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Met Martin P. Robinson this week!

Discussion in 'Henson People' started by spcglider, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. spcglider

    spcglider Member

    Hey all,

    Just to report: I attended the PofA Festival and was most gratified to have the opportunity to talk with Telly and Snuffalupagus puppeteer Martin Robinson. I was lucky enough to converse with him for about 45 minutes.

    You can pretty much guess, he's a great guy. Very well spoken and obviously well-thought in his positions and attitudes.

    He was very complimentary about the puppets I had displayed in the Festival Exibit. He spoke highly of my design sense, style and sense of proportion. I had to go home that night and let my wife deflate my ego for me.

    He also was very honest about his view of what it's like "inside" of the "new" Muppets. Though I am unsure of how much of it was priviledged discourse, so I cannot in good conscience repeat anything he said directly to me that was not part of his presentation.

    It seems he ascribes very sincerely to the idea that a Muppet character is similar to an "office" (my term). He really doesn't see any problem with a new puppeteer taking over a character as long as the original puppeteer has passed on, reliquished the character, or has been officially "let go" by the people who own said character. In fact, he has done just that in his career.

    He is actually the third person to play both Telly and Snuffy. But in stepping into the roles, he was only willing to do so under the above circumstances.
    In the case of the second Snuffy puppeteer, he had this to say: "...because I learned from him I can call him one of my teachers as well. And what I learned is that you should never say anything about someone that you wouldn't say to their face." This evidently includes producers on Sesame Street. The inferrence is that the second Snuffy puppeteer was "let go".

    But other than that, the talk was pretty much uneventful. He talked about what a character is or could be, indicating the Telly puppet a a physical object asking, "is THIS Telly? No. This is a retired Telly. Right now, today, another Telly is being performed by a stand-in puppeteer in New York while I am here for the festival. Is THAT the REAL Telly? No. Because I'm the real puppeteer for Telly. I'm here. Not in New York. And happily so."

    So he made us all stop and think about the grande melange of elements that "make up" a puppet (more precisely Muppet) character.

    It was a good event. More to come later.

    -Gordon
  2. SSLFan

    SSLFan Well-Known Member



    So another person is performing Telly or something?:confused:
  3. Fragglemuppet

    Fragglemuppet Well-Known Member

    No, what he actually said was that another puppeteer was preforming Telly temporarily while Martin was at the convention.

    Wow Gordon, that's really great! Congradulations! So you say he is the third preformer for both of these two characters? I always thought he was the second for Snuffy, and the first for Telly. Sorry if this is off-topic, but can you tell me who the others were?
    :) Thanks.
  4. Skye

    Skye Active Member

    Wow, that's awesome, Gordon! Congrats, and thanks for sharing! :)
  5. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets New Member

    That's awesome! But what do you mean by his view inside of what's it's like inside of the "new" Muppet's? And would a stand in for telling mean that they are working on season 39 right now sense 38 was finished a long time ago.
  6. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Brian Muehl performed Telly first. :)
  7. Fragglemuppet

    Fragglemuppet Well-Known Member

    Ah, thanks Heralde!
    :) That sounds familiar now that you're saying it, although for some reason I thought Martin originated his character.
  8. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    To be honest, I was shocked when I heard there had been a voice change at all, I hadn't noticed! If I think about it, I probably like the original better, but both are good. :)
  9. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets New Member

    I remember hearing Brian talking for Telly in skits before and know that he sounded different before, too. But I've always been used to Marty's voice, though. But maybe that's just me.:smirk:
  10. maniacal muppet

    maniacal muppet Active Member

    Aww, that's so great. I met him at SS last summer and he really is like the nicest guy. Not to mention a great Muppeteer :)
  11. MelissaY1

    MelissaY1 Well-Known Member

    AWESOME story,Gordon. Martin is a great guy. I met him for the first time last year when he was at an event at the Museum of TV & Radio (now the Paley Center for Media) here in NYC. He also gave me a lot of time, let me get a picture with Telly which can be found on my MySpace at www.myspace.com/melissay1 under the celebrity pics..... Really cool guy and kudos to you for keeping what he said regarding working for the company under wraps. Maybe some folks would have a problem with that but like you I've had past firsthand Muppet experiences and have seen/heard things that I've been told not to discuss and I gotta lot of flack for it over the years.
  12. RKUNKLER

    RKUNKLER New Member

    MelissaY1 could you post it so people who dont have a myspace or cant log in can see it.
  13. MelissaY1

    MelissaY1 Well-Known Member

    It's also on my Flickr.com account if you go in several pages: www.flickr.com/photos/melissay1
  14. zns

    zns Well-Known Member

    I met Marty at the festival as well. I set next to him during a session with Joe Clokey and had a chance to talk shop with him in the puppetry store. I told him that I would like to keep in close contact with him and he said that would be just fine. I feel like I had spent the greatest week of my life.
  15. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    thats what i like muppeters being close friends with fans.
  16. MelissaY1

    MelissaY1 Well-Known Member

    Muppeteers in all seriousness, are some of the nicest people you want to meet EVER.
  17. zns

    zns Well-Known Member

    Amen sister. Marty is a real easy guy to talk to, once you get to know him.
  18. zns

    zns Well-Known Member

    I have some photos of Marty and Telly from the festival. I'll see if I can upload them on here.
  19. RKUNKLER

    RKUNKLER New Member

  20. MelissaY1

    MelissaY1 Well-Known Member

    It was a premiere screening for the documentary "The World According to Sesame Street". Marty was on the guest panel along with the filmmakers after the film was shown and he was cool enough to offer to let me get a picture with Telly. I originally asked to get just a pic taken with him but he asked if I wanted Telly in the shot. By the way, that's only one of the shots that you posted the link to. There's 2 up there...

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