TV's 'Bumpity' finds new home - Sellwood's Puppet Museum
Thousands of kids looked forward to a television visit with "Bumpity" every week on KATU, Channel 2, from 1971 to 1985.
The green bump on a lawn â€“ "I'm not a frog," he'd occasionally protest â€“ was a puppet, named Bumpity. And a striped worm named "Fred" hosted the local TV show. Among the guests visiting "Bumpity Park" â€“ a large set built in a small TV studio â€“ were librarians, police officers,Â dentists,Â clog dancers, andÂ even a young magician â€“ that would be your reporter; being on Bumpity made me moderately famous in Portland at the time. I also was appearing on KEX radio, which gave me a little fame as well; but after being on Bumpity a few times, people would stop me at Saturday Market or other public spaces and say, "Hey! You're the magician on Bumpity, right?"
After the show went off the air, as most local kids programs like that did in the mid-1980s, the puppets â€“ Bumpity, Fred, Digger Mole, and Scotty MacThistle â€“ were relegated to a suitcase stored in the attic of their creator and puppeteer, Bob Griggs.
On September 28, Bumpity saw the light of day once again. "To have Bumpity out of the suitcase, and to have a permanent home here at the Portland Puppet Museum â€“ I think this is wonderful," remarked its creator's widow, Jo Ann Rosendall Griggs.
"Even today, all these years later, when someone says the name 'Bumpity', so many people fondly remember this television show," Rosendall Griggs told THE BEE.
There's a 21-minute video documentary, "Bumpity Returns", which you can see here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=el7bEQt2pXs
And so Bumpity and his friends are featured in "Enchanted Fairy Tale and TV Puppets", the now-open 51st exhibit in the Portland Puppet Museum's ten-year history.
"It is like walking into the pages a children's storybook, where the visitors can experience puppets from TV shows, as well as fairy tale puppets donated by several local Oregon puppet theaters of the past," said museum co-curator Steve Overton.
Puppets joining Bumpity in the display include:
· Marionettes seen on the Howdy Doody Show;
· Pixie Playhouse;
· The Brother Buzz;
· Topo Gigio, as seen on the Ed Sullivan Show; and.
· Lambchop, given to them by Shari Lewis.
The "Enchanted Fairy Tale and TV Puppets" exhibit is on through January 31st at the Portland Puppet Museum, 906 S.E. Umatilla Street in Sellwood. Admission is free (but donations are gratefully accepted). There's more information online â€“ www.puppetmuseum.com â€“ and, now, right here, a brief BEE video to preview your experience there â€“ youtu.be/vwNrC9Z3Jic
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