A Puppet Rocking Day!

Wump Mucket Puppets - Terrence Burke puppeteer and chracters

Cyril, Terrence, and Unka Unka ham it up for the camera.

A Puppet Rocking Day!

I have no time for a proper blog right now, as I am in the middle of building THREE new puppets, a mask, and more, yet I wish to share this with our friends and fans.
As many of you know Wump Mucket Puppets regularly donates performances to non-profit organizations. This afternoon’s show at Community Services of Northern Kentucky was one of those magical moments that once again proves to me that my path in puppetry is pretty clear; share the knowledge, spread the joy.

Several of our audience members approached me after today’s puppet show, with smiles so bright you could probably see them on the moon. They told me several times how much them LOVED my puppetry. One woman asked if I knew the legendary Cincinnati puppeteer Larry Smith, and said  that I reminder her of his show that she watched as a young girl. I told her that while I did not grow up in Cincinnati, I have met him several times at Cincinnati Area Puppetry Guild meetings and events. She then asked if Larry still performs, and I explained that he has retired from performing his lovable characters. To this she replied, “You should ask him if YOU can perform his puppets for us!”
I am very touched that someone sees a similarity in our styles, and that I was able to bring back a bit of her childhood for thirty minutes.  This is why dear friends and fans that PUPPETS ROCK!

Now back to getting messy with glue!

DVD review – Kukla, Fran and Ollie

DVD review – Kukla, Fran and Ollie

Summer is in full swing here at Wump Mucket Puppets super secret HQ.  We hope that all our pals both far and near are having a great summer!

This afternoon I met with a writer for Cincinnati’s weekly newspaper CityBeat for an interview.  Towards the start of the interview I was asked about my early childhood interest in puppetry, and what inspired me to become a puppeteer as an adult.  One of the names that quickly popped out of my mouth was none other than Burr Tillstrom.

Vintage 7up soft drink magazine advertisement featuring Kukla Fran and Ollie on the television.

Burr who?  I realize that his name may not be rolling off the tongues of many people these days, other than puppeteers and lovers of classic television.  So, here’s a short bio…

Burr Tillstrom was the creator and single puppeteer of the Kuklapolitans, a troupe of 19 very personable puppets who’s name is taken from their leader, a small clown named Kukla, who with his dragon pal Ollie and Fran Allison, the sole human in the show, performed “a children’s show for adults” on national television.  Did I mention that it was all ad-libbed on LIVE television?!?

My interest in KFO, as fans call them, began as a young boy in the early 1970s.  I loved watching them as the hosts of the CBS Children’s Film Festival every Saturday morning on television.  Ollie has always been my favorite, and certainly inspired me to create my very own dragon/serpent puppet, you know him as Cyril.

Wump Mucket Puppets with KFO DVD

Cyril and his puppeteer love watching Kukla, Fran and Ollie!

For many years the only option to revisit the gentle humor of KFO was old video tapes.  Eventually the internet provided us a chance to watch clips on the excellent and official Kukla.tv website.

It bothered me that this highly sought after program was seemingly lost to time.

Thank goodness I was wrong!  And the wait was well worth it!

Under the caring guidance of producer Mark Milano, who is also a big fan of the show, three fantastic two-disc DVD releases have brought KFO into the 21st century in grand style.  Not only have these wonderful programs been released on DVD for old fans to revisit, and make new fans of folks who may have not been around when they were first broadcast, but they are PACKED with bonus material!

Yes, as if it wasn’t enough to have KFO on DVD, we are treated to interviews, behind the scenes photographs, even home movies shot from the sidelines by director Lewis “Gommy” Gomavitz!

I could go on and on about how much I love these DVDs, yet I will simply suggest that if you have an interest in the history of either puppetry or television, buy them before they are all gone.  Gems such as these don’t stick around very long.

So what are you waiting for?  They are only available for purchase at Amazon.com.  Once you finish a few shows may I invite you to join me and other fans at KFO Facebook page.  We’re a friendly bunch of folks and would love for you to join us in celebrating Burr Tillstrom and his puppetry.

Wump Mucket Puppets are returning to FOX 19!

Wump Mucket Puppets are returning to FOX 19!

Wump Mucket Puppets at FOX 19 television studio

Cyril outside the FOX 19 studios in 2012.

We have been invited to appear on FOX 19 Morning Xtra on Friday June 6 at 10:25 am.

I am thrilled that my daughter Eleanor will be joining me as a guest on the show!

We plan on bringing Cyril, Unka Unka, and Kitty Quo Quo Quo Qua and hope that all our pals tune in this Friday.

We love to see your coloring pages!

We love to see your coloring pages!

Over the years we have probably passed out hundred, possibly thousands, of free coloring pages to our young fans after the show.  Wouldn’t it be a great idea to share these fantastic creations with the world?  Sure!

If you are the parent of a child who’s enjoyed our silliness, simply snap a photo of the finished Wump Mucket Puppets coloring page and either email it to us, or post it on our Facebook page.  Be sure to include your young artists first name (only) and age.  We’ll have Coleman post ’em up on our fan page lickety split!

Live outside the Greater Cincinnati area?  No worries, here’s a link to download a few coloring pages that Lara has drawn over the last several years: Coloring Pages Link

Here are a few coloring pages from our friends at Stepping Stones in Norwood, Ohio

Wump Mucket Puppets - Fan coloring page - Stepping Stones Ohio

Wump Mucket Puppets - Fan coloring page - Stepping Stones Ohio

Wump Mucket Puppets - Fan coloring page - Stepping Stones Ohio

Wump Mucket Puppets - Fan coloring page - Stepping Stones Ohio

Wump Mucket Puppets - Fan coloring page - Stepping Stones Ohio

We look forward to seeing YOUR coloring page soon!

Introducing Unka Unka the caveman!

Introducing Unka Unka the caveman!

Wump Mucket Puppets Unka Unka the caveman

Our newest cast member Unka Unka the caveman!

We are very please to announce that Wump Mucket Puppets has brought a new puppet character to our stage, Unka Unka the caveman!

A couple of years ago my daughter Eleanor said, “Daddy, you need a caveman in the show.”  She is a big fan of the classic Scooby-Doo cartoons, and really enjoyed the episode that has a “caveman” chasing Mystery Inc. around.  This silliness inspired her to make up her own “caveman” word “unka”.  An idea was planted.

Some time later this doodle found it’s way to my studio desk:

Wump Mucket Puppets Unka Unka caveman doodle

Unka Unka doodle by Eleanor

This made me want to try my hand at creating a puppet head sculpted from clay:

Wump Mucket Puppets Unka Unka head

Unka head sculpted by Terrence Burke

Time past.  I was able to see many incredible paper maché puppet heads at the 2013 National Puppetry Festival.  It was time to get this puppet rolling!  It had been decades since I worked with paper maché, and I took my time to learn as I built the puppet.  There were a couple of setbacks, which will now be known as learning experiences.

Wump Mucket Puppets Unka Unka the caveman

Unka Unka’s new paper mache head observes his clay remains.

More time past.  Shows were being booked, songs were written, skits were being created.  The puppet was coming along slowly but surely.  Many thanks to fellow puppeteers Rick Morse, Mathieu René, Michael Schwabe for advice and tips.  A HUGE HUG and THANK YOU to my fantastic wife Lara Rumizen!  She really helped this puppet “get his act together”.  Many thanks to my father-in-law Jim Rumizen for shooting these photos.

Wump Mucket Puppets Cyril the Sea Serpent and Unka Unka the caveman

Cyril and Unka Unka inspect a prop for our newest skit “Elvis and The Shoemaker”

We hope our audience and fans will join us in welcoming Unka Unka to the silly stage of Wump Mucket Puppets.  Please visit out Facebook Page to view more photos of the building of this puppet.

Wump Mucket Puppets FUNday Monday # 16

Wump Mucket Puppets FUNday Monday # 16

Wump Mucket Puppets Coleman the Sasquatch FUNday Monday

We hope that all our pals had a great Easter!  Here are a couple of videos that will make you giggle:

Have you ever heard of the Easter Squatch?

Be sure to visit our YouTube page for more silliness with Coleman the Sasquatch.

Wump Mucket Puppets News!

We are getting things ready for our season launch on FREE COMIC BOOK DAY, May 3rd 11:30 am at Maverick’s Baseball Cards & Comics 8522 Winton Rd in Finneytown.

Wump Mucket Puppets Free Comic Book Day graphicBe sure to come and see the premier of our newest puppet character, Unka Unka the Caveman!  He’ll be bringing LOTS of FUN to our show!  Bring all your pals to meet our new puppet pal!

FREE Puppet show!

FREE Comic Books!

How COOL is that?!?

See YOU there!

Wump Mucket Puppets FUNday Monday #10 3-10-14

Wump Mucket Puppets FUNday Monday #10 3-10-14

Wump Mucket Puppets - Happy St. Paddy's Day

It was a chilly St. Patrick’s Day in Cincinnati. My children and I spent some of the day at one of our fantastic parks, and even took in a hike.
Here’s this week’s video, I am rather proud of it:

Thanks for watching everyone. If you have a silly little joke to share with Coleman and his special guests, please leave it in the comments below.

Puppeteer brainstorming

Puppeteer brainstorming

I really am fortunate to live in a city where there are several very talented puppeteers. This evening I had the pleasure to hang out with my neighbor and friend Jesse Mooney-Bullock of Bullooney PuppetWorks.

It was great to “talk shop” about new puppets, show ideas, puppetry festivals, and our families.  Like many creative people, it’s easier to express yourself to another artist who knows both the joy and the pain of being a solo artist. 
Please take a look at his work at: Bullooney PuppetWorks

Wump Mucket Puppets FUNday Monday #10 3-10-14

Wump Mucket Puppets FUNday Monday #10  3-10-14

Wowie Zowie!  We are now in double digits as we present our TENTH little video in our year long quest to make Monday a FUNday!  Here’s today’s video:

Thanks again to the always helpful and enthusiastic Eleanor for playing along with Coleman.

Do you have a silly joke that you would like Coleman to share with our pals?  Please send it to us and we’ll be sure that he sees it.  Thanks for watching!

Wump Mucket Puppets FUNday Monday # 9

Wump Mucket Puppets FUNday Monday # 9    3-3-14

No snowstorm can stop Coleman the Sasquatch and his pal Eleanor from trying to tell a silly joke…

My daughter is such a good sport by helping me make these little videos with Coleman. Yeah Eleanor!

Terrence and Eleanor Burke of Wump Mucket Puppets.

Terrence and Eleanor Burke of Wump Mucket Puppets.

If you have a silly joke to share, please send it to us. We’d love to hear from you. Thanks for watching!