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Martin P. Robinson

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Robinson and Telly

Martin P. Robinson (b. March 9, 1954) is a puppeteer who has performed on Sesame Street since 1981. His characters include Telly Monster, Mr. Snuffleupagus and Slimey. He is married to Sesame Street writer Annie Evans. Together they run the official Sesame Workshop parenting blog Sesame Family Robinson.

Bio

Martin Robinson has been on staff at The Jim Henson Company since 1980. Early roles have included Mr. Snuffleupagus, Telly Monster, Slimey, and Buster the Horse, though all were previously performed by other people. He also performed Oscar's niece, Irvine, and his mother, Mrs. Grouch, and has voiced many announcers. In addition to performing, he has played an active role in hiring and training puppeteers for local Sesame Street productions in Mexico, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Russia, and Bangladesh.

Other Henson productions that Robinson has performed in, outside of Sesame Street, have included the Farmer in Tale of the Bunny Picnic, the animatronics for Leonardo in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and The Cat in the Hat on The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss.

Robinson's stage credits include designing, building and performing Audrey II in the original 1982 off-Broadway and 2003 Broadway productions of Little Shop of Horrors, and set designing and building for the Broadway production of Stephen Sondheim's Frogs.

Robinson got into the business as a member of the Bil Baird Puppet Company. According to Sesame Street Unpaved, "Martin Robinson became a performer so that he could play a wider variety of characters than his "nice guy" looks would have allowed him to play."[1]

Often, his Muppets are paired with Caroll Spinney's on Sesame Street, such as Telly and Oscar and Big Bird and Snuffy. Martin's most frequent partner, however, is probably Kevin Clash. In addition to Telly and Elmo, the two of them have paired up many times, including as the Miami Mice, the captain and the mate of the next generation of Spaceship Surprise and the two chefs who serve Mr. Johnson at Pizzeria Dos.

He has twice been nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award: in 1995, beaten by Shari Lewis, and in 2009 by Kevin Clash.

Marriage on Sesame Street

Robinson and Annie Evans married on the set of Sesame Street. The pair met in 1993 at the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Connecticut, where Martin was creating a puppet show to premiere during the conference. Martin proposed to Evans on New Year's Eve 2007, and the two were married on the steps of 123 Sesame Street in Studio J at the Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens.

The ceremony was scripted by Evans, with Caroll Spinney as Oscar the Grouch appearing from his trash can to heckle the couple. [2]

Henson Puppeteer Credits

Marty&Telly
MartyRobinsonWorkshop
Marty Robinson performing Telly at a puppeteering workshop. Marty is a puppeteer scout for co-productions of Sesame Street.

Non-Henson Credits

Spittingimage martinprobinson
Marty Robinson's cameo (also puppeteer) on the British satirical puppet show Spitting Image
MartyRobinsonPortrait
  • Little Shop of Horrors: Performed Audrey II for both the Broadway and Off-Broadway productions
  • Spitting Image
  • Allegra's Window: coordinated the construction of many characters, and performed Riff the Cat and other characters.

Puppet Design Credits

Trivia

  • Robinson was born in Michigan and grew up in Brookfield, Wisconsin where he attended Brookfield East High school. A talented actor and musician, he played the lead in several musicals, including Bernardo in West Side Story and Fagin in Oliver!.
  • According to Street Gang, Robinson uses a converted greenhouse as his home workshop.
  • He has a black belt in karate.

Sources

  1. Borgenicht, David Sesame Street Unpaved page 189.
  2. Wedding Notice in the New York Times

External links

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