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How ‘Kidding’ Craftsmen Brought Fictional Children’s Show & Assortment Of Original Puppets To Life

How ‘Kidding’ Craftsmen Brought Fictional Children’s Show & Assortment Of Original Puppets To Life

On Dave Holstein’s Kidding, production designer Maxwell Orgell faced a classic artistic challenge, crafting sets for a show-within-a-show. Following the downward spiral of a Mr. Rogers type, the dark comedy centered on Mr. Pickles’ Puppet Time, a nostalgia-inducing kids’ program with touches of the surreal.

Conceived as a family-run production, coming to viewers from a small soundstage in Columbus, Ohio, Puppet Time was a space marked by the low-budget, crafty magic of local broadcast, which unsurprisingly came with its own wide assortment of original felt creations. With names like Uke-Larry, Soap Scum and Ennui Le Triste, the puppets were every bit as singular as the Puppet Time sets themselves, the product of collaboration between Orgell and two other highly imaginative minds.

When it came to designing Puppet Time and its many idiosyncratic inhabitants, director Michel Gondry was one essential voice. A veteran of children’s television who knew that world inside out,

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