Pride 2023 Queer History Trading Cards

Learn more and see all of our trading cards from Atlanta Pride 2023

Richard Hunt

After graduating high school, Richard Hunt went to a phone booth,  cold-called Henson Associates, and asked them if they were hiring puppeteers. As it happens, Jim Henson was auditioning puppeteers that day! Hunt was hired full-time by Sesame Street in 1972. On The Muppet Show, Hunt puppeteered the iconic characters of Beaker, Statler, Janice, Sweetums, and Scooter.

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John Tartaglia

John Tartaglia performed the roles of Princeton and Rod in the Tony Award-winning musical Avenue Q. In 2016, he created the PBS Kids series Jim Henson’s Splash and Bubbles. At the age of 16, Tartaglia became a part-time puppeteer on Sesame Street, making him one of the youngest performers in the show’s history

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Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones

In 1971, Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones met and fell in love at the Michaelis School of Fine Art in Cape Town, South Africa. Later, they would become founding members of the Handspring Puppet Company. The couple achieved critical acclaim for their life-sized puppets created for the play War Horse.

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Zenén Calero Medina

In 1979, Medina’s career began in Matanzas, Cuba as a scenic designer for the Papalote Theater until 1997. In 1994 he founded Teatro de Las Estaciones (Theater of the Seasons) alongside his partner in life and stage, Rubén Darío Salazar. Both were given Cuba’s National Theater Award in 2020.

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Ali J. Eisner

Ali J. Eisner performs Turbo Doozer, among others, on Apple TV’s Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock. In a Pride Profile for Tough Pigs, a Muppet fan site, Eisner said, “Being a puppeteer, I don’t have to be judged for the way I look. As a trans/non-binary person, that can relieve a whole lot of struggle.”

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Wayland Flowers

Wayland Flowers was best known for his comedy act with his puppet Madame. Flowers was featured on The Andy Williams Show, Hollywood Squares, Laugh-In, Solid Gold, as well as Madame’s own featured specials. Born in Dawson, GA in 1939, Flowers first worked as a puppeteer for Bil Baird’s Marionettes show at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. 

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Jimmy Rowland

 Jimmy Rowland was born in the northeast mountains of Georgia in Toccoa. By the age of eight, Rowland developed a fascination with dolls and puppets and began to make his own. By 11, he was assisting professional puppeteers at local libraries and community centers. Rowland went on to work with notable figures, including Bob Brown and Kermit Love, and designed puppets for theme parks like Busch Gardens.

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