Web Videos

Because Bernie Says So

By August 20, 2014 August 7th, 2017 9 Comments

It’s been awhile since the arrival of a promising new puppet web series has been heralded here on the blog, and Bernie Says So is one of the most promising to come along in some time.

The series bills itself as being about “WW2 veteran takes no prisoners in the fight against stupid!”. The main character is Bernie, a 90 year old World War II veteran offering commentary from his recliner and laptop. It’s a promising premise and I especially appreciate the cinematic approach that’s been used to film it.

The series features puppeteers Ken Schellin, Matthew Balz, Daniel Greinke, and Matthew Metcalf and the Bernie puppet was built by Kathy Smith.

Bernis Says So is already two episodes in to its six episode first season run, with plans for a second season already underway. Look for new episodes every Monday in the Bernie Says So YouTube Channel.


  • Kyle Baldin says:

    Gave both episodes a watch, because I trust you guys here at PV, but… Hm, I wouldn’t call it all that good. The look of it is good, but wow, boring! The pace makes it quite a choir to get through. I hope the next 4 episodes are tighter, because if they’re going for humor, they need to work on the timing a lot!

    • Andrew says:

      Hey Kyle, you know I do have to agree that the episodes so far are not without their problems and Ryan (one of the producers) and I have actually been discussing it over email privately. I also think this is a really promising show with good production values. The team behind it really wants to do something great and I appreciate that. I know they really appreciate constructive feedback too.

      You know, way, way back in the early days of this blog a lot of puppeteers criticized the enthusiasm here for Glove and Boots because their early videos (this was around 2005-ish) were very rough around the edges. Today everybody loves them and they have hundreds of thousands (maybe millions?) of fans.

      Not everything becomes Potter Puppet Pals or Glove and Boots of course, but sometimes great things have small beginnings.

  • PrincessRach says:

    Kyle, it’s not supposed to be funny. It’s supposed to be sweet. I bet intentionally even a little sad. I imagine this was created to honor the maker’s grand dad or an uncle who passed away. It’s meant for an older audience, like grandparents. If it was fast and witty and sharp, it would confuse the older crowd. It has to be slow and real for its intended audience. I for one like it. and will GLADLY show my grandmother every episode.

  • Sandra Hould says:

    I fell in love with the series the moment I heard about it just after they had created and posted Online their first episode and each week, I anxiously look at my emails to find the new episode that is out.

    I love the humour of the series as well as the humour that can be loved by all ages. The wink to an older audience is evident and I do love it. This series is already excellent and it will only get better in time.

    My two thumbs up to the crew of Bernie Says so.

  • Alec Marquee says:

    I don’t know about this one. Is he ever going to leave the chair? Or at least more than three angle coverage? Its very limited. I hope it is going to be more than an old cranky guy making old jokes or its going to get real boring real fast. Lets see his wife or cut to who hes talking to. How about images to go with him?

  • Ryan Brooks says:

    Hello all!

    My name is Ryan and I’m one of the creators of the series. I want to say thank you to everyone who has given it a view and given us some feedback. It’s appreciated and will help us make the series better in the future.

    When we started the series we had a very limited budget to play with. This gave us only one puppet and one location. We also wanted to test the waters with this show. We enjoy it and wanted to see if others would before we put a bunch more time and money into the series. We also noticed that a bit into the edit that the videos are definitely too long, especially for one character in one location. We plan on having more puppets and more locations in the next season. We were also developing Bernie as a character throughout this first run. We feel he becomes far more dialed in by the end of the season. The series definitely has issues and is far from perfect but we are constantly working to try to remedy those problems.

    Regarding the audience, we wanted it to be for families. From the young to the old. This might be a fault and again always working to correct that issue. My grandparents both passed away two years ago. I remember them teaching me lessons and being quirky. Something I feel most people have and can relate to in their lives and if I can bring a message with it that’s a bonus. We simply want to have people enjoy and smile at this point.

    Again thanks for the views and taking the time to give us feedback. It’s appreciated and we’ll hit the drawing board for next season. Feel free to leave any other questions or thoughts. We love hearing them.

  • Ryan Brooks says:

    And again thank you Andrew for the very generous write up. It’s awesome!

  • Kyle Baldin says:

    Thanks for the reply, Andrew.
    I hear what you’re saying, but this is not even in the same league as G&B or Puppet Pals. Yes, those started rough, but those actually had a sense of what comedy is. This does not. The filming quality is nice. The makers clearly know how to light a shot. And the voice acting is really quite good for Berne (not so much for for the wife though). If they keep those two things but improve on everything else, then maybe it could be a better series that is worth watching. But it’s got miles and miles to go. The editing is amateurish with the forced fast-cuts that don’t fit the tone. Not everything should be that 1-2-3 editing. And the overall style and tone is going to need to be much, much tighter if they think the general You Tube watching audience is going to take the time to watch in its entirety. It’s so damn slow.
    My final assessment:
    I have watched all the episodes, and it took until the last episode to get interesting. They finally used ore than two angles, and the content wasn’t dated and dragged out non-jokes without punchlines. I’ve decided that I will recommend people watch the last episode only, and I will tell them that it is a dramatic series. I won’t be subscribing, but I’ll be watching to see if it ever actually gets good.
    Grade: C

  • Ryan Brooks says:

    Hey Kyle! Thanks a million for continuing to watch until then end. Really appreciate you giving the full season a chance. Also appreciate the feedback to the series that you’ve given. We are always working on improving and the specifics will help further.

    We didn’t really feel we discovered Bernie until the final episodes. Hopefully we’ll be able to develop not only him further but the other puppets that we introduce next season. It will be further out seeing that we have a bit of rebuilding to do, but we will certainly work to keep everyone posted.

    I really appreciate your honesty also. For me I get more out of people pointing out exactly what they done like about my work then people saying it’s good because they don’t want to hurt my feelings. I’m a professional. I’m looking to improve not be coddled. So again thank you.

    While I will work with what you’ve said I don’t necessarily agree with it all. Yes I believe we are miles away from a truly great series. It’s going to take years of work but we’re getting there. Regarding the comedy aspect, I have to disagree. Comedy is one of thee most subjective things in our life. What you find funny I may not. What I find funny you may think it’s stupid. I’m not saying the writing doesn’t need improving. Everything can get tighter and better. Everything can be improved but we may just never see eye to eye on the comedy aspect. And that’s ok. Doesn’t mean I will stop trying just means not everything is for everyone. We would be naive to think that everybody is going to like our series.

    Regarding the editing/style choice. This was a two fold decision for us. The main reason to go this route is because Bernie is a no nonsense guy. Get things done quick and right. Know where things are and how to use them. That’s what we were going for. Perhaps your right in saying it doesn’t work. I like it and I believe it does. Doesn’t mean I’m right, simply means I need to spend time researching and testing out the market. But I can’t thank you enough for bringing it up. It’s something I hadn’t considered and may need to change.

    Again thanks again for giving the series a chance. Great conversation here. Learned a lot.

    I would like to thank Andrew again as well. Learned a lot from him and learned even more with the feedback from this write up. I’ll make sure to keep everyone posted as we progress forward.

Leave a Reply