Monday, June 8, 1970

Musical Artist - Hunt, Richard

Richard Hunt was an American Muppeteer best known for his performance as Scooter. Hunt first started working with Henson Associates in 1970, and by 1972 he was a member of the cast of Muppet performers for Sesame Street. For his first few years, Hunt was mostly a background performer, rotating between a variety of fill-in roles. In addition to his work on Sesame Street, Hunt also performed several background characters for the television specials The Muppets Valentine Show, The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence, and Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas.

Eventually, Hunt became one of the main puppeteers on Sesame Street, performing characters such as Don Music, Forgetful Jones, Gladys the Cow, Sully, and an early version of Elmo. When The Muppet Show debuted, Hunt made his biggest leap forward, becoming one of the core cast members of the show and introducing his signature character Scooter as a regular. In addition to Scooter, Hunt also performed Beaker, Janice, Placido Flamingo, Statler, and Sweetums, and shared the role of Miss Piggy with Frank Oz. Hunt made several appearances as Wayne, one-half of Wayne and Wanda, the ill-fated singing duo beloved by Sam the Eagle.

Hunt was also part of the cast of Fraggle Rock, performing the characters Junior Gorg and Gunge. Hunt was good friends with fellow Muppeteer Jerry Nelson, and their characters were often paired with one another. Notably for a Muppeteer, Hunt appeared onscreen in a number of small roles, including The Great Muppet Caper, Oxford Blues, Puppetman, and Trading Places.

Hunt died in 1992, just two years after Jim Henson did. When one views videos of Jim Henson's memorial service, it is obvious that Hunt was heavily involved in the planning and execution of the event. Given that Hunt died of AIDS related complications, it seems likely that Hunt knew he was dying at the time, which makes his participation in Henson's memorial service seem all the more beautiful and tragic, as he was saying goodbye to a friend while knowing at the same time that he was due to join him fairly soon thereafter.

Hunt has a page devoted to him on the Muppet Wiki. He is also on the Internet Movie Database.

Musical Monday Selections:

02/19/18: Just One person with Kevin Clash, Dave Goelz, Jerry Nelson, Frank Oz, and Steve Witmire

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