Le Hostspot pilot
November 17-21, 1980
Bill had left Chicago to teach at CalArts (California Institute of the Arts). My puppeteering career had come to the end. I didn't have the skill to try to go on my own, so I quietly started to sink into my new career in IT.
But Bill had one last gig - to shoot a pilot for a potential series that would mix puppets, humans, and music.
The show was called Le HostSpot and it was shot at CalArts in Valencia. I flew out there and worked with Bill as well as Nancy (who had also moved to California) and some other puppeteers (who, still again, I can't remember their names, though my notes list Rick and Debbie).
But here's the way cool part - the human star of this episode was Broderick Crawford (as Big Al). I also worked with Tony Cox (as Munchkin). There was a dog, a lot of extras (I remember a rumor that at least one of them were either a Playboy Playmate or Penthouse Pet, though I have no idea if that's true).
I actually had an on camera part in the show - I was the doorman at the club. We shot the exteriors of the club at a place in Pasadena (I remember shooting with Broderick and a gorgeous old 1930's Pierce Arrow (I don't remember the year).
On the puppeteering side - there was a whole collection of dragons, not only Dirty and Lila but they were now all green instead of red. Dirty was now Hots, Lila was still Lila (just green), and the new ones were Scorch and Smokey Joe. Weird was a waier, Wally was still an accountant.
Alas, the pilot went nowhere (I have never seen it).
It was my last "hurrah". I miss puppeteering, and I really miss Bill and Nancy.