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Kirk Thatcher Interview - Need Questions for Henson.com Podcast

Discussion in 'On the Web' started by ToasterBoy, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. ToasterBoy

    ToasterBoy Active Member

    I'm interviewing Kirk Thatcher tomorrow (3/31) for the Henson.com Podcast about developing the character Waldo - http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Waldo_C._Graphic - to coincide with an upcoming Jim's Red Book posting in April.

    I'd love to get questions from anyone about working on Waldo for the interview. Please keep in mind that while we can stray from the topic a little, the main focus should be Waldo and Kirk's work on the character.

    Send your questions to: podcast @ henson . com (no spaces) or via Twitter to http://www.twitter.com/hensonpodcast

    You can also post them here, but the best way to make sure I see them is one of the two above methods!

    And thanks to all who sent is questions for Stephen Christy about A Tale of Sand. And, as always, thanks for listening! :)
  2. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    Okay, not a Waldo question - but it's timely, relevant and on lots of people's minds: When the Muppets take on a major project like the upcoming movie which is written and directed by people outside of and new to the Muppet team, how much involvement do people like yourself, Jim Lewis and the "usual suspects" of creative staff have in regards to input?

    And...to balance that out with a Waldo question - did Jim have any plans for Waldo C Graphic after Jim Henson Hour and MV3D?
  3. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I wish I could think of something to ask about Waldo, aside from why he hasn't been used since Muppet Vision 3D.

    But it's cool that the Red Book will finally have some sort of entry related to The Jim Henson Hour (even if it doesn't say anything more about the show other than focusing on one character).

    Wait, I think I have a question. Was the same basic Waldo technology used for Glitch in the Inner Tube pilot?
  4. ToasterBoy

    ToasterBoy Active Member

    I'll try and get this asked. Since it's more Muppet related it might not happen, but I'll give it a shot.

    Appreciate the questions! :)
  5. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    That was a good interview. I noticed there was acknowledgement of us who asked questions here though I don't remember hearing any of our questions being asked.

    That question about whether they thought about having Waldo interract with guest stars is interesting. I never noticed before that Waldo never appeared with human actors before (except for when one might have interracted via monitor).

    The question about Steve Whitmire was also interesting. It seems Whitmire was given the most original recurring characters on the show (he also performed Bean, Flash, Jacques Roach, and one of the Extremes, though most of them were minor on the show). Still, the character could have been given to Kevin Clash (who unil The Jim Henson Hour didn't have any recurring characters outside of Sesame Street, unless you count PJ from the Play-Along Videos) or any of the Canadian performers on the show.

    Good interview.
  6. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I noticed in the podcast that it's said Waldo wasn't really anything. I always thought Waldo was a bird.
  7. ToasterBoy

    ToasterBoy Active Member

    I thanked everyone who sent in questions. My momma raised me right. :)

    I did ask Kirk if the technology behind Glitch was the same as Waldo and his answer was, "No." It didn't go beyond that one word answer, so I just kept it out of the interview. But now you know. :)
  8. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    April seems to be the month of Waldo C. Graphic. We had the podcast interview about the character, Henson's Red Book had the entry on the character, The Muppet Mindset had a "Weekly Muppet Wednesday" article on the character, a Waldo toy was included as the "chaser" in series 2 of Disney's Muppet "Vinymation" collections, and I just saw that the Henson Company's YouTube channel recently uploaded the scene from The Secrets of the Muppets where Jim Henson showed how Waldo works. And this leads me to ask something slightly off-topic but I'd like to know, and hopefully you can answer but I understand if you can't.

    But basically, are Waldo and most of the other characters created for the MuppeTelevision segments owned by Henson or Disney? I'm sure that Bean and Clifford are owned by Disney, sicne they've been a major part of the Muppet family for years after The Jim Henson Hour ended. The only other characters created for the show who have been used in later Henson productions and referred to by their original names were Digit (in Muppet Party Cruise) and of course Waldo (in Muppet Vision 3D). Other characters had been used in the background, renamed (such as Jacques Roach being renamed Yves St. La Roach for The Animal Show), or recycled into other characters.

    To me it would make most sense for Disney to have gotten the characters. Back in 2004 when the sale was made somebody at Disney informed Tough Pigs of what Disney got, and mentioned that the sale included most of the Muppet content from The Jim Henson Hour. Sometime afterwards the MuppeTelevision segments were broadcast in Canada as part of a syndication package for The Muppet Show and Muppets Tonight. If Disney got the rights to MuppeTelevision, then Disney should have gotten the rights to the characters, as that is the primary appearance of most of the original characters, not to mention the fact that the show is a follow-up to The Muppet Show, so the characters should belong to Disney just as much as the Muppets Tonight characters (though those had been used more after cancellation).

    But then a recent interview with the writer of the Muppet Snow White comic book revealed that the writer had wanted to include many characters from The Jim Henson Hour (including casting Beard as the replacement seventh dwarf), yet was informed that they couldn't include anybody from The Jim Henson Hour. So I'm not sure if that means Disney doens't own the rights to those characters, or if Disney's contract with Boom limited the Muppet characters who could appear by production, or if there was just some form of miscommunication. But then I was surprised to see the Waldo clip from The Secrets of the Muppets uploaded by The Jim Henson Company. While Henson has uploaded a few things that I'm sure are owned by other companies (certain commercials, Jim Henson's acceptance speech from the Television Hall of Fame, the "Bumble Ardy" cartoon from Sesame Street), the company has pretty much avoided clips with Muppet characters owned by other companies (and I'm not counting the commercials featuring the proto-Cookie Monster, as I'm not sure how those rights work out). I don't know if it's more acceptable because Waldo isn't as well-known as the main characters or what. But if Henson does own Waldo, then Disney wouldn't have been able to release a Waldo toy as part of it's Vinylmation series.

    I hope I'm not asking for too much researching, and I understand if you don't know the answer.


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