December 1975 - August 1977
Wow... what can I say about this show. I'll hopefully be adding a few things to this page in the future, including some slides that I need scanned to show you what it was like working on the show.
When I joined Gigglesnort, I had replaced Ian Harris, a puppeteer that had worked with Bill and Nancy for years, so I had big shoes to fill. Literally. On my very first day of work (Saturday December 13, 1975 - shooting show #27 "Bravery"), I had one other piece of work - I had to play "Gus Gus", the gorilla. So, instead of just puppeteering, I had to dress-up in a gorilla costume. That sounds simple enough, but I was replacing Ian - and I had to now be as tall as he was. I'm 5' 3" and Ian was around 6', right near Bill's height. (Gertrude - Gus Gus's wife - was played by Nancy, and she's only 4' 11"). Bill manufactured "platform gorilla feet" made out of fur-covered styrofoam and sneakers. That handled the height, and took a little getting used to because I could easily roll my ankle if I wasn't careful.
But this is indeed the world of Bill Jackson, so there had to be a little twist. Gus Gus had to ride a six foot bucking banana in a few scenes! So on my first day, nervous from just having to puppeteer for the first time, I had to don a gorilla costume, with limited visibility out of the head, on top of platform feet, and gallop under the hot lights of a television studio. It's an experience I will never forget for the rest of my life! That was my indoctrination to Gigglesnort!
I sweated SO much, that I didn't go out with everybody at the dinner break, and just cooled down and rested in the green room. I had brought a little 110 film camera with me and took some pictures around the set (shown below) just in case I didn't last! I guess I did - I worked on Gigglesnort for two seasons.
If you are interested, I have a list of all the Gigglesnort Hotel episodes from the second and third seasons (I don't have info from the first season, since I wasn't part of the show then.)