23 February 2006

More on "Disembodied Animal Head Theatre"

Meet Tex, the Rubber Chicken.

He's a rod puppet; his mouth is operated by a fishing line that feeds through a tube inside his body down to a bicycle brake on the handle. (You can see the fishing line at the top of his red bow tie.)

December 2003, I was cleaning up my props after another stellar performance in acting class. The teacher had called a fifteen minute break, so I had plenty of time to spare after throwing all my crap in a box. The last prop in was my rubber chicken. I noticed that by pinching in the corners of his mouth, I could make his mouth open and close. As it was December, and I was in a holiday mood, I had the chicken sing "What Child is This?" in a booming baritone.

For the next two weeks, I followed Pam and the dogs around the house, singing various Christmas carols (and the occasional rousing "Dreidl Song".) I named him "Tex" (short for "Latex".) I decided to do a mock-commercial for "Tex sings Your Favorite Christmas Songs!" on CD and cassette.

As a character, Tex is a great study in comic contradictions. He's a rubber chicken; a cheap comic prop. He's also a comedy legend with a long and illustrious career, having worked with some of the greatest comics of all time. He has a rich baritone voice, and is obviously a cultured individual.

So there you have it: the host of "Disembodied Animal Head Theatre"!

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