Wednesday, November 10, 2010

the art of caroll spinney

jim henson, frank oz, carol spinney. that's the muppet trinity for me. so i was so glad when AOL news did a feature on the man behind (inside of?) big bird and oscar the grouch, particularly about spinney's little-known art career.

"I started drawing when I was about 6 years old," Spinney told AOL News. "I was in love with the funnies [comic strips]. Back then, Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck had their own strips, and you could see them every week in full color. I loved it so much, I drew my own comics."

However, the extremely low pay pushed him away from Disney and toward a Boston television production agency that animated title sequences for commercials and shows.

"I needed a hobby," Spinney said. "So I got into puppetry."

Through his contacts at the production company, Spinney became Mr. Lion on the "Bozo the Clown" show, a stint that lasted nine years and brought him to the annual Puppeteers of America festival in Salt Lake City in 1969 -- a fateful visit where he met Jim Henson.

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