Funny Boy: The Richard Hunt Biography

Rutgers Univ. Mar. 2024. 344p. ISBN 9781978836716. $37.95. BIOG
Stein (writing and literature, CUNY Hunter Coll.) delivers a meticulously detailed biography of Muppets puppeteer Richard Hunt (1951–92). Performing came naturally to Hunt, who grew up in New Jersey in a large family that participated in local theater. He was interested in puppets as a teenager and a fan of the Muppets on Sesame Street. After graduating from high school, he cold-called Jim Henson’s company and asked if he could audition. His timing was felicitous, as Henson was beginning to expand his operations and later developed the TV series The Muppet Show in 1976. Hunt started out working the right hands of puppets voiced by Henson and Frank Oz. He later developed the voices of Beaker, Don Music, Forgetful Jones, and numerous others. He continued to work with the company on Muppet films and other television series including Fraggle Rock until he died at the age of 40 of HIV/AIDS-related complications.
VERDICT Exemplary research, culled from a plenitude of interviews with Hunt’s family, friends, and coworkers, reveals a talented artist with tireless energy, enthusiasm, wit, and personality.
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