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Speaking of puppets…

March 27th, 2008 by Bill Corbett · 29 Comments

… those of the hairy monster variety, and otherwise…

Both puppets and more standard human-types inhabit the witty, wild, and tres-naughty world of AVENUE Q — the Broadway hit now touring the country.

Mike, Kevin and I had a chance to meet some of the Avenue Q cast and crew last summer during Comic-Con in San Diego, when these plucky fellow puppetslingers were kind enough to invite us to see the show.

It was a riot. Bawdy as can be, to be sure… but if you can handle a little puppet sex*, sharp satire, and fun music, Avenue Q is a real treat.


    This is exactly what it looks like: fornicating Muppets.

It was also great to meet the performers, some of the nicest people who ever made puppets do bad things. We had a few of them over to our house when the tour landed in Minneapolis, and their tales of life on the road were vicarious fun for Virginia and me. We’re relative homebodies these days, what with two young kids, so the hi-diddle-dee-dee life seemed very romantic. They, in turn, seemed grateful to be inside any structure that wasn’t a hotel.

Well, Virginia just informed me that our puppeteering pals will be featured on the Food Network show “Ace of Cakestonight, in an episode described thusly:

    Avenue Q Cake

    Avenue Q, the Tony award-winning musical, is landing in Baltimore and the cast has asked Duff to make a cake for their opening. The bakery staffs attends the opening night performance of Avenue Q and take a private backstage tour and meeting with the cast and the puppets.
    Plus,a Guitar Cake for a Bar Mitzvah.

    March 27, 2008 10:30 PM ET/PT
    March 28, 2008 1:30 AM ET/PT
    March 30, 2008 11:00 PM ET/PT
    March 31, 2008 2:00 AM ET/PT
    April 03, 2008 1:30 PM ET/PT
    April 15, 2008 10:00 PM ET/PT
    April 16, 2008 1:00 AM ET/PT
    April 22, 2008 1:00 PM ET/PT

It may be too late for some of you to see tonight’s show. But if you’re interested, it airs quite a few more times.

To Rob, Maggie, and the rest of the Ave. Q gang… wherever you are in the country tonight, hope all is well. May you always have cake.


(* Oh, I know what some of you are thinking. I do. I know what some of you are planning to write in comments. Let me say in advance: for shame!)

Tags: RiffTrax

29 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Dave-o on Mar 27, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    Thats cool stuff. Did you discuss puppeteering techniques and such? and…i wasnt thinking…never…*

    *well maybe…a little

  • 2 Jacob_Taylor on Mar 27, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    They’re not very good, I can see their lips moving :D

  • 3 Ryan on Mar 27, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    Do you and Kevin miss doing the puppetry on MST3K, now that Rifftrax is just voicework?

  • 4 Livia on Mar 27, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    No smiley faces…no talk of bacon…Bill, are you back to normal? Or have you simply been re-programmed to appear more life-like?

    This sudden change in your personality is frightening me…

  • 5 Kevin Murphy on Mar 27, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    I miss the wonderful anarchy that a puppet allows, but I don’t miss the ten pound of plastic teetering on the brink of collapse. Let me put it this way: puppets are less fun the heavier they are. Compared to these Avenue Q folks, I got off easy.


  • 6 Dallas on Mar 27, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    Avenue Q was the first Broadway show I ever saw, and I still find myself quoting lines to my friends on occasion. I’ll definitely try and tivo that Ace of Cakes episode.

  • 7 Bill Corbett on Mar 27, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    Apologies Livia, but I have no idea what you’re talking about.




  • 8 Roper on Mar 27, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    Puppets fornicating? I think I can handle it. I seem to remember,one Crow T. Robot,doing a seductive striptease in gold boots.Not to mention Tom Servos propensity for being in drag.

  • 9 Chris D. on Mar 27, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    Those are some dirty puppets—and I thought it was pretty racy when Servo asked Crow if he wanted to make out that one time…

  • 10 Jessy on Mar 27, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    all I have to say is..


  • 11 Eddie Colton on Mar 28, 2008 at 3:46 am

    I was very concerned for the puppeteers on Ace of Cakes when they actually seemed physically incapable of saying anything without their puppets. Sure, it can be helpful therapy, but there’s a reason why shrinks let you out after an hour. I really hope they get the help they need, and I’m glad for Bill’s sake they were a little more stable at the time he met them.

  • 12 gammer on Mar 28, 2008 at 4:59 am

    Sorry Kevin, I’ve got to admit that you looked a bit more ‘buff’ during the “puppet show” era. Holding that 10 lb gum-ball puppet made your biceps and triceps look ripped! BEEFCAKE!

  • 13 gammer on Mar 28, 2008 at 5:02 am

    What would make the show more enjoyable would be if the puppeteer’s fornicated the same time as the puppets were fornicating…you know, synchronicity.

  • 14 Bill Corbett on Mar 28, 2008 at 5:33 am

    I think Kevin said it well. Puppets are great vehicles for comic pandemonium, and while I’d never consider myself a true puppeteer, I came to enjoy performing with one.

    I’d never even picked up a puppet until mere days before I started filming as the Golden Spider Duck, and that was intimidating…. especially since Trace had a magic touch in making him come alive. So it was embarrassing and no fun at first. Then as shows went on I came to enjoy finding ways to make him more expressive. (Tried to, anyways.)

    He was top heavy, though, and prone to falling apart. …Or was that me, falling apart? It’s all a big puppet-y blur.

  • 15 Olcas on Mar 28, 2008 at 5:36 am

    So, they were making cakes after having their hands up the puppet’s….*shot*

  • 16 gammer on Mar 28, 2008 at 5:43 am

    Hey Bill,
    I remember watching Crow topple apart in some of those Poopie video’s. Funny stuff. I hope you never got hurt by falling, golden debris?
    Once thing I will say, is that the Crow you puppeted looked more stable then the earlier Crow builds. ie – loose hockey face mask and loose bottom jaw.

    Btw, how did Paul ever make himself so small to puppet the Nano’s? That must have been extremely hard? ;)

  • 17 Bill Corbett on Mar 28, 2008 at 5:56 am

    “Btw, how did Paul ever make himself so small to puppet the Nano’s?

    Years of intense yoga training.

  • 18 JackTheRIFFER on Mar 28, 2008 at 6:24 am

    Aww! That’s our wonderful re-educated Bill all right!

  • 19 Mario "Asteroid" Panighetti on Mar 28, 2008 at 7:28 am

    Man, I’ve been dying to see this show since I first heard about it by way of a friend playing the song “The Internet Is For Porn.” Sadly, their tour does not appear to extend all the way to little ol’ California (or maybe they did the Comic-Con thing and decided they’d had it with our stupid state, a common post-Comic-Con reaction). Lousy California with its remote proximity to Broadway! I feel so uncultured.

  • 20 Dr. Jane Seymour Medicine Quinn on Mar 28, 2008 at 9:43 am

    Puppets don’t have sex, they refuel. OK…I just watched Starfighters last night.

  • 21 Virginia Corbett on Mar 28, 2008 at 11:19 am

    I heart Avenue Q.
    I heart Ace of Cakes.
    All is well in the world.

    …and thanks for all of your support out there while Bill was….. away.

    I was busy trying to distract the children from the ranting, and eventual disappearance of their father. We actually didn’t know he was gone for a while – just thought he was downstairs Riffing for unusually long, quiet periods of time. After the screaming, the silence was a relief, to tell you the truth. Until I saw that picture from Kevin’s yard. Yikes.

    But he’s back and Things Are Better Now. :)

  • 22 Phil on Mar 28, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    Avenue Q! “What Do you Do with a BA in English?” defines my post-college life!

  • 23 BassBone on Mar 28, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    The tour came to Los Angeles last year.

  • 24 Bill Corbett on Mar 28, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    Think they were in San Francisco, too?

  • 25 Geena on Mar 29, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    The touring show is in Atlanta this weekend. I am EXTREMELY chagrined about having to miss it.

    Remember: In volatile market, the only stable investment… is PORN!!

  • 26 A.M.P. on Mar 31, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    I just got the Broadway cast soundtrack for Avenue Q right before Easter, and I’m hopelessly addicted to the CD. I LOVE it! I can’t wait to see the show! The touring company is coming to Buffalo, NY at the end of April, and I’m not missing out.

    You know, I need no reminder that you guys are very lucky and privileged people, but in case anyone here should forget that, blog entries like this one will always come in handy!

  • 27 Allison on Apr 1, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Yay Avenue Q! I took my boyfriend to see it in Cleveland last January. The people behind us brought their kids and stayed even after the puppet sex. That’s awesome that you got the meet the performers.

  • 28 Dan Coulter on Apr 10, 2008 at 7:33 am

    Whenever I hear about Avenue Q and all the puppet naughtiness, I just have Feebles flashbacks which are not entirely unlike ‘Nam flashbacks.

  • 29 A.M.P. on Apr 16, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    I’ll be seeing Rob, Maggie, and the rest of the tour cast when the show hits Buffalo, NY in a few weeks! I’m really excited! I’ve been looking forward to this show for months. And at least after this, I won’t be too jealous that you guys got to meet these people. Which is nice.