Comedian Wyatt Cenac is something of a puppet aficionado.
Although he’s best known as a comedian, he has a background in animation and his love of puppetry is well known. He joked about puppets during a recent appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers to promote his new Netflix comedy special, Wyatt Cenac: Brooklyn.
Wyatt’s puppet was built by Puppet Heap for a series of segments on The Daily Show when he was a correspondent on the series. He recently told told Splitsider about the origins of his puppet:
I’ve always loved puppets. I’ve always been fascinated by them. I think it’s such a fun world and, truly one of the best days at my time with The Daily Show was the day that I found out that we were doing this thing and they were going to make a puppet of me, John Oliver and Jon Stewart. One of the producers, Jen Flanz, whenever we needed a correspondent for something, she’d suggest people or say, “This person’s not available. They’re on a field shoot…” and she would help in a lot of the coordination of that. I’d have to credit and thank her, because I think she knew I’d be crushed if I didn’t become a puppet. Because if I had been there I would’ve been like, “Me! Me! Make me puppet!”
Then the company, Puppet Heap that made the puppet, did it in a rush job. They did it over the weekend and were finishing the puppets at the show. They were finishing everything there and while they were doing that, I was just standing around watching them. Not even doing my job, just kind of lurking. One of the people, this woman Jean Marie (Keevins) who worked with me on this, she was like, “You can come with me and ask us questions.” So, I went with them and asked a bunch of questions. I had some free time one day and I went to Hoboken where their shop was and it was everything I’d hoped and more. I was like, “Oh, this is great. I would love to do more stuff with this. This is amazing.” So it’s something I’ve always been into and I was really glad that Netflix allowed me to add that element.
Wyatt is performed in puppet form by James Godwin, who originated the part on The Daily Show. Other puppets used in Brooklyn were built and performed by James, Jean Marie Keevins, Ceili Clemens and Sarah Nolen. Ana Maria Craciun also performed on the shoot.
Wyatt Cenac: Brooklyn is available to watch on Netflix right now!