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"For the Broadway stage..."
The use of the phrase "For the Broadway stage" towards the end of the bio section implies that the show "A Broadway Baby" played on Broadway, but it didn't. As his other puppetry credits make clear, the show ran at the Goodspeed Opera House. -- Galenfott 01:09, October 23, 2009 (UTC)
Hi. My name is Michael Earl Davis, though I go by Michael Earl. In 1978 I met Kermiit Love at a Puppeteers of America festival in San Luis Obispo when I was 17. He liked my puppet making and offered me a building job in New York. Growing up in the Bay Area, I had known Frank Oz's parents (Mike and Francis Oznowitz) through the local puppetry guild. Between them and Kermit talking to Jim Henson about me, Jim hired me in 1978 sight-unseen for The Muppet Movie. I had just turned 19. Afterwards, Jim asked if I'd like to take over the front end of Snuffy on Sesame Street since Jerry had hurt his back. Richard had been subbing for him and they needed fulltime replacement. Since I was young, tall and strong, and a good puppeteer, I got the job. The first season I lip-synced to Jerry's voice from the booth. The second season he told producers, "I'm a puppeteer, not a voice actor" and bowed out of the character all together. That lead to a big search for a new voice. They auditioned every voice actor in NYC and when I heard about this, I asked Kermit if I could audition...since I was already IN the puppet. He said ok, so on a home recorder, I read a scene from an old script doing both Snuffy and Big Bird's voices (I was also Caroll Spinney's understudy, as well as being in BB in Muppet Movie Finale). I got the job, the puppet was now all mine and was for that season and one more, three total. I also originated Polly Darton, Forgetful Jones (a young Kevin Clash, brand new to the show, performed Buster my Horse), a Honker, and many others, working with the writers, creating characters tailored to our talents. Brian Muehl and I (and Carroll Spinney) were the only fulltime puppeteers on Sesame Street at that time (I was under contract for 3 years). The other Muppeteers were in London much of the year shooting Muppet Shows and came to the street for Muppet Inserts just once a year. So Brian and I got a LOT of opportunity to learn through doing, script after script. I think I was in about 150 episodes; Brian many more because he stayed longer than I did, creating Telly, Barkley, etc. As for the Sesame Unpaved book, when I read it I called CTW lawyers who explained to me there were many inaccuracies in that book, and issued me a letter of proof stating my involvment in Sesame Street. So that's the real (partial) history of those years. I could write a book with many more of those stories, nice and naughty, but for now, here's for the record. - Michael Earl (Davis)
- It is, or at least very widely sourced. I'm trying to remember the Google search terms that led to a few of them. His IMDb entry in this case is actually a potentially valid source, though, as the biography was contributed by Davis himself. He could be lying through his teeth, of course, but general timeline and so forth (I've seen an early Forgetful sketch on YouTube where he doesn't sound at all like Richard Hunt) seem to suggest its accuracy. Andrew Leal (talk) 02:11, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
- Okay, here's one for Snuffy, based on information sent to this person's page on meeting Martin P. Robinson. And scroll down at the Eagle Rock Association page which lists Snuffy, Forgetful Jones, Slimey (who dates to at least 1971 and so obviously had prior performers), and Poco Loco. I don't think it's a no way if it was only for one season as a transition between Jerry Nelson and Robinson, though it would be nice to have a source other than what seem to all be statements and press releases from the puppeteer. Andrew Leal (talk) 02:17, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
- I have talked to Martin P. Robinson on occassion and one time he mentioned that before he puppeteered Snuffy, someone else did it for a year but it didn't work out and Sesame Workshop doesn't like to talk about it. I always assumed he meant Michael Earl Davis. Theatrefreak25 02:27, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
- There are two threads at Muppet Central by people who performed in the finale of The Muppet Movie who discussed the ending. Both are currently "sticky" threads in the "Classic Muppets" folder, for those who want to research. One of them, written by a guy known to users only as Tim, stated that he had some sort of intern-type job with Henson at the time, and talked about Michael Earl Davis, mentioning that he originally performed Forgetful Jones. He stated that Michael Earl Davis' portrayal wasn't popular (I think he said that the people working on Sesame Street didn't like how he was portraying Forgetful, but I think he also meant that the character wasn't popular with the kids at first, either), and also explained that it also took awhile for Forgetful Jones to be popular after Richard Hunt took over the role. --Minor muppetz 02:43, 20 March 2007 (UTC)