son's shared heartbreak and love.
Burt Dubrow spoke eloquently on behalf of boomers.
Soupy's "accompanist" told a super funny anecdote.
When Soupy was wheeled down the aisle, I reached out my hand and rubbed the lid and in my best White Fang voice growled "ROWL RACHWU REAUG!" which means "I love you Soupy."


Here are some quick character sketches (mostly girls) that will hopefully one day find themselves reimagined into fully fleshed out Flexitoon form (I should live so long)

Monday, October 26, 2009


Just found a card we made for Soupy several years ago when he was recovering from heart surgery:
We miss him muchly.

Friday, October 23, 2009

SOUPY SALES: R.I.P. (10/23/09)

SOUPY SALES -- a truly funny man, kid show PIE-oneer, and a friend to puppets everywhere. Mike wonders if St. Peter met him at the Pearly Gates with a pie? More likely an Angel Food cake. We LOVE you, Soupy. . .

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009


Flexitoon produced 4, 1/2 hour episodes of THE HAMPTOONS for PLUM-TV. The network originally broadcast the series at 11:00(AM), 7:00 & 11:00 because they said it "tested well with kids, parents and stoners." PLUM ran the same 4 episodes for several years. I co-directed with Mike Campbell , and the VO here is by Doug Preis.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Pady & me. On the bridge during live DAVY JONES LOCKER.



PADY BLACKWOOD, one of the all-time great marionette manipulators, died recently. He had a heart-attack in a parking lot in Florida.
Olga knew Pady very well having worked with him at the NICOLO MARIONETTES and the BIL BAIRD MARIONETTE THEATRE. He was loved and respected and a was wonderful, talented person. I did several posts about Pady in the past, so I will let them serve as our living memories of this gifted, gentle soul.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I was fortunate to work with RALPH BAKSHI on a series he created for Cartoon Network's WHAT A CARTOON SHOW!
Ralph was/is the original AniMadMantm who did HEAVY TRAFFIC, COOL WORLD, WIZARDS, AMERICAN POP, and FRITZ THE CAT. He also created the NEW ADVENTURES OF MIGHTY MOUSE which gave birth to a next generation of animators including JOHN K and (UNCLE) EDDIE FITZGERALD.
My series with Ralph was called MALCOLM & MELVIN, and I did the voices for Malcolm & Melvin. (Ralph is the voice of the Super Hero.) Here's Episode 1.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009



Friday, October 9, 2009


Have a great Holiday weekend. May all your strings come true.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


The first puppet I ever remember seeing on television was JINGLE DINGLE. He was a weather elf, created by Leon Jason, built by MAURY BUNIN ("Pinhead & Foodini")and performed by SANDY BECKER.
He stood on the roof and sang a song about the days weather, so we kids'd know to dress accordingly.
Though a duplicate puppet was licensed to another kid show in the Washington DC market, for a mainly local tri-state character, Ol' JD generated quite a handful of cool merch. . .

(I always knew girls went for guys who played with puppets.)

My friend PAUL RUBIN recently gave us this JINGLE DINGLE RECORD in it's original sleeve! I can't express how much of an influence this puppet had on me. When I was in California working with the MARKO PUPPET THEATRE I even made my own version.

JD with CM