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Magic of Puppetry Then and Now

Updated on May 3, 2012

Sheri Lewis holding lambchop and Ed Sullivan holding Topo Gigio

1965-(Photo by CBS Archives-wiki-pedia)
1965-(Photo by CBS Archives-wiki-pedia) | Source

When I was writing this hub, I couldn't help but think of Lamb chop. Its just a sock puppet with big flirty eyelashes and had a innocence about her and it she was a part of my childhood that I remember that was happy, oh and lets not forget Charlie Horse,another one of Lewis' puppets. And it was all because a petite woman with a southern drawl imagination and ambition.

There was on a old Variety Show and a wonderful host named Ed Sullivan. I was a lot younger then when was introduced a little mouse named Topo Gigio with an Italian accent danced around and I remember laying on cool linoleum floor on my tummy in my PJ's giggling myself silly. The Sullivan Show was so amazing, I remember the Beatles with all the girls screaming and fainting, and Mic Jagger with all the Jagger Moves and The Rolling Stones, and there is so much more, Ike and Tina Turner, ( I wanted legs like her).

But the Puppets of the old days were special because no one had seen it yet but that was a lot of things back then everything was new and unexplored, heck, it was special because we had TELEVISION. Black and White, mind you,but the box with all the was a fantastic era.

Children at a Puppet Theatre 1963, Paris,France


Taking Photos of Children watching a puppet show in Paris.

It was the exact moment of children watching a mean dragon meet his maker. It was at the Guignol Puppet show in the year of 1963. Taking the angle just at the right time, was diffucult to do. It was the famous Photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt, he took many photos of these children that day but it was this one that he did not know what he had until he seen the negative.

"Very often this sort of thing is only a momentary vision,

my brain does not register, only my eyes and

finger react.Click"

Alfred Eisenstaedt 1962

Thai puppet theater is a relatively new phenomenon.
Thai puppet theater is a relatively new phenomenon. | Source

Its all about storytelling,magic with play and the process of changing of puppets through the years and civilizations. Being a very old ART form, they think it originated about 3000 years ago, but if you think about it, if there was clay, or mud with straw, anything a child makes outside, that child many, many years ago could make a puppet to entertain themselves or others, its only logical, to me that is.

To animate;to convey ideas and desires of human culture everywhere,puppets could be used to connect to others and maybe participate in communication.

A Khmer puppet

Cambodian puppet.
Cambodian puppet. | Source

A Pinocchio Puppet


Puppets in Egyptian Tombs?

Some professionals from historians digs have said that there is proof of puppets or operated with strings made of clay and ivory have found these artifacts in Egyptian Tombs. Ancient writings on walls and tablets have told a story of "stepping statues" in dramas.

On a dig they have UN-earthed a doll made out of baked clay, similar to ceramic, it was made of Terracotta,orange and sometimes brown in color. The ancient people of that civilization, could form and bend it into dolls and figurines,because it was somewhat plastic, then somehow they put a hot iron in a pit,( I have put meat in a pit in the ground, and it cooked pretty fast cause it so hot from the coals, but I didn't cook dolls or pottery)after that, they put the doll in the sand to cool, and by doing that,it turns to pink.


David and Teddy in Artificial Intelligence (2001)

This will seem out of order, with the old then newest puppets but I felt like I had to put Teddy and David here after reading about Pinocchio and puppets. Haley Joel Osment played David the little robot boy, and Teddy was wonderful, but gave me the creeps. I think it was supposed to.

But the feeling here was how David the little fake boy felt and how he wanted to be real. Steven Spielberg and the other wonderful writers of this film made this movie epic. Once again it is all about the magic in the storytelling that made this all work. It was ingenious.

Jim Henson and the Muppets


Around the 1960's, Jim Henson was dabbling in a soft plastic that was soft and pliable that were become as we know the Muppet's. Then Sesame Street and The Muppet Movie, and others came and copied what he had done.He also was working with Saturday Night Live. He joined other professionals Jerry Juhl and Frank Oz. Oz and Henson were friends for 27 years, and they created Bert and Ernie, Fozzie Bear and lets not forget Kermit the frog.


Darwin the Dinosaur 2011

Remember when you were a child and on a summer night in a field of clover and the honeysuckle was in the air, and chasing Lightning Bugs? How wonderful,right? It was as if the twinkling stars came down just for us kids but only to set them free again into the blue-black sky, it was a show similar to this Production for Children.

Meet Darwin, he is a Dinosaur, not only that, he GLOWS. Don't worry he is for Children and they will fall in love with him, and some parents may fall in love with tooHim and his friends show him about life and how rewarding it can be. Next is Verla, the long legged and clumsy ostrich, and there is Peche, the wonderful and gorgeous fish, and lets not forget Brutus, the RED dinosaur. A light hearten experience for everyone in the family.

They light up the stage in a performance you and your child wont ever forget, with tell a story, its about a Dinosaur that a Professor Henslow made and you as a audience member, you will see that Darwin encounter risks and in which hazards are to be encountered. And from every experience that happens to him,something great about the UNIVERSE that surrounds him unparalleled,a single kind of excellence kind of show for children, has the critics raving all over the world. With the ART of moving and dance including music,puppetry,skill and professional craft.

Corbin Popp and Ian Carney


A Glow in the Dark Adventure

Ian Carney and Corbin Popp were the inventors and Brain Child of this fantastic show were both on Broadway in the show Movin' Out and between them they had such fire and was passionate views about technology and the ARTS there ya have it folks, with a sudden collaborative and shared creation, Darwin the Dinosaur was born. As a new found team, including Eleanor and Whitney, their wives, they set out to make Glowing Animals that came ALIVE on stage. And with this they used Electroluminescent Wire. What is EL? I had to do some research this for myself, I was that curious. I am always wondering how something works or how someone MADE something or whats in it that WORKS. It is not like a Black Light, and it does not need any other source of power besides the batteries.


Project Involving EL wire. Holes were carefully drilled and the EL wire was formed to the wording on the Fuel Rail Cover, and then epoxied into place.

 Engine is in a 1995 Buick Roadmaster Sedan.
Engine is in a 1995 Buick Roadmaster Sedan. | Source

More about EL wire

EL wire is not a kinda of line of points, but makes a 360 degree unbroken line of visible light. Its thin diameter makes it flexible and ideal for use in a variety of applications such as clothing or costumes, and you can use it for Christmas lights It can be used in a wide variety of applications—vehicle and/or structure decoration, safety and emergency lighting, toys, clothing etc.—much as rope light.

By fixing each strand of EL wire into a shape a little different from the first one, it is possible to do animation using EL wire sequencers. EL wire sequencers are also used for costumes and have been used to create animations on kimonos, purses, neckties, and even motorcycle tanks. The number of applications for EL wire sequencers is growing as people discover EL wire and its virtually limitless possibilities.

answering some questions


The Men behind the Lights Corbin Popp and Ian Carney


Q & A at a Darwin the Dinosaur Show

The imagination of the children and their parents will be captured from beginning to the end of this Puppet Light Show. It is difficult to find a show or movie that is G-Rated these days, much less the popcorn and cokes that is crazy too expensive. To be engaged in a theatrical performance just for kids and to be educational? Who does that? And at the end of the show the wonderful crew will make the audience feel comfortable to ask questions if they want to and answer them very professionally.

Creators of Darwin Finding Joy

With engineering and development and a whole crew that love Art, Music,Education,and the LOVE of Children, you can't go wrong. With Darwin finding Love,and friends and yes, even enemies, through his explorations, he finds lessons in life and only Darwin can decide his own Dinosaur Fate.

a video of the people behind Darwin

Just having a career that was rewarding and also fulfilling by teaching and entertaining children. To find that SPARK in their eyes worth everything. The two men know now, that they did the right choice on this business,making children laugh is the whole purpose on the Darwin the Dinosaur Show.

Kermit and Miss Piggy on Larry King

quotes by Jim Henson

"Life's like a movie,write your own ending.Keep believing, keep pretending."

"The most sophisticated people I know-inside they are children."

"My hope is still is to leave the world a bit better than when I got here."

Jim Henson


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    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

      This brought back a lot of memories for me also. I love all the history you detailed which made for a very interesting hub.

    • Dee42 profile image

      Dee42 6 years ago from Beautiful Arkansas

      I'm glad you enjoyed it, Flashmakeit. Yeah I was pleasantly surprised that they even had a video out. :)

    • flashmakeit profile image

      flashmakeit 6 years ago from usa

      That was entertaining and I enjoy the behind the scene video of Darwin the Dinosaur show.

    • Dee42 profile image

      Dee42 6 years ago from Beautiful Arkansas

      Thanks Faith Reaper, I really appreciate it. It was really fun to do. I have a 7 yr old nephew, and I'm steady looking for stuff to take him to. It's not easy sometimes to find good wholesome entertainment. :)

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 6 years ago from southern USA

      Wow, this brought back a lot of memories. I do remember lambchop. I have a little puppet theatre set up for my granddaughters and they love it. This is very well writen and love the image of the children's faces as they watch the puppet show, priceless!


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