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Forums: Index > Article Content > Left-handed puppeteers

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Is there any value in sandboxing a list of puppeteers who perform left-handed? Here's what we've got:

It's a very short list right now, but kind of interesting. โ€”Scott latest?cb=20200820192427 (talk) 11:50, 17 September 2021 (UTC)

There's also:
They're a rarity, but I think it's worth pointing out. Jen Barnhart also talked about left-handed performers in the Facebook puppeteer video a couple of years ago, I believe. -- Tony (talk) 12:49, 17 September 2021 (UTC)
The performers I linked all have pictures or citations to back up the left-handed claim. I don't see anything for those in your list, Tony. โ€”Scott latest?cb=20200820192427 (talk) 12:54, 17 September 2021 (UTC)
I'll include links and citations above wherever I can find them. As for Don Austen, the only stuff I could find is performances online with John Eccleston. Will this do? -- Tony (talk) 13:25, 17 September 2021 (UTC)
Cool, thanks! How do we know Jerry Nelson performed left-handed? โ€”Scott latest?cb=20200820192427 (talk) 13:38, 17 September 2021 (UTC)
There's video for the Two-Headed Monster (Street Gang doc), but for the two cited episodes the only thing to back it up is from the episodes themselves. Both cited above are on YouTube, but I don't know if it'll be enough. -- Tony (talk) 13:42, 17 September 2021 (UTC)

Might also be worth adding a bit to the page about how the abundance of right-handed puppeteers results in a lot of left-handed characters. It's a common "trivia" thing that you see pop-up places (i.e. "did you know most Muppets are left-handed?"); the Muppets even tweeted about it on left-handers day. -- BradFraggle (talk) 14:11, 17 September 2021 (UTC)

Another honorary mention: Caroll Spinney, for the first two weeks of Sesame Street (before the set change). -- Tony (talk) 22:05, 17 September 2021 (UTC)
I thought I heard (and it might be in one of the linked sources) that Terry Angus is right handed but performs with his left hand. --Minor muppetz (talk) 01:08, 19 September 2021 (UTC)
I think anybody who performs the right half of the Two-Headed Monster would be performing that half with their left hand. --Minor muppetz (talk) 01:10, 19 September 2021 (UTC)
Not always; "Two-Headed Monster Feelings Song", for example. -- Tony (talk) 02:07, 19 September 2021 (UTC)
A couple of others: Rickey Boyd (ambidextrous; there's images of him performing with either arm, notably throughout the Nostalgia Talk interview on YouTube) and Bob Payne (ambidextrous as well; one behind the scenes photo shows him performing right-handed, but most of his characters onscreen based on video footage, including Astoria, Bertha, Zebediah, Mary Rhymie, and Judy Finstermacher, are right-handed Muppets). -- Tony (talk) 22:42, 3 October 2021 (UTC)
And another: Billy Barkhurst. -- Tony (talk) 17:55, 11 October 2021 (UTC)
Someone brought up a few more: Michael Oosterom, Sean Johnson, and David Stephens. Stephens is confirmed to be left-handed by photo evidence on his page, but I don't know about the others. -- Tony (talk) 23:59, 14 October 2021 (UTC)
Possible candidate for ambidextrous: Noel MacNeal in this photo. Most photos of MacNeal appear to show him performing right-handed. However, this may have just been for the framing of this particular photo. โ€”Scott latest?cb=20200820192427 (talk) 13:24, 26 November 2021 (UTC)
Good point about the framing. If four puppeteers are crammed together in the same space, it would make sense for Noel to use his left hand to bring all three of those lower-tier characters closer together. Otherwise, there'd be a big gap where his head would be. -- Tony (talk) 13:46, 26 November 2021 (UTC)
I think we might be able to add Ryan Dillon to the ambidexterous list: most behind-the-scenes photos and clips show him using his right hand, but that group photo on the "That's Cooperation" page has him puppeteering his bird with his left hand.BugsFan17 (talk) 22:02, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
Another one: Dan Garza. He's seen puppeteering Junior Gorg's mouth with his left hand in behind the scenes footage for Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock. -- Tony (talk) 03:40, 23 January 2022 (UTC)