“Queen Elizabeth’s Purse” is a bright red, 50-page story of my 2014 trip to London – my very first time in Europe – to research Funny Boy: The Richard Hunt Biography. It’s a story about how to do things you didn’t think you could, and enjoy yourself to boot; or, how I learned to love London. The zine provides an inadvertent advance behind-the-scenes look at the biography, taking the reader along on six interviews with Muppet producers, writers and performers, as well as a pair of Hunt’s London pals. 17 photos and drawings. Bonus: Find out what Queen Elizabeth really keeps in that purse!
Order one on the zines page!
Richard Hunt and Jerry Nelson’s daughter Christine clowning around on the SNL set, 1975.
Did you enjoy last night’s Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary special? Saturday Night Live didn’t quite know what to do with the “Mucking Fuppets” (as John Belushi called them), but
their appearances in SNL’s first year were a great springboard for the Muppets to prove their mettle with a late-night, grown-up audience, thus paving the way for The Muppet Show! Enjoy this clip
from 1975 — the sketch is opened by none other than Richard Hunt!
In honor of World AIDS Day, here are the opening paragraphs of Funny Boy: The Richard Hunt Biography. Enjoy!
Richard Hunt and puppet backstage at “Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass,” 1974.
June 1970 found Richard Hunt feeling restless. He’d been out of high school for a year, trying on various ill-fitting endeavors. Most of his close friends were away at college. The Beatles had broken up. The world was changing rapidly, but Hunt was stuck in suburban New Jersey, reading about it all in the New York Times. Though bucolic Closter lay just across the George Washington Bridge from the city, New York seemed increasingly unreachable, as did Hunt’s dream of making it there as a performer. Continue reading
Jerry Nelson would have been 80 today. I was lucky to know him.
Here’s my memorial essay, “The Count Writes a Haiku.”
Norman Stiles, Sesame Street head writer from 1971 to 1995, told me that Richard Hunt used to call him “Swami” – and after talking with him for a couple of hours, I can see why. Stiles comes off as a classic trickster guru, making you laugh but also making you think. We spoke about Hunt, Sesame’s halcyon days, what makes good writing, and about Stiles’ new project, The Baby and Toddler Parenthood News Network, in many ways a spiritual descendant of Sesame, in the last days of its Indiegogo campaign. Enjoy! Continue reading