March is Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating the women who have made great contributions to the Muppet productions we love. We’ve had the honor of conducting interviews with several important women from the Muppet world over the years… If you’ve never read these interviews before, you should check them out. If you have read them before, you should read them again — there’s probably some cool stuff you’ve forgotten!
In our “Interview with Bonnie Erickson,” we spoke at length to the puppet designer who built the first Miss Piggy, Statler, Waldorf, Zoot, and many more. Erickson took us through her history with the Muppets, starting with costume work on The Frog Price, continuing with designing and building characters for The Muppet Show, serving as the head of the Muppet Workshop, and later work in the Product division of Sesame Workshop and as the Executive Director of The Jim Henson Legacy.
In “Mokey Fraggle Speaks: The Kathy Mullen Interview,” we talked to the puppeteer whose credits include not just Fraggle Rock, but The Muppet Show, The Muppet Movie, The Dark Crystal, The Christmas Toy, and even The Empire Strikes Back. She was Kira the Gelfling, she was Yoda’s right hand, she wrote for Little Muppet Monsters, and as part of No Strings, she now produces educational puppet films for children all over the world.
When the Sesame Street 40th anniversary book came out, we had “A Chat with Louise Gikow,” the author of that volume. Gikow worked for the Muppets for years, writing for Muppet Magazine, as well as a plethora of books featuring characters from The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, Muppet Babies, Muppet Kids, The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss, and Labyrinth. So pretty much everything. She gave us the scoop on what it’s like writing for Muppets in print, and the process of cramming 40 years of Sesame history into one book.
And then there’s “Two Questions with Leslie Carrara-Rudolph.” Only two questions? you might ask. What a short interview! Well, it turns out two questions is all Carrara-Rudolph needs for an in-depth, informative, and very entertaining overview of her entire career, from auditioning for Muppets Tonight with no prior puppetry experience, to her work on The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss and Animal Jam, to landing the role of Abby Cadabby. And of course, her own hilarious creation, Lolly Lardpop.
Speaking of Leslie Carrara-Rudolph, on a trip to the set of Sesame Street, we managed to snag her and her colleague Carmen Osbahr for a video interview between takes. And in an amazing coincidence, two of the Muppet stars of the show happened to be hanging around too. Which is how we ended up with “Live from Sesame Street: Carmen and Leslie and Rosita and Abby.”
Just last August, we got to talk to “Henson Company CEO Lisa Henson.” In addition to being a Henson kid, she’s done a lot of work behind the scenes, on both the creative and business ends of things. Henson talked to us about upcoming Henson Company projects, the Center for Puppetry Arts and more in this nifty audio interview.
And in case you missed it, just this week, we had “Yakking with Yolanda: An Interview with Julianne Buescher,” in which Buescher told us about her work on Dinosaurs, Puppet Up, The Muppets, and more.
- Jane Hunt, Richard Hunt’s mother (interview by Hunt biographer Max Stein)!
- Muppet comic book artist Amy Mebberson and Fraggle Rock & Muppet comic book writer Grace Randolph!
- Grace Randolph again!
- Fraggle Rock comic book artist Katie Cook!
- A New York Comic Con panel that included, among others, the aforementioned Bonnie Erickson, Jim Henson Company archivist Karen Falk, and legendary Muppet performer Fran Brill, who left us all starstruck when she brought out Prairie Dawn
And I’ve probably forgotten a few. We’d like to thank them all again for their time, their insights, and for their great Muppety work!
Click here to celebrate Women’s History Month on the Tough Pigs forum!
by Ryan Roe – Ryan@ToughPigs.com