Karen Prell Gallery: Early Puppets, Sesame Street, Muppet Show and TV Specials


My self-made and extremely Muppet-inspired puppets circa 1979, starring Ambrose Maxwell Cat, who was derived from a store-bought Grover puppet. I built them while in high school and college and most of them appeared in the puppeteer reel I sent to the Henson Company.

Deena Monster, my first character with the Muppets, appeared on SESAME STREET in 1980 and 1981. Her hyperactive catchphrase was "Play, Play, Play, Deena wanna PLAY!!!"

Deena with her ol' buddy Pearl, performed by Brian Muehl. Deena and Pearl were conceived as a sort of female monster Ernie and Bert. They were among several new characters introduced on SESAME STREET in the early 80's that never caught on, though one little red monster who first appeared then has become rather successful...

During SESAME STREET summer hiatus in 1980, I apprenticed on THE MUPPET SHOW in London. With me backstage in the Muppet Workshop are Muppeteers Jerry Nelson, Jim Henson, Kathryn Mullen, Steve Whitmire and in front, the ever excitable Richard Hunt.

In 1982 we shot JOHN DENVER AND THE MUPPETS: A ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOLIDAY in beautiful Aspen, Colorado. These posable versions of the characters were set up for the record album photo shoot. While waiting for John Denver to appear, puppeteers and crew leapt into the center to get their own photos with the Muppets!

We shot THE TALE OF THE BUNNY PICNIC in London in 1986. I performed Great Great Great Granny Bunny. Here our characters all pose with Jim Henson for publicity photos. You can see that the puppets are merely the tip of the iceberg above the tightly packed swarm of puppeteers.






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