Mr. Manos is the finger ninja action film series of the summer

Move over, vintage fingerboards. Mr. Manos has arrived with vintage martial arts films, featuring finger ninjas. Read the rest

Check out these awesomely creepy puppets of microbial creatures

Judith Hope is a UK-based puppeteer who has created maneuverable art for theatre, festivals, parades, and more. Read the rest

Baylor University used puppets to announce its newly signed football players

National signing day is when high school athletes sign letters of intent to play for specific university. It's a big enough deal for college football fans that ESPN was updating it class rankings every hour. (Apparently Clemson did well, and USC did poorly.)

Each school wants to get as much attention as possible. This year, Baylor announced each player with two tweets, one a traditional highlight reel, and another featuring puppets:

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Puppeteer Caroll Spinney (Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch), RIP

Legendary puppeteer Carroll Spinney, who brought Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch to life on Sesame Street, died today. He was 85. Here's the New York Times obituary. And from the Sesame Workshop:

Caroll was an artistic genius whose kind and loving view of the world helped shape and define Sesame Street from its earliest days in 1969 through five decades, and his legacy here at Sesame Workshop and in the cultural firmament will be unending. His enormous talent and outsized heart were perfectly suited to playing the larger-than-life yellow bird who brought joy to generations of children and countless fans of all ages around the world, and his lovably cantankerous grouch gave us all permission to be cranky once in a while.

In 2018, Spinney retired from Sesame Street. Below is Sesame Workshop's video tribute to him and the following is from a New York Times profile from the time:

Although they had previously crossed paths in the 1960s, Spinney pinpointed a fateful encounter at a Salt Lake City puppeteers’ festival in 1969, when (Muppets creator Jim) Henson watched him try to perform a multimedia show that went gradually awry.

As Spinney recalled, Henson came to him afterward to say, “I liked what you were trying to do.”

Soon after, Henson invited Spinney to play two Muppet characters that were being developed for “Sesame Street,” which made its debut on public television later that year. One was Oscar, who was envisioned as a cranky, trash-loving purple character. (He was orange in his earliest appearances, before taking on his familiar green hue.)

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Woman uses nose as twerking puppet

Shake that money maker!

This clever person turned her nose into a twerking puppet. Read the rest

Watch the 'Don't Hug Me I'm Scared' finale

Don't Hug Me I'm Scared, the dark British web series of shorts created by Becky Sloan and Joseph Pelling, released its sixth and final episode. If you haven't seen the others that came out starting in 2011, start below first: Read the rest

The Adventures of White-Man: satirical toy puppetry from Paul Zaloom

In the video above, three excerpts from Paul Zaloom's new toy theater puppet show, "The Adventures of White-Man."

Paul Zaloom is a comedic puppeteer, political satirist, filmmaker, and performance artist who lives and works in Los Angeles and tours his work all over the world. Zaloom has written, designed and performed 13 full length solo spectacles, including Fruit of Zaloom, Velvetville, his latest, with Lynn Jeffries, The Adventures of White-Man.

Video Link. I really want to see this live.

Incidentally, Zaloom was "Beakman" on the kids' science show "Beakman's World."

This clip comes to Boing Boing from my friend, filmmaker Sean Meredith. "With painter Sandow Birk, he was my creative partner on Dante's Inferno and In Smog and Thunder, Sean explains. "He has been a member of Bread and Puppet since the early 1970s. Lord Buckley is one of his big heroes." Read the rest

Puppets are fun

The Bob Baker Marionette Theater (covered in this previous Boing Boing post) is celebrating their 50th Anniversary all year. The Bob Baker theater, the longest running theater of its kind in the US, is the only surviving puppet theater in downtown Los Angeles which was home to thirty puppet theaters in the 1930's.

Bob Baker bio & interview for the DVD release of Pinocchio.

Baker himself loves recounting stories. He tells of walking through Disneyland with "Walt" on the day before the park opened. He remembers birthday parties for the children of Old Hollywood: Danny Kaye, Jack Benny, Eleanor Powell. His puppetry was featured on "Star Trek," "A Star Is Born" and "G.I. Blues" with Elvis Presley. He sold his hand-crafted marionettes at stores including Bullocks Wilshire and FAO Schwarz. He says he can look at any of the 3,000 puppets in his catalog and tell which one it is just from looking at the controls.

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