The Making of The CinderElmo French Stewart Puppet

Once again, I am happy to provide MUCH more information than you need.

French Stewart was great to work with on the Sesame special "CinderElmo," and I thought he might appreciate having a puppet of his own to remember the experience by. This idea percolated in the back of my head for a couple of days while we were shooting, but I couldn't quite figure out what to do about it. Around 8pm Sunday evening, I was looking at the shooting schedule, and noticed that the next day, Monday, was Mr. Stewart's last day. Eek, what to do? I couldn't go out and buy a puppet at that hour. I didn't want to abandon the idea completely, so, I came up with the genius notion of making him a puppet myself. A little one wouldn't take too long, right? Well... The schmeepie French Stewart puppet
Above, a better look at the completed puppet.

At around 8pm Sunday night, I started making a little puppet from fleece I had already dyed. To make a long story somewhat shorter, it took me all night to make the puppet, and I went sleepless to the studio Monday with a completed puppet with no facial features and no costume. I finished the costume and hair at the studio whenever I wasn't working, and the Muppet workshop graciously donated eyes and a nose. The costume materials came from the special's costume designer, and are the fabrics from which Mr. Stewart's costume are made, and whatever else I could scavenge at the studio. Exactly twenty-three hours after I first started making the puppet, it was presented to Mr. Stewart. Thanks to Stephan and Bill and Lara and Carol and Michelle and Carlo and Mary for helping with materials!


Photo from the Private Collection of Rick Lyon