Local News

Monday, Mar 24 2014 01:37 PM

'First Look': Puppeteer aims to bring laughs to kids -- and adults

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    Big Bad Wolf talks to Californian Executive Editor Robert Price about everything from being a puppet to Crimea's puppet government.

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    Don Kruska, left, talks about puppets while holding the Big Bad Wolf. At right is Californian Executive Editor Robert Price.

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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

The Big Bad Wolf on the "First Look with Scott Cox" simulcast Monday was not the ordinary character from "Little Red Riding Hood."

This wolf had style.

"I am the epitome of cool," said Wolf, sporting a black leather jacket. Although Wolf is a puppet, he said he prefers to be called a "Fabricated-American."

"Puppet is becoming derogatory since Crimea, stupid Russians," Wolf said.

The puppeteer behind Wolf is Don Kruska, who has crafted a variety of puppets.

"I never thought of doing children's theater," Kruska said.

But he gave it a try and continues to make children laugh 21 years later.

If you've never seen a puppet show, don't miss the opportunity to check out Kruska's "Sleeping Beauty" performance at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Bakersfield Museum of Art. Admission is free.

On Monday Kruska was a guest of Californian Executive Editor Robert Price on "First Look." Price tested Kruska and host Scott Cox about their knowledge of famous puppets in television history.

Which puppets do you remember?

* This furry monster, who has a positive attitude and infectious giggle, until 1979 was referred to as "Little Monster."

* This is the most influential puppet who has appeared on shows such as "Johnny Carson," "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and even hosted an episode of "Larry King Live."

* This sweet and visceral lamb sock puppet graced PBS for five years, along with her friends Hush Puppy and Charlie Horse.

* This puppet is the youngest of the Sinclair family, and was hatched in the very first episode of "Dinosaurs."

(Answers, in order: Elmo, Kermit the Frog, Lamb Chop and Baby Sinclair.)

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