In the 1970's, Sesame Street wasn't the only educational puppet show in town. The Letter People was a literacy program and television series that taught phonics with an unusual bunch of 26 characters. Here's the entire 60 episode run. The production values improved a bit as the show went on, evolving from black backgrounds and simple sets to more elaborate ones. Every Letter Person had their own theme song, featured in their introductory episode; here's all twenty-six of those in alphabetical, and thus wildly anachronic, order. Absent from the show are the songs of Misters R, X and Q (the last three Letter People to debut in the show - they'd clearly gone through design changes by then, ESPECIALLY Mr. X). [more inside]
Alligator Boots Behind the scenes of the never-aired 'hip-hop puppet show.' From Kanye West and the producers of Crank Yankers. (Via the AV Club.)
After Kad & Olivier sign off and the Satisfaction production logo fades, viewing audiences are oftentimes treated to a cold open of an empty talk show set... one that quickly becomes the impromptu dance floor for a shameless Frenchman making an absolute giddy fool of himself while lip-syncing pop songs alongside a menagerie of... wait, *what*?! That's right. The Late Late Show's Craig Ferguson appears to have a not-so-secret French admirer -- one who's not above ripping off both his opening titles and his signature dance sequences (including the iconic animal puppets): "ABC" by The Jackson 5, "Flashdance" by Irene Cara, "On the Floor" by Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull, "Waka Waka" by Shakira, "Men in Black" by Will Smith, "Let's All Chant" by the Michael Zager Band, "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by Wham!, "It's Raining Men" by The Weather Girls, and "Vive Le Vent (Jingle Bells)" by Tino Rossi. Luckily, Ferguson's sense of showmanship is more prodigious than litigious -- he responded to Arthur's "homáge" by booking a pair of translatlantic crossover shows, with Arthur visiting LA that week and Ferguson flying out to Paris just last month. Video of both shows (plus lots more) inside! [more inside]
After a viral pandemic struck the world a few years ago, scientists had to scramble to stop the spread of the virus but they could do nothing for those who had already been infected. Now those who were exposed face their biggest challenge yet.... High School. [more inside]
After David Letterman signs off and the Worldwide Pants production logo fades, viewing audiences are oftentimes treated to a cold open of an empty talk show set... one that quickly becomes the impromptu dance floor for a shameless Scot making an absolute giddy fool of himself while lip-syncing pop songs alongside a menagerie of puppets (and a couple of scantily-costumed stagehands). Now on YouTube for your viewing pleasure, the complete collection of Craig Ferguson's Late Late Show musical numbers: "Say Hey (I Love You)" by Michael Franti and Spearhead - "White Lines" by Duran Duran - "Wonderful Night" by Fatboy Slim - "Istanbul" by They Might Be Giants - "Oops!...I Did It Again" by Britney Spears - "MMMBop" by Hanson - "In the Navy" by Village People - "Fireball" by Don Spencer - "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz - "The Lonely Goatherd" from The Sound of Music - "She Taught Me How To Yodel" by Frank Ifield - "Fire" by The Prodigy - "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" [more inside]
The puppets Pat and Mat are beloved everywhere their Rube Goldbergian antics have been shown on TV. A couple of inventive handymen they consistently solve simple problems in outlandish fashion. Pat and Mat traveled far afield from their Czechoslovakian origins thanks to their short running time and silence, which made translation unnecessary. Considered ideologically impure by Czech authorities, creators Lubomír Beneš and Vladimír Jiránek were allowed to make around 30 episodes by the Slovakian arm of the state television corporation. They continued making new episodes after Communist rule ended and production was kept going after they passed away. First, let me present my sentimental favorite, Wallpaper. Below the cut are all the episodes I could find online. [more inside]
Mah num ah num (Google Video) - The Muppets debut their first music video in 1976.
It's Comcastic! Manipulate and record messages with digital flash-based puppets. All the fun of real marionettes, but without the pesky strings. (The site also features some dexterity tests/games for your mad mousing skillz)
Remember Lejo? He's got the funk now. From the guys who brought you Shitty Bum (and who are now probably living it up with #1 down in Austin for SXSW), here is C-Mon & Kypski vs. Lejo (Flash). [via]
Lejo is perhaps the greatest actor I've ever seen perform, and he does it all without dialogue. Click on "videos" (or "filmpjes"). Jim Henson would be proud.
Punch and Judy Everything you want to know about the famous puppet show, ranging from scripts to history. For more Punch, see also The Punch Page (many resources, but not updated since 2000); the Punch and Judy College of Professors (professional Punch & Judy performers); and "Prof." Glyn Edwards' Punch and Judy Page (homepage of a Punch & Judy puppeteer).
A pageant of protesting puppets hopes to shut down The School of the Americas at Fort Benning, GA, along with raising awareness of Lori Berenson's Peruvian imprisonment and other Central/South American issues.