In a PUPTCRIT conversation, Steve Axtell asked Alan Semok, a Shining Time Station puppeteer and cast member, the following question:
>Alan Semok - could you tell us about your involvement with the PBS Shining
>Time Station? It's so whimsically creative! Did you make the puppets?
>Which ones do you perform? Is it still in production? What happened to
Alan replied (used with Alan's permission):
Hi Steve (and everybody!)
Here are some answers to your questions about Shining Time Station. (I hope this doesn't ramble)...
The Shining Time Station Juke Box Band Puppets are created by Craig & Olga Marin's FLEXITOON, Ltd.; my involvement with the puppet construction team invloves mainly contributions to mechanical design and construction on some of the puppets (an outgrowth of my years of doing vent figures); artistically and stylistically, the Flexitoons are the brainchild of Craig Marin.
In the first season shows (the Ringo ones) I operated Grace The Bass, assisted by Peter Baird (son of Bil); when we resumed production after the first season I took over the character of Tex Boy, and have continued that role to the present. Craig does Rex Boy and Olga is DiDi the Drummer; Grace The Bass is operated by Peter Baird assisted by Kenny Miele (and voiced by Beverly Glenn and Vanece Thomas); and Tito (the bandleader with the piano stool attached to his butt) is Jonathan Freeman (who voiced Jafar in Disney's Aladdin film). The puppets are hand puppets, rod puppets, marionnettes, and various combinations of all of the above.
Ringo left the show in 1990 after one season and a holiday special, to pursue other interests (mainly touring with his successful All Starr Band shows) and George Carlin signed on as Mr. Conductor.
There have been no new half-hour produced since 1994; last year we did 4 one-hour primetime specials with guest stars (Ed Begley Jr., Jack Klugman, Terry Garr). Several weeks ago, it was announced that there will be a Shining Time Station feature film. (stay tuned for details...). The show continues to do well despite being on at a different time in almost every market, and we may yet do some new half-hours episodes...time will tell.
Thanks for asking!!!