Self-isolation during the coronavirus epidemic has suddenly left most of us at home with a lot of unexpected time on our hands. Many people are occupying themselves with podcasts, and there are surprising number of truly excellent puppetry-related podcasts available to add to your listening feed.
These are some of the best shows to either get caught up with, or start listening to right now:
Puppet Tears is a “puppet shop talk” podcast co-hosted by puppet designer Adam Kreutinger and puppeteer Cameron Garrity. Each episode is recorded in Adam’s workshop and features an in-depth interview with a different puppetry guest. The show features an increasingly diverse and international range of guests that includes the likes of the University of Connecticut’s Professor Bart Roccoberton, Mexican puppeteer Carmen Osbahr (Sesame Street, Plaza Sésamo) and U.K. puppetry director Mervyn Millar (War Horse).
New episodes of Puppet Tears are released every other Wednesday. Early access to episodes, swag and other perks are available for supporters too.
Under the Puppet
Under the Puppet has been posting new episodes monthly since 2017 and is one of the oldest and most well established puppetry podcasts. Hosted by puppeteer Grant Baciocco (Mystery Science Theater 3000, Puppet Up! Uncensored), Under the Puppet tends to focus on film and television puppetry (though not exclusively) and is especially notable for its extensive interviews with some of the best on-camera puppeteers around, including the likes of Canada’s Jamie Shannon (Nanalan’, Mr. Meaty), the U.K.’s Ronnie LeDrew (Rainbow, The Little Angel Theatre), and many veterans of the Muppets, Sesame Street and the Jim Henson Company.
New episodes of Under the Puppet are typically released on the first day of each month. Early access to episodes, behind-the-scenes video and audio and other extras are available to Saturday Morning Media supporters on Patreon. A free Under the Puppet app is also available for both iOS and Android mobile devices.
Creature Geek bills itself as the “special effects make-up podcast from a fan and pro perspective” and recently resumed production after a lengthy hiatus last year. Hosted by artist/illustrator Len Peralta (the fan) and make-up artist Frank Ippolito (the pro), Creature Geek provides an insider’s perspective on the world of creature effects. Almost 100 episodes are available, often featuring interviews with legends like Michael Westmore (Star Trek) and advice for aspiring artists on subjects ranging from portfolio etiquette to how to work at the world-famous WETA Workshop.
If giant rubber monsters are your jam, you’ll want to listen to Kaijucast, “a podcast devoted to Godzilla and all his rubber suited foes”. Host Kyle Yount has been a fixture in the Godzilla fan community for years and pours his passion for Kaiju Eiga in to each and every episode. Especially great are his many interviews with the people who have helped bring Godzilla to life over the years, including directors like Masaaki Tezuka (Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla) and suit performers like Tsutomu “Tom” Kitagawa (Godzilla Final Wars, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers).
Kaijucast ceased production last year after a remarkable ten years of production, but the entire 279 episode Kaijucast archive is still available.
Getting Felt Up: A Puppetry Podcast
Getting Felt Up stopped production in 2017 after producing an impressive total of 70 episodes. Guests included puppet designer James Wojtal (The Muppets, Avenue Q), puppeteer Ryan Dillon (Sesame Street) and many other familiar faces from the world of American film and television puppetry.
Puppet Podcast On The Road
Puppet Podcast “On The Road” is a new puppet podcast hosted by bilingual French Canadian puppeteer Caroline Bernier-Dionne as she tours North America with Cirque du Soleil. Included among Caroline’s earliest guests have been several artists from her native Québéc. This is especially exciting because there are many skilled and creative Québécois puppetry artists who are relatively unknown outside of the French speaking world due to linguistic and cultural barriers. Hopefully, Caroline will continue introducing those of us outside her home province to more talented marionnettistes québécois(es)!
New installments of On The Road are usually released every few weeks. You can subscribe for future episodes on YouTube.