Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Muppet Performer Series: Jerry Nelson

The third in my Muppet/Sesame Street performers series is Jerry Nelson.

 Jerry Nelson was born in 1934. He began working with Jim Henson in the mid-1960's and started on Sesame Street in 1970. There, he performed such characters as The Count, Herry Monster, Sherlock Hemlock, Mr. Snuffleupagus, The Amazing Mumford, and Grover's frequent foil, Mr. Johnson.

For the Muppets, his main characters were Floyd Pepper, Lew Zealand, Robin, Uncle Deadly, Dr. Strangepork, Crazy Harry and many more.
 In 2001, Jerry slowly handed his characters over to other performers, although he did occasionally provide voices for them until August 2012, when Jerry passed away.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Meeting Gigi Edgley

 I got to meet host of Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge and Farscape actress Gigi Edgley. She signed a bunch of my artwork and took tons of pics. What a sweet and generous soul. I'm sure our paths will cross again!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Meeting Caroll Spinney

Recently, I had the good fortune to meet the legendary Caroll Spinney. We talked about Muppets, art and life. He was very generous with his time and even signed the caricature I did of him. He's a kind, and wonderful person and I'm fortunate to have met him.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Kenny Durkin on Tall Tale Radio

I was a guest on the most recent episode of Tom Racine's Tall Tale Radio. On it, I talked with the panel of other dad cartoonists, which included Tom Racine, Lucas Turnbloom and Justin Thompson. about Muppets, television and being a dad. Takes an hour, but it's a good listen and I had tons of fun. Check it out: 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Muppet Performer Series: Frank Oz.

Here he is, the second entry in my Muppet Performer series. This time it's Frank Oz.
Frank Oz began working with Jim Henson in 1963 when he was 19 years old. On Sesame Street, Frank performed such characters as Grover, Bert and Cookie Monster. Currently, his characters have been adopted by the next generation of performers, with Frank occasionally stepping in when his schedule permits. For the Muppets, Frank's main characters were Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal and Sam the Eagle. Frank began to distance himself from the Muppets in the mid-1990's to continue his directing career. His characters have been taken over by other performers since. Frank Oz is one of my heroes, not only for his contributions to Sesame Street and the Muppets, but for his other work as well. He's directed movies such as The Dark Crystal, Little Shop of Horrors, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and What About Bob?. He's acted in one of my favorite movies The Blues Brothers, and he voiced and performed one of the most iconic characters of our time, the Jedi Master Yoda from Star Wars.

You can see where I'm going with this.