About Terrence Burke

Puppeteer beneath the Wump Mucket Puppets.

HEY KIDS! Have you tried this new cereal?!?

When I was a boy my mother rarely purchased any cereal that was sweetened. Most breakfasts were oatmeal, homemade granola (I grew up in the 60’s & 70’s), or even pancakes. I dreamed of being pumped up on any breakfast cereal that was pitched by an animated sales character.

When I started earning my own spending money delivering newspapers at the age of ten I knew what I would buy: Comic books, candy, and Cap’n Crunch cereal. Who cared if it ripped the roof of your mouth up? It was sweet! Soon I found a Cap’n Crunch clone cereal called Freakies (remember it was the 70’s). The animated commercials were cool, the jingle snappy, and there was a plastic toy inside! I loved Boss Moss, and would draw the Freakies for classmates in 4th grade.

So as I put my puppet show together over the past 9 (!!!) years, I knew that it had to have a “sponsor”. We know that all great kid’s shows from my youth were “brought to you by (read “buy”)” Kelloggs of Battlecreek, General Mills, or Post.

As an adult I’ve learned that the cereal companies practically bankrolled Saturday Morning cartoons. Why shouldn’t the Wump Mucket Puppets have a “sponsor” that the puppets can chat about?

Why not indeed!

Ladies and Gentlemen! Boys and Girls, I present the sweet cereal to top ALL sweet cereals!


Now before you call the FDA, remember…it’s only a puppet show. I think I’m going to get some miles of this gag gang, at least until some kid tries to get their parents to buy a box at the supermarket!

Eleanor wants the FREE Krunchy Kat Comic that is inside each specially marked box.

Still rolling along!

Many things are rolling here and there at the Wump Mucket HQ in lovely Northside.

The upgrade to the puppet stage is coming along with MUCH help from Lara, and NO help from the sales lady at Hancock Fabrics who shorted me on a few feet of Velcro…guess where I am no long shopping?

The props are looking cool, and need a bit more work before showtime.

Finally, I knocked out a pleasing looking flyer for the show, scratch that, it’s cool looking. I am proud of myself for making the flyer with very little knowledge of Open Office software. Yippee! Now if only I could figure out how to convert the PDF to HTML so I may share it with our lovely fans.

I shouls also mention that the “Lil Red Sasquatch Hood” show (as it’s been dubbed) will also be performed for Eleanor’s class at Winton Montessori School as a warm up for the “big show” on October 27th.

Time for some rest…Zzzzzz.

The September show is now the October show…

I have had to move the show to late October since there is still work to be done and I didn’t feel that it could be completed in time for late September. Thanks to Will at the Northside Farmer’s Market for being flexible with my schedule.

In moving the show, two cool things have happened…my wife will be my puppet wrangler (this means she will help me quickly switch puppets while I perform) and the show will now be indoors! No need to worry about the weather!!!

Not only do I have almost two months to wrap this little show into a tasty bite, I had a spark of creative energy this afternoon while vacuuming the house! I was able to blurt out a new tune that Eleanor thinks is good enough to include in the show.
Seeing that she’s my Number 1 fan, how can I not include it?

Now for some late night puppet show prop design…

Type Type Type Type Type

The little show has almost 1300 words* in the script so far! I have been staying up late, typing the script while listening to the Cincinnati Reds on the radio.

I am very happy with how the show is looking on paper. I hope to have it typed into a proper script by the end of the week. Then it’s time to make a few props, and if time allows, get the puppet stage cleaned up a bit.

*Words in the script include: Raucous, Sucrose, and Forest

…Still rolling along

The draft is happily morphing into a real script with a few adjustments here and there. The ending of the featured sketch, which will be in the middle of the show, has made me poke my head with a pencil a few times. I have tried a few endings, and have yet to settle on the one that I feel works the best, and gets the most laughs.

I hope to have the complete script finished this week, and then it’s on to prop building, stage adjusting, and possibly back to the “Coleman” rebuild project.


This show is on a roll!

I am happy. I am tired. I am not tired of being happy. In all honestly I have LOTS of crap (icky) going on outside my “puppetry world” that has no place here. Luckily I have made progress in writing the script for my new show that will be performed in late September.

Writing this show has been easier than before since I have always kept notebooks and scraps of paper with bits & pieces scrawled down for future use. I only needed the time to roll in into a little puppet show that made me chuckle. My lovely wife suggested a few weeks back to get out of the house, away from the chaos of everyday life. This worked like a charm. One trip to our neighborhood coffee shop and I had most of the centerpiece sketch done, and cleaned up the lyrics to the opening song.

A few days later I escaped to The Northside Tavern, to ignore the wildlife and bands to format the show into a production that will work. This needs a bit of tweaking, yet has a solid base to work from.

Are you still interested? Great, because I have really good feelings about the show and the style of humor that I am writing.

About that… Why do SO MANY so called “family” shows (tee-vee, movies, whatever) have to include fart/burp jokes, rude humor, or material that should NEVER be seen by children? Last year we had to take our son to the hospital and sit in the waiting area for quite a while. The tee-vee was on The Disney Channel, I think the show was “That’s So Raven” or something like that. It was unbearable. As we were the only people in the waiting area I muted the crap. THIS IS FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT?
Children are supposed to “enjoy” this stuff? WTF?!?

If this is what passes as “quality family entertainment” these days, then I am William Shakespeare.

Lara (my lovely wife) and I talk about media and childhood often. We were both born in the 60’s, we both watched TONS of cartoons, re-runs, commercials, etc. We agree that the “crap” back then was far less harmful than the CRAP that is launched at children today. Our crap was sometimes junky, today it is TOXIC!

It is in knowing this that I pledge, as a father of two young children (ages 5 & 3), I will never perform family entertainment that I would not perform in front of them or my own mother. I wonder if the people who produce today’s junk can say that? I doubt it very much.

TEASER ALERT: The title of the song that will be at the start of the show is [DRUM ROLL PLEASE] “A Song About Cryptozoology”.

Looking for musician(s) to perform with…

I have posted this info on a few boards, I may as well put it here too:

DiY puppeteer is seeking a like minded solo singer/songwriter or duo to perform at the Northside Farmer’s Market in late September. My show is about 15-20 minutes long and I would like to share the performance time with a “artistically compatible” musician(s). The music must be family friendly, and not political, nor religious.
This is not a paying gig, but could be lots of fun!

If you read this blog, and know a musician in the Cincinnati area that may be interested in this, have them email me: wumpmucket AT fuse DOT net

I have had a few ideas about merging bands/music with my puppet show and would like to give it a try.

New puppet show date!

I am pleased to announce that the Wump Mucket Puppets will be performing an all original, all live show at the Northside Farmer’s Market at Hoffner Park in beautiful “downtown” Northside (in Cincinnati).

The show is scheduled for Wednesday, September 29, 2010. Show times will probably be at 5:30 PM and repeated at 6:30 PM. The show is FREE and appropriate for ALL AGES. The show times will be confirmed as we get closer to the date.

As far as the show goes…

It’s a secret for now, as I am still bashing ideas around inside my head. So you will have to keep reading this little blog to get more clues.

Remember kids, PUPPETS ROCK!

Live recording of (most of) my show

My performance at the Winton Montessori School picnic went well. The stage did not collapse, blow away, or ignite into flames. The children and parents enjoyed the show, and a few even thanked me for performing.

Lara tried to shoot some video, yet had a hard time watching both the camera and our children as you will see.

I have been able to review the video and notice that I have to keep all the puppets moving at all times, so they do not seem “dead”.

Overall, I had fun, and that’s what it’s all about.

A pic from the past


With many thanks to my brother Chris, here’s a picture of me playing with an elephant puppet on Christmas morning in the 70’s. My best guess is that it’s around ’73. Those were the days! Sadly that puppet has been lost in time.

Thanks again Chris for providing this “important” photo from my misspent youth.

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