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Retired Puppets Retired From CBC Museum

At the Wellington Street entrance of the CBC Broadcast Centre, visitors of a certain age are met with some familiar sights from their childhoods: the treehouse from Mr. Dressup, a gang of puppets from Sesame Park, and the ratty but iconic Rusty and Jerome figures from The Friendly Giant.
Now, the family of the Giant aren’t feeling too friendly following a comedic skit shown during this year’s Gemini Awards, and they are demanding the removal of the puppets from the CBC Museum. Anne Homme, the daughter of Friendly Giant Bob Homme, feels that the clip was in poor taste and disrespected the memory of her father. The CBC is required to get the family’s permission to use them in any context outside the museum, and the family says that they would never have allowed the puppets to be used in that type of sketch.
The clip, which played during the Gemini Awards ceremony last month in Regina, finds the CBC’s iconic puppets residing at the Felt With Feelings retirement home, drinking, smoking, and and using mildly profane language (well, for puppets). Casey and Finnigan are locked inside the Tickle Trunk against their will, and a Henson-like puppet gives implied oral sex to “Curtains” from the faux Dr. Giggle’s Place.
“I’ve been sitting in this sack since 1958,” says Rusty, to significant audience applause. The Jerome puppet drowns his sorrows at a bar.
Yesterday, CBC employees were invited to “say goodbye to the real Rusty and Jerome” at a milk-and-cookies afternoon ceremony. The Giant’s castle model is also to be removed from the museum, along with other Friendly Giant props. It’s a significant loss—The Friendly Giant is one of the Ceeb’s most adored shows, running for more than 3,000 episodes before being cancelled in 1985 due to budget cuts.
Ann Homme and her brother Richard say that the puppets will reappear to the public, but will remain in storage until they examine their options. Their father, Bob Homme, who received the Order of Canada in 1998, died of cancer two years later at the age of 81, but remains one of the most beloved figures in Canadian television history.


  • matty

    Is Sesame Park the Candian bastard child of Sesame Street?

  • rek

    The CBC (Ceeb? really?) should have gotten their permission, but from the sounds of it these two are utterly humourless.

  • paigesix

    amazing that all the main stream media articles say the clip shows them “drinking, smoking and having sex” when that’s not at all the point of the skit or what’s shown with Rusty and Jerome.
    (except for yesterday’s G&M article, but the commenters there ignored that fact and went into a “SHUT DOWN THE CBC!!!!” outrage, sigh)
    the family needs to chill out–if anything it’s given the Friendly Giant more press and recognition–exactly what FLOP wants!

  • Chester Pape

    I’m on the fence here, the Homme’s have legitimate beefs with the CBC that go well beyond this incident but in terms of the sketch? On the other hand, it was a joke, maybe in a bit of poor taste but nothing that in and of itself is anywhere near the insult and disrespect they are making it out to be, but back to the other side the Mother Corp has thoroughly botched this, first attempting to blame it on someone going on mat leave when they had in fact been made redundant and then having the oddball going away party. It’s an open secret that the FG was canceled in 1985 as a (mostly failed) ploy to raise public ire about funding cuts I think the Homme’s have every right to feel that they’ve had enough of the ceeb using their father’s creations for political games.
    The bigger issue that only seems to be coming out now is that the CBC clearly plans to close the museum completely, in the Mop and Pail this AM it came out that the CBC has laid off the former museum staff and they were in the midst of trying to find a new home for ALL of the exhibits, somewhere in Ottawa.

  • beth maher

    Anybody who grew up in the eighties and was paying any attention knows that merely touching those puppets at all is a major no-no. Especially Casey and Finnegan. I know specifically that when their puppeteer retired, she took them with her as the puppets and characters were her own intellectual property and she had full copyright over them – and they were promptly and accordingly replaced by a cast of mediocre ‘animal friends’.
    I find it suprising that no one at the CBC knew this – or maybe these shows just didn’t have the impact on their childhood like they did on mine.

  • http://undefined Jim King

    It’s to bad Bob Homme’s children didn’t inherit his class. They’re not punishing the CBC by removing the puppets and the castle, only the rest of us who watched Friendly as children.