Over the years, the Kuklapolitan
Website has received numerous requests for the same
information, so here are the answers to those Frequently Asked
Questions. If you have more questions or information, please email me. And many thanks
to Jim Engel for the above artwork!
was Kukla, Fran and Ollie? KFO was unique in
television history: a live, daily, ad-libbed puppet show that was
watched by more adults than children.
did the show premiere? KFO first aired on October
13, 1947 as Junior Jamboree.
It changed to Kukla, Fran and Ollie
within a few months.
did it go off the air? KFO's first run ended in
1957, but the Kuklapolitans were on the air in one form or another
until the mid 1980s.
were Burr Tillstrom and Fran Allison born? Are they still alive? Burr was born on October 13,
1917 and Fran was born on November 20, 1907. Burr died on December 6, 1985
and Fran died on June 13, 1989.
they married? No. Fran was married to
Archie Levington. Burr never married.
can I get copies of the show? The earliest episodes of KFO
have finally been released on DVD!
Where are the Kuklapolitans now? Burr willed all his KFO items
to the Chicago
The Kuklapolitans can be viewed by special appointment in some cases,
but it's far easier to see the many papers Burr left to the
museum. You must call first.
Where can I get more info about
the show? Right here! Check The Story of the
Kuklapolitans page for many magazine articles about the troupe, or
go the the History page for a timeline of
Where can I see a photo of my
favorite character? There are many photos of all
the Kuklapolitans on the Photos page.
any of the these characters on the show: Lambchop, Foodini, Pinhead,
Lucky Pup, Jolo the Clown, Rootie Kazootie, Beany, Cecil
the Seasick Sea Serpent, Farfel, Froggy
the Gremlin, Elmer the Elephant, Bertie the Bunyip, etc.? No. Here's a list of
all the Kuklapolitans: Kukla, Oliver J. Dragon, Madame Ophelia
Witch, Fletcher Rabbit, Colonel Richard Hooper Crackie, Cecil Bill,
Dragon, Werner von Worm, Mrs. Dragon, Mrs. Witch, Miss Coo-Coo, Paul
Pookenschlagel, Mrs. Bufforfington, Perry Porpoise, Hubert Skunk,
Herbert Hare, Felicia Rabbit, Honey Bird, and of course, Fran! Here are
photos of all the Kuklapolitan Players.
Who performed which characters? Burr performed all the
characters and was the only puppeteer on the
character said only "tooie tooie" or "tooey tooey"? Cecil
Bill, the show's union stagehand. You can hear him sing "Tooie
Talk" on the Audio page.
What does Kukla's name mean? "Doll" in Russian and
Greek. For the full story, read this article
can I get copies of films that were shown on The CBS Children's Film Festival,
like Skiny and Fatty, and Three Nuts for Cinderella? Only a few films are
available for purchase. Check my CBS page
for more info, or leave a note in my CBS
Forum to ask about others.
can I find the Kukla and Ollie puppets I had as a child? Actually, you probably never
one! Burr never allowed any puppets of his characters to be sold,
although other toys were sold. There
was a counterfeit Ollie sold in the 50s,
but no Kukla was ever made. Some puppet-type
toys were sold in the 60s.
Wasn't there a piece about the
Berlin Wall on the show? No, but he did do a series of
ballets" on That Was The Week That
Was. The most famous was his Berlin
Kuklapolitans ever return to the air, like Kermit the Frog did after
Jim Henson's death? No. Burr's
Will specifically prohibits anyone from performing the characters.