Mark Sainsbury and his Muppet likeness.


A caricature Muppet of New Zealand television anchor Mark Sainsbury was created to help promote The Muppets for the New Zealand market.

Mark Sainsbury is known for hosting Close Up, New Zealand's most popular current affairs program. After traveling to the United States for a story on the newest Muppet movie, producer Chris Lynch (who's also a puppeteer) had ecstatic news for his cohort. In Sainsbury's words, "[Chris] came in all excited, saying, 'They want to make a Muppet of you'... I thought he was joking."

Performed by Lynch, the puppet, a specially-made green Whatnot from FAO Schwarz's Muppet Whatnot Workshop, made his television debut on Close Up, and subsequently appeared on What Now (New Zealand's longest running children's show). He made his first public appearance at the New Zealand premiere of The Muppets, which also served as a fundraising event for the Auckland Starship Children’s Hospital.

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