I have wanted an old man character for years. He was in my mind waiting for his chance. He began to put pressure on me to let him out before he got too old. The interesting thing is that I wrote a skit before I had a puppet (See “Stupid and Smart Phones” in “I Know What You Know Adventures in Gospel Ventriloquism”).
My confidence in puppet building had grown with the creation of Jim and Bobby Sox. I felt that if I could make a foam puppet in such a way that I could put my four fingers in the lower jaw that my hand wouldn’t hurt as much as it did manipulating the large plush puppets I had in the past. I found a couple patterns online, but ended up combining ideas from three patterns. After a few failures, I found a way to do it, and it worked!
Now, how to do the body. My wife suggested getting a child’s sleeper. It had arms, legs, feet and torso. It took a couple tries to settle on the right size, but it worked great.
I had disguised a little boy puppet as an old man just for my ventriloquism book (I Know What You Know Adventures in Gospel Ventriloquism). I decided since I had a skit and an idea of what I wanted him to look like, Kerr Mudgeon was my first large puppet build.