I’m proud to announce that Funny Boy: The Richard Hunt Biography is one of three finalists for the Hazel Rowley prize from the Biographers International Organization. The prize helps first-time biographers find publishers for their books. Sweet email this morning with the news: “Members of the committee enjoyed getting to know Richard Hunt.”
Stay tuned to find out if I win – so that even more people can enjoy getting to know Richard Hunt!
I am sorry to mark the passing of Michael Earl, a longtime puppeteer, whom Richard Hunt mentored as a young performer on Sesame Street. Earl briefly played Snuffleupagus, Forgetful Jones, and dozens of other roles in The Muppet Movie, The Muppets Take Manhattan, and various other Muppet and non-Muppet productions. Earl also passed on the craft of television puppetry, founding Puppet School with his partner Roberto Ferreira. Here’s a brief excerpt from our 2011 interview. Continue reading
The Muppets passes my most important test – it’s funny as hell. At moments, it’s old-school, Muppet Show funny — and that’s my highest praise.
Puppets are a great art form: They don’t die. The most beloved outlive those who brought them to life. Jim Henson’s been gone for 25 years, and the Muppets are back on primetime television – on ABC, which rejected The Muppet Show forty years ago, making their zealous promotion of the new show especially sweet.
Posted in Richard Hunt
Tagged ABC, Bill Baretta, Dave Goelz, David Rudman, Gonzo, Jerry Nelson, Kermit, Piggy, Steve Whitmire, The Muppet Show, The Muppets
Writing is solitary, so it’s easy to forget that an audience is out there waiting for the book – until you get a wonderfully encouraging email from a complete stranger! Thanks to Julia Kosier of Wisconsin for this wonderful message. Continue reading
Today would have been Hunt’s 64th birthday. In honor of that, here’s another scoop from Funny Boy: The Richard Hunt Biography.
Howdy Doody and Bob Smith, 1948
At just five years old, Hunt made a gutsy attempt at a television debut, a prescient predecessor to cold-calling the Muppets. He landed a spot in the kids-only audience of the Howdy Doody Show, at the NBC studios at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. His parents had gone to great lengths to acquire “the hottest ticket in television,” most likely through Richard Senior’s job at the networks. The “Peanut Gallery” seated forty kids between 3 and 8 years old: ten tickets went to a sponsor, four to the host, a few to each cast member, and the rest to NBC’s public relations department. “Hardly anyone who wrote in for a ticket ever got one,” admitted host “Buffalo Bob” Smith. Continue reading