In the latest installment of "What to Watch", IMDb's TV Editor Melanie McFarland chats with "Mad Men" stars Jon Hamm, January Jones, John Slattery, and series creator Matthew Weiner about the drama's extraordinary legacy, as AMC prepares to air its final seven episodes.
Bringing Creativity And Imagination To The "Tube."
Hearkening BACK TO the dawn of the Television Era, this most uncomplicated of series had originated in Chicago on NBC affiliate, WNBQ (later WMAQ) Channel 5. Puppeteer Burr Tilstrom, a Chicago native, had gotten his initial experience with puppeteering in the Chicago Park District's activities. His easy manners and low key personality were obvious elements that shaped the brand of humour that was the essence of KUKLA, FRAN & OLLIE.
THE FERTILE MIND of the puppeteer was responsible for what can only be described as the most eclectically diverse and wild a bunch of characters ever assembled. Starting with Kukla-a boy character with a high pitched voice and male pattern baldness, Ollie-a Dragon, Beulah Witch, Fletcher Rabbit-who starched his ears and employed pants stretchers on his ears, Madame Oglepus-who secretly wore a wig, Doloras Dragon-Ollie's niece, Colonel Craclie-Madame Oglepus' singing partner, Cecil Bill-who spoke only "Toowee to toowee toowee!" and others.
ACTING AS OUR guide and "straight man" was veteran stage entertainer, Fran Allison. Fran did her best in keeping the action moving and in making it all believable. Her's was a near perfect counter balance to the low key but zany activities of the puppet stage.
THE VERY FANCIFUL situations and antics of the puppets, all of whom had distinctive and very diverse personalities, combined to make KUKLA, FRAN & OLLIE a favourite with all. It was revived and continued many times, sometimes being relegated to a local show; but it never failed to entertain.
AND ISN'T THAT what the Network Execs refer to as: "The bottom line?"
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