Bob Elisberg Pays Tribute to Kukla, Fran, and Ollie — and to Burr Tillstrom

Posted on December 7, 2014 at 3:11 pm

Be sure to take a look at this wonderful tribute to Burr Tillstrom from my friend Bob Elisberg. Bob is a marvelous writer with an encyclopedic knowledge of the best of popular entertainment. And in the early days of television, no one was more popular than Burr Tillstrom, the man behind Kukla, Ollie, Madame Oglepuss, Cecil Bill, and many more. The puppets’ witty, charming, and completely endearing conversations were entirely unrehearsed. Burr was a friend and client of my dad’s, so I got to attend some of the shows in person and Bob tells one of my favorite stories about a comment I made to a reporter about the puppets. I’m especially glad that Bob talked about what an influence Burr was on people like Jim Henson, how he inspired the movie “Lili” and the play “Carnival,” and about Burr’s innovative “hand ballets,” including the one about the Berlin Wall that won him an Emmy. Many thanks to Bob for this beautiful reminder of Burr’s artistry and his heritage.

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