Puppets are Like Clowns: Not as Fun as People Think

In my review of Won't You Be My Neighbor? (which documentary I found quite interesting), I speculate on which part of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood bored me as a kid:
I think, oddly enough, that it was the make-believe part; when the trolley left the house, I lost interest. However, that could be me as an adult mis-remembering my youth. It could have been the other way around. (I didn't like Punch & Judy shows when I was a kid, but that was probably the violence, not the puppets.)
I've decided--it was the puppets.

Thinking back, I remember feeling almost entirely disengaged by puppets as a child. I was supposed to like them--rather like kids are supposed to like clowns. And I made do. But I remember being almost entirely indifferent to the puppet show in The Sound of Music. I was more interested in the children and the music than the marionettes.

Don't get me wrong--I liked marionettes. That's because my sister Ann took me to see the ballet Coppelia when I was little. The dolls come to life, the dolls which were played by real, live people.

I played make-believe with my own dolls (they were actually little plastic, ceramic, and metal animals) but I preferred movies and books--even movies and books with animals--to have people somewhere in the wings. The Muppets were okay because, okay, well, let's face it, Kermit practically is human. And anyway, Steve Martin shows up.

Even Cats, however dopey, always struck me as more watchable than movies and shows where the animals are so realistic I couldn't read their expressions.

I wonder now if the key here is "expressions." After all, I find Eddie's commercial on Frasier absolutely hilarious.


1 comment:

FreeLiveFree said...

Considering puppets are used as much as clowns in horror fiction, (see The Devil Doll and It) I'd say some people find them eerie.