I guess I learned a couple of good lessons from my dad. One was when you’re creating something, what you want when you’re working with a team of other artists, is everybody to work with some creative freedom, so that you really get the best out of everybody.
And it was a whole lot of fun, and in many ways, what we’ve done with the show is just taken that part of my early memories of visiting my dad, shooting with the Muppets, and taking that and making a show that’s really an expansion of that and presenting a show that’s all that.
We kind of lost a lot of that and puppeteers were sticking to the script and we thought everything needed to get a lot funnier, so we thought we would go to a good improv comedy instructor.
So that’s the challenge, you have a big technical aspect of what you’re doing whilst you’re creatively trying to improvise.
Oh, well, I can’t tell you; it would be telling you the end. It’s a one-character lip-syncing because in the early days, that’s what my dad was doing.
And one of the funnest things was watching what they did before the director called action and after the director called cut. And they’d keep their hands in the puppets, they’d stay in character, and then they’d start goofing around with each other and be off of script, and it would get quite blue.
It’s actually good when the performers are nervous, because it kind of sharpens up your brain and a little bit of adrenaline is good. Initially it’s really tough.
he puppeteers really responded to it. Patrick Bistrow really responded to it, it’s great fun to do improve comedy with puppets.
In the show, we have recreated two sketches that my dad had, or pieces that my dad had developed. One that he had developed with my mother, one that Frank Oz had developed with my dad. And these are old pieces from the ’50’s and ’60’s, and we’re going to develop more, too.
The show is probably 60 percent improvising and 40 percent not. So there’s quite a bit of it that we do have prepared and that part of it, you have memorized and you’ve rehearsed and you’re prepared, just like any show.
And if the audience is in a kind of naughty, raunchy mood, then they’re going to make naughty, raunchy suggestions and then we take them and we do the scene anyway, and that’s part of the fun.
I was already sort of mixing my science physics enthusiasm with entertainment and directing and puppetry.